Date:Sunday August 24 2008
Just got back from Stoke and what a woeful performance that was.
Five goals might sound like a decent match but it was very flat at times and a poor match.
The midfield (especially Barry) did little to protect the defence, even when switching it around with Reo in CM, Barry left and Young (kicked around the pitch with no protection from the ref Halsey) right. Petrov was the one bright spark that could hold his head up high and say 'I did a good job'.
On that performance Barry should be benched as he is just not at the races in performance or his head. His poor pass for the second goal was forgivable, what was not was him then standing there doing nothing at all about it. Pathetic. Its like Yorke at Everton all over again. Sidwell needs to get fit and then perform. I like Reo but he was dire today in every aspect. Routledge did ok when he came on (far too late though) and if ever there was a game for The Hare where his strength was needed then this was it.
Fair play to Stoke they stopped us playing by closing down quickly and being physical. Helped having that ******* Halsey on their side and the lino for the first goal had 2 or 3 chances to flag for offside before the ball got into the box for the penalty.
Our lot looked at times like they've never played together (have they had a training session in that abortion of a red kit?) and with Stoke putting 10 men behind the ball when they lost possession we had neither the skill or movement to pass it through them. Forlorn high balls were picked off with ease time and time again.
Gabby played too far off Carew at times and although he was dragging a defender with him by going out wide no-one was hitting the hole he had created.
The fullbacks had poor games especially Young not sliding the ball down the line preferring to come back inside into trouble. The defence played individually and not as a unit.
Other passing teams will no doubt come a cropper there too so it's just unfortunate we got to play Stoke in their first home game. A bad day at the office all round. Ho hum.
3 points Sunday (and I wouldn't start Barry either) and we'll be back on track and this result will soon be out of the system and forgotten.
Oh if you ever have to go there - take the wellies - the toilets were like Wembley from the 80's.
Date:Sunday August 24 2008
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