Dismal Stoke slump to defeat
The Britannia Stadium
2nd March 2013
Stoke's abysmal form continued as West Ham took all three points at The Britannia yesterday.
The Potters look to be safe from a relegation dogfight but the terrible football continues, and with just 5 points from the last 9 matches and teams scrapping for their lives, they aren't completely safe just yet.
West Ham deserved to go into half time with the lead after Jack Collison's 45th minute strike and despite claims for Stoke penalties, they deserved the win.
No creativity, no excitement, no attacking quality. It was the same old story for Stoke fans, and this was against a team who find winning away as hard as Stoke do.
West Ham showed more fight and more quality than the Potters in the first half, and deserved to take the lead just before half time when Jack Collison latched on to Vaz Te's pass and drove the ball beyond Begovic.
Defender James Collins also went close in the first half for the Hammers with a header that grazed the bar, and despite showing more urgency in the second half, a lack of quality was still evident from Stoke.
Jerome, finally getting a deserved start, did at least threaten Jaaskelainen's goal, and may have had a penalty but O'Brien was deemed to have played the ball.
Jarvis could've put the game beyond Stoke but his shot was saved and Crouch's effort was too weak as the hosts attempted to hit back.
Stoke were unlucky not to equalise in the final few moments as shouts for a penalty were turned down when the ball appeared to hit Demel's arm, before Charlie Adam's effort thundered off the crossbar, but that would've been harsh on the Hammers who fully deserved the win.
I'm sorry that was a short match report, but quite frankly I found it hard to muster the enthusiasm to write about such an abysmal Stoke performance.
After approaching Fulham away as though we were at the Allianz playing Bayern Munich, the same awful, negative football continued against the Hammers, and it is quite frankly not acceptable.
It seems our quality of football, from the days of Lawrence and the brilliant Fuller in the championship, has gone backwards. Kightly and Walters? They aren't premiership footballers and never will be. We're 5 years in now and this style of football isn't acceptable in my opinion, we don't even have one exciting footballer, and the one genuine class act we have, N'Zonzi, will most likely leave soon to play for a team who play actual football.
I love Tony Pulis for what he's done, and this isn't about him taking us to the top 10 or not, it's simply the awful football and his negative tactics, I'm fed up of it now. I don't want him sacked, but lets just say if a good manager wanted to join Stoke City (I.e Martinez, Wigan) I'd have him in for next season, that's for sure.
Pulis' football is sucking away my enjoyment of watching the team I love, week by week, and I'm not sure how much longer I can take it, it's gotten to the stage where I don't really look forward to games anymore, I mean what's to look forward to? An awful game and a 1-0, 2-1 win at the very best, with goals from set pieces?(a 1-0 loss away from home is the best we can hope for, let's face it). We've had one great game against Liverpool in December and a superb comeback against Newcastle but games like this have been few and far between.
The 'look where we have come from ' argument is void - we all appreciate being in the Prem, and we all enjoyed the first few seasons, they were magical, but the buzz of simply being here has worn off. If we played good football, that buzz would soon return in my view, but Pulis doesn't seem like the man who is going to bring that style of play to the Potteries.