ALWAYS feel somewhat piffy doing a post-match write-up as it’s something that can be dissected with far more polish on our weekly podcast, but to hell with it, we’re in a wittering mood… and have had chance to apply some perspective that was sadly lacking across forums and Twitter around 5pm on Saturday, and even more so in the press this morning.
First things first, it’s safe to say this wasn’t akin to our hapless, impotent shows in the Potteries over recent years and – if anything – was more impressive than our away performance at the Emirates a few weeks back. Hear me out. This was unadulterated dominance, 100 per cent effort and a team playing fluid, attacking football creating chance after chance. In fact, it seemed we had more opportunities than in our previous three, dour visits to the Britannia which yielded one goal and two points between them.
When the ball won’t go in from five strikes on goal in the space of 10 seconds, you tend to realise it’s going to be one of those days. A dogged, workmanlike Stoke side – buoyed by a soft decision – had something to hold onto and they did so by the skin of their clenched teeth.
But – focus on the bigger picture and a good display at a venue where we’ve too often been insipid. Another tough game follows hot on the heels and another ground where we haven’t got results in recent years but if we play like we did on Saturday, the chances are we’ll be heading back up north with three points. The lads will be aggrieved and hungry to get back on tract – what’s important is that there is no cause for alarm, results like that simply happen and they happen to all teams. Even Barca threw away a two-goal lead at Sociedad this weekend…
A few nods in particular to the performances of Dagger and Lucas; the former was at his imperious best, whilst I’m quietly content for the latter to keep going about his business with others deriding him; he’s been brilliant for well over a year in my book yet the penny still hasn’t dropped with many.
Overall, the team is evolving game by game which can only instil confidence within the ranks. We’ve got depth, we’ve got hunger, we’ve got youth and we’ve got some genuinely world class players in this side managed by the only man we’d ever want. In what is often dubbed a ‘results business’, right now we need performances and for 3.5 games this season we’ve had them… if we carry on in that vein we’ll be just fine.
Defeated but Undeterred – Britannia Bogey Strikes Again, a LoveFollowConquer.com blog post
Another great article cheers. I can’t believe the negativity surrounding the loss I’m reading in the papers this morning. Yes I was as sick as anyone else after the defeat, but not half as bad as I felt against Newcastle, Wolves and Stoke last year, where as soon as we went a goal down we never looked like scoring if we’d played all day. It was also great to see the options that were produced from the bench too, in recent years I’d always felt that as soon as a starting player had come off, we were immediately weaker, or at least there was little changed tactically. The addition of Bellamy and Carroll allowed us to change our play subtly and very very nearly earned us a point. Anyone with a little experience in football knows that sometimes in football this happens, and if you juxtapose this with Everton away last year, where I genuinely wondered where we were going to go from there, this is probably the most optimistic I’ve been after a loss in a while.
I enjoyed reading this write-up but wanted it to be longer. Is Dalglish above criticism? During the first half of the match it felt like things needed changing but it took a long time to happen. Carroll, at least, should have come on earlier if not started. And how did RB go from embarrassment to Martin Skrtel so quickly, I suppose it is karma for Daniel Agger’s health.
*embarrassment of riches
Well said mate!
Couldn´t agree more, after reading the so-called world wide web, it seemed like all of the fat ladies had sung, and the season was over.
It´s great to again have a team that shows fighting spririt, even if one could not force the meat wall this time…
I felt the first half performance was disjointed. It was a measure of how poor Stoke were attacking that made us look as if we were dominant in the 1st half. In the second half they consciously decided to sit back and invite pressure, again our waves of attacks might have felt like fluid football, but Stoke just ceded the middle ground it made it easy for us to dominate. Compared to previous Stoke games this was the worst in terms of attacking threat I have seen them play.
I suspect if they had not scored the game would have been less one sided possession-wise and more disjointed generally and we would now be discussing our lack of creativity in midfield, the disintegration of pass and move. We were much better in the second half but Stoke allowed us to be by consciously deciding to sit back and park their bus in front of their goal.
great article.totally agree
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