2016 - 2017

2016 - 2017

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ten Men Triumph After Delap Departure

Stoke City FC 1 Manchester City 0

Wow another exciting,nailbiting afternoon at The Brit.Stoke made a very tentative start to the match,but just when they looked to be increasing in confidence against an average looking Manchester City side,Rory Delap-usually, seemingly, fairly amiable and easy going - had a rush of blood.Wright-Phillips tackled Etherington in a fashion that Delap took exception to.Delap tackled the Man City player from behind,not particularly heavily,but then followed up by kicking the ball at him from close range as he lay on the ground,leaving the ref with no option to the red card.

Wright-Phillips retaliated with his own kick but as with Ronaldo (kicking out at Wilkinson in the Boxing Day match)he stayed on the pitch.

Down to 10 men with almost an hour to play,you feared the worst.But this gutsy Stoke team got stuck in,their increasing experience at playing with 10 men shining through.
Magically they even conjured a goal in the final minute of added on time at the end of the half.Whelan chipped a short ball down the left side over the Man City defence.This set Etherington free,his precision cross being met at the far post by Beattie who headed powerfully downward inside keeper Hart's post and beyond his despairing dive.The wild celebrations were to be matched by those at the end of the game.

You knew that the second half would see a siege around the Stoke goal,but though Man City had their moments(Griffin was lucky not to concede a penalty at the death as he challenged Micah Richards,Bellamy shooting narrowly over the bar)they were not able to penetrate Stoke's stubborn rearguard in which Shawcross shone,ably assisted by Abdy Fay,Wilkinson,and stand in fullback Pugh.Whelan continues to grow into his midfield role at this level,Amdy Faye gave everything to the cause,very effective despite having been floored (and concussed?) by a heavy collision of heads.Etherington and Beattie are looking shrewd buys indeed!

A fabulously determined resilient team effort,supported and clearly lifted by tremendous sustained noise from the crowd,probably the best this season.Three points well deserved,which lifted us out of the bottom three,and overall a performance which will increase confidence as we move forward to claim the 16 points we'll need to stay up.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Modric Runs The Game For Spurs

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 3 STOKE CITY FC 1

In front of a 36,000 full house Stoke fielded the same side that failed narrowly at Chelsea.

The Potters won several early freekicks, one leading to a Shawcross header being cleared away from the Spurs post by Bentley.Immediately Spurs broke upfield Defoe played to Aaron Lennon who scored after 8 minutes.Stoke threatened by Spurs midfield, with Modric prominent setting up plays ably abetted by Zokora

Stoke attempting some patient build up, finding Beattie and Etherington then getting up in support. Both looked a real threat.But on 20 minutes Jermain Defoe rifled home Spurs second goal of the evening as Stoke failed to press the ball. Sorensen saved brilliantly on 22 minutes palming away from Bentley,but all for nothing as Dawson scored with a free header two minutes later.

Spurs were being given too much time on the ball allowing them to pick their passes and dominate the play,Stoke for their part were uncharacteristically flat and sluggish.Shades of the disappointing performances at Bolton and Blackburn.

The omens were not good as the second half commenced with injured Wilkinson and Abdy Faye, replaced by Griffin and Sonko.Shortly after the resumption Fuller came on for Amdy Faye.

Beattie netted his first for the Potters - a class effort shooting from the edge of the penalty area, into the bottom left corner of the Spurs net - on 56 minutes following good approach play from Etherington, to give his team some hope. Spurs seemed more apprehensive for a while, before Modric slowed things down dictating the pace once again.

On 84 minutes Griffin's cross was headed wide by Cresswell from an excellent scoring chance.Thereafter the game meandered uneventfully to a conclusion.

Still no away win, and still anchored in the bottom three,but as Tony Pulis said before the match still 15 matches to go and no time to panic.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cruel Finish, But So Proud Of The Potters....Chelsea 2 Stoke City FC 1

Chelsea looked the most talented bunch of players throughout the game....Stoke looked the most together team.Stoke could have scored twice in the first minute,then spent the rest of the half keeping Chelsea out.

Stoke started the second half with some confidence,at times moving the ball about well.On 59 minutes the ball reached Beattie in the Chelsea half.He cleverly slipped a short ball through to put Delap in on goal.He flipped the ball over the diving Cech into the net to give Stoke the lead.

Stoke looked to be heading to 3 points when Chelsea equalised on 88 minutes through sub Belletti,and then the ultimate cruelty,even a point was snatched away when Lampard netted in the fourth minute of added on time.

A fabulous team effort,no weak links,but in the end nothing to show for it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Striker James Beattie........Pulis Lands His Man....


By all accounts Tony Pulis was unhappy that he was unable to field James Beattie in Saturday's match against table toppers Liverpool.

Today he finally got his man,as Sheffield United's high scoring striker joined The Mighty Potters on a 2½ year contract.The fee involved is £2½ million,possibly rising to £3½ million.There has been no mention of players moving in the opposite direction.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Snap,Crackle, And Pop.....Determined Stoke Take Another Point From Rafa's Men.

STOKE CITY FC 0 LIVERPOOL 0


Much respect to Rafa Benitez....his comments on Friday wonderfully articulated several of my own thoughts immediately after our Boxing Day match.Again after yesterday's match his comments reflected the game that I had seen(unlike Mr.Wenger's post match thoughts a few months back).I sincerely hope he continues to prosper.

Full house at The Britannia in seriously lively mode from beginning to end of the match,a tremendous atmosphere...A freezing cold night.Nine Stoke team changes from last Saturday's debacle at Hartlepool.

Stoke were very much in Liverpool's faces after the first fifteen minutes or so (during which period Liverpool moved the ball around quickly).It rapidly became apparent that several Liverpool stars did not really fancy the close attention that they were receiving....Lucas Lieva,and Riera in particular.

Stoke had their chances to win the game.Rory Delap hit the crosbar from close in,in the first half.In the second half Dave Kitson - even with 'one leg' looking much more the player who did so much for Reading- should have done better than find the side netting when he latched onto a terrible Reina clearance kick,and also when he headed narrowly over the Liverpool bar later.

Etherington,considering he is not fully match fit and coming back from injury,had a excellent debut for The Potters.If he stays clear of further injury (and other distractions) he is going to play a major part in determining our fate come the end of the season.

Abdy Faye and Shawcross gave everything, ably abetted by Higginbotham,and Wilkinson.In front of the back four Amdy Faye sparkled,while late replacement Glenn Whelan put in some sterling work, the highlight of which was a bending free kick which passewd narrowly wide of Reina's left goalpost.

Liverpool could have snatched a late victory but that would have been unfair to Stoke.Gerrard was involved in both near misses.He clipped the Stoke bar with a free kick,and then at the death he was put through by Torres deft header,but his shot trickled against the Stoke post and away to safety, with Sorensen unable to do anything about it.

A hard earned point -against the Premiership leaders - which took us out of the bottom three,and a performance to lift the spirits ahead of a visit to ......Chelsea......no problem....

Friday, January 09, 2009

Striker James Beattie For Stoke??

As ever TP full of surprises!

Buys us a winger, and looks for a proven striker (who can head a ball too) to go with him....James Beattie,former England player.....Premiership experience.....12 goals this season so far......what a lift that would have been ahead of tomorrow's clash with table topping Liverpool....unfortunately some small detail seems to have got in the way,and its not to be.... for now anyway.


LINK

(Link busy when I tested it....but it does work!)

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Matthew Etherington :In From West Ham

Stoke City FC today secured the services of pacey winger Etherington.He played 200 games for the Hammers,following his move from Tottenham six years ago.The agreed contract is 3½ years,the transfer fee undisclosed.

De Laet....To Manchester United.......?????

Sub on a few occasions for us,but never played in the first 11......good enough for United though.....mystery time....something happening here perhaps....time will tell.

Stirred the message board too....LINK

Stoke Old Boys Shine!!!

The Carling Cup Semi-Finals saw two former Stoke players finding the back of the net. Tunstall born Martin Paterson's 15th goal of the season - giving Burnley an early lead at White Hart Lane - came in a 4-1 defeat at Spurs.You have to wonder again what sort of a goalscoring talent we let go here,especially when we see Pericard leading the forward line at Hartlepool.

Kris Commons departure from Stoke was far from happy but no-one disputed is talent and potential.Last night he produced a superb shot from distance which gave the Manchester United keeper no chance,as derby took the first leg 1-0 at Pride Park,and were unlucky not to win by a greater margin.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Senegal National Team........Currently Being Reassembled At Stoke City FC......



Former Senegal national captain, 33 years old centre back Lamine Diatta on trial with Stoke

Another six-footer,he has won 40 caps,playing mainly in France for Lyon, St Etienne, Toulouse, and Rennes.Spent some time with Turkish side Besiktas, before moving to Newcastle.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Cheer Up.....Next Visitors Are....

Hat tip to "Swampyscfc"

Concentrating On The League ? Hartlepool Utd 2 Stoke City FC 0

Reading sit in second place in the Championship. Manager Steve Coppell made it clear where his priorities lay before his team's FA Cup defeat at Cardiff yesterday. His team faced a further 20 cup finals this season, and he intended to spread the load across his squad....hence fielding a weaker team.

As far as I could see Tony Pulis made no such statement before the match at Hartlepool but it was clear from the team he fielded, and from his post match comments where his priorities (rightly) lay....securing survival in the Premiership.

What did we learn from this game? Confirmation that the squad is wafer thin and currently over stretched. We have not been scoring many goals recently,even with our best team on the pitch.Sadly any forward line led by Vincent Pericard was going to be a blunt instrument...so it proved.

Sonko again seems to be partially responsible for us conceding a goal,although to be fair to him had his powerful header gone in instead of striking the home goal post in the second minute,we could have been looking at a totally different story.

Looking on the bright side maybe we've turned the corner in terms of player availability. It was good to see both Liam Lawrence and Dave Kitson begin their return from injury.Also good that Abdy Faye,Sorensen,and Higginbotham were not risked and given time to recharge their batteries.

Then of course there's the transfer window......... and 18 cup finals to come!