Stoke 1-1 Villa; Poor quality all round, but we maybe did enough for the points

Well, there wasn’t much to write home about there, was there?

Now that I’ve resigned myself to us not having a hope in hell of getting promoted this season, so the urgency has come off and I find I can actually analyse things better.
The points don’t massively matter now, as long as we keep scratching enough to keep us up and we’re probably already safe.

I actually think we did ok today, against a very poor Stoke side.
I can see why their fans are concerned, as they have some decent names that just aren’t performing at all.
Much like we were recently.
It’ll be interesting to see if they can turn things around enough to keep themselves up, but they looked like a side in decline and offered next to nothing in the second half.

So what did I like?
Well, I thought the lads were genuinely working hard.
I think we lack pace and energy and Stoke more than matched us for that in the first half.

And to be fair, there wasn’t much in it, their early goal apart, which while well taken with a bit of skill, was somewhat lucky, the way it crept over the line.

The way Hutton went off is a worry, as he’s one player I’d want in our next game and I think it threw us momentarily.

We came out the better team in the second half and looking back, we were at least worth a point, if not all three, as we had decent chances, whereas I remember very little coming from Stoke.

Which says a lot, as both sides are, to my mind very poor.

Which leads me to what I didn’t like.
Yet again, so many balls are massively over-hit.
It’s almost as if we’re playing a pre-season friendly, where the lads haven’t quite weighed the ball up yet.
This far into the season it’s inexcusable and just a sign of players in really poor form.
Or is it just really poor players?
You look at it on paper and it really shouldn’t be the latter.

Trying to think positively, I thought Mings looked very comfortable on the ball, but his passing was wayward, even though he was the better of the bunch.
Abraham worked his socks off, as did El Ghazi. Hause looked tidy too ( I told you I’d give him credit if I saw anything decent in him).

But overall, it’s just not good enough.
Our passing and crossing is just rubbish.

I’ll take the point, but I’m not sure what Dean Smith is learning about this squad now.
Is he going to continue playing players that aren’t going to be here next season?

He probably feels as the manager, that he has to do everything within his grasp to try and get us up.
To be fair, he probably thought he could win this game.
But it’s a lost cause and he needs to look closer at the back-up, I reckon.

After an hour, we should be binning the usual suspects and just try the kids.
We’re not getting the wins, after all.

Of course, it has to be balls out for the scum and I won’t want any kids in for that one.
Just blood and guts.


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  1. Avatar
    Bill Pearson February 25, 2019 at 8:45 pm .


  2. Avatar
    Bill Pearson February 25, 2019 at 9:11 pm .

    Many thanks Badger, never never thought of that.

  3. Avatar
    Bill Pearson February 26, 2019 at 7:12 am .

    Saying that Badger so did mine, I’ve had to swipe the tablet clean, that’s why I had to ask, I see the goalkeeper had a week’s fine for refusing to come off, personally I think he was not hurt but gamble on the penalties by faking his so called cramp, and it failed.

    1. Avatar
      Pat 57 February 26, 2019 at 1:13 pm .

      If I was Sarri I’d never play Kepa again. I reckon it was nothing to do with injuries, feigned or otherwise. He was putting Caballero on as he’s a better shot stopper and, having played at Man City, knows how their players like to take penalties.

      If Caballero had come on Chelsea could have running around Wembley with the cup instead. If I was a Chelsea fan I’d like to see him tied to a goalpost next home match and every fan who turned up would be allowed to take a penalty right at him!

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