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Lots of Stoke hate spiced with Ozil sprinklings – Preview

Let’s face it, there are few things more disgusting than Stoke City Football Club. I know it, you know it, Stoke fans know it, Wenger knows it, TheFA knows it and even Ban Ki-Moon knows it.  In the light of all these “knowings” what should be ideal would be for everyone to just vote them out of Football, demolish their ground and place“ a sign post there that reads

Stoke Image

 

 

Stoke really are like a failed evolution project, a team really designed to be a rugby team that was meant to evolve into a football team and then the experiment stopped receiving funding because the sponsors saw how shit the experiment was and now we are stuck with a “Foot-Gby” team. This is a team whose fans boo a player whose career they almost ended, they make mocking face-masks of Arsene Wenger, used to be coached by perpetual face cap wearing Tony Pulis, and now by stone faced Mark Hughes. Point is, there is nothing to like about them and the fact that we never almost beat them at their ground doesn’t help either.

Was it a co-incidence one of the lowest points of our season so far has been fans booing the manager and players at a train station in Stoke? Has to be down to some infection picked up by the fans at the Stoke ground. Ok, I have to stop now but trust me I can find a way to link any issues including World Peace with Stoke, really dislike them.

All the more reason, I enjoy our victories over them at home and especially the manner we did it last season. The headlines then read “We Stoked Stoke” on the back of our set piece goals against them. Mesut Ozil played very well that day and I am glad he is back in contention to play this game after been out for close to 3 months.

Unlike the signing of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil hasn’t hit the heights we expect of him yet. While Neil Ashton’s position of him stealing a living is utterly ludicrous, Ozil really could do more to improve his performances and this statement is totally unrelated to the amount he was signed for but the abundance of talent that we all know he has.

One who would be directly affected by Ozil’s return we expect would be Santi Cazorla and while it’s not expected for Ozil to be thrown straight on to the pitch for this game considering he is just returning, it makes for an interesting discussion what the manager intends to do with both of them.  I am a big fan of Santi and over the period of Ozil’s absence he has replicated the form he showed when he first joined us. I particularly like the way Santi picks the ball deep in our half whenever we are recovering from pressure and goes forward with pace, leaving a large chunk of opposition players behind while trying trying to pick Alexis or Welbeck, a few times those runs have resulted to near opportunities or goals themselves.

The manager would need to find a way to ensure he gets the best from both players as really if Ozil is fit, Ozil plays.  Can they play together in a midfield with a DM behind them? I’m not sure we have seen that happen a lot as Santi is usually drifted to the left side of attack but we always had Ramsey available then.  Ozil didn’t particularly flourish when he was sent left side of attack early in the season when we experimented with a 4-1-4-1. Remember the whole #PlayOzilat10 meltdown? All in all, this is the quality of conversations we all would rather want to have instead of who is available to play and who isn’t.

Where conversations are still ongoing though are our defensive issues. Kos should feature in this game after he had to sit out the game against Hull to aid his recovery process but the manner in which Wenger shut down every DM or CM linked with us during his presser for this game just goes to show we are not close to bringing anyone in.

Therein lies my problem with the manager, by his own admission we are light in that part of the pitch. Going back to the summer window he admitted we needed to bring another body in once we let Vermaeleen leave. That window ended without the body coming in, the effects of this was visibly seen in games so far this season and as much as fans slight Per Metersacker for defensive fragilities, we need to be thankful that he at least was available to be picked and never had to be in a position where we played Chambers and Monreal in center back.

Players are signed during transfer windows but the identification isn’t done during the period, that’s why we have scouts and have databases filled with player stats across the world. It’s hard to get anyone of real quality during this window and when you find that player you would have to pay more to get him. Thirty odd million for Wilfred Bony is a perfect example,  you wonder if he is a long term target for Manchester City or they really just need him to get them the league this season as Aguero recovers.  Man City have the funds to spend and will always be in for any big name striker, really hope Bony doesn’t end up another Scot Sinclair there.  When you add up all the signings the top clubs have made this season in a bid to win the EPL or just qualify for Champions League in the case of Manchester United then it gives you a fair picture of how much work you need to do to win the premier league.

I’m personally not a big fan of transfer season as I feel an extremely large chunk of what you see online during the period is utter shit and without an iota of truth so why bother. Maybe I would have been if I was a fan of club that just went out and bought what they needed, when they needed it irrespective of the cost. So basically, staying away from online activity during the period helps me stay sane and keep my expectations in check, not that I recommended it for anyone but well, different strokes they say.

Hopefully we get the result we need to make this week a great one and who knows Wenger might just get his cheque book out quickly enough to improve us in an area where we desperately need reinforcements.  Have a great weekend friends

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