Match Review: Stoke City 0-3 West Ham
What on earth is going on ? Another gut wrenching defeat to swallow, another 3 goals conceded to rack up our goals against column and another week with Mark Hughes still at the helm. It will not be popular for me to maybe say this but, what on earth is Mr Coates playing at ?
The time was weeks ago to sack Mark Hughes, maybe even months, we absolutely stink of relegation right now. Peter Coates is the man who can make the change most of us now crave and for some reason he is failing to act – with this in mind, he should not escape criticism either. I know I am like a stuck record but this is so painful at the moment.
Today we went down again this time to another 3-0 demoralising home defeat. With West Ham the visitors and Arnie back in town, I guess the writing was on the wall for him to score just to rub our noses well and truly in it. We went behind on 18 minutes when Manuel Lanzini went down in the box following a “ foul “ by Eric Pieters, Mark Hughes bemoaned this decision afterwards claiming the West Ham man took a dive. He might be right however I am of the view that Pieters gave the referee the opportunity to make the decision – just stay on your feet man, he was going nowhere. Mark Noble scored from the resulting spot kick. Stoke rallied, and to be fair it did look as if the team were playing hard for their Manager. We huffed and puffed and probed as we tried to carve an opening without really doing so, we just seem to lack the required quality needed right now to open teams up. We trailed 1-0 at the break.
The second half followed a similar pattern. We had quite a bit of possession without creating any real opportunities however we looked continually vulnerable to West Ham counter attacks. On 62 minutes and Stoke still trailing 1-0, Mark Hughes did something a little out of character when he made 3 substitutions bringing on Saido Berahino for the ineffective Mame Diouf, Charlie Adam for the ineffective Darren Fletcher and then Josh Tymon for the injured and struggling Eric Pieters. It was a bold change and some might argue a last throw of the dice by our beleaguered Manager, the changes did improve us as we continued to have large spells of possession. Charlie Adam was now whipping in some great crosses – one that Shawcross perhaps should have scored from as he headed over with the goal at his mercy. However the West Ham defence marshalled by the impressive Collins, stood firm before hitting us with a classic sucker punch.
Arnie had already missed 3 opportunities when he found himself with yet another goal scoring chance on 75 minutes. This time he made no mistake poking the ball past Jack Butland before celebrating in front of the Boothen End prompting a mass exodus from the stadium – game over. Arnie was replaced just 4 minutes later to a chorus of boos and bile and was subsequently escorted straight down the tunnel following some kind of commotion on the touchline. I am not sure what happened there, but I will be blunt, I cannot stand that man. We looked a beaten side now, but just to erase what little false hope anyone might have had, Diafra Sakho scored a third on 85 minutes firing past a hapless Butland when put clear. I left the stadium.
I am truly demoralised with all things Stoke City right now. It hurts to see current events unfold and it is very hard to maintain hope and keep the faith, however that is what we all need to try and do (especially me). This is our club after all and it will always be this way. Managers and players come and go, but we will always be there, every step along the way.
Will the Manager now be sacked ? I am amazed we are still talking about it, he just so has to go.
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