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Stoke City
August 21, 2012
Posted by James Whittaker on 08/21/2012

It was a case of different season, same problems as Stoke snatched a draw from the jaws of victory against a side who had rarely threatened to score all afternoon.

April 11, 2012
Posted by James Whittaker on 04/11/2012

We've not enjoyed a great run of form over recent weeks so to come back to life and out of the Easter period unbeaten and with four points was a welcome bonus.

March 27, 2012
Posted by James Whittaker on 03/27/2012

A team with nothing to play for and another fighting desperately for the title, from the outside it was difficult to see which was which as only one team seemed to want the result and they weren’t wearing blue.

March 20, 2012
Posted by James Whittaker on 03/20/2012

On a day where mothers up and down the land spent the day with their families, there were a few thousand who couldn’t as the red and white army descended on Anfield en masse to enjoy a third cup quarter-final in as many years.

March 13, 2012
Posted by James Whittaker on 03/13/2012

On a day where we knew it would be a backs to the wall effort against one of the league's big guns our maverick striker decided to stamp on an opposition player leaving us with an even bigger mountain to climb than the one we started with.

March 6, 2012
Posted by James Whittaker on 03/06/2012

It was another three points for us and despite winning by only one goal we swept aside a disappointing Norwich side with relative ease to make it three wins in a row to well and truly put an end to our previous slump in form.

February 28, 2012
Posted by James Whittaker on 02/28/2012

It was the cliched 'clash of styles' again as Stoke met Swansea eager to put an end to their winless streak, but it was the Potters who were smiling at the final whistle as substance overcame style with two set pieces winning the three points on the day.

February 14, 2012
Posted by James Whittaker on 02/14/2012

It was yet another game that was lost at 2pm as the team sheets were submitted, the manager's insistence of starting a sub standard side only to bring on his best players with 20 mins remaining and a two goal deficit to claw back is now not just irritating, it's downright stupid.

February 7, 2012
Posted by James Whittaker on 02/07/2012

It was another game played under horrendous weather conditions but it was the decision to send off Huth that has dictated conversation after the event as fans from both sides argue the rights and wrongs of a game changing decision whilst the club conduct their own investigation to understand how a sniper found his way onto the roof of the Boothen End to take Meyler out.

January 10, 2012
Posted by James Whittaker on 01/10/2012

Apologies to my regular readers for the radio silence, a mixture of family commitments and illness put a stop to any updates over the festive period but I’m back now and looking forward to an exciting second half of the season.

December 20, 2011
Posted by James Whittaker on 12/20/2011

Stoke secured their fourth Premier League win in a row to set a new club record after another assured and professional performance which saw them come from behind against a Wolves side in danger of getting caught up in a battle at the foot of the table.

December 13, 2011
Posted by James Whittaker on 12/13/2011

Stoke made it three wins on the bounce by putting an end to Spurs’ record breaking run of good form on an afternoon where despite riding our luck, deserved every one of the three points we got in a performance that typified the attitude and mentality that some had feared was gone.

December 6, 2011
Posted by James Whittaker on 12/06/2011

Stoke built on their mini revival of late with a well earned win at Goodison Park on a day when both sets of fans bid farewell to an Everton legend.

Again, it wasn’t a great performance but there was some good play in there and it was more a case of most players being on top of their game as opposed to the other way round which had sadly been the trend for many weeks. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that our successive league wins had the central defensive partnership of Huth and Shawcross, the fact that we also kept a clean sheet was the icing on the cake for the many baying for this partnership to be reinstated.

November 29, 2011
Posted by James Whittaker on 11/29/2011

Stoke overcame a nervous and scrappy start in a first half so rubbish the game was stopped to collect a number of bin liners off the pitch.

November 22, 2011
Posted by James Whittaker on 11/22/2011

Whilst I am naturally annoyed and frustrated at my team's defence being so leaky it puts the Titanic to shame, I'm not about to jump ship anytime soon. In fact, despite the result, I saw quite a few positives from the weekend, enough to give me heart enough that we can turn this slump around.

November 8, 2011
Posted by James Whittaker on 11/08/2011

It speaks volumes about Stoke's away form when our latest opponents had lost their last five home games before we arrived and by the time we left had chalked up their biggest ever Premier League win.

November 2, 2011
Posted by James Whittaker on 11/02/2011

On the night of Haloween you could have picked from any number of timely cliches, it certainly wasn't a thriller but it was every inch the horror show that many saw coming.

October 25, 2011
Posted by James Whittaker on 10/25/2011

I've found it useful leaving it a couple of days before writing my pieces, I often flit between utter despair and faint hope in the hours after the game and it's only once I've been through that process that I can start to see things slightly less blurred than before.

October 18, 2011
Posted by James Whittaker on 10/18/2011

It might not have been pretty for the most part but it was a disciplined and well deserved 2-0 win for the Potters as they left it late to beat the Cottagers.

September 27, 2011
Posted by James Whittaker on 09/27/2011

Stoke put a horrendous result and sub standard Cup game behind them as they bounced back in spectacular fashion to take a point from the Man Utd express who had previously crushed all before them.

September 20, 2011
Posted by James Whittaker on 09/20/2011

The script seem to have been written weeks ago, I have been banging on about the same issues and concerns but have been shouted down by various people as moaning when we were on an almost record breaking ubeaten run. A lot of those issues came to a head on Sunday as we we were utterly woeful and bereft of any clue on how to get back into a game that was effectively lost after ten minutes.

September 17, 2011
Posted by James Whittaker on 09/17/2011

If you had offered me a point at kick off, especially seeing the Stoke line up, I’d have bitten your hand off. That doesn’t always help though when you are so close to a famous victory over one of the best sides in Europe only for Dynamo Kiev to equalise in additional time.

September 13, 2011
Posted by James Whittaker on 09/13/2011

It was a backs to the wall effort from the Potters as they survived a second half onslaught from a frustrated Liverpool side in a performance that typified the team's unity, teamwork, organisation and discipline.

August 22, 2011
Posted by James Whittaker on 08/22/2011

Stoke managed to overcome their considerable fatigue and a slow start to avoid too much of an upset as they drew with Premier League new boys Norwich City on a sunny Sunday afternoon in East Anglia.

August 16, 2011
Posted by James Whittaker on 08/16/2011

Stoke survived a second half onslaught as they kept Andres Villa-Boas’ Chelsea at bay and despite losing Etherington and Delap to injury managed to claim their first point of the season.

August 5, 2011
Posted by James Whittaker on 08/05/2011

Stoke ensured their European adventure continued as local lad Ryan Shotton helped seal the victory at the death on a hot and hostile evening in Split.

August 1, 2011
Posted by James Whittaker on 08/01/2011

Stoke welcomed European opposition for the first time at the Britannia on an historical evening in the Potteries and despite having very little pre season behind them, went on to record a creditable 1-0 victory.

May 10, 2011
Posted by James Whittaker on 05/10/2011

Despite the media trying to whip up an unnecessary storm of conflict beforehand and the opposition players trying their best to turn the game into a fight, Stoke remained professional throughout and in the end swept aside a poor Arsenal team with significant ease.

May 3, 2011
Posted by James Whittaker on 05/03/2011

It was a Happy Easter for the Potters as they showed no Semi Final hangover or indeed pre Final nerves by putting in three assured performances to remain unbeaten over the holiday period taking in a respectable five points from games against Villa, Wolves and Blackpool.

April 19, 2011
Posted by James Whittaker on 04/19/2011

On a day when thousands took to the streets of the nation’s capital for the London Marathon, it was up the road at Wembley where Stoke City went the extra mile to put in the performance of a lifetime - hitting Bolton for five in the most one-sided FA Cup semi-final in more than 70 years.

April 11, 2011
Posted by James Whittaker on 04/11/2011

Stoke recovered from an awful start to run Spurs all the way to the final whistle in what ended as a narrow 3-2 victory for the Hosts. It was a positive response from the Potters who came away with no fresh injuries allowing them to now concentrate fully on the biggest game in the club’s recent history down at Wembley on Sunday.

April 5, 2011
Posted by James Whittaker on 04/05/2011

Stoke put in their performance of the season as they drew with current Champions Chelsea putting a severe dent in any lingering hope the Blues still had a chance of the title. What makes it even more frustrating for both sides is that the Potters could well have won by a significant margin were it not for the heroics of Peter Cech who put in a herculean performance in-between the sticks.

March 22, 2011
Posted by James Whittaker on 03/22/2011

Stoke turned in their biggest win in the Premier League as they hit Newcastle for four at a sunny Britannia Stadium taking them back into the top half of the table. The team well and truly picked up where they left off last week and any fears of a lack of focus were dispelled four fold as a confident, in form Potters side took advantage of a poor Newcastle display which will have fans of the Magpies more than a little concerned.

March 15, 2011
Posted by James Whittaker on 03/15/2011

And we’re going to Wembley! In a week where cup fever was a welcome distraction from a poor run of form in the league, the Potters emerged victorious, downing West Ham as they confirmed their place in the FA Cup Semi Final at Wembley. It’s been an up and down season taking in some frustrating performances and even worse team selections but it seems the stars were aligned on Sunday as everything seemed to come together to take us to our first FA Cup Semi Final since 1972. The team was the right one, the players all turned up hungry and the crowd in magnificent voice, it was back to the passionate, backs to the wall performances last seen in our maiden premier league season, and it worked.

February 24, 2011
Posted by James Whittaker on 02/24/2011

Last night’s game was always going to be difficult, an away trip to any established Premier League side often is, but the fact it was Arsenal and we are Stoke made it an even harder proposition.

February 22, 2011
Posted by James Whittaker on 02/22/2011

I was more than happy with a home tie against lower league opposition, and was confident we could get a result despite many of their players and fans saying we would be given a lesson in football.

February 15, 2011
Posted by James Whittaker on 02/15/2011

Stoke were cruelly denied a point at St Andrews as Birmingham scored a 93rd minute winner following an uncharacteristic Begovic fumble.

February 4, 2011
Posted by James Whittaker on 02/04/2011

Stoke put in another poor performance as they ‘built’ on the frustration of the Fulham game just two weeks earlier. The side seems to have regressed back to the long ball game and with a questionable team selection and the sale of Tuncay still fresh in their minds, most Stokies walked out of Anfield angry and bewildered

January 25, 2011
Posted by James Whittaker on 01/25/2011

Stoke turned in one of their poorest performances for some time as we lost to Fulham by two goals to nil on an afternoon that many would be happy to forget.

January 17, 2011
Posted by James Whittaker on 01/17/2011

Stoke got back to winning ways and beat Bolton at a respectable canter as Owen Coyle’s men continued their dismal away form at a windswept Britannia. In a game that threatened to be dominated by the almighty gust that was blowing through the ground, it was Stoke who managed to come to terms with the conditions more ably as they ran out comfortable 2-0 winners on the day.

January 6, 2011
Posted by James Whittaker on 01/06/2011

So we went to Old Trafford and lost, no real surprise there, the difference this time was the margin by which we trailed. In seasons past we have been hit for 5 and 4 respectively but this time that was reduced to 1, perhaps more tellingly the Man Utd players wasting time and fans whistling towards the end tells a different story for the performance of the current Stoke team. It could, however, have been so different for us without the continued ineptitude shown by Collins who almost single handedly undid a lot of the hard work done on the night to leave the Potters faithful leaving Old Trafford proud yet ultimately frustrated.

December 14, 2010
Posted by James Whittaker on 12/14/2010

The day started out as a celebration of Sir Stanley, as his two beloved sides clashed in the top flight for the first time in almost 40 years, but it was the Tangerine half of his life that were to be smiling come dinner time on Saturday as Stoke, almost to a man, failed to turn up.

December 7, 2010
Posted by James Whittaker on 12/07/2010

Stoke managed to extend their unbeaten run by taking a point following a frantic first half littered with deflections at a sparsely populated DW Stadium.

November 30, 2010
Posted by James Whittaker on 11/30/2010

…and class seems to be one of them, as Mancini and his millionaires were once again humbled at the Brit as he and his side put more effort into moaning and keeping warm than taking the 3 points that would put them level on points with Chelsea.

November 23, 2010
Posted by James Whittaker on 11/23/2010

Stoke recorded their biggest away win in the Premier League and in doing so scored 3 goals, achieved 3 points and for the first time since promotion achieved 3 back to back wins.

November 16, 2010
Posted by James Whittaker on 11/16/2010

Stoke dominated from the first whistle to the last as Roy's Revival went to Pot as his side came unstuck at the Britannia.

November 10, 2010
Posted by James Whittaker on 11/10/2010

Apologies for the delay in getting something up but the defeat against Sunderland and the circumstances surrounding it really flattened me. Once again, the referee made a huge mistake and Stoke were robbed for the 4th time in as many games as far as stonewall decisions go.

November 2, 2010
Posted by James Whittaker on 11/02/2010

Stoke were once again left dumbfounded by another poor refereeing decision as they came away with nothing from Goodison Park having had a perfectly good goal from Tuncay disallowed. The result made it 4 defeats on the bounce for the Potters but all is far from lost as the football during this period has been good and the team selections positive, but the process of change is one that will take time.

October 26, 2010
Posted by James Whittaker on 10/26/2010

We were so desperately unlucky to come away from the game with nothing when it could have been a very different story had the referee not bottled the big decision of the game by not sending off Gary Neville on his 600th appearance for the club.

October 19, 2010
Posted by James Whittaker on 10/19/2010

Stoke were so unfortunate not to get something from this game as we were once again given an inept referee who missed at least one penalty decision and a red for the eventual match winner.

October 5, 2010
Posted by James Whittaker on 10/05/2010

Stoke turned in their best performance of the season and, despite only winning by 1 goal, completely dominated Blackburn as they came out on top in what was wrongly labelled by many lazy journalists as the “battle of the bruisers” to hit the dizzy heights of 7th in the League.

September 28, 2010
Posted by James Whittaker on 09/28/2010

Sunday was a funny game, Stoke once again came back from a deficit to record a win, their first away win of the season no less. Even though we got 3 points, the reaction from many was one of confusion and frustration as Pulis once again baffled with his team selection and set up.

September 23, 2010
Posted by James Whittaker on 09/23/2010

An encouraging start to the League Cup campaign has seen us into the last 16 of the competition. With the big guns of Chelsea, Everton and Liverpool out along with a number of other Premier League clubs, some might argue this is our best chance of silverware in a long time and a win in the final would mean Stoke would be plying their trade in Europe next season for the first time in 38 years.

August 29, 2010
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.

August 23, 2010
Posted by James Whittaker on 08/23/2010

Chris Foy was the talking point after a resilient and encouraging second half Stoke performance as he denied Jon Walters a debut goal by failing to allow a 90th minute goal which every man and his dog could see was over the line.

August 16, 2010
Posted by James Whittaker on 08/16/2010

Stoke City lost 2-1 to rivals Wolves in a game marred by a horrible looking injury to record signing Kenwyne Jones as he crumpled under a hard challenge by Stoke old boy Jody Craddock.

May 11, 2010
Posted by James Whittaker on 05/11/2010

So another season comes to a close, another great season for Stokies all over the World as we secure our top flight status for yet another year and improve on last season’s finish too.

April 27, 2010
Posted by James Whittaker on 04/27/2010

Well…..I’m not sure what to say about that really? Out-thought, out-muscled and outclassed, and if reports are to be believed that was just between two of our own players as yet another bust up was worryingly leaked to the nationals.

April 20, 2010
Posted by James Whittaker on 04/20/2010

It was more the day of the Trotters than the Triffics as Stoke snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in a ten minute capitulation from a team who were perhaps thinking more about the beach than holding on for that last 10 minutes. This report will tackle some of the issues through the day and most importantly the aftermath of what was a terribly disappointing day for all associated with the Potters instead of taking it’s usual format.

April 12, 2010
Posted by James Whittaker on 04/12/2010

Stoke played out a bore draw on Sunday, the player’s body clock’s skewed by the pointless shifting of the kick off time to noon Sunday seemed to take effect as many played as if they had themselves stuck two fingers up at the police and decided to get legless in advance of the kick off to show it COULD be done.

April 6, 2010
Posted by James Whittaker on 04/06/2010

Stoke duly brushed aside any renewed optimism from the Hull camp as they convincingly beat the lame Tigers 2-0.

In what was one of Stoke’s poorest performances at home, we rarely got out of second gear and apart from palming a soft Bullard shot, Sorensen had nothing to do all afternoon which must be worrying for the increasingly concerned Hull fans who will be praying the media darlings of West Ham, much like Newcastle last season, can continue their own run of poor form as the hunger and desire to pull clear of relegation themselves just isn’t there.

March 29, 2010
Posted by James Whittaker on 03/29/2010

Fuller scored a goal worthy of winning any game as Stoke became the latest team to heap misery on the West Ham faithful.

March 9, 2010
Posted by James Whittaker on 03/09/2010

Stoke’s magnificent run in the Cup was brought to a halt at Stamford Bridge as a suspension and injury depleted side were comfortably beaten 2-0 by current FA Cup holders Chelsea.

March 1, 2010
Posted by James Whittaker on 03/01/2010

Stoke’s magnificent unbeaten run came to a shocking end as we were beaten 3-1 at the Britannia following a game blighted by a horrible injury to Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey.

This piece will not follow the normal format so there won’t be any player ratings, I would however like to discuss the main talking point which was the tackle that ended Ramsey’s season and the subsequent witch hunt against Ryan Shawcross who, in my opinion, was as innocent as Ramsey in the whole affair. The referee himself admitting that the tackle was not worthy of a red card and that it was the injury that prompted the sending off.

February 25, 2010
Posted by James Whittaker on 02/25/2010

Spirit, Determination and Passion were in abundance as brilliant Stoke put in a performance worthy of the Cup Final itself as they brushed aside the Billionaires of Manchester City, clinching a deserved victory over a side we have played 3 times in the last 2 weeks. Mancini duly moaned about what might have been, saying that they deserved to win, I think those comments say more about the pressure he is feeling than any genuine reflection of the game that actually unfolded before him.

February 22, 2010
Posted by James Whittaker on 02/22/2010

Salif Diao was the unlikely hero as Stoke overturned a 1-0 deficit at Fratton Park to win 2-1 in additional time, despite having played with 10 men for the final 10 minutes after a cruel second booking ensured Wilko got first dibs on the baths.

February 15, 2010
Posted by James Whittaker on 02/15/2010

Stoke battled back for the draw for the second time in a week at Eastlands, with Man City becoming the latest team to have been ‘Delapped’ - Fuller again the grateful recipient.

Stoke will perhaps be more concerned with the injuries on the day, Etherington being the most concerning as the Player of the Season elect was carried off on a stretcher with suspected knee ligament damage in front of the on looking England manager Fabio Capello.

February 9, 2010
Posted by James Whittaker on 02/09/2010

On Stanley Matthews Day, Tony Pulis celebrated his 300th game in charge of Stoke with a comfortable and comprehensive 3-0 win over Blackburn, with the third and best goal being scored by a player he plucked from obscurity, revitalised and propelled to the verge of the England Team, a goal befitting the celebration of Sir Stanley’s life.

February 3, 2010
Posted by James Whittaker on 02/03/2010

My god, what an awful, awful game… Stoke and Sunderland both contributed to possibly the worst performance of the season and the fact it was live on ESPN for the World to see leaves me a little embaressed to be honest. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ashamed of my team, I just know they can play so much better, we were 3-0 up at half time against Fulham, great performance, hell our last game saw us beat Arsenal 3-1!!

January 26, 2010
Posted by James Whittaker on 01/26/2010

It’s the FA Cup, it’s the 4th Round, I think we all know what happens next, Stoke have struggled, over my lifetime certainly, to make any impression on this prestigious competition so my expectations weren’t exactly high for our home encounter with Arsenal. It was a good day for Stoke which was made even better by us winning the game comfortably and beating Arsenal at their own game with two sucker punch goals coming from quick counter attacks – in fact, had decisions gone our way the score could have been 5-0, I imagine Arséne would have moaned about more than the pitch had that happened though..

January 18, 2010
Posted by James Whittaker on 01/18/2010

So it’s Stoke this time who grab the last minute goal – makes a nice change.. The game itself was woeful, Stoke seemed to regress to our most basic of tactics (if you can call them that) of hoofing the ball forward at any opportunity. Just when you think we are turning a corner with our style, we have a performance like that to bring us back down to Earth with an almighty thud, it was so disappointing, especially given that we looked so good against Fulham.

January 6, 2010
Posted by James Whittaker on 01/06/2010

There's not been too much festive cheer in the Potteries after some poor results - ironically, the games against Villa and Man City have seen us play some of our best football this season and argueably last too - we just haven't taken our chances.

December 21, 2009
Posted by James Whittaker on 12/21/2009

Stoke were cruelly denied a perfectly good goal as they had the better of the play at Villa Park, but once again fell foul of another poor refereeing decision.

December 7, 2009
Posted by James Whittaker on 12/07/2009

Memories of last seasons capitulation were all too fresh in my mind before this game, coupled with the fact Arsenal would be going all out for a win, so all in all I was probably not too disheartened by the final score.

November 30, 2009
Posted by James Whittaker on 11/30/2009

Considering this was a scoreless draw it was a pretty entertaining game with Stoke perhaps feeling a little unlucky not to come away with all 3 points - overall some decent football played too which was the best thing to come out of the afternoon...

November 24, 2009
Posted by James Whittaker on 11/24/2009

I imagine Paul Hart would have expected Tony Pulis to turn up to his post match interview wearing an eye patch such was Stoke’s fortune at winning a game, on the balance of play, we really didn’t deserve to.

A great and very welcomed 3 points but there are still a number of key themes to be addressed; though whilst the results are still good it is hard to justify making such a big deal about them but I really do think there are problems.

November 10, 2009
Posted by James Whittaker on 11/10/2009

Once again we managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory as Hull came from behind in injury time,

November 3, 2009
Posted by James Whittaker on 11/03/2009

A colleague came up to me today and said “How many points are your lot on now – 16?” and I said that it was 15 before backtracking quickly.. Saturday’s game felt like a loss and it’s easy to forget that we did actually come away with something, albeit a solitary point when 3 looked so likely in the first half.

October 26, 2009
Posted by James Whittaker on 10/26/2009

What a day, what a performance and what a result!

October 21, 2009
Posted by James Whittaker on 10/21/2009

Beattie put a minor run of poor form to bed as Stoke beat a dispirited West Ham side 2-1 at the Britannia on Saturday. The poor advertising board felt the brunt of Beattie’s relief as that particular sponsor no doubt sat grinning to themselves at the free publicity afforded by the big striker’s right boot.

October 6, 2009
Posted by James Whittaker on 10/06/2009

A surprising line up but a good positive display saw Stoke take not just a point but also much encouragement away from Goodison Park.

September 29, 2009
Posted by James Whittaker on 09/29/2009

I have let a couple of days pass to take in the result, the performance and the reaction – all of which have surprised me to be honest. It seems whenever anything goes wrong at the club, be it on or off the pitch, the ‘supporters’ always, without fail, need someone to blame; and not for the first time this season Pulis won this honour after Saturday's 2-0 defeat to the Champions of England. The game was poor, the performance from players and fans alike was poor – but aren’t we all entitled to a bad day at the office?

September 19, 2009
Posted by James Whittaker on 09/19/2009

On the whole it was a good display by the Potters but once again we were denied in the closing minutes, this time by an equaliser from the penalty spot following a stupid and lazy challenge by Danny Collins.

September 15, 2009
Posted by James Whittaker on 09/15/2009

Apologies to those regular readers for the lack of updates – I have been away for a couple of weeks and got married too so have been pre-occupied and although I specifically chose a non match day to do the deed I still found myself late back on the Saturday so missed much of the Chelsea game…

August 30, 2009
Posted by James Whittaker on 08/30/2009

Stoke built on their 3 points against Burnley with another 3 against big spending Sunderland. A Kitson goal and and another dogged defensive display ensured city bagged the points and gained their third clean sheet in 4 games.

August 23, 2009
Posted by James Whittaker on 08/23/2009

In a game that could have been a throwback to this very fixture at the old Victoria Ground, Stoke took their first away point of the season on a sweltering day at St Andrews. It was a typical Stoke.v.Birmingham game, long ball after long ball, head tennis around the middle and, once more, an unhealthy reliance on Mr Delap and his not so secret weapon.

August 20, 2009
Posted by James Whittaker on 08/20/2009

The sight of Cresswell's name on the teamsheet sent a shiver down my spine, again he gets on the pitch, again he starts an important Premier league game and again he failed to have any positive impact on the game whatsoever.

August 16, 2009
Posted by James Whittaker on 08/16/2009

2 goals, 3 points, a clean sheet and £10 on Shawcross to score first at 28/1 – a pretty much perfect Saturday for this Stokie!

The sun basked down on the windswept Britannia as the ever vociferous Stoke faithful cheered their heroes on to another Potters win – but the performance on the day further illustrated the need for Pulis to again work his magic in the transfer market before the end of the window on the 1st September.

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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