2016 - 2017

2016 - 2017

Sunday, January 20, 2013



Was it the weather? Was it something missing from the porridge? Is something happening behind the scenes? Whatever it was Stoke were not themselves yesterday.

The first half  saw a largely unremarkable but familiar 0-0 scoreline.Swansea took off four minutes into the second period,when fullback Davies was given the freedom of the park,advancing to shoot past Begovic for the opening goal.He looked more surprised than anybody,his look suggesting that he did not quite believe what he had just done,or more to the point,been allowed to do.

De Guzman then added two goals,the first from a freekick which ,from a central position,he placed over the Stoke wall into the net,with Begovic a little out of position to the right.His second goal was the well placed conclusion to a flowing move by the home team,giving Begovic no chance as he was played in on goal.

Cameron Jerome skied a ball over the Swansea bar from two yards out,as he found himself on the end of an Etherington cross.He did however clip a ball in for Michael Owen to expertly head home for a 90th minute consolation.

Strange goings on.Our players seemed lethargic,lacking their usual challenge and persistence.Jones,in some form at the moment,found himself on the bench,replaced by currently out of form Crouch.Charlie Adam looks more like the very average player that we saw at Liverpool,rather than the star who shone so brightly at Blackpool.

Sunday, January 13, 2013



Our fine unbeaten run at home disappeared in some style . Almost twelve months since our last league defeat at home, to Sunderland, on that miserable afternoon last February. Another cold one today at The Brit, and the stuff of nightmares for Jon Walters

He played his usual hyperactive part in this game,but he had one of those days when anything that could go wrong for him did go wrong,particularly at critical times.

Stoke had more than matched Chelsea in the first half,although Begovic had to pull off three smart saves.We had an early chance which Kenwynne Jones rolled just wide of goal. The first critical moment came a minute before halftime. Chelsea overlapped down the right ,the dangerous ball in across the six yard box was destined for Mata,who had a clear view of goal. The ball never reached him,as Walters dived full length to intercept,but only succeeded in heading bullet like into his own net. You would have described it as a spectacular effort if it had been at the other end of the pitch.

We made a very positive start to the second half,but the second critical moment took any chance of something from the match away from us. A Chelsea corner from the right ,dropped into our six yard box,never reaching the waiting Lampard,as it struck Walters on the back of his head, and found its way into the net. Facing away from the flight of the ball Walters knew little about it.

Thereafter Chelsea began to play some freer fancier football,one twos and triangles I think they used to be called. One such put Mata free in our box.The lightest touch on the shoulder by Huth caused the spaniard to collapse in a heap for a highly questionable penalty,converted by Lampard.

Hazard, who had a good game for the visitors, added to our misery with a fine shot from at least thirty yards out,which gave Begovic no chance as it found its way into the top corner of the net.

No further scoring by the visitors,but,on the occasion of his 100th appearance for us in the Premiership,Jon Walters afternoon of misery was not yet over. Sub Terry tripped Walters in the Chelsea box. Walters,great respect here, had the bottle to take the kick. He went the same route as Lampard had earlier,driving the ball hard at the centre of goal. Unfortunately the shot was a little too high, clipping the crossbar,before rocketing into the rafters of the Boothen Stand.

The home crowd remained supportive throughout the game, and for our unfortunate striker offered the 'Super Jonny Walters' chant in consolation toward the end.

Really funny moment for me was that the Chelsea fans responded with the identical chant!! They clearly recognised the importance of his contribution.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013



After Saturday's fixture against Southampton Tony Pulis described this match as a ' bonus game'.I took that to mean that he was not expecting to come away from The Etihad with anything, but if we did he would regard it as a bonus.Given that we have yet to take any points at this stadium,you could understand his thinking.Go for broke (and get hammered) will never be part of his thinking.So we set up to defend....in depth.

For 43 minutes the strategy worked,albeit with one or two narrow  scrapes. Begovic enjoyed one of his busier games in recent times.He pulled off some excellent saves,was beaten only once (but the post intervened) before Zabaleta netted the opener. Begovic got a foot to Milner's low cross,but the ball came out to the full back who made no mistake with his finish.One way traffic for the most part,with Stoke's stubborn defence finally undone.

The second half brought more of the same.Man City's second goal was inspired by the livewire Aguero. The argentinian striker received a short freekick from the right on the edge of our box,gave Whelan the slip,nutmegging Huth with his shot. Begovic made the save but unfortunately left Djecko with a tap in.

With the score at 2 - 0 a corner from the left was headed on by Jerome, reaching  Walters unmarked in the six yard box but he was was unable to take the sharp chance The third goal had touch of good fortune for the home side. N'Zonzi  tripped Silva outside our penalty box,but referee Oliver decided that he was inside,and awarded a penalty. Begovic got hands to Aguero's shot but could not prevent the goal.

Hart had only one decent save to make all afternoon.Right at the end  he fingertipped a 30 yard Whelan piledriver shot onto the post ,and away for a corner.

Perhaps next year will deliver our bonus.
PS   The word BONUS creates confusion for me nowadays. If Demba Ba LEAVES Newcastle United he gets a £2m LOYALTY  bonus.  Que?

Bankers make serious LOSSES playing with our money, and they are entitled to BONUS payments.............. for FAILING. Que?