Chief Winder Upper: I can do that!
The JimmyG2 Column.
Football seems to be only of incidental interest to Stoke City fans. The Football 365 Stadium is not a venue to go to for the purist. They committed 19 fouls on Sunday which was more than Spurs and Chelsea managed combined last week at The Bridge.
But we won anyway. The smart ruse of introducing Danny Rose to take the heat off Dele Alli worked a treat. Danny was the Pantomime Villain from the start. 'Oh yes he was'. And Dele was at his Prince Charming best.
Hopefuls for the Three Ugly Sisters stretched right round the block before the game but perm any three from eleven and you won't be far out. Chief High Executioner Charlie Adams was injured or he would have been a shoo-in.
In the event I nominate Ryan Shawcross who is big enough, old enough and good enough to know better, but has for some years after leaving Man.Utd. been the leader of the pack around the Potteries.
Charlie has cruelly fouled some of the biggest names in football including our very own Gareth Bale. It is rumoured that Spurs legend Peter Crouch only joined Stoke to avoid being injured by him but he forgot about the training sessions.
This was a very 'untidy'game' which was my Mum's basic description of my bedroom. Not a complete shambolic mess; that was my brother's room. Just not consistent with the accepted standards which currently prevail.
We scored an elegantly worked goal through Dele's hold up play from a Dembele break out pass while he waited patiently for someone, anyone, to arrive in the box and he calmly played him in. Eriksen it was that showed first.
Then we conceded an untidy goal and scored another to win it. All the goals came in a 10 minute spell on the hour. Shaqiri's fine through ball finding Diouf and Lloris in a confrontation on the edge of the area which Lloris lost.
Cue much discussion whether Hugo is past it given that he is second in the league of fatal keeping errors which lead to goals with 5 such mistakes. Two in the last two games though neither has affected the result.
Last week he more than made up for his flap but this week hardly had much opportunity to demonstrate his value which is still in positive territory overall. But the future like the past is another country.
Xherdan Shaquiri has some quality and combativeness but his journey from Bayern Munich via Milan to Stoke shows the general direction of his career. But he is one of the few Stoke players likely to be playing in the Premiership next year.
But we survived the foul-fest intact; Danny was certainly worth his place as a distraction; Verts kept everything battened down at the back; Wanyama is clearly not up to speed and Dier's cameo in his place was worryingly unfocused or 'untidy' as my Mum would have it.
Harry too is not quite there yet and his claim for the second goal speculative at best. It was given to Eriksen anyway direct from the free- kick. Harry certainly helped by distracting Butland and is still hoping to be awarded the goal.
Son was erratic and missed a more than decent chance. Lamela was Lamela but didn't get a yellow card even though he was on for half an hour. Probably knows better than to poke a hornet's nest with a stick .
True to the occasion Danny Rose managed finally to achieve a booking in the 97th minute. We let them off lightly having beaten them recently by 4 goal margins including the last two away.
But Shaqiri hit the post with a free kick and Diouf had a couple of chances early on so perhaps not an unfair score-line overall. You still only get three points for winning whatever the score.
City up next and after this week and tomorrow night they will either be a dispirited mess or keen to re-establish their credentials. They could win the title by beating us at the weekend, incentive if we actually needed one.
There is still that nagging scenario where if Arsenal win the EUFA Cup and Liverpool win the Champions League and both finish outside the top four and we finish 4th we would miss out on the CL next season because only five teams from the Premiership can qualify.
Ridiculous I know but I said that when Chelsea won the CL, beating Barcelona on the way with Messi missing a penalty and we failed to qualify. Only Spurs fans would worry about it. But then I'm a Spurs fan. I worry.
And Chelsea are no longer ' Behind you' they are 11 points back ('Oh yes they are') with a game in hand and we are level on points with Liverpool with a game in hand. Not bad for a team playing all its games away from home.
It's not Pantomime Season in the rest of Britain but I suspect it's always a bit like Pantomime Season at Stoke. I just can't visualise Charlie Adams trying on the glass slipper though can you; skinning Dick Whittington's cat alive, certainly.
Jimmy's Video Spot:
While we're on the subject just in case he does go to Man.Utd as rumoured over many months here's a fitting tribute to one of our longest serving players and one of my favourites.
Strong, swift and impetuous and as good as most of our full backs present and departed at crossing the ball.
Please give it up for Danny Lee Rose.