A quick look back | Stoke: Season so far

A quick look back | Stoke: Season so far

I usual do a retrospective on the corresponding fixture from last year for the preview, but as I’m short on time, and luckily Stoke haven’t played Swansea in the past few seasons, this will be a slight look back at the season so far, and some thoughts on where Stoke are, and what they can expect. 6 games into the season, and Stoke lie 7th in the Premier League on 9 points – 3 draws, two wins and a loss. …
4-4-2 or 4-5-1? WBA Formation

4-4-2 or 4-5-1? WBA Formation

[caption id="attachment_4249" align="aligncenter" width="319" caption="WBA Formation vs Norwich"][/caption] This weekends game against Norwich saw West Brom make their first start of the season with a line up of 4-4-2 instead of 4-5-1. Yes the Baggies may have gotten that illusive win they have been craving since the start of the season, but what did they sacrifice by losing that extra midfield man? Well, simply put... Possession. In comparison to the 5 man midfield that faced Stoke a few weeks ago, …
Stephen Ward ensures he's not left behind

Stephen Ward ensures he's not left behind

Since Wolves won the Championship in 2009 it’s been evident that reinforcements have been required to bolster the back four to cope with the relentless pressures of a Premier League that doesn’t take pity on repeated nervy and panicky defensive blunders. On numerous occasions last season, points were thrown away due to such errors but with two clean sheets from three league games this season, things appear to be on the up. New signing Roger Johnson’s flourishing partnership with Christophe …
Optimism around Wolverhampton

Optimism around Wolverhampton

A dull 0-0 draw at West Midlands rivals Aston Villa in the lunchtime kick off on Saturday saw Wolves enjoy their second stint at the top of the Premier League in two weeks. This doesn't suggest that Wanderers will be challenging for the title come the end of the season, however it does show that Mick McCarthy's men can be hopeful of a little more than staying up by a point on the last day again. An unchanged side for …
Swansea | Importance of wide men

Swansea | Importance of wide men

With the unfortunate injury to Alan Tate, Swansea City look slightly exposed at full back with only two experienced players in the squad. Steven Caulker is able to deputise but with the England under 21 making such an impressive start to the season, Brendan Rodgers will be reluctant to break the partnership he has formed with Ashley Williams at the heart of the City back four. There also must be a concern about what would happen if either Scott Sinclair …
It's black & white: Bruce has to win!

It's black & white: Bruce has to win!

[caption id="attachment_3533" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Steve Bruce"][/caption] Last weekends’ debacle against rivals Newcastle has seen the tide of public opinion drastically sway against the Sunderland manager. It says something about the importance of this fixture in the North East, that Steve Bruce will consider himself under scrutiny after only two games of the new campaign. However it would be churlish to claim that this was a knee jerk reaction from fans after one disappointing outing. Moreover it was further evidence of …
Arsenal | Season already in the balance?

Arsenal | Season already in the balance?

Arsene Wenger even said it himself, according to Arsenal.com, in response to the injuries and Liverpool loss, “We have five big games when the team is not completely ready.” A tough opening month that saw a home loss to Liverpool and an upcoming trip to Old Trafford, combined with a couple of European dates with Udinese meant the squad would need to be ready from day one. It was understood all summer that Arsenal was never going to start at …
Swansea | Taking steps forward ?

Swansea | Taking steps forward ?

Swansea City undoubtedly have a lot to thank Roberto Martinez for, a play maker in the bottom tier who brought culture to a poor side, an inspirational captain through the clubs most turbulent times, and a manager who established a style of play which delighted fans and caught the attention of the national media. However it would be fair to say that both club and manager have moved on since his departure. Martinez has now had two seasons in the …
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