Tempering the argument
One does try to engage with that old journalistic trick of tempering the argument when writing articles. In other words, you try to balance the criticism by highlighting the positives as well as the negatives in any given scenario.
Sometimes this can prove difficult when writing about Stoke City.
Balancing the argument of sorts was attempted last week by giving Tony Pulis the benefit of the doubt when Stoke at least had a rare excursion into the Manchester United half.
Then the fans were subsequently force-fed the hype that now the more difficult games were out of the way Stoke were going to start to engage in a more attacking style.
What an understatement.
It seems in the case of Stoke City; it is better to attempt to temper the argument article by article other than by doing it in the same article.
Historically speaking, one will never forget the game at the old Victoria Ground on March 12th 1983 between Stoke City and Sunderland before a meagre crowd of 12, 806. When Sunderland scored, one young lady in the Boothen End exclaimed: 'what a waste of a quid'. Yes, it was only a quid to watch Stoke in those days.
This begs the question: for the match on October 27th 2012 at the Britannia Stadium before a bumper crowd of 27, 055 did anybody exclaim: 'what a waste of thirty quid'.
The currency may have changed but the similarities remain the same.
It is not just the woeful display by Stoke City against Sunderland on Saturday that is the major cause for concern, gaps at the ground seemed to appear as the second half wore on.
One thing is for sure: the apertures will inevitably grow wider and wider if the quality of the football does not improve forthwith.
Reports of frustrated and dispirited Stoke fans apparently squabbling with each other at the Britannia Stadium yesterday indicates that tempering the argument has more than one connotation.