Phil Bardsley, Charlie Adam & Jon Walters All On Form As Stoke City Go ‘Full Stoke’ Against Chelsea (Videos)

Chris Wright

23rd, December 2014


By Chris Wright

They may have lost in the end, but Stoke City – as is their wont – didn’t make things easy for Chelsea at the Britannia last night.

The major talking point was a buffeting tackle from Phil Bardsley on Eden Hazard which sent the Belgian arse-over-tit on the touchline and earned the Stoke defender a yellow card for his troubles…

Many of the more sensitive observers out there seem to think Bardsley’s foul merited a straight red, but we’re having none of that gobbledegook.

That’s definitely what a yellow card tackle used to look like in the olden days – you know, before the entire sport went unofficially non-contact.

Nothing in it as far as we’re concerned. A little bit dirty, yes; deliberately intended to scythe down the prissy winger, yes; but not really dangerous.

The booking was perfectly sufficient.

However, we can’t really defend Charlie Adam, who had several goes at chucking an elbow at Andre Schurrle in the second half…

What has happened to Adam over these past few years? There was a time when he was the man whose set-piece delivery was “worth £10million alone“.

Now he’s just settled into this caricature-ish role as Stoke’s filthy, elbow-swinging, lumpy, Sunday League-esque “hardman”.

Elsewhere, footballing throwback Jonathan Walters also got stuck in – wrestling Didier Drogba to the ground by clamping on a good ol’ fashioned sleeper hold/snuggly cuddle…

Aww. How sweet. A dirty bastard with a heart of gold.

We kind of harbour a begrudging respect for Stoke, if we’re honest.

After all, it’s as valid a way of approaching games as any other, we suppose – making life a misery for high-falutin’ opponents by playing right on the jagged edge.

It’s not like they actually upset anything. Nature still managed to take its course: they lost, the big boys won but went home with shins full of bruises.

Stoke gon’ Stoke.

Posted in Chelsea, Hardmen, Injuries, Newsnow, Stoke City, Videos, Vine

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  1. muppets says:

    I disagree with your reasoning, although perhaps not your conclusion. I don’t think it was an intentional foul, hazard was too fast. You could argue he should have been sent off for excessive force, but I think the speed they were both going made the tackle look worse than it was.

    I also think it’s unfair, given the circumstance to accuse Hazard of being prissy. Or ever, for that matter. He’s remarkably tough for someone of his stature.

  2. Nuno says:

    Have to completely disagree on the “not dangerous” part. That is as dangerous as it gets, he could easily injure his knee.
    The problem is it was a knee-high tackle. He was NEVER going to hit the ball, it was solely intended to hit the player, and at that speed it could really do serious damage (it that was on Ramsey, he’d be injured for another 6 months).
    Not saying it was a clear, straight red, I accept that’s arguable, but saying it wasn’t dangerous is just plain wrong.

  3. Patrick says:

    I agree on the tackle bit. Seems to me that the FA and its refs are slowly removing tackling from the game altogether–any touch at any point is a foul, even a yellow, these days.

    And I love how Walters starts to laugh, awesome.

  4. Matt in Chattanooga says:

    “Stoke gon’ Stoke” – excellent! not sure how happy Sparky would be with that generality as he’ll have you believe he’s steering them away from Pulisball tactics, although your video evidence certainly points away from his assertions, regardless of what Bojan has done recently.

    however, i’m stealing “Stoke gon’ Stoke” to use, just letting you know…unless of course you have copyrighted the phrase…in which case i’ll contact your lawyers. i love the phrase that much.

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