Wed, Jun
43 New Articles


Kenwyne Jones battles with Vincent KompanyALL Stokies should be jumping for joy at the absence of Manchester City skipper and defender Vincent Kompany... especially Kenwyne Jones.

Kenwyne comes into the game in fine form and confidence judging by his three goals for Trinidad over the past week.

And the injured Kompany will be a huge miss for City.

Stoke have done so well against Man City at the Britannia that this game is no longer seen as a bonus fixture.

Manuel Pellegrini's team have made a mediocre start and Kompany's injury has left them with a soft under belly in the centre of their defence.

I feel that with Kenwyne on top of his game at the moment he can cause problems for Joleon Lescott and whoever plays alongside him.

Kompany brings out the best in his partner and as Cardiff's 3-2 win over City showed three weeks ago, you can get at this current team.

For me, tomorrow is about Stoke doing the ugly things well and not letting City settle on the ball to prevent them getting their passing game going.

Stoke must play the longer ball up to Kenwyne and play off him because one thing is for sure, going forward City are a match for anyone.

But going back towards their own goal, they are suspect at the moment.

If Stoke can pressurise them up the pitch and confine the space, then any long balls played by City will be eaten up at the back by the likes of Ryan Shawcross and Robert Huth.

Give City the time to play, though, and they will destroy most teams.

So that for me is the game plan Stoke need at the weekend.

When I played at Stoke and we had good results it was all about us getting in people's faces and that's what will be required tomorrow.

Stoke will have to be on their guard at the back with the likes of Sergio Aguero and the rejuvenated Edin Dzeko in town.

These players are so good because they only need a half chance to make a difference.

Like I say, Stoke need to press high up the pitch, but they need to do it as a team because any gaps from defence to midfield will be exploited.

I'm confident of a good result for my old team and I reckon I won't be the only one.

And what a start to the season that would make after already taking six points from three games when I thought four would be a good return.

I HEAR a few people have been talking about Tony Pulis as the future Wales manager and that's something I could see happening at some stage.

There is no doubt that he's a proud Welshman and I'm sure he would do well.

Funnily enough, I spoke to him briefly last week when he was in America taking in some coaching sessions and watching his son Anthony play in the play-offs for Orlando, which they won and so full credit to them.

I'm sure Pulis will be a manager again in the future and I'm sure he will be successful once more after recharging his batteries, it's just a case of where and when.

I've also seen reports of Alan Hansen retiring from Match Of The Day and it will be interesting to see who takes his place.

I'd like to see a pundit who will be somewhat opinionated in the right way and challenge the other guests.

Match Of The Day is still a huge draw and long may it continue, but I think a new face would freshen things up a bit.

I'M now preparing for a long journey down to Salisbury this weekend with my Chester team-mates and can't wait for the game after a win and a draw in my first two run-outs in the Skrill Premier.

Friday nights and Saturdays are happier for me now and I'm glad I have got those feelings back.