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Same Old Stoke.

Today  a guest post from La Gooner Vida

 

Morning Gooners! The lads face the daunting task of being bored to death by a posse of lack-wit Neanderthals up north today. The media would have us believe that their trainer Hughes has inspired some sort of revolution at the club. I for one beg to differ. Hughes hasn’t done more than raise the average IQ at the club to double digits. Stoke still stick to their medieval brand of football just like flies to honey.

“Stats” and “journalists” claim that Stoke have adopted a different approach to football, owing to the fact that they are no longer at the bottom of the pile in terms of passes made and average possession. I decided to put this laughable theory to test.  So I prepared myself for 270 minutes of torture and perhaps even….. death. I bid my loved ones goodbye as I sat down to review Stoke’s last 3 games.

Strapped to my chair (lest I run away from my fate), I prepared myself to be bedazzled by the Potters’  sublime skill and excellent attacking prowess. BOY was I surprised (NOT). Stoke are the same Goddamn hydra but with a different head.

 

Let’s start off with their attacking movements. They are boring and they’re slow. They don’t possess too many passers or dribblers in the side and hence they still go for their old formula of utilising set pieces and throw ins to the fullest. When they do somehow manage to get the ball up in open play ( and after recovering from their surprise), they opt for hopeful long range shots or opt for punting the ball into the box from the wings and hope that some random tall guy will bundle the ball in. Their  attacking midfielder  looks to make late runs into the box as well as tries to get his head to crosses. Oooh. Exciting football. Revolutionary.

Well surely they’ve changed off the ball? “Esteemed” footballing minds cannot be mistaken y’know? They have blogs! They have their own frikkin columns in “reputed” publications. Well, I’m sure you can guess where this is going. Stoke defend with 10 men. I wonder why they just don’t throw in the 11th.  Their striker stays up the pitch ready to hold the ball up, while the rest of his team move up the pitch. How novel. In terms of organisation, the Potters aim to defend in the proverbial ” two lines of four”. Their central midfield appears to be flexible, but they always utilize one holding midfielder. Stoke like to defend deep without leaving a gap between defence and midfield making movement and passing hard for their opponent . They tend to direct opposing attacks to the flanks and find it easy to deal with crosses into their own box. They also fail to close down long range efforts with surprising consistency. I was very intrigued to see how most of their chances conceded were due to fast swift moving attacking moves from their opponents on the counter attack. This is owing to the fact that at that moment, there are only four defenders behind the ball for a change. Furthermore, the Stoke defence fumbles when pressed high up the pitch by opponents. They also funnily enough, fail to deal with balls over the top and with runners who get behind their defence.

Same old, same old. I have eyes. I use them to see. I can see that Stoke haven’t changed, nor are they likely to in the near future. However, higher minds think otherwise. I expect us to win and to win handsomely, at that. Expect us to press high up the pitch, zip the ball around the park as always and utterly destroy them with pace and deliberation from the wings.

 

 

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64 comments on “Same Old Stoke.

  1. Paul, I saw two awful stamps on Giroud that the ref ignored. The second was worse than Whelan’s and should have been a straight red, I think.

    Layk, I disagree about Podolski who played reasonably well and was needed in the final minutes for his finishing since few of our players think to shoot as directly. He was making good runs that weren’t exploited and in good positions but not found. Overall though, we weren’t at our best in passing and Stoke had more shots on our goal. WS was on of our best players on the day, actually. I agree that things improved when the Ox came on and I feel he might have replaced Cazorla or JW or TR earlier as none of them were at their usual high level.

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  2. Paul N, yes it was.
    Pretty much the norm from the trio of twats, Adam, Whelan & Wilson.
    Tired of complaining about being cheated though…
    “David’s got to find away to beat Goliath!”

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  3. Well, that is a shame. I would say that we need to fight fire with fire but we don’t have the same luck not getting booked. So yes, we have to get our sling shot and smooth stones ready.

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  4. I think Stoke supporters would be the ones who thought today that their David beat our Goliath, Aman.

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  5. Not as far as the physical play though Limestone.

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  6. LG, Orc fans would think so wouldn’t they…
    with the bulk of the establishment, sell-outs & men in black..
    David’s clearly red & white.

    I just felt Gnabry + Ox on both wings would have decapitated the Orcs with or without the ref, the fouls, etc.
    We played for too long at the same speed
    TR7 tried so hard but once Wilson & Orcross destabilized Giroud enough, plan B needed to be effected early..
    The sun was out, the wind was in hiding, the angels were holding their breath, and we gave their home record way too much respect.

    Everton & the FA cup’s next…..
    I’m trying to move on

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  7. There are going to be plenty of twists and turns in the coming weeks. Chelski are not going to be able to keep their lead against the chasing pack. It’s going to be tight all the way to the last few weeks.

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  8. What can you do, when he ref is so one sided?

    A few fan favourites need to deliver more Jack and Podolski should make more of a showing.

    Tough now, 4 of the last 10 games will be really tough to get points out of.

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  9. We are capable of dealing with physical play better than in some years past, have more experienced and strong players than other years, and weren’t pushed around by Stoke. There were a few bad fouls that should have been punished but were let go, but that sort of stuff wasn’t the key. We just didn’t pass well or create good chances when we were attacking. Begovic was not the busier keeper. The best chances were Stoke’s, I feel. our incisiveness only improved when the Ox came on. We were lacking quality in the final 3rd and have been missing Walcott and Ramsey’s drive and pace, respectively.

    I agree with Gains that it will be tight. Unfortunately Chelsea’s run in is much easier and it may be just as tight to avoid 4th and a CL qualifier. Derby win and wins v. Chelsea and City would keep us in the hunt with a reasonable last 5 matches.

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  10. Now that my ire for Charlie Adam has subsided, I have to give Stoke their credit. At home, they have taken seven points out of a possible nine against the top three teams in the league. Losing against them today wasn’t the face melting disaster I’m sure the press is going to turn it into.

    Lime, look at the schedules.

    Chelsea last ten:

    Spuds (h), Villa (a), Arsenal (h), Palace (a), Stoke (h), Swansea (a), Sunderland (h), Liverpool (a), Norwich (h), Cardiff (a).

    Arsenal last ten:

    Spuds (a), Chelsea (a), Man City (h), Everton (a), West Ham (h), Hull (a), Newcastle (h), West Brom (h), Norwich (a).

    We get Spuds and Chelski after they play in European ties. Then we get City at home and the trickiest tie, Everton away. Beyond that we have very manageable ties heading into the last month and a half of the season.

    They have a well rested Spuds, then Villa away, right before they play Galatasaray in a must win game, and to round up their busy few weeks, us with Rambo back in the team. After that, they start a new round of games at Palace, where a point can be nicked, then gainst Stoke, where ex-Chelsea bastard, Hughes, is going to gift them three points.

    I like our chances.

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  11. G69..I like our chances too but we have to up the ante immediately.
    No room for sloppiness.
    AW needs to deploy ALL available troops irrespective of seniority/experience.

    Gnabry & Ox are primed & ready for wing assault…(add Ryo if either is out)
    Oz needs their speed to split open defences easier
    Our over-concentrated CM needs to be simplified & the wings utilized better.
    Long balls to Giroud should be the 3rd option
    We need to be flying.

    I don’t care if its Bayern, Shitty or Chelski
    We have the personnel to win EVERY battle ahead

    Ox & Gnabry are ready
    The Verminator is ready
    Oz is rested & ready
    Rosicky sure as hell is ready!
    Sagna, Kos, & Per have been rocksteady all season
    Sanogo, Nik & OG have under-used necks that need feeding
    Flamini & Arteta have no fear of blood
    Szcz & Fabia are as good as any goalies anywhere
    Jack will engage without a doubt
    You know Rambo’s always got that eye of le tigre
    Who knows what Kim K & Abou can add to the mix?

    I just know in my heart of hearts that we can win the EPL
    If we truly believe we can.
    Just ONE POINT would do it.

    FUCK Mourinho!
    FUCK Etihad Shitty!
    Fuck the Establishment!

    CARMON YOU ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC GUNNERS!!!!!!!
    CARMON ARSENE WENGER!!!!!!!!
    CARMON ARSENAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  12. Now I think I have my reservations about these so called “FANS”. What is this meltdown about? All of a sudden, Wenger needs to be sacked at the end of the season because we’ll probably end up 5th if not 6th because sp*rs will even overtake us. For God sake where is the sanity in the world gone. We lost to stoke who also beat the Chavs and it’s all Wenger’s fault. I’m indeed very angry nt at the result nor the Stoke touts but at our fickle fan base.
    Rant over.

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