Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Stoke-ing the Flames

Not content with one ass-whooping, it seems that the players at Stoke City have resorted to beating each other as well.

It has emerged to day that Abdoulaye Faye and Glenn Whelan allegedy got into a fist fight with one another following their 7-0 humping at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Now, this is no major surprise. Fallings out within teams have existed ever since that fateful day when a load of bored young men decided to kick and chase a pig's bladder and christened this bizzare activity 'football'. There have been countless examples of disagreements and in-fighting down the years. It has always happened and will continue to do so given all the egos, Alpha-male-ism and testosterone flying around the changing room.

What is a worry however, is the fact that this does not seem to be a rare occurrence at the Britannia club. Whelan and Faye's Flip Flop fisticuffs is not the first incident of this kind at Stoke City.

Manager Tony Pulis was reported to have come to blows with striker James Beattie following a disagreement about a Christmas party last December.

And of course, who could forget this....

No doubt we'll soon be hearing the typical “it will be dealt with internally” line as well as the “this kind of thing happens all the time behind closed doors at every club” quote to accompany it. But does it? If it does, are Stoke just really bad at concealing it compared to other teams or is their problem far worse than elsewhere? I'm inclined to think the latter. Yes, you hear about disagreements (Hello, Dutch national team!) but rarely do you hear of players 'belting each other in the face'.

At the risk of stating the obvious, it is evidently clear is that there is a fundamental disciplinary problem within the Stoke City squad. It's not even credible to say that Pulis has lost control because as Beattie will tell you, the manager is seemingly part of the problem.

Stoke has been cited in the past for their 'robust' approach to the game of football culminating in the horrific leg break suffered by Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey earlier this year. At the time, so many were quick jump in and defend the both the perpetrator Ryan Shawcross and Stoke City's style of football. Well, all the defences and suggestions of 'not being that kind of player' lose all credence when more and more stories of heated internal battles come out.

They are clearly a team packed with thugs and animals who have no respect for their own team mates so when they say that they 'never go out to deliberately hurt other professionals' they are clearly lying. Tony Pulis was on TV once again last week suggesting that Shawcross isn't a maniacal, bloodthirsty hatchet man but when it is clear to all and sundry that the there is a culture of violence within the club, how can we take his comments seriously?

What amuses me is the fact that he isn't disappointed about the fact the Faye/Whelan incident even took place but rather because the story was leaked. This just how much perspective the man lacks.

If this is the attitude that Pulis fosters and encourages we can only hope they keep it behind closed doors. They can massacre each other for all I care so long as they don't continue to wreak the careers of many more promising youngsters like Ramsey or any of their other 'fellow professionals' at other clubs.

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