Chancing your arm
The 1-0 victory by Stoke City over Fulham yesterday was met with quiet indifference by some Stoke fans as in this is 'just the way it is' being a Potters supporter.
Stoke City stuck to the game plan against Fulham which saw Etherington 'play stroking' on the wing (accepting he does not quite have the pace he once had) then making a cross or gaining the set-piece corner for the eager heads of Crouch and company.
Yes, it seemed business as usual at the Britannia Stadium.
Even though the midfield (typified by Adam and Nzonzi) looked in better shape, one cannot help but think that there is an ingredient amiss within the Stoke brand. Could it be the unpredictable?
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There even seems no animosity from Stoke fans towards the manager regarding the fact that the Michael Owen signing appears more like a publicity stunt than anything else.
On the other hand, the assertion from Tony Pulis that Stoke could have scored five or six against Fulham beggar's belief.
One could say the same if Manchester City created some 12-13 chances (including half-chances and shots off target) in any given game; would Mancini say Manchester City should have won 13-0?
Talk about 'chancing your arm.'
The same goes for the Stoke managers' perspective that before the Fulham game Stoke were creating chances but not scoring.
This kind of statement engenders sections of the Stoke fans to believe the manager to be in a different dimension or parallel universe than the rest of the mere mortals.
The problem was evident to all but Mr Pulis that Stoke City could not create goal scoring opportunities of any description.