We Are Stoke! Lets Not Change How We Are

By Dan Buxton
Last updated : 05 November 2009
Walking away from the match on Saturday against Wolves discussing the events of the afternoon I was as disappointed as everyone else with the result but pleased that we have amassed the number of points we have so far. I dont think anyone who was a Stoke fan could say that they weren't annoyed to throw a two goal lead away. 
 
What I have noticed is that Pulis has now started to adopt the current trend that managers have of moaning about circumstance and nit-picking referee decisions. In the build up to the Wolves game, Pulis has complained about referees timekeeping, saying that if we are winning we get more injury time and if we are losing then there is less injury time. In the week after the Wolves game whenever I have heard Pulis talking, it is contesting the foul and the offside decision for their first goal. 
 
Fair enough, Wolves first goal was offside, but then again, Diao commited a stone-wall foul on Kranjcar in the penalty box in injury time at White Hart Lane the previous week and got away with it so these decisions even out over a season. 
 
The last week of fixtures have produced some strange results all round and a plethora of red cards to boot, some deserved and others not so. Phil Brown has been bleating this week about the ridiculous penalty decision against Burnley and says that it is these decisions that cost managers their jobs, the fact that Hull have only won twice this year in the league has nothing to do with it of course! 
 
The fact remains that unless we introduce video replays in matches then there are always going to be mistakes made by officials, that is human nature and we have to accept this, as do managers. 
 
Personally, I liked listening to Pulis brush off bad decisions that have gone against us rather than using them as excuses for dropped points. There is a time, place and correct channel to report poor refereeing decisions and vent frustrations and media interviews are not the format for doing this. Whether the point made is correct or not, it doesn't half sound like sour grapes when you listen to it. 
 
Rather than dodgy offside decisions or poor timekeeping, we should be concentrating on defending set pieces. The last 4 goals conceeded at home have been from dead ball situations, O'Shea for Man Utd, the West Ham goal and the two on Saturday. The hours we must spend practising set pieces and Rory's throws, coupled with the fact that we are one of the tallest teams in the league should give you a better than most chance of dealing with them. 
 
It looks like it will be another tight season again but poor decisions from officials is not going to change the fortunes of a teams' season over the course of 38 games. We should be gracious when dropping points and concentrate on the real reasons rather than using scapegoats. You know it's getting out of hand when a manager questions the referee's fitness levels! We are Stoke and we are above all that winging, whining and nonsense, we are a honest, hard working, firm but fair team so let's keep it that way please!

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