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Archive for December, 2019

What expectations 2019

We asked a few big Stoke fans whats their assessment of the past 12 months at Stoke.

Today marks the day that 2019 ends, a heat that Stoke managed to slip further away from those 9th place Premier League finishes than even we feared could happen. In the Calendar year Stoke played 46 games and won 9, yes that’s right 9 games.

So what were the Main Positives & negatives of 2019, & hopes for the next 12months

Ted & Julie McCoy (@Jules_ted)

Slow decline and lack of commitment from both players and management. Not many positives in the last year, hopefully to stay in the Championship and build a team with commitment and pride. Players who are proud to wear the shirt.

Angela Smith (@AngelaSmith_)

Last 12 months have been a steady slide towards the abyss. The only positive is that we have got rid of some dead wood and maybe some of the toxicity , the negatives we seem to have bought more surplus to requirement players who have made the squad less functional. The academy continues not to produce.Hopes for next 12 months . That MON can turn it around and that the owners finally get staff in with a proven football background to enable the money spent to be spent wisely and to advise them on the way forward and produce a plan and identity for the club.

Jon Owen (@Jon19861)

Very hard to pick a positive! The club’s community work is still a positive but on the pitch, very hard to pick one.

Negatives: You could choose so many! The fact not much has changed at the club since relegation, failure has been rewarded and we’ve continued to make some very poor signings.

My hope for the next year is we can start to regain our identity and bring in a few players who can excite us and give their all for the club. I hope we can bring in new people to run the club, especially a new CEO, to give us a vision and a plan for the future.

Gary Mellor (MellorGary)

Positives is the away support especially at Barnsley and a Gold Medal for every single fan that went to Middlesbrough. Negatives is the number of times we’ve failed to hold on to a lead or come from behind showing lack of confidence and hopes for the next 12 months are that we manage to stay up and bring the feel good factor the club as we have amazing owners and the best fans when they get behind the team (Barnsley away)

Simon Deakin (@deakin366)

I think the last 12 months have been dreadful. From the mis-management at the top to the attitude of the players, the club is as fractured as I’ve ever known it. The gulf in the relationship between players and fans is massive and a huge part of the problem, fans won’t get behind this lot because the just done like them. The negatives outweigh the positives by a mile, so much so I’m struggling to come up with any!! I just hope we stay up and can get some sort of stability over the next 12 months. But I feel it’ll take a couple of transfer windows at least to achieve that but this next is absolutely vital and the club simply has to get it right. We’re in massive trouble and cant afford any mistakes. We have to shift any player who isn’t up for the fight, I think that’s a must.

David Bithell (@davebithell6tr)

The last 12 months have been disastrous. To think where we were to where we are heading and I say that because being bottom at Christmas for me is the point of no return.

The players and the club are so far away from the fans it’s unbelievable.

I really can’t draw and positives , it’s been failure after failure.

Match Preview: Huddersfield v Stoke

Match Preview for New Year’s Day game versus Huddersfield

Wednesdays game will be the 76th meeting between the two sides.

Stoke Wins28

Huddersfield Wins22

    Last 10 meetings

Wins3

Draws3

Losses4

Form going into match

    Stoke

Fulham 1-0 Stoke

Stoke 3-2 Sheffield Wednesday

Middlesbrough 2-1 Stoke

    Huddersfield

Huddersfield 2-1 Blackburn

Middlesbrough 1-0 Huddersfield

Huddersfield 2-1 Forest

    Players to watch out for

Karlan Grant is Huddersfield’s main goal threat who has managed 12 goals this season. In the first meeting between the sides this season Grant was put out wide as we had CCV and Clucas playing on the right and he thought he would get more joy out their against them. This didn’t really happen and Huddersfield only won the game because Stoke couldn’t hit the target with any of their 18 shots but Huddersfield did find it with one of their 4.

Huddersfield currently sit in 20th place in the league on 28 points, despite only being in the place above Stoke in the league they are 7 points ahead so losing this game is a bit of a no no.

The second half performance versus a very good Fulham side gives me some confidence that we could, if we perform like that, get something out of this game

What do you expect?

Match Preview: Fulham v Stoke

Match Preview for Sunday’s game versus Fulham at Craven Cottage

Sunday’s game will be the 79th meeting between the two sides.

Stoke Wins31

Fulham Wins32

Though Stoke trial ever so slightly over history, our recent history is a touch better with the Potters winning the last 3 meetings.

Stoke’s last meeting was a great 2-0 win at the bet365 Stadium that marked Tyrese Campbell’s first senior goal.

    Last 10 meetings

Wins5

Draws0

Losses5

    Form going into match

    Stoke

Stoke 3-2 Sheffield Wednesday

Middlesbrough 2-1 Stoke

Stoke 0-0 Reading

    Fulham

Luton 3-3 Fulham

Fulham 2-1 Leeds

Brentford 1-0 Fulham

    Players to watch out for

Fulham as you’d expect from a side recently relegated for the Premier League have a squad littered with quality players. Non have more quality in this league as a striker than Aleksandar Mitrović. He is Fulham’s top scorer so far with 18 league goals. Aleksandar has two other quality players feeding him the chances in Tom Cairney&Ivan Cavaleiro. The three of them have waded in with 28 league, which is the same number of goals that Stoke have scored all season.

Fulham currently sit in 5th place in the league on 39 points, that’s 18 points above Stoke.

It’s going to be a tough task to beat Fulham, though our injury time antics v Sheffield Wednesday we should go into the game in great spirits. Let’s hope we can continue it

What do you expect?

Santa delivers 3points for the Potters

Stoke produced an injury time comeback to bring Christmas cheer to the bet365 Stadium

Stoke from the off started well and took a deserved lead after 11 mins, James McClean gets the goal after taking the final touch from Joe Allen effort.

Stoke continued to dominate the first half, hunting in packs to win back possession, Sam Clucas should of been awarded a penalty for the second game in a row but the ref once again deemed to foul on him as not worthy of a penalty. Fans am sure started to get that De ja vu feeling as half time got close. Stoke for all their dominance were just the one goal ahead.

Second half started with Wednesday playing slightly better. They equalised from a corner as Bannan puts a ball into the near post for it to be flicked on to the back post where it goes in off the post. That was Wednesdays first attempt on goal.

Within 5 mins Stoke’s usual capitulation was complete as with Wednesday second attempt on goal they take the lead. Another corner which Bannan puts in, Butland makes a good Dave which he turns into the crossbar for it to rebound back to an unmarked Wednesday player to score.

Tyrese Campbell had only just entered the field as Wednesday scored and it was Tyrese who for Stoke back level in the 93rd minute as he turns a volley into the roof of the net to send the Boothen end wild.

The celebrations were only just subdued when Sam Vokes in the 97th minute gives the Stoke fans their Christmas wish and three points stay in the Potteries.

Injury times don’t get much better than that, let’s hope that is a turning point in our season now especially with other results in injury time going our way, lifting us out of the relegation zone.

Press conference for the Boxing Day game

Michael O’Neill press conference for the Boxing Day game Versus Sheffield Wednesday

Reflection on Middlesbrough game

To have the level of control we had away from home on Friday, particularly in the first half, is a positive, however on the other side of things we need to be more ruthless. We had a similar situation away to Cardiff too.

Do the players know what’s needed

The message has been made clear to the players and they know we need to be better – they are under no illusions. As well as winning games we need to make sure we are more difficult to beat.

Transfers

Any transfer window is difficult, particularly in January. It’s perhaps a bit more difficult when you have a large squad. We have to try and come out of it with a more balanced squad. I still believe that the current squad trimmed down has enough but just need a bit of help

Injury news

Ryan Woods and Peter Etebo were ill on Friday but are now back in training. James McClean and Stephen Ward came off injured on Friday so they are doubts for Boxing Day. Ryan Shawcross trained with the squad today.

Frustrated Fans

I understand the fans’ frustrations and it has clearly built up over time. What I will say is the fans can make a huge difference to the confidence levels of the players and I ask them to give us their maximum on Boxing Day. We all need to be as positive as possible.

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