View from the opposition – Stoke City

A bit about you:

Name: Peter Machin                      Current home town: Leicester

Birthplace: Stoke on Trent

How long have you supported your team? 

Always. My first live game was in March 1978 where Garth Crooks scored a hat trick in a 4-2 win over Blackburn.

Overview of your club: Favourite thing about your home ground:

It has to be the noise, especially at night games when Delilah is being belted out.

Favourite match played by your team & why: 

Can't really choose between two.

Stoke v Wolves - last game of the 83-84 season we need to win to avoid relegation and do so handsomely with a 4-0 win. Just fantastic for a 13 year old. Unfortunately the next season we were relegated with 17 points and -67 goal difference, but wouldn't have missed the feeling of that  4-0 win.

Sorry to say the other was May 2008 v Leicester. It was a pretty dire game but we finally got into the premier league which I had basically given up on ever happening. It was also my last game as a season ticket holder as my eldest daughter was born that summer. Friends think it is hilarious I watched so much drivel in the lower leagues and we finally get promoted and I stop going on a regular basis. 

Favourite player of all time who played for your club:  

Has to be Mickey Thomas. He first came when i was an 11 year old and was our player of the season scoring 11 goals in the old first division in 1982-83. What i really liked was if he thought he'd been badly fouled he would spend the next 10 minutes trying to get his own back without the ref seeing. He came back to us later in his career when we were relegated to the third tier and brought a bit of class to our midfield again. Plus who can't be amused by his counterfeit fiver's scam as he said"Roy Keane was on £50,000 a week, but so was i until the police found the printing machine". A true maverick

About our forthcoming match against you:

Your favourite current player in your squad and why?  At the moment it is Crouch simply because he works hard

Player in your squad we should most fear and why?  

Again at the moment it is Jack Butland because at least he will stop you scoring

Player in our squad you most fear and why? 

Jamie Vardy - pace against our defence is always a problem

Up and coming prospect in your squad? 

Our academy seems incapable of producing a player to come through to the first team. Of the young players Ramadan Sobhi a 19 year old Egyptian international can be exciting when running with the ball.

How do you think you’ll do against us? 1-1

General Questions:

What did you think of the winter activity both in and out of your club?

Kurt Zouma (on loan from Chelsea) was a good acquisition.  I said last season that Marko Arnautović was our one truly exciting and dangerous player we had, so it was sad to see him go.

Where do you think you’ll finish this season? Right now, 14th.

Which three teams do you think will get relegated from the Premiership?

Swansea, Huddersfield and Palace (the latter being such a pain to get to for an away game)

Any other comments? As I said last season, I was really pleased to see Huth get his champions medal. He is universally liked by all Stokies

Up Next – Stoke City

Up Next – Stoke City

Manager:     Mark Hughes

Founded:       1863             Ground:         bet365 Stadium

Address:       Stanley Matthews Way Stoke-on-Trent England ST4 4EG

Capacity:      30,089    

Squad:

1              England                GK          Jack Butland

3              Netherlands          DF          Erik Pieters

4              Wales                   MF         Joe Allen

5              Austria                  DF           Kevin Wimmer

6              France                 DF           Kurt Zouma (on loan from Chelsea)

7              Rep of Ireland      MF         Stephen Ireland

8              England               DF           Glen Johnson

9              England               FW         Saido Berahino

10           Cameroon            FW         Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting

11           Spain                   FW         Jesé (on loan from Paris Saint-Germain)

12           England               DF          Josh Tymon

14           Netherlands        MF         Ibrahim Afellay

15           Netherlands         DF          Bruno Martins Indi

16           Scotland              MF         Charlie Adam

17           England               DF          Ryan Shawcross (captain)

18           Senegal               FW         Mame Biram Diouf

20           United States      DF          Geoff Cameron

22           Switzerland         MF         Xherdan Shaqiri

24           Scotland             MF         Darren Fletcher

25           England              FW         Peter Crouch

28           Belgium              FW         Julien Ngoy

29           Denmark            GK          Jakob Haugaard

31           Belgium              MF         Thibaud Verlinden

32           Egypt                  MF         Ramadan Sobhi

33           England              GK          Lee Grant

42           England              DF          Tom Edwards

We have tried our best to ensure factual accuracy at the date of going to press – apologies in advance for any errors or out of date information.

For the very latest updates please follow the link below to the club web site:  http://www.stokecityfc.com/

 

Going to Stoke ?

Stoke City Football Club, Bet 365 Stadium, Stanley Matthews Way, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 4EG

Directions by road 

North/South/West

Leave the M6 at Junction 15 and take the second exit (straight on) at the first roundabout onto the A500. Exit the A500 at the second slip road and then keep to the right for the A50. At the roundabout take the second exit (right) to join the A50 (the Britannia Stadium is signposted and visible on the sky-line to the right).

Once on the A50 take the first exit and head up the bank towards the traffic lights. Turn right at the traffic lights and head over the fly-over. Take the third exit (right) at the first roundabout, the first exit (left) at the second roundabout and the third exit (right) at the third roundabout to reach the stadium.

East

Take the A50 to Stoke-on-Trent. Exit at the last slip road on the A50 with the stadium on the left. Take the third exit (straight on) at the first roundabout and third exit (right) at the second to reach the stadium.

Parking

On matchdays, access to the Britannia Stadium is strictly limited to vehicles with parking permits for car parks NORTH, WEST 1 and WEST 2.

Supporters who are allowed access from the A50 should follow signs which indicate coach and disabled parking.

Car parks will open from 11.00am for an afternoon match and from 4.00pm for a night match.

Access to the car parks is available from the A50 and the junction for Stanley Matthews Way on Trentham Road (A5035).

There may also be 300 parking spaces available (weekend matches only) at the Screwfix direct site on Stanley Matthews Way. The site is based one mile from the ground and allows quicker access back onto the A50 after the game has ended. The cost for parking is approx £4 per car (no mini buses). If arriving from the M6, follow signs to the Bet365 Stadium on the A50.  Continue past the stadium for approx 1 mile and the Screwfix site is on the left. The post code for SatNav's is ST4 8GR.

There is also car parking south of the stadium on Stanley Matthews Way between Screwfix and the Stadium opposite Pets at Home (Sat Nav ST4 8GR ). It costs £5 and you can get to this car park via Stanley Mathews Way from the A50 or Trentham Road. After the match all traffic goes south which means you avoid all the congestion by the stadium

Directions by rail

Stoke-on-Trent station is situated on the West Coast Mainline and provides easy access from Manchester, Birmingham, London, Derby and Crewe.

Supporters arriving by train on a matchday can take a two-minute walk to Glebe Street in Stoke town centre where buses run to the stadium at regular intervals. Turn right out of the station and take the next right to go under a bridge. Follow the road to the end and turn left, down a bank and into Glebe Street. Buses depart on the left hand side by the St Peter's Church. 

Trains take approx 1hr 45mins

Super off peak return £35.40

BY BUS

There are a number of bus services that run through Trentham Lakes and past the Britannia Stadium all week long.

On a matchday, there is an increased level of buses which travel to and from the stadium.

Pubs

Next to the stadium are a Holiday Inn and a Harvester Pub/Restaurant that do allow in away fans. You can also park at the Harvester itself for a cost. A bit further away on Dennis Viollett Road (off Sir Stanley Matthews Way) is a Power League complex that also has a bar, which also allows in away supporters, shows SKY television and you can even park in their car park for a fee. Further down Sir Stanley Matthews Way (and turning left along Eastern Rise) is the Longton Rugby Club, which has two bars also showing SKY Sports. Parking is also available for a fee. It is around a 20 minute walk to the away turnstiles from the Club.

If arriving by train then the Terrace Bar on Leek Road has been designated as an official away fans pub. The pub which is only five minutes walk from the railway station (turn right out of the station entrance, left at the crossroads and the pub is down on the left) also shows Sky Sports and offers food too. The shuttle bus to the ground (return cost £3 adults) that runs from near the station, also stops at the pub and returns after the game.

All information is provided in good faith but the Foxes Trust cannot be held responsible for any errors. Thanks to the Football Ground Guide, and Stoke FC

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A man with a plan? Trick and treating by the new gaffer

Leicester City 2 v 0 Everton

Report by Stuart Dawkins

When Sky picked this match for television, I suspect they were merely ticking off their quota of matches for these two relatively unfashionable clubs.  They could not have anticipated one brand-new manager and one manager-less team, but that is what they got. 

It was the traditional Remembrance Day fixture, and the use of the clap banners (together with plastic sheet for the away fans) worked well to produce a poppy-based backdrop to a moving rendition of the Last Post before kick-off.

Puel started with a trick up his sleeve: his first game in charge saw an imaginatively-chosen City line-up.  Mahrez took the ‘number 10’ spot, with the youth of Gray and Chilwell chosen to provide pace and width.  It looked like a side chosen to play against slow opposition, and for the majority of the first half, the plan worked a treat. 

City players got behind the Everton defence a handful of times in the first quarter hour.  City’s midfield dominated Everton’s, with Ndidi making a deep-lying Rooney look ordinary on numerous occasions.  What was noticeable was that the flair players – Mahrez, Gray and Chilwell – were using an intelligent combination of running and passing.  Too often this season the passing element has been absent.

City should have taken the lead in the ninth minute, when Chilwell skied a good opportunity.  The deserved breakthrough did come around ten minutes later.  It was a very good goal; Puel’s trick-and-treat plan personified.  Gray took possession on the edge of his own box.  He beat three players, outsprinting the Everton midfield with ease, then released Mahrez.  The rest was predictable for a City team playing well: Mahrez found the by-line and cut the ball across the box for Vardy to sweep the ball in.  The move took seconds to cover 100 yards, and was no more than Leicester deserved.

The number of times City players were beating their Everton counter-parts for speed and power was almost embarrassing.  Ten minutes later, that dominance led to a second goal.    Gray found himself on the left wing.  His low cross did not reach Vardy, but Everton defender Kenny hooked the ball into his own net.

It looked as though Leicester would get a hatful.  For the first 30 minutes Everton were as poor as any Premier League side I have seen.  To their credit, they improved towards the end of the half, but only to the tune of a succession of long distance shots and corners.  Fuchs was, however, lucky that his challenge from behind in the box did not result in a penalty, but other than that there was no substantial threat from the visitors.

Caretaker-manager Unsworth made two substitutions at the interval, and the second half was more of a contest.  City’s players seemed slower: spending too much time on the ball, in contrast to the first half when passing and movement had been slicker.  It was the City defence that caught the eye now, with Morgan giving his best performance for a while, clearing up several Everton moves that had the potential to menace the City goal.

Puel brought on, in turn, Okazaki, Albrighton and Iheanacho for Mahrez, Chilwell and Vardy.  Unsworth brought on the £50m Sigurdsson for Rooney.  City held on and Everton barely registered a shot on goal. 

It was a good home performance and a deserved win.  The way that Gray and Mahrez swapped roles throughout the game was interesting, and it was arguably Gray’s best game in a City shirt.  Iborra continues to improve.  Against today’s opposition he looked completely relaxed and in control: my girlfriend suggested that more performances like this might persuade the Club Shop to sell an Iborra-branded smoking jacket for Christmas (I’d probably buy one).  Ndidi was solid.  Chilwell had a decent game, although not as eye-catching as he can be.

Everton are a team in trouble.  Even during the second half, when they had a lot of possession and attacking play, they did not look like scoring.  The City faithful happily sang “all that money and you’re going down”, and unless a new manager makes significant changes for the visitors, that may well be an accurate prediction.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs, Gray, Ndidi, Iborra, Chilwell, Mahrez, Vardy. Subs:  Iheanacho, King, Albrighton, Hamer, Dragovic, Slimani, Okazaki

Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Jagielka, Williams, Baines, Lennon, Davies, Gueye, Mirallas, Rooney, Calvert-Lewin. Subs:  Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson, Niasse, Holgate, Lookman, Robles, Baningime

The views expressed in this report are the opinions of the Trust member nominated to file the report only and do not represent the views of the Foxes Trust organisation

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View from the Opposition – Everton

View from the opposition - Everton

A bit about you:

Name: Mark Sadler      

Current home town: Barrow upon Soar

Birthplace: Sutton-in-Ashfield

How long have you supported your team? 49 years

Overview of your club:

Favourite thing about your home ground: Soul and memories

Favourite match played by your team & why: Beating Man U on penalties in the FA cup semi-final 2009 because it was the first time at Wembley with my son and the nearest we have been to winning anything in his lifetime (or at least living memory as he was only 2 in 1995) and it was beating Man U, which always feels good.

Favourite player of all time who played for your club: Alan Ball (you never forget your childhood heroes), with big Dunc a close second.

About our forthcoming match against you:

Your favourite current player in your squad and why? Looking at what I wrote last year, saying Idrissa is a favourite but will pick up a lot of yellow cards and guess what, sent off last Sunday for two yellows! Favourite now has to be Tom Davies. Full of energy, will to win - every game, tackle, throw in! Koeman brought in a lot of midfielders, but for me the way Tom has played since coming into the first team last year, he has more than deserved to keep his place. Not perfect, but great to watch.

Player in your squad we should most fear and why? Possibly Oumar Niasse. Not the greatest striker, but if he comes off the bench his is likely to score of lay one on.

Player in our squad you most fear and why? Mahrez, anyone that runs at us seems to panic our defence.

Up and coming prospect in your squad? With David Unsworth in charge, they should get their chance. Lookman looks a great prospect, Dom Calvert-Lewin will be a good striker, Mason Holgate continues to do well, Beni Baningime had a great debut against Chelsea, but I would really like to see Jonjoe Kenney make it and then become a long term replacement from Seamus.

Where do you think you’ll finish this season? Mid table, hopefully with a decent FA cup run.

How do you think you’ll do against us? Win 2-1. Not sure if this is hope over expectation, but with both sides changing manager, this is probably to most difficult fixture to predict this weekend. 

General Questions:

In hindsight, what do you think to your summer transfer activity? Started really well, but then lost a striker and kept buying midfielders. Seem to be left with an unbalanced squad. A lot of very good players, but weak in a few key positions.

Who do you think will win the league this year? Man City

Which three teams do you think will go down?  Palace, Brighton and Huddersfield

Can you describe your season to date in less than 15 words? Anticipation of a great things, despair and now back to hope!

Any other comments?

Both Martinez and Koeman started well, teams sussed out our new way of playing and strolled through us to score at will. At least Martinez left us with a striker who scored goals. Now we have great faith in David Unsworth. If he doesn't get the job and the next manager is better, then that will be fine with me.