The unrelenting misery that is Stoke…

…City.

Don’t know what’s worse what Stoke call football or the joy they take in killing the game. Points for points sake, no enjoyment, glory in destruction, you wonder what Danny Blanchflower would have made of it all.

The rest of the league seems to wonder why anyone would want to watch them never mind follow them around the country. It’s not something to bring festive joy.

Danny may have seen something like the opening few minutes in his time. Did remark at the time it was like watching the reruns of The Big Match from the late 70′s early 80s they’re showing on ITV4. Stoke hump it up the park as soon as possible while Spurs hammer it away as soon as possible. At least back in the far gone days they had the excuse of the pitch being a ploughed field unlike today’s bowling greens.

This passage of “play” brought Stokes first of a few chances that were gifted to them – didn’t look like scoring without Spurs’ help – as Walker played a suicide ball across his defence that Jones, obviously forgetting where he was on the pitch, smashed high over the bar. On me ‘ead son.

After this Spurs gained control while Stoke dropped back into the familiar flat back 8 to 10 giants.

Things were helped by inept officiating. Obviously scared after last week’s incident involving Stoke’s Shawcross and Fellaini of Everton, Lee Mason – who does a very good impersonation of Bobby Hill from King Of The Hill – was obviously scare of upsetting Tony Pulis. So N’Zonzi got away with an elbow on Dembele. While Vertonghen was booked for an innocuous late challenge on a player who say no card for a revenge tackle on the Belgian that was a bit of a leg breaker.

It brings me to that incident in the Everton game with Fellaini and The Big match repeats. While the football in those old shows maybe hump and bluster at times it is so damn refreshing for the games to be free of pulling and holding. They say the game now is becoming a non-contact sport, well it is but only from the waist down. From above it’s no holds barred.

Is this football or a tea dance?

Which is why I would have let Fellaini off. They, also, say refs can’t penalise holding like that or there’d be 20 penalties a game. Others respond saying it would stop it soon enough. Well I think that if a player was allowed to get out of a hold any way he wanted, including putting the head in like the Everton midfielder did, well that would stop the holding a lot quicker.

Because as you see with the likes of Stoke or Sam Allardyce’s teams they’re OK when handing it out but turn into the biggest wet, girl’s blouses when on the receiving end.

So anyway back to the game and not much happened. Sandro saved a tap in from Etherington who for once didn’t actually score against his old team. At the other end the Brazilian put in a pretty good cross which the substitute Sigurdsson met with a great header that was going to win it but for a magnificent save from Begovic.

In between not much occurred. AVB’s hands slightly tied by the lack of creativity on the bench, Gylfi came on and maybe so should have Townsend but when Parker was introduced it seemed to signal the acceptance of the draw.

Not the first team to draw a blank against this type of football and won’t be the last. Doesn’t mean we have to be happy about it.

The strike pair again showed that the crowd may scream for two up front but it’s brought one whole goal while Adebayor and Defoe have been on the pitch together. And while everyone talks about what a great season Defoe is having he has 2 goals more and 1 assist less than Torres who everyone has been slating. And somehow I’m not surprised we haven’t seen the same performance out of Adebayor now he’s actually signed, not withstanding his being in and out of the team.

Striker, a complete striker, a clinical striker and someone to fill the Modric/van der Vaart hole come the start of the window and I mean the start not the very last minute of the last day of January.

At this time of year we all like to look back, I’m going a little further than the past year, little further back than the football of my youth. December 25th, 98 years ago. I bet the football the Tommies and the Germans played on no-man’s land on the Western front was of a more enjoyable standard than the fair put out by Stoke City.

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