Despite retaining 74% possession on the day and getting a respectable amount of shots on goal, the Swans came away from the Britannia frustrated. Of the nine shots the Swans did take, the first on target didn't come until the 79th minute, which might go some way toward explaining the big goose egg on the white side of the scoreboard.
This might have been academic had the Swans been able to deny the Potters at the other end, and settle for a credible draw. It goes without saying that Stoke were always going to exploit the Swans collective lack of height, because every team has a collective lack of height compared to Pulis' beanstalks. I say beanstalks, his team are more like bridge supports.
Of course, the inevitable advantage Stoke were going to enjoy on set pieces made the difference in the game. As did the sun shining in the Swans goalkeeper's eyes. As did the fact the Swans goalkeeper happened to be the technically proficient but not very tall Gerhard Tremmel making his first start of the season, and not the fly-paper handed and spring-heeled Michel Vorm (who actually isn't very tall either, not that it matters).
It would, however, be unfair to blame Tremmel outright. Stoke's first came from a perfectly delivered corner that even the aerially astute Stephen Caulker couldn't reach. The second was a pantomime act featuring Peter Crouch the postman in the lead role, there to deliver a headfull of bad news into the Swans netted letterbox, the half dozen orange-shirted dogs in defence able only to nip at his heels.
Ridiculous comparisons aside, I wonder if Stoke might save themselves a few bob by popping down to the local rugby team and signing all the players who are any good at line-outs. It's cheaper than a youth academy. Just food for thought.
The Swans' Tenerfie tans will be gone by next week's match at Wigan, chased from the player's faces by the Northern English air. I hope the defeat at Stoke will help the players focus on beating the ex-bosses new charges, because Man City at home followed by Fulham away will be tougher tests, and two lost games in a row is bad enough. Four would be a disaster. Realistically, a win over Wigan and a point at Fulham should keep the Swans on the level.
Never fear. If someone can only find Scott Sinclair's shooting boots, things will be fine again. After the bumpy ride at the Britannia, perhaps the going at the DW will be kinder. And failing that, there's always Liberty billiards to look forward to when the Tevez circus comes to town.
Positives : More possession than Sergeant Pilcher. Cameo from GT. Stephen Caulker inching nearer to scoring from a header.
Negatives : No ladders or leg-ups. Craftily repainted smaller pitch. Scott's shot-spoiling bobble.