Michael Baggaley: Laudrup will have to up his offer if he is to sign Jones
NOT since Captain Scott put up his ridge tent has there been a sight as inspiring as two Stokies battling against the biting Atlantic wind to drape their 'St Ives Potters' flag over the rows of empty seats at the Liberty Stadium.
Seven hundred Stoke fans made the trip, and that was an impressive effort considering the Antarctic weather and, let's face it, Stoke's away form in the league.
One win in 21 away games would not inspire many football fans to pull on the long-johns and trudge out into the snow, so the men and women of the match on Saturday were the ones who made the trip, be that from St Ives or Silverdale.
I assume you've heard that Stoke lost 3-1 by now, so you'll know their intrepid efforts were not rewarded.
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From having the fifth best defensive record in Europe, Stoke have shipped 13 goals in the last four league games. It's as un-Stoke-like as fruit on an oatcake.
It's certainly worrying because Stoke have never scored many goals in the Premier League so are the last team who can afford to spring a leak. A team based on a strong defence should not be shipping this many, even though seven of the goals were scored by Manchester City and Chelsea.
On the plus side, only someone who hasn't watched Stoke at all for the last 11 years would think that Tony Pulis can't sort out a defence.
The trouble is, he hasn't got much time to do it before Stoke's biggest single game of the season so far, at home to Manchester City in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday.
He could do with a couple more options as full-backs Marc Wilson and Andy Wilkinson continue their recovery from injury, although it has to be said makeshift right-back Dean Whitehead was probably Stoke's best player at the Liberty Stadium.
Admittedly, that's not saying much because this was a desperately poor effort from Stoke. While Swansea were quick and slick in possession, Stoke were as uncertain, ponderous and unsuccessful as an egg and spoon race on an ice rink.
Let's be fair, Swansea have been turned over easily in the last two seasons at the Britannia Stadium, so Saturday's result does not mean their 'tippy-tap' style is by its nature more effective than Stoke's direct football.
But Swansea were on top of their game on Saturday while Stoke were well below par. The result was Michael Laudrup's side taking the Potters apart in the second half with some lovely attacking football.
Such was the gulf, Swansea would surely have won whoever Stoke played up front. However, it was a surprise to see Peter Crouch selected over the more in-form Kenwyne Jones, who came on as a second-half substitute .
That inevitably prompted speculation that Jones is on his way to Swansea, who have already had one £3m bid rejected. However, if that was the reason, then Jones wouldn't have played at all.
The best explanation I can think of, is that Jones has been accused of being inconsistent in the past and so the manager feels the way to get the best out of him is to keep him fresh and on his toes by starting him one week, and using him as an impact substitute the next.
Swansea want Jones as a replacement for Danny Graham who is wanted by Norwich and Sunderland. However, the Swansea fans made clear they don't want Graham to leave by repeatedly chanting his name even before he came on as a second-half substitute.
After the game, Laudrup said he couldn't be certain what will happen with Graham, which was pretty much what Pulis said about Jones.
Stoke would want considerably more than £3m for their striker, but Swansea aren't known for splashing the cash. The Swans lost out to Aston Villa for Crewe's Ashley Westwood in August because they steadfastly refused to raise their £900,000 offer to the £1.1m the Alex were asking.
You'd think Stoke would want to bring in a replacement for Jones, so it seems a deal for Danny Graham could trigger a chain of negotiations – no doubt on the last day of this month's transfer window.
The situation remains delicately balanced, which is more than can be said for Saturday's game once Ben Davies put Swansea in front after 49 minutes.
The good news is there's nothing that Pulis's Stoke like better than to be written off before a home game against one of the big boys.
Yes this was poor, but Manchester City under-estimate the Potters at their peril.