They may have only been able to fill less than half of the away end but Stoke fans have had plenty to say after losing to Newcastle on Saturday afternoon.
A good range of views but if there is one typical theme running through the comments, it is the Stoke fans looking at the failings of their own players rather than giving credit to Newcastle.
Just how good, or not, are Newcastle?
You can only beat what is in front of you and maybe no coincidence that three matches in a row, Newcastle have won AND been the better team.
Early days but the signs are good that a few more sets of fans in the coming months will be wondering how they got turned over ‘by a team like Newcastle’.
Comments from Stoke fans via their excellent ‘Oatcake’ message board:
‘60% possession and more shots than them on target. It’s arguable that we ‘deserved’ a point, but I don’t really feel we can have too many complaints.
Really, really low quality game though.’
‘They were definitely the better team for the bulk of the game and Joselu could quite easily have had 4. So it’s certainly hard to construct that argument!’
‘To be honest Newcastle were considerably better than I expected – I wouldn’t like to be the person trying to construct a reasoned argument to say we were as good as them or indeed deserved anything today.’
‘Its funny how it is games like this, against the average teams, where we would probably expect to win, where the weaknesses are more exposed eg lack of a striker, lack of wing backs, lack of a dominant midfielder.
I think we have a far better way of playing against the big boys this season. So that is a positive.
But we will have major problems scoring goals against the lesser teams who sit back more.’
‘We may be better playing 3 5 3 at home to the big guns but the system is entirely unsuited to games like yesterday where we were overrun in midfield by a very average team.’
‘Went today, thought we were lucky to be just one down at the break but were much better in the second half.
Defence was the difference between the two sides they defended better, we allowed them in behind us far too easily and a better side would have scored a few today .
We showed good spirit and attitude but didn’t look a balanced team for chunks of the game.’
‘Well according to the boss we both deserved something out of that and didn’t play badly!’
‘Could have drawn,could have lost heavily. Poor performance,not good enough.’
‘Oh no, not the beer monster, donkey jacketed Geordies.’
‘Just back home.
Very disappointing today, Newcastle were better at set pieces and Rafa exposed the weakness of having 3 CBs. They are too big and slow to turn and chase back so their fast forwards repeatedly got behind us.
The teams were separated by their GK who had an excellent game. Great goal be Shaqiri to compensate the journey in a small way.’
‘Defensively we looked shaky the whole game, but we created enough good chances to win the game too. A draw would probably have been a fair result in this game based on statistics and big chances made.’
‘I don’t understand some of the doom and gloom and derogatory comments above, we were not as bad as some make out.
Yes it was a bad day at the office and I think we were surprised at the poor defending at times where we created most of our own problems and gave Newcastle an easy game.
The match stats tell some of the facts, we were actually better on most of them; the game could have gone either way and a draw would have been a fitting result as at Everton. Both teams missed lots of chances to score, but where Rooney made the difference at Everton, yesterday it was their GK who made the difference.
On another day, we could have been going home with 3 points and Newcastle feeling robbed, that’s football. We also need to be patient and let our forwards develop an understanding which could take half a season.’
‘What are the benefits of Zonal Marking for Stoke City? I struggle to find even one argument for it’s use? Is it about the holding in the box? Because Fletcher seems to do his own thing and just grapple and man mark anyway.’
‘Stoke wasted some good chances in the last 10 minutes from Diouf, Ramadan, Moting, but Newcastle wasted more than that in 80 minutes, They deserved to win.
Draw against man u and loss to Newcastle = 1 point
Loss against man u and win against Newcastle = 3 points , this is why these games are more important than other games against top 6.’
‘Better team won.
Defence is still suspect.
Attack is as disjointed as it has been for a long time.
Got the feeling we expected the opposition to roll over.’
‘Newcastle aren’t a great side and we made them look half decent.’
‘Deservedly lost, could’ve been by a lot more if Joselu had his shooting boots on.
Only really Shaqiri is worthy of any praise, you won’t win many matches at any level when literally only one player bothers turning up.’
‘Outfought outplayed outcoached by a fellow struggler who looked miles better all over the pitch.’
‘We bossed the first 18 minutes of the game, but after they scored they really dominated the rest of the half, and we were lucky to only be one goal down at half time.
The goal we gave away was really needless though as Mame made a terrible pass and then seemed to forget his man at the back post too.’
‘Total inability to defend. Newcastle had 3/4 very good chances.
Conceded in every match this season bar Arsenal where we had to rely on Jack keeping us in it.’
‘All the intensity against Man Utd and Arsenal and we play like that against Newcastle. Poor mentality.’
‘Super disappointing. Made a pretty average team look decent on the counter.’
‘Poor throughout the side today. A little better second half and had chances to nick a point, but that would have been extremely harsh on Newcastle.
Thought they were excellent overall and should have won it more comfortably. They out-worked and our-fought us all over the pitch.
No excuses, move on to the next one and put it behind us.’
‘We still can’t grind wins out against teams that we really should be beating
Yes Newcastle have some decent players – you wouldn’t think so from today but not many of their players get into our team do they?’
‘We were second best and deserved sweet FA. A very frustrating game . Some glorious chances missed at both ends. Second week running we have conceded from a corner so maybe the zonal marking needs to be looked at as it’s not working.’
‘Got what we deserved today, would have been nice to nick a point in the end but we were awful.’
‘Diouf is like Joselu. Gets into good positions but totally wasteful. He is not the answer but I don’t know what is.’