Mickey Blue Eyes...
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Mickey Blue Eyes


Most of us look forward to most games these days. But there are exceptions. Stoke City home or away are the two that you can do without. Fans of clubs everywhere say the same thing, that they would rather cut their toe nails with a chainsaw than watch Stoke on a good day. It goes without saying that Stoke on a bad day are well nigh ineffable. Last Saturday was one of their bad days. After witnessing a match like that you fondly ponder the possibilities of tarmac-laying as a replacement hobby. It reminds you too of a long ago crack by a friend that Stoke is Leicester covered with soot. And, yes, I know all of this is terribly unkind and an outrageous generalisation, but I am in that kind of mood. After all, it was the kind of bad game that gives bad games a bad reputation. Moreover, Goodison was in one of its sombre moods.


For me, Stoke are summed up by their hulking centre back, Robert Huth - the name somehow seems appropriate - and their only real weapon, Rory Delap's long throw. Huth is their best player and a long throw is usually a lottery of a tactic, which is why, presumably, Delap finds himself on the bench more often than not. They never change......numbers back, look for the odd break, and hope Tuncay manages to get in a shot or two. Christ, I'd rather study the technology of paint.


This is not to say the game didn't have its bright moments. The problem is, the brightest moment just about sums it up: our goal. A Tim Cahill shot from the edge of the box came back off the base of their left hand post, the Yak battled for it our right side of the goal area, their defender tried to trap it with his shins held together (a technique I have never seen work in over 50 years of playing and then watching the game), it rebounded straight to the Yak again and he sent it home high with left-footed interest from a difficult angle. It was our first out-and-out striker's goal this season.


For Us, we at least kept some shape and passing form for long periods, as the possession stats inevitably demonstrate. We even had a stroke of overdue luck when a "goal" was disallowed during Stoke's one short-lived period of the missionary position.


Me, I'm just glad that one's out of the way. Roll on Winter.


Like Leicester with soot, MOST IGNORANT MBE
Daz C, Stoke, 9:38 PM 1/11/2010
Here's me clicking on this to read a good long report and opinion and all I get are four measly paragraphs. Bring back MBE I say! :o)
Paul, Warrington, 12:41 PM 1/11/2010
Your "friend" does not have a good sense of geography,does he if he is generalising about the area. Stoke is closer to Liverpool than Leicester.
JOHN, EVERTON, 8:35 AM 1/11/2010
A bit harsh that one Mick. I didn't think it was *that* bad. Grateful for the three points though.
Ste Phillips, Litherland., 9:30 PM 31/10/2010
I'll second that brief but bang-on-the-money summing up of Stoke. Everyone should pray that we don't draw them in the FA Cup come January, let somebody else have that dubious pleasure ?
Andy, Warrington, 7:56 PM 31/10/2010
Stoke are a strange team. I know that a lot of teams play with more caution away from home, but I can't think of a team who's home and away style contrasts quite as much as Stoke's. Last week at home to United, they attacked and actually played some decent stuff, scoring a cracking goal. This week away at our ground, they defended in numbers with two tight banks of four and fed on scraps, spending the rest of the time kicking lumps out of everyone. It's also strange when Goodison just doesn't seem to be in the mood. Seemed like everyone, supporter and player alike, was on edge yesterday. Uncomfortable
Grongy, Salford, 6:41 PM 31/10/2010
Nice one Mickey. So much sweeter to read without the rhetoric. Any chance that you could put something together regarding the usual piss poor coverage that our great Club receives from the clowns/producers of 'Match of the Day'. We were on last again last night. The highlights showing the only two forays that Stoke had and their disallowed goal. They cerainly didn't reflect anything like the game I watched. The media in general hate to see us doing well. We can only respond to that by notching up the wins until they have no choice. Cheers Eddieparkend COYB
eddieparkend, Real World, 4:49 PM 31/10/2010
My God, only 3 and a bit paragraphs??..Quick, call the paramedics, MBE is clearly unwell.. ;-p
Big H, Birkenhead, 2:17 PM 31/10/2010
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