Stoke City: Fans' panel
WHAT'S YOUR TEAM?
Tim Smith: Begovic; Wilkinson, Cameron, Huth, Shawcross; Whelan, Nzonzi, Adam, Kightly, Etherington; Crouch. Cameron left-back, Adam part of a midfield three.
Jon Owen: Begovic; Wilkinson, Huth, Shawcross, Cameron; Nzonzi, Whelan, Adam, Etherington, Kightly; Crouch.
Liam Gibbons: 4-4-2 – Begovic; Cameron, Huth, Shawcross, Wilkinson; Etherington, Kightly, Adam, Nzonzi; Crouch, Owen.
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Grant Bostock: I'd go 4-1-4-1. Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Upson; Nzonzi; Kightly, Whelan, Adam, Etherington; Crouch.
WHAT'S YOUR PREDICTION?
TS: West Ham 2, Stoke 0... because Pulis won't pick my team.
JO: West Ham 1, Stoke 2. Nolan for them, Adam and Huth for Stoke.
LG: West Ham 1, Stoke 1. Adam for Stoke.
GB: Although never too pleasing on the eye, any side managed by Sam Allardyce is always going to be well organised and difficult to break down (sound familiar?)
Unfortunately I can't see Stoke getting a result, 2-0 to West Ham.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS?
TS: Why do so many famous people support West Ham? Ray Winstone and Grant Mitchell I can understand, but as far as I'm aware Barack Obama isn't even a Cockney.
And I always had the Queen down as a strictly Countdown and HP Sauce woman until I recently read she spends her Saturday afternoons simultaneously cheering on the Hammers and Arsenal. It can't all be because of Julian Dicks, can it?
Maybe if Stoke copied West Ham in giving themselves a pretentious title we'd finally get an upgrade on Jeremy Bates and Dave Harold. The Academy of Pulisball anyone?
JO: How good has Asmir Begovic been this season?
Very, is the short answer.
We're lucky to have two excellent keepers in Thomas Sorensen and Begovic. But the Bosnian has made the position his own, and I'd go as far to say I wouldn't swap him for any other keeper in The Premier League.
While some of TP's signings may have baffled fans (recently Edu, Ness – what was the point Tone?) Begovic is slowly becoming one of his best ever.
Our fans really need to come up with a song for our number one!
LG: The injury to Marc Wilson was exactly what we didn't need and shows up what a mismatched squad we still have as a result of Tony Pulis's "war on full-backs".
It really is ridiculous that we've got so many strikers and central midfielders, yet only two natural wingers now Jermaine Pennant has been loaned out to Wolverhampton Wanderers, and only one natural full-back in Andy Wilkinson.
We can't keep on converting centre-backs and central midfielders, so this is something that really needs addressing in January, although it almost certainly won't be.
GB: It's time for Tony Pulis to give Jon Walters a prolonged spell on the sidelines. He's been nigh on ever present since he joined the club and, while you can never fault his commitment, I'm no longer sure what he brings to the side.
He might work hard, but he doesn't pose a threat to the opposition and, as a 'striker', his finishing is poor.
Under Pulis, we'll always be difficult to beat but, when they're carrying one or two players week in, week out, I don't see how Stoke can progress.
Picking players such as Walters is the easy option; I'd like to see Pulis be a little braver in his selection.
What motivation does it give to the younger lads at the club who see the same under-performing players picked ahead of them every week? Pulis says he's trying to evolve the team, it's time for him to prove it.