Writer: Charlie Bennett
Date:Monday February 22 2010
Believe me, there were few people more ecstatic then I was when Salif Diao popped up in the last minute to score the winner against Portsmouth last Saturday. It was a game that perhaps we were tipped to win and when we went down to ten men it didn`t look good. At the end though, the Senegalese international drove the ball in from a yard to win the game and everything is again blossoming in Tony Pulis and Stoke`s garden.
However, surely this one single great moment doesn`t make up for games and games of utter rubbish. Sal has always been a 'day to day` player, one day he is the destructive, domineering figurehead of the Stoke midfield but on most others he is the slow, ambling liability that TP trusts in-which he sees as one of the more important positions in the team.
I am not questioning Pulis`s judgement at all, after everything the guy has done for the club, no-one has that right. I can even see why he perseveres with Diao, after all he did once play regularly for Liverpool, albeit out of position and as soon as both Xabi Alonso and Momo Sissoko arrived he was quickly forgotten about.
Last season he was often dreadful and consistently out performed by Amdy Faye and Seyi Olofinjana. It looked for the entire world that we had seen the last of him and he would be off to sunny Italy in the summer. However, Pulis managed to persuade him to stay and sign a new contract.
Injuries and lack of fitness were apparently to blame for his dismal season last year and in preparation for this season he became injured again and missed the first two months. His return to action at Goodison Park was nothing short of class and it looked as if the Salif Diao from the 2002 World Cup had finally made it back.
Since then, the unpredictable, tired looking, slow, liability of a player has returned and good performances have been few and far between. The most infuriating thing about him is that when he plays well, Stoke play well but he doesn`t play well often enough.
I`m happy that Stoke won at Portsmouth and I`m happy that Diao finally scored a goal in the red and white. But am I happy that it is very likely that he will start if not definitely be involved against Man City on Wednesday and Arsenal on Saturday?
Date:Monday February 22 2010
Ref Watch: Moss to officiate Chelsea v Stoke (Tuesday March 31 2015)
Stoke's March goal of the month (Friday March 27 2015)
Adam wins Crystal Palace man of the match poll (Friday March 27 2015)
Stoke manager Hughes signs contract extension (Friday March 27 2015)
The Stoke City Injury Table Situation (Friday March 27 2015)
Crystal Palace controversially beat Stoke (Monday March 23 2015)
N'Zonzi wins West Brom man of the match poll (Sunday March 22 2015)
Butland promoted to senior England squad (Sunday March 22 2015)
Stats: Stoke City v Crystal Palace (Sunday March 22 2015)
Butland extends contract (Saturday March 21 2015)
|9. West Ham||30||11||9||10||3||42|
|11. Crystal Palace||30||9||9||12||-5||36|
|Fresh Rumours Suggest Second Costa IS Coming
» Chelsea : 01/04/2015 05:19:01
|Fighting To The Finish
» Chelsea : 01/04/2015 04:18:01
|Ref Watch: Moss to officiate Chelsea v Stoke
» Stoke : 31/03/2015 21:00:00
|Stoke Interested in Permanent Deal for Moses
» Chelsea : 31/03/2015 18:27:01
» Man Utd : 31/03/2015 17:31:01