2016 - 2017

2016 - 2017

Sunday, May 22, 2011

WIGAN ESCAPE......WITH ALL THREE POINTS INTO THE BARGAIN

STOKE CITY FC 0 WIGAN ATHLETIC 1

By rights Stoke should have been three goals up at halftime.That they were not was more or less exclusively down to a series of stops by keeper Al Habsi, a clearance or two off the line,plus a chalked off effort. Kenwyne Jones header was destined for the net,but Jon Walters applied a further touch from an offside position

Wigan looked extremely nervous as you would expect given their precarious position in the table.They played with a little more confidence in the second half,but were still pushed back by a determined Stoke outfit.Failing to find the net ourselves,we were not altogether surprised when Wigan nosed in front late on with a Rodalega header from N'Zogbia's cross.

Ref Mariner did not have the best of games and denied Stoke one if not two clear penalty shouts.

This disappointing result did not dampen the home crowd's enthusiasm,most people staying behind for the lap of honour,which brought down the curtain on an excellent season.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

HUNGOVER

MANCHESTER CITY 3 STOKE CITY 0

Stoke never looked likely to get anything from this game,nor,I suspect,did most of us expect them to.Five changes to the Cup Final lineup from Saturday confirmed the view that the objective was containment rather than ambition.

Two shots all night tells the same story,of a team and its supporters physically and emotionally exhausted.Manchester City by contrast had a spring in their step and played with smiles on their faces.

Tevez produced two goals of the highest quality.In the first half following a one two with Milner he drove the ball unstoppably high into Sorensen's net.A dubious freekick awarded just outside the penalty area, twenty minutes into the second half,appeared to be heading two yards wide of the righthand goal post,but in the last few yards of flight it curved into the top corner of the net.Sandwiched between those efforts Lescott headed home as Sorensen came out but failed to reach the ball.

A puzzler point of interest was that Begovic did not play,nor was he substitute keeper.

Hopefully Stoke will be able to raise their game on Sunday  against Wigan.Time will tell.

Monday, May 09, 2011

"ARSENE WENGER : I DIDN'T SEE THAT "...........WELL I DID!!

STOKE CITY FC 3 ARSENAL 1

Pretty but ineffective,Arsenal passed the ball around,most of the time going nowhere.Plenty of possession but no real penetration.Then they got frustrated with their own inability to mount a real threat,which led to a remarkable statistic.Arsenal's foul count well exceeded that of our heroes.

The chants from the home crowd said it all,ramming Wenger's ill considered comments, made at earlier times, well down his throat.Now I have a feeling that deep down the Frenchman has a good sense of humour,so that when he has time to reflect he will have a chuckle to himself.Remember the comment about Stoke's game resembling rugby, well "2-0 to the rugby team"seemed a fair comment from the crowd,particularly when it was followed by a rendition of "Swing Low Sweet Chariot".

My favourite though, oft repeated each time Arsenal fouled, "Arsene Wenger....I didn't see that."

Stoke were in fine form,absorbed limited early pressure from the visitors and deservedly found the net twice before halftime: a chest in by Jones from Pennant's free kick,and a Pennant drive deflected up and over the keeper into the net.

Wenger altered the shape of his team after halftime,increasing his attacking options.Still very little impression was made on the Stoke team,despite Huth going off injured,and Kenwynne hobbling a little with an ankle problem.The only real scare was that Pennant, reacting to a bad tackle by Wilshere,got himself booked.Ref Halsey showed great commonsense,others would have dispatched the winger on a red.Pennant was subbed in his own best interest (and ours given the role people hope he will play next week at Wembley).

Late in the game a Van Persie goal dragged Arsenal back into contention......for a whole minute! Stoke went back up the pitch,Wilkinson contrived one of his trademark scuffed (but defence splitting) power shots.Jon Walters found himself with the ball,and just the keeper to beat.He made no mistake.

GAME OVER.   46 points in the bag.  8TH IN THE TABLE.

WEMBLEY HERE WE COME......

Monday, May 02, 2011

THINK THAT'S IT NOW.....SAFE FOR ANOTHER SEASON,

BLACKPOOL 0 STOKE CITY FC 0

What with the Royal Wedding and being completely out of touch in London over the extended Bank Holiday weekend,I'm afraid this match passed me by.Another point gained, (tongue slightly in cheek)a win to come against  Arsenal next weekend,then its the big one....