Don’t ever let anyone tell you Stoke City fans aren’t a passionate lot who love their club and their players. Due to an outpouring of support on the recent Premier League Footballer of the Week, I feel it necessary to give Mr. Fuller and the proud people of Stoke their full amount of credit that’s rightfully owed to them.
Listed as only an option in the poll that awards the top footballers of the week on EPL Talk, the Jamaican International Ricardo Fuller, having only played some 25 minutes during Saturday’s 1-0 away win, received by far the most votes in a landslide of support. Some 370+ mad Potters let their collective voices be heard as they refused to go quietly into a night that saw players from top 4 or potential top 4 clubs awarded the accolades.
If you haven’t seen it yet, Ricardo Fuller scored a solo goal to rival any of the other goals scored this past weekend or this past season for that matter. Having sat on the Stoke bench for the majority of the match, Fuller was introduced to a 0-0 game in the 67th minute. Stoke boss Tony Pulis looked the brilliant tactician as his second half substitution scored the only goal of the game with in two minutes of his introduction.
- Then the Villain, Now the Hero
Having been sent off in the same fixture last season for slapping his own team mate Andy Griffin, this time, Fuller emerged the conquer. When Fuller received a long ball at the edge of the West Ham box, he had it all to do. With the ball at his feet, Fuller ran straight at West Ham defender Manuel Da Costa before turning him inside out and cutting inside towards goal.
Once he had skinned one West Ham defender, he pulled the same trick on England International Matthew Upson by continuing his run towards goal and cutting inside again thus losing the on-rushing Upson in the process. Fuller’s brilliance was in avoiding not one, but two defenders and then creating the space he needed for an unobstructed, close range blast upon the helpless Robert Green in the West Ham goal.
1-0 to the Potters and a happy Stoke City claimed three points when the match looked set for a 0-0 draw. Stoke City currently sit 11th in the Barclays Premier League table with a game in hand. If they were to win the vital extra game, Tony Pulis could realistically see his well organized, tough to break down side finish in the top ten after finishing a modest 12th last season upon their return to the top-flight.
Stoke City have fantastic support home and away. To view their matches on TV is to witness one of the loudest and most passionate grounds in all of England. They love their club and they love their players. If you don’t agree with them, well, fine. Just be prepared to hear about it in the form of immense support from the fans and supporters of Stoke City.