The enforced international break probably didn’t help us much, but having come into the game at the Britannia on a promising little run and AJ having scored six goals in his previous couple of games had given us all hope. Of course, we wouldn’t be Fulham if we hadn’t then gone on to lose.

 Since Bairdinho put Stoke to the sword back last season Stoke have lost just once at their gaff, so it wasn’t going to be easy to take another 3 three points off them. And after a drab and dull first half it wasn’t going to get much easier. Out of all the goals the Potters have conceded in the Premier league ¾ of them have been in the first half of games, and having failed to muster a shot on target it was gonna be hard work. Riise hit the woodwork, but we still had to wait until the 80th minute until either side had a shot on target, and wouldn’t you know it they scored from it.

It wasn’t a great day and at no point did the side look likely to break the away day hoodoo we seem to have.  The only idea I have is for us all to club together and pay for Daddy Gatesy to go to every away game, after his three away trips last season to Stoke, Sunderland and Birmingham were fairly successful…

Usually you’d expect a match with a billing as high as ourselves at Stoke would occupy the prime spot of last on Match Of The Day (I like to think of it as all of the other teams warming the audience up us), but that’s without reckoning on QPR and Blackburn. Two teams who seem determined to make sure Wigan have a fight on their hands in the race to rock bottom place and relegation.

Who’d have thought that Steve Kean would still be employed by now? Well he is. And bless him, despite most of Blackburn being willing to drive him home to Surrey and the table showing how bad they’ve been he’s soldiering on. You’ve got to admire that.

As I say, Wigan are giving it a brave try in getting relegated before Christmas. Going into the game against Bolton both teams were in an awful run of form. Surely if there’s one team you want to face currently when you’ve gone six games without a win are the Latics. And the duly obliged Bolton and helped them on their short trip home with all three points.

In the Black Country derby Uncle Roy altered the baggies formation from the 4-5-1 he’s been trying recently back to the more familiar 4-4-2 and had instant results with a nice 2-0 win, and subjected Wolves to their fifth successive defeat.

Norwich took full advantage of playing at home and managed to get one over on fellow newly promoted side Swansea, winning 3-1. While Arsenal had to rely on RVP to score a free kick to take maximum points from the visit of the Black Cats. Seb Larsson himself scored a decent free kick earlier in the game, cancelling out Van Persies first minute goal. The Sunderland players goal from the free kick now means he has scored 8 goals from these set pieces out of his 14 goals in England, and has Wenger saying he’s the best at it in the league.

Meanwhile, up the top of the table Man Yoo came from behind to get a draw at local rivals Liverpool, even without Rooney being deemed suitable to start for the Champions. Having now played the scouse, Arsenal, Chelsea and Spuds Sir Alex has declared that having played all the big boys he’s pleased with their run of results. He clearly/purposely forgot about the small matter of the Manc derby next weekend. Hopefully that’ll bring the best out of Super Mario Balotelli. This week he has put himself forward to organise the City Christmas party. You can only imagine what fun that’ll be. Especially when a club ‘source’ tells a Sunday paper:


“Mario isn’t one for drinking and falling out of clubs, he just thinks he can take a party to the next level.

“But some of the lads aren’t so sure. They are half-expecting imported snow with tigers and dwarves.”

Talking of City, they moved a couple of points clear at the top of the tree following their 4-1 win over Villa. Cheslea keep the pressure on the Manchester based clubs with a three one win over Everton at the Bridge. Also sitting in the top four are Newcastle. They seemed to have been beaten with a Defoe strike during thr Sky Super Sunday game until Shola Ameobi scored a late equaliser to keep them in the Champions League places. I could describe the goal, but he did such a grand job on his twitter account, I’ll let him do it again (edited for his potty mouth…)



Next up for the whites is a trip of to Krakow for a Europa League fixture with Everton waiting for us back at the Cottage when we return next Sunday. Until then we currently occupy twelfth spot in the Premier League Table.

And talking of Europe, they’re way ahead of us on the continent. Even places like Donetsk. Yeah, I know. When I was there I thought I’d somehow boarded a plane that was heading back to the middle ages, butapparently not. We had the big hoo-hah last season about women assistant referees, but over there in the steel capital of Ukraine they show us how it should be done. Well done Shaktar!