Tag: Stoke City

The Premier League Previews 2010/11, Part 14: Stoke City – Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

It is a reflection of the financial rewards on offer in modern football that teams have to do what they have to do on the pitch in order to survive and that sometimes what they have to do isn’t that pretty. Stoke City’s promotion into the Premier League just over two years ago was something of surprise in itself and they were, accordingly, widely tipped – the point of unanimity – to drop straight back into the Football League. Two full seasons on, however, they are still there and without having to spend too much of that time worrying that much about getting relegated back. They’re not often that pretty to watch and there are plenty of purists that would like to see them crash and burn, but Stoke City are still in the Premier League, and it is likely that they still will be come the end of this season, too. For all of the complaints of thuggishness aimed at their team last season (particularly after that tackle by Ryan Shawcross on Aaron Ramsey), Stoke City didn’t finish last season at the bottom of the Premier League’s Fair Play table and, while the sixteenth position that they did manage might not be anything for the club to be particularly proud of, as such, it does at least go part of the way towards dispelling the notion that they...

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How Ben Foster Highlights The Farce Of The Loan System

Ben Foster has made news today by becoming the first player to openly criticise the Manchester United fans’ Green and Gold campaign to oust the Glazer family. However, something more surprising struck me in the Daily Telegraph’s report. Ben Foster is 27 years old. Who else realised that? Seemingly seen as one of the young pretenders to the England goalkeeper role, Ben Foster, is pretty much halfway through his career, yet his career statistics read less flatteringly than his competitor Joe Hart. Here’s a breakdown for comparison: Ben Foster Joe Hart Age 27 23 Premier League Appearances 41 86 Football League Appearances 63 65 Cup Appearances 19 16 European Appearances 3 9 Other Appearances 1 0 England Appearances 4 1 Total Appearances 131 177 Despite being older, and having become a professional footballer earlier, Ben Foster has the sum total of about three seasons worth of football behind him, and only of those seasons has been in the Premier League (spread over four seasons worth of football). Which for a goalkeeper than Sir Alex Ferguson claims is good enough to go to the World Cup is staggeringly low. What is more alarming is that of those 158 appearances, only 23 have been for the club he’s employed by. What is even more astonishing is that Birmingham City have paid a sum in the region of £6m for a Manchester...

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The Accidental Death Of A Blackburn Rovers Supporter

A Blackburn Rovers supporter died at the weekend after an incident that looks increasingly as if it was horseplay gone wrong. This, however, doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been an increasingly deteriorating atmosphere at Blackburn away matches this season.

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Match Of The Week 2: Stoke City 3-1 Arsenal

Chelsea and Manchester City are the only two clubs left in this year’s FA Cup with anything like a realistic chance of winning it after Arsenal lost at Stoke this afternoon. Was last week’s press gushing about them a little premature?

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How Protesting Fans Have Said “Enough is Enough”

Football has changed drastically over the last few years, and not always for the best. Lee Wagstaff takes a look at the burgeoning Ultra fan culture in England and speaks to the Football Supporters Federation about their role in the changing role of supporters within the game.

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