Barclays Premier League
St.Mary's - Sunday 19th May 2013
Attendance : 31,539
Basically, I am going to paste in from a thread on the IBO Forum, that Simmo started for my opening statement, because spot and Ivan pretty much nailed it. The only surprise at the beginning was that mad Arthur was completely missing And Davis started in his place, No idea why?
spot says: "Main problem seemed to be Begovic. He kept getting in the way when we were trying to score. Thought J-Rod looked out of sorts. Also we could try using boots with studs next term so our players spend less time on their arses."
Ivan says: "It was very average, another example of completely failing to break down a team happy with a point from the off. Add it to the file including: West Ham/West Brom/QPR/Wigan/Swansea/Sunderland/Naarch
Some decent performances in there, but some poor ones too."
However, I will waffle a bit obviously, I mean, it's expected…
Player Scores :
Davis : did okay, not sure if he couldn't have got to the goal but by and large did okay whilst that herd of wildebeest they call a Stoke team tried to trample all over him during dead ball situations. 6/10, Did enough.
Clyne : quite positive going forward and there was a very interesting bit where he hurdled and onrushing wildebeest (that looked like he wanted to do him very much harm) and then kind of passed the ball into nothing… Very axiomatic of this game actually, We were better than them and then we did nothing with it. 6/10.
Fonte : I thought he did reasonably well today, he certainly didn't look out of place. I'm not sure who was picking up Crouch for the goal but by and large I thought Jose did Okay and tried to drive the team forward by advancing up the pitch well past the halfway line on numerous occasions. Whilst his efforts were not unremarked, they weren't remarkable In that regard (which is probably why he's a defender). 7/10, for me he was the most competent of the central defence although that is with the caveat that Jos was the battering ram and did all the rough stuff and falling over etc.
Hooiveld : fell over, a lot, Still, Fought his way fearlessly through the wildebeest and did adequately if not outstandingly. 6/10, what the hell were they doing for studs in this game?
Shaw : didn't look himself although there were flashes, going forward he was disjointed today and he definitely let the cross come in for the Goal although he wasn't getting much cover At this point so he was pretty much on his own. Certainly not his best performance 5/10, he'll be better when he is rested.
Cork : did a lot of cleaning up after the others, very industrious and very effective in defence from the midfield. Tried to pass forward as well but as we all know, this is not necessarily his forte. We looked susceptible when he went off as he did a really effective job of tidying up after Crouch got hit by the ball, all of a sudden Crouch became a playmaker for Stoke when Corky went off but there was enough energy left to deal with that from the others. 8/10, efficient and now needs to work on his attacking game all summer to really Cement his place as one of the best pair of midfielders in the premiership.
Schneiderlin : he was pretty awesome today. Not quite the attacking force we have seen this year from him but saying that, he ruled that midfield. Honestly, awesome in a pretty tired and mediocre example of football. 8/10, If he could have got on the end of something It would have really been the perfect end to a great season for him.
Davis : lots of running, I'm starting to believe this is really the kind of player we should expect Pooch to bring in, he likes interesting a lot and he uses Him a lot as well, it's just a shame he's not a little bit more effective in the final third. For me today he didn't do enough, there were flashes and I could see what he was trying to do but he just didn't quite have it 5/10.
Lallana : I thought he started off really well, High-energy and some great anticipation (which is nice to see) but the final move never quite worked for him. Whether it was a pass or a shot on goal or whatever, it just wasn't happening for Adam today. Better than he was the last time I saw him but still not good enough. 5/10, he could have won us this game and it's disappointing that he didn't.
Rodriguez : just didn't have it today, lots of running, some directness, didn't work for him. 5/10.
Lambert : looks rested actually, took his goal well and he could have had a couple more, The Stoke goalkeeper made one seriously brilliant save to deny him with his foot, could have made a difference as well but didn't feck it up as bad as Adam.
Basically, it was the game I suspect a lot of us feared it would be like. Stoke were pretty impressive but only as long as the ball was over 6 feet off the ground. Unfortunately, we Seemed to also think this was quite a useful tactic and again and again we tried to get the ball in the box over the top and basically we didn't win any of them, not the Headers or the knockdowns (except the one went in, So I suppose it wasn't a complete waste of time).
As has been mentioned previously, A lot of our players fell over trying to get traction, this was especially true with Hooiveld but also happened to every one of the Back four And quite a few of the others as well. Really not sure what the problem was but I was quite surprised to see them watering the pitch during half time when our team couldn't stay upright, this is not a problem that seemed to affect Stoke so I suspect it's something to do with the stud's chosen, Even so it's a mystery to me why they didn't change the studs at half-time (can you even do that with modern football boots now? I'm not sure?)
Anyway, I'm glad I didn't take Walter, my father-in-law (Hello I know you're Reading this from the wilds of Poland at the moment), Not the kind of game You want To take people to so they can enjoy themselves and appreciate good football.
Saying that, there were some brilliant moves that Sts executed well, But just didn't manage to finish off properly. seeing as Rickie plays almost as our number 10 these days and not an out and out striker, I sincerely hope that in the summer we can find somebody that can finish off this stuff Properly and efficiently.
What we missed in this game was a clinical edge, we outplayed Stoke, but they were quite happy for us to do that, we didn't really have a lot that troubled them and they knew it.
On to an exciting off-season now, where our transfer committee bring in a load of players we've never heard of and then try and persuade us it's worth Upping our season ticket prices by an astronomical amount to come and see them because they're so great.
Depending on how much they up the prices (we will find out on Wednesday) I expect I'll be there next year, let's hope with a full pre-season behind him Pooch gets us out of this mediocre crap and into thoroughly thrashing the opposition at the beginning of next year.
PS forgot the substitutes, Mayuka looked like he was trying to score but didn't, JWP ran around a lot but that's about it, Punch did well and looked good, a few snapshots and some nice movement Made me wonder why he didn't start in place of Lallana (which is exactly what I wondered at the start of the game as well). 5/10, 4/10 & 7/10 for a cameo
'Till next season then.
08 S Davis (Ward-Prowse - 73' )
18 Cork (Mayuka - 81' )
20 Lallana (Puncheon - 64' )
12 Wilson (Wilkinson - 20' )
15 Nzonzi Booked
18 Whitehead Booked
26 Etherington (Jerome - 69' )
19 Walters (Owen - 74' )