STOKE CITY FC 0 WEST HAM UNITED 1
This match was a virtual rerun of last week's effort at Fulham. Again two mediocre teams on show,again a disjointed performance from the Potters,again a winning goal conceded seconds before halftime.The best pressure from our heroes came in the last twenty minutes but the visitors stood fast.
Highlights? Perhaps just the one.....a snap shot from distance by Charlie Adam in the closing moments,which beat the keeper but not the crossbar.
This Stoke team at the moment looks very low on confidence, perhaps not just a little to do with the discontent swirling around the club. Sadly much of it is actively engineered by a few, but amplified by Radio Stoke's and lately The Sentinel's approach - RS presenter Matt Sandoz is not a patch on the departed John Acres,and certainly seems incapable of maintaining unemotional balance.Maybe it is not unintentional..
Emotion and near hysteria is what is on show.A head of steam is being generated to unseat the manager.The few wise heads (including a thoughtful Vale fan) who did manage to get a hearing counselled that we should be very careful what we wish for. I couldn't agree more.
Forget your Blackburn's,remember Charlton Athletic.Going along successfully if unspectacularly in the Prem until a section of the fans took against the excellent Alan Curbishley. He had to go they said.Well he did, and in the process they pulled down much of what had been painstakingly built.And, yes, where are they now?
At bottom this is all about expectations.We have to stay realistic,crucially we have to stay behind the team,getting on their backs,as more than a few are doing during matches now,can only lead us in one direction.....downward.