Home
Prediction League
Fixtures
Results
News
Features
Premier League
EPL Home
Latest
Clubs
Stadiums
Friends
Blogs
Football League
World Cup 2014
Europe
Euro Football Home
Latest
Russian Premier
Bundesliga
Ligue 1
La Liga
Football Italiano
International
International Home
Latest
World Cup 2010
Euro 2012 Stadiums
Euro 2012
Denmark 2011
AFCON 2013
Betting
About Us
Advertising
Write for us
Privacy
Recruitment
newswriter
Twitter
Contact Us
 
 

Stoke Focus - Bold selections pay off in first win of year


Bookmark and Share

By Adam Mazrani

Monday 11 February 2013

Finally, at the seventh time of asking, Stoke City have recorded their first win in the Premier League since the 3-1 victory over Liverpool on Boxing Day.


Cameron Jerome


The result may not have had much of a bearing on the Potters’ league position - they remain firmly in 10th position - and it certainly did not come easily or without trauma, with the goals from Robert Huth and Cameron Jerome only coming in the second half before Reading staged a fightback that had Stoke clinging on.


However, it is certainly a three points that will gratefully be accepted by Tony Pulis and his side who, despite all the public protestations to the contrary, were clearly becoming a little concerned at the downturn in form since that raucous success over Liverpool.


Inevitably, the Potters’ return to form came at the home comforts of the Britannia Stadium but arguably the seeds were sown last week at the Emirates where Stoke at least showed a move back to the fighting spirit and defensive solidity we have come to expect from them, facts that were continued against Reading.


Yes, the challenges from Ryan Shawcross on Laurent Koscielny last week and then Glen Whelan on Mikele Leigertwood this week were not pretty to say the least but they at least showcased a side that is just beginning to find it’s aggression again. Stoke can hardly ever be accused of being 'soft' but in their recent poor run, a rather timid underbelly was just beginning to emerge.


Pulis had been criticised for his perceived negative approach at Arsenal last week so it was a relief to many Stoke supporters to see both Michael Kightly and Matthew Etherington start on opposing flanks against Reading on Saturday afternoon. It is a move that many of the Stoke faithful have long been calling for. Charlie Adam has been a fine signing for Stoke but for a man of his limited speed, a role in the wide-right position is hardly one that is suited to him.


Frankly, it smacked of negativity and often left the Potters solely reliant on either the long ball to Peter Crouch or Kenwyne Jones, or on either Etherington or Kightly in the left-wing position. However, considering the downturn in the side’s form and Adam’s declining influence in recent matches, the time was right for a change to be made.


From the first minute, it looked to be a move that would pay off. Kightly was in menacing form and Reading simply did know where the Stoke attacks were coming from, be it Kightly’s right, Etherington’s left or down the middle with the threat of Crouch and Jonathan Walters.


Simply, the bolder selection gave Stoke’s attack an element of variety that Pulis would do well to remember when he prepares for his side for upcoming clashes against Fulham, West Ham, Newcastle and West Brom - four sides that will hardly frighten the life out of the Welshman and his team.


See what the expert tipsters are tipping on OLBG


Related Articles


» 

Swansea vs Leicester - Premier League preview and team news

» 

West Brom vs Crystal Palace - Premier League preview and team news

» 

Get your Premier League tickets with World Ticket Shop

» 

West Brom vs Crystal Palace - Premier League preview and team news

» 

Southampton vs Stoke - Premier League preview and team news

» 

The rise and fall (and rise?) of Wayne Rooney's Everton relationship

» 

Stoke vs Swansea - Premier League preview and team news

 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 

Name

Email Address *

Comments


Please enter code on left.


Terms & Conditions

* A valid email is required to submit a comment. Your email will not be displayed on this or any other website, nor will it be passed to any 3rd parties. For more information please see the terms and conditions.



0 Comments


No Comments have been posted yet


 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 

Premier League Football News


ArsenalAston VillaChelseaEvertonFulhamLiverpoolManchester CityManchester UtdNewcastle UtdNorwich City
ReadingQueens Park RangersSouthamptonStoke CitySunderlandSwansea CityTottenham HotspurWest Bromwich AlbionWest HamWigan Athletic

 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
  
 

 
 
 
 

Kick Football News