Monday, January 02, 2012
Truce at Rovers - to no avail
The performance never lacked effort, but it always seems the way against Stoke. They attack everything, they pressure the physical threat - meaning, they fouled Samba at every set piece. But that wasn't the reason Rovers lost either.
For me, it came down to the service to the strikers - Yakubu looked a handful and it speaks volumes that Huth wellied it whenever Yak came close to him. But he didn't get any kind of service from a very functional and frustrated midfield. Wheras Stoke had the threat of Etherington, our flat midfield 5 just passed it to each other and back again. Pedersen wasted his throws and his corners, and a late free kick, but got the biggest cheer of the day for a slide tackle on Steve Kean. I wasn't impressed with Petrovic at all and Formica was ineffective.
Would it made much of a difference if someone had played off the Yak from the start? Who can tell? But it's this defeat, like the losses to West Brom and Bolton that will count for a whole lot more in May than a shock win at Old Trafford.
We took the flag, it was examined at the gate, and was allowed in as the words aren't offensive to the manager or the owners. I am genuinely thinking of getting the top line changed - any suggestions gratefully received.