Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Monday August 18 2008
With just one game gone, the bookies and the lazier sports journalists are already writing off Stoke City.
In a move guaranteed to wind up all Potters' fans (myself included), on-line bookies, Paddy Power have suspended all bets on the Potters being relegated after just one result!
A few at the gutter level of sports journo have also leapt on this and agreed wholeheartedly that the Potters might as well not bother turning up for the remaining matches.
We all know that gory horror stories, combined with doom and gloom sell newspapers but anyone that actually watched Saturday's 3-1 defeat after watching Stoke regularly over the past couple of years will know that it was hardly representative.
True, the second and third goals conceded were shocking defensive errors, coming quickly after a fluky opener which allowed heads to drop, but we'd had to start without our two main players and with players still in the wings either just signed, but not yet available (Faye) or those that are hopefully just about to sign (Davies). When Lawrence and Fuller were introduced, midway through the second half, Stoke's forward momentum improved significantly, culminating in the Potters' first Premier League goal from Ric Fuller.
Contrast that with Hull's home win over fellow relegation fodder, Fulham. The Tigers now appear to be guaranteed survival on the basis of that one result if you believe what you read in certain parts of the media.
We're all for constructive criticism, here at Vital Stoke we'll put our tuppence's worth in as well when we need to and we also expect to get slagged off from the opposition fans for no particularly good reason (that's all good banter). But to get a mauling from those sections of the 'independent professional media' on the basis of the first Stoke match they've probably ever watched is a bit under the belt.
Come on you guys, judge us over the season, not 90 minutes.
As for you Stoke fans, let's just ignore the twisted hacks and get on and enjoy life in the Prem - it's after all where we were so desperate to get to last season.
Date:Monday August 18 2008
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