Ahead of Saturday's game against Stoke at The
Hawthorns, we caught up again with Rob, from the City blog
He gives us his views on his
season so far,
the match itself
and more. You can also follow
Rob on Twitter @ChiefDelilah.
Stoke's campaign so far? Were City fans expecting to have such a good season?
We're in dreamland to be honest.
I think most of us were feeling optimistic after a strong end to last season,
but then we lost three early home games to Villa, Leicester and Burnley and got
swamped by a season-long injury crisis and suddenly we were a bit twitchy. The
manager and the team have worked wonders to overcome those obstacles and have us
8th in the league.
club’s form been like in recent matches?
Really good - Hughes has pointed
out more than once that his teams tend to get stronger as the season wears on
and that's run true again this year. The only teams to beat us in the league
since Christmas are Arsenal and Manchester City. We did receive an embarrassing
tanning in the cup at Blackburn, but bounced back to win our next three games.
Mark Hughes needs to do better?
Nothing springs to mind at the
initial thoughts when it was announced that former City boss Tony Pulis had been
appointed at The Hawthorns?
I was absolutely staggered to be
honest. I thought it'd be the last job he'd go for, given that he's a well-known
control freak who likes to be in charge of most aspects of day to day
management, and your head coach structure, as I understood it, meant he wouldn't
have control of who was brought in, among other things. Factor in the contempt
you lot showed for our football when we was here and it looked like a marriage
made in hell. It's no surprise that he already seems to have kept you up without
breaking a sweat, but how things pan out next season will be very interesting.
of the season so far?
Bojan's emergence has been a joy
to behold - we haven't seen that kind of player in that kind of role at Stoke
for years. A genuine magician.
game you would rather forget?
That 4-1 humping at Blackburn.
the season so far?
I'd plump for Jon Walters. An
untouchable under Pulis, this was supposed to be the season in which he was
slowly phased out in favour of newer, shinier toys. Instead he's made himself
all but undroppable in arguably his best season in a Stoke shirt. He's the
embodiment of the spirit, work rate and values that have kept the club
comfortably in this league since promotion seven seasons ago.
Oussama Assaidi's second coming
was a big let-down. He's gone already.
tactics and line-up can we expect to see from Stoke on Saturday?
It'll probably be the usual
4-2-3-1. There is talk of Ryan Shawcross making his return having been out since
January, but my gut feeling is that the starting XI will be Begovic, Bardsley,
Wilson, Wollscheid, Pieters, Whelan, Nzonzi, Walters, Adam, Moses, Diouf.
and thoughts on Saturday’s game?
As well as we're doing I think
it's got 1-0 Albion written all over it. Stoke traditionally don't do well
against teams managed by TP. We've won just once in eight attempts, and that was
23 years ago.
Nailed on to be last on Match of
the Day. Seriously, how do you watch that every week...