ESPN Soccernet - Correspondents - Stoke City
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Stoke City
Posted by James Whittaker on 08/29/2010

Stoke may have come away with 0 points from Stamford Bridge but their were plenty of positives to take, not least the fact our goals against column took less of a battering than most expected.

Pulis decided to line up with 5 at the back using the wing backs of Collins and Wilkinson. Unfortunately the latter had an absolute nightmare and really struggled to understand where he should be stood or which of the many runners he should have picked up. He was later replaced by Whelan as Stoke reverted back to their tried and tested formation of 4-4-1-1.

Before this though, we saw Stoke look positive on the attack with Etherington and Walters doing particularly well, the latter unlucky not to score following a chest down and cheeky lob that landed on the roof of Cech's goal. Chelsea though were relentless and having had a poor Lampard penalty saved took the lead as the still injured Kenwyne Jones lost possession on the half way line to Terry who slipped in Malouda to score.

Once we switched to our usual formation I was surprised at just how much we were still in the game, at 1-1 Whelan was desperately unlucky as he won the ball and meandered towards the goal with no support, before hitting a thunderbolt from 35 yards which rattled the Chelsea crossbar. It wasn't until the last 20 minutes or so that the game was effectively put to bed as Whitehead was dispossessed leading to a through ball and a 50/50 foot race between Sorensen and Anelka which was never going to end differently as the rapid frenchman nicked the ball away from the City keeper who swung a leg out to where the ball used to be.

Sorensen sends Anelka tumbling... ©PA Photos

I was pretty chuffed with our performance overall and more so the character we showed knowing the challenge we faced, and despite not having any points yet, we can take heart. The next couple of days will help define the remainder of the season as we come to the end of the transfer window and hopefully we will see some players with a bit more confidence on the ball for the middle. I'm still really positive about our chances this season, the table does look bad but compared to the corresponding fixtures last season, we are only 1 point down so have faith people..

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @espn_stoke for all the latest Stoke City news and up to the minute transfer information - I have booked Tuesday off so I can bring you all the news as it happens.

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James Whittaker James Whittaker is a football writer and ardent Stoke fan. Having moved to Leeds as a youngster his father refused to take him to his local Championship winning side and instead insisted he chose the Third Division team of his forefathers, Stoke City. Since then there has been no looking back and having been brought up on a diet of Dave Rowson, Kyle Lightbourne and John Gayle, is now embracing the dizzy heights of the top flight for the first time in his life. Fiercely loyal, though always welcoming sensible chat and debate, you can find him on Twitter @ESPN_Stoke

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