Premier Pl W D L F - A Pts
Home 0 0 0 0 0 - 0 0
Away 0 0 0 0 0 - 0 0
Total (Prem) 0 0 0 0 0 - 0 0
Home (Div One) 26 20 5 1 56 -19 49
Away (Div One) 26 7 8 12 26 -34 24
Total(Div 1) 52 27 13 13 82 -53 73
Home(Div Two) 7 6 1 0 18 - 7 13
Away(div Two) 7 2 1 4 9 -11 5
Total(Div 2) 14 8 2 4 27 -18 18
Total (Prem) 0 0 0 0 0 - 0 0
Total (Div1) 52 27 13 13 82 -53 73
Total (Div2) 14 8 2 4 27 -18 18
Grand Total 66 35 15 17 109 -71 91
Last Six Premiership results:-
Stoke 3-2 A. Villa
M'brough 2-1 Stoke
Stoke 2-3 Everton
Liverpool 0-0 Stoke
Stoke 0-2 Chelsea
P'tsmouth 2-1 Stoke
Spurs 1-2 S'derland
Chelsea 1-1 Spurs
Spurs 1-2 A. Villa
Spurs 0-0 Wigan
P'tsmouth 2-0 Spurs
Spurs 0-1 Hull
Pos P W D L F-A GD Pts
19 Stoke 7 1 1 5 8-14 -6 4
20 Spurs 7 0 2 5 4-10 -6 2
When you play Stoke City for the first time in 23 years, it is inevitable that you start by mentioning their most famous son - Sir Stanley Matthews, gentleman and wizard footballer. The last time we played Stoke, it was at their Victoria Ground Stadium, so this will also be our first visit to the Britannia Stadium in Sir Stanley Matthews Way.
Matthews is most often remembered in relation to the "Matthews" Final in the 1953 FA Cup, but he was playing for Blackpool then. Sir Stanley was born in Hanley, Stoke in February, 1915, and signed professional forms for Stoke in 1932. He ended his career there, at the age of 50 in 1965. Matthews represented England over a period of 23 years, and to this day is the oldest footballer to have represented England, having played his last International in May 1957.
A Stanley Matthews farewell match was played at Stoke in April, 1965, in which a Great Britain team lost 6-4 to a Rest of Europe side. Matthews' team-mates in that game included Spurs legends Jimmy Greaves, Alan Gilzean and Cliff Jones, along with England stars George Cohen, Johnny Haynes and Bryan Douglas. Homage was paid suitably to Matthews by the presence in the European side of such legendary names as Yashin, Di Stefano, and Puskas.
Sir Stanley passed away at the age of 85 in the Millennium year, and his ashes were buried beneath the centre circle at the new stadium. I saw Stanley Matthews at the opening ceremony for Euro 1996, but how I wish I'd seen him playing football in the flesh.
Stoke's biggest success was winning the League Cup in 1972, when they beat Chelsea 2-1, thanks to goals by Conroy and Eastham. The Stoke side included another famous son, Gordon Banks, who remains their most capped player, winning 36 of his 73 England caps whilst at The Potteries. As a result Stoke played in the UEFA Cup in the following season. They also played in that competition in the 1974-5 season.
Stoke's 14 year run in the top flight ended in 1977, but they were back after two years, only to disappear in 1985 until the present day. During this period, Stoke spent two periods in the third level of league football. Their support remains strong though, and helped Stoke win their one and only game so far this season, at home to Aston Villa. Stoke's other main weapon seems to be the long throw of Rory Delap, who has played against Spurs in previous years for Derby County and for Southampton. I cannot recall him being known then for his long throw, so can only assume it is a fairly recently discovered talent!
The Stoke crowd famously have their own rendition of Tom Jones' "Delilah", but the reason for its use is not clearly known.
So, here we are in late October playing in a match being shown on Sky and billed as a crunch match between the bottom two. Here we are in late October, without a win, and without a league goal in our last three games.
Pavlyuchenko is out for a few weeks. There is no sign yet of the return of Alan Hutton, and Ledley King will probably be held back for next Thursday's game in Italy.
Here I am, in late October, hoping against hope that Spurs can get that elusive first win to at least take them off the bottom of the table, if not out of the bottom three. Such is the mess we have got into that it will take two wins to give us hope of escaping the bottom three.
Such is the mess we've got into that anything less than a win could condemn us to bottom three status for a long time yet.
I'll go for a narrow win then, but there will be no way of glazing over a disaster in the Potteries if that is not achieved.
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