Struck down by Swindon

Posted by James Whittaker

Stoke's cup dream was over barely two hours after it begun as we crashed out to Swindon amid a chorus of boos. The mood amongst the fans is turning more and more for the worse as many who dismissed last season as merely a poor run realise that our abysmal form continues as do the problems so prevalent over the last nine months.

It's not that we have been knocked out of the cup, I congratulate Swindon who deserved the victory, it's the manner in which we were knocked out. We named a very strong starting XI yet were under the cosh from the outset against a side who last season were three leagues below us, a team that never looked convinced they could beat their lower league opponents all marshalled from the sidelines from a man who looked like he didn't care either way.

Pulis' manner was interesting, we know he takes cup competitions very seriously but his apparent apathy and indifference was a worrying sight as he stood there hands in pockets seemingly bereft of any idea on how to effect a change on proceedings. As the old adage goes, at least we can concentrate on just the two competitions now and based on what we have seen so far in the league that can only be a good thing.

Saturday is another huge game for Pulis, our run of league form makes for astonishing reading, we go into the game against Wigan, one of our bogey teams, with just FOUR wins in over EIGHT months. Something has got to change and quickly and whilst there will no doubt be a few sighs of relief as we announce a player or two this week, very little will happen if the approach is not tweaked.

The system is not set up to allow attacking players to thrive and until the two strikers selected are more fit for purpose in our unique system I'm afraid it will be more of the same regardless of whether it's Mama or Messi lining up.

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