Diving and Tony Pulis make up the headlines today after City ground out a big three points yesterday. As a spectacle the game was lacking, but much of the blame for that must lay on the doorstep of Pulis himself.
He has said this season that his team will be trying to play football; as far as this concerned it certainly didn't take them long to revert to the arial bombardment of route one football. Which was more akin to the game with the oval ball Crouch and later Jones the targets for everything the rest of the team could hoof towards them, from the goalkeeper right through the team.
I use to think Charlie Adam was a half decent footballer and a very educated left foot, but to see him simply sticking his foot through the ball once for a full 60 yard hoof, left me asking What the hell is doing in a team like Stoke City, What has happened to him to be even satisfied with this old fashioned Sunday pub side hoofball. Also Peter Crouch, a man who has graced the International scene played for Spurs, Liverpool and of course City, yet here is seen being nothing more than a target to hit.
It must be money.
Then Pulis publicaly criticises everyone else for one thing or another from poor decisions from the Referee to Robert Snodgrass for diving, while you could believe Charlie Adam was learning ice skating from the times he went to ground. I do feel he was ajudged a little harshly to have dived with the resulting booking, but if he felt he was hard done by it certainly didn't stop him for trying again and again.
I do wonder if his rooming mate while at Liverpool was Luis Suarez.
As to Pulis claiming his side looked like the home side I am left wondering if he should be in the next series of adverts for Specsavers, or his Optican is Mr Magoo (For.. you Young Un's ask your Dad ) they didn't get their one and only corner until the game was 70 something minutes old. .
Pulis goes on and on about how hard done he and his side are but fails to mention some of his tactics, like having his assisstant standing beside the 4th Official for nearly all the game complaing and challenging everything.
He now wants a review of diving incidents via a video of the game on a Monday, there should be a panel which sits to decide whether a player has dived or not, that eases the pressure on referees and they only make that decision if they are 110 per cent certain someone has cheated.'
What a load of tripe, just where would this type of thing stop ? A goal which was just offside taken away by the panel, league standing etc all changed. A player makes a tackle that gets missed by the ref, is awared a red card for it on monday and therefore suspended days after the event ?
To me this is a ludicrous suggestion, if he wants to eradicate Diving from the game, then it falls to people like himself to start the ball rolling, by strongly instructing his own players to cut it out, with an inhouse system of fines. And then for every club to follow suit, endorsed by the governing bodies.
Managers are the same as fans, we shout the odds if the opposition players cheat in this way, yet turn a blind eye when it is one of our own. This double standards may be OK for supporters, but for managers it is a different ball game, if every manager got their own house in order, would go a long long way of ridding the game of this current cheating trend.
But Back to City
City displayed a resolutness in defence while wave after wave of a Lancaster type bombardment rained on the area, but they held firm despite have to change the back line twice through injury to Turner and Garrido.
City tried to play their passing game which worked for periods but was soon spoiled by the away side, credit to Pulis for trying to get his side from stopping a side playing, but he cannot go on and on as he has done after this game. You tend to reap what you sow,
Certainly not a day for anything pretty in the game but what moments did arise amongst all the booting and neck ache came from City, an ugly ground out 3 massive points and at the end of the day that is all what matters. Hopefully there won't be too many more games like that, but if there we know our team can cope.
I am thankfull I only have to suffer that type of football once, as I will not be traveling to the Potteries for love nor money.