Saturday, 5 March 2011

All Stoked Up But Is It Enough?

The players should certainly be up for this one. A win today and we could be out of the bottom three. And confidence should be sky high. We didn't just beat the Scousers last week, we played them off the park for most of the match. Eleven goals scored in the last 225 minutes of football must surely have given the team a sense of belief when they have the ball, whilst the return of Upson gave a sense of solidity to the defence.

The trouble is, today's opponents are not Liverpool, West Brom or Burnley. Today, Stoke shoulder their way into Upton Park and Pulis will have been working on his set piece drills all week. Every throw in, corner and free kick inside our half will spell trouble. We can't defend set pieces against anybody, let alone against Stoke. I don't know about Green, but my heart will be in my mouth every time Stoke stand ready to launch the ball into our box.

Last season we moved the advertising boards to limit the run up for a long throw. It was a clever idea but it wasn't enough to spare us from defeat. Fuller came over all Ricky Villa, weaved his way into the box, roasting da Costa in the process, and scored with aplomb. Fuller isn't there now, he may yet return to haunt us when Sunderland come to town. But Kenwyne will be a threat, if available, and so will Huth. And if Matty is back...

Today is a must win game, especially with Wolves playing an understrength Spurs tomorrow. And I am sick with worry!


isaac said...

Green needs to be strong today,Huth will be all over him as this is the Pulis way...brute force rather than footballing finesse...A positive outcome is essential no hard fought draws. I too am worried but remain positive after a resurgence in fortune/form. I would prefer CC today over Piquionne as he is more a physical player than the latter. All in all a bruising encounter with one of the premiere leagues more thuggish outfits but one (depending on refs. performance) that can be countenaced with our playing style..

Michael said...

I believe Fuller is still a Stoke player. I noticed him warming up against WBA. When we beat Stoke in the cup earlier this year we didn't get into the game until Kenwyne Jones came off but with Pennant and Etherington questionable there set pieces would be less of a problem