Win some, lose some for the Potters
Saturday 12th February 2011
Yes, we are always being told that it would be like this - win one week and lose the next. But to see us lose in precisely the same circumstances as we won last week against Sunderland with a 93rd minute goal is hard and seems to undo all the hard work that was done just seven days ago.
It doesn't help when that goal was scored after a clumsy fumble from Begovic gifted the Blues the goal that sealed all three points for the home side. You do then start to wonder if Tommy Sorensen would have done the same but then you're into the realms of 'what-if?' and one thing that we do know about Asmir is that he has shown his total commitment to the Potters' cause in recent days - even to the point of angering the Bosnian national coach.
Tony Pulis had decided on the unusual move of changing his back four formation by bringing in Danny Pugh and Marc Wilson for the left and right back positions in preference to the likes of Andy Wilkinson, Danny Collins or Danny Higginbotham. Those changes were on the whole vindicated as both showed poise in relatively unfamiliar positions as he looked to give the defence some ability to go forward.
This was by no means a masterpiece with the first half a fairly dire affair, but the stats show that Stoke enjoyed the lions' share of chances with Jermaine Pennant's form continuing to improve even if he had to make do without his opposite number on the right wing as Matty Etherington was forced out with an injury. John Carew came close, as did Pennant, but Kenwyne Jones was, again, largely absent from any chances and the Stoke faithful had to wait for Ricardo Fuller to replace Jones with only 10 minutes remaining before seeing any mazy runs into the penalty area.
So another year without getting three points from the Blues... Still, there's the guarantee of our traditional three points against the Baggies in two weeks at the Brit - isn't there?