CrazyIvan Posted November 25, 2009 Share Posted November 25, 2009 It's time for the Stoke preview and it's my first attempt at doing this so here goes... We have a damn good record at home since Sam took over and it started last year with the arrival of Stoke. That day we won 3 - 0 and that one game helped wipe very recent memories of the diabolical reign of he of, erm you know, the tennis match eyes, erm you know. Since this marks something of a landmark game (being the return of the team against whom Sam started his reign) I thought I'd take a quick look at his home record. Since his arrival Sam's complete league record at home is pretty impressive; 9 wins 6 draws and 2 losses. Taking this seasons home record it is even better with 4 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss. So we're facing a team who we seem to have been likened to a fair amount which I think is unfair but the daily rags have that lazy journo thing going on and repeat crap ad infinitum. I asked my sister-in-law, who lives in Stoke, if she could get one of her more erudite colleagues to answer a few questions. A fella named Steve Simcock did the honours and did a pretty decent job if you ask me... Your second season and you've won 4 at home and once away at Spurs with 4 losses and 4 draws. How do you think your season is going and do you think you'll suffer any 'second season syndrome'? Generally happy, but frustrated at not being able to understand team selections at times when £5m Tuncay constantly warms the bench. Can't see us suffering 2nd season syndrome as there seem to be a number of teams appear worse than us and Blackburn. All your local rivals have gradually sunk down the league tables while yours is a remarkable success story, why do you think that is and what do you think will happen to your local rivals long-term? That is just normality being restored!! They will be turned into a Tesco Extra (joke) Following on, who do you consider to be your rivals now? In terms of locality, it would be any Midlands team that is close – currently Wolves, last year West Brom. Overall, there is quite a rivalry between fans of ourselves and Hull on the message boards etc…. probably born out of us coming up at the same time and us not liking Phil Brown very much. What do you think of the Premier League now you've been in it for a year and the newness will have worn off? More/less exciting than the Championship, better, worse etc.? It's better from the viewpoint of seeing top players week-in week-out as opposed to borderline 2nd/3rd division players from those teams at the bottom of the Championship. Also like the fact there aren't many midweek games now! What about the standard of Premier League referees? Referees clearly favour the bigger teams and this is frustrating. In our last season we had a number of PL refs in the Championship for key games and they were not the best then either – perhaps they just don't like us!! Clear example being Chris Foy and him not sending off Rooney or Ronaldo last season for blatant fouls, but he saw fit to send off Wilkinson for retaliating to Ronaldo and his constant digs at him. Both Rovers and Stoke have been accused of being one-dimensional and boring, do you think either team is and how do we rid our teams of the bully boy tag? You play to your strengths – after all if we had the endless pots of money that some of the bigger teams seem to have, do they not play to their strengths in being able to buy the worlds best? I do get frustrated at being accused of relying on Delaps long throw, but then again, the manager doesn't help in not seeming to be able to drop Delap when he is not playing well or using others to take a long throw when he is not playing. Tony Pulis or Sam Allardyce and why? Pulis simply because I have no experience of Big Sam being a manager of my team. Plus, Big Sam may well leave for a bigger job should the opportunity arise. TP would only possibly leave for the Welsh national team. Last season, you were coming to Ewood to face a team who hadn't won in 11 games in the Premier League and had only appointed the new man a couple of days before the game. What did you hope and think you would get as a result then? Before Big Sam came, 3 points. After he was appointed, maybe a draw. When I saw our team, I knew we would lose with Pericard and Sonko playing and then Sorenson being injured in the warm up. What do you think the differences are between last season and now for yourselves and for us? Much more settled defence and the midfield is looking better with Etherington finding some form. Don't know about Blackburn as I've not really watched them closely apart from the last game at Bolton. Who do we need to watch out for in your team and who do you consider to be danger men in Rovers shirts? Along with that, what do you think of Blackburn lad James Beattie? Fuller is definitely our danger man although he has only scored one PL goal – he can turn a game on its head and can lay on a number of assists. Whelan and Lawrence in midfield (if played) as well as Tuncay if he is not benchwarming. Definitely Shawcross from set-pieces. I never look forward to facing Jason Roberts and don't fancy coming up against Dunne or McCarthy when they're on form. (I think he means Dunn... ) What are your predictions for this season in the league and cup for your team and what would you really like to see them do this season? Mid-table again and perhaps a cup run to the ¼ or semi finals. How do you think we'll do in the league and cup this season? Mid-table. Quarter finals in Cup. Finally, predictions for this match? A draw given your decent home form; this is on the proviso Pulis does not decide to go too negative based on your decent home form this season. Personally, I'm hoping for a repeat of last season and, with Sam going to be missing, we need our players to perform like they did that day. I think the watchword for this game is going to be concentration. Making sure our defenders deal with the long throw of Delap (yes it is a major weapon in the armoury of Stoke) and don't get pulled out of position by the Nob End reject (who reminds me of a Benni knock-off) Fuller. I'd like to see Beattie back as a Rovers player but instead we get to watch him this weekend. Hopefully he'll have a mare. For the statto's, a few quick ones versus Stoke. We've played them a total of 80 times. Rovers winning 38 and Stoke 29 with 13 draws. Home teams usually win more often and it's no surprise that it's also the case here. Rovers 29 wins to 6 losses and 5 draws scoring 104 and conceding 37. Stoke 23 wins to 8 losses and 8 draws scoring 77 conceding 42. Statistically we have the edge but it all comes down to what happens on the day. I don't do predictions so I'll leave that up to you lot... Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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