This might be a little early but I'm just relieved that the international break is over and we can look forward to the game at the weekend.
Kelly Carra Agger Enrique
Henderson Lucas Adam
Suarez Kuyt Bellamy
Bench: Doni, Flanagan, Skrtel, Spearing, Maxi, Downing, Carroll
I'm not sure on right back as Kelly and Johnson are both doubtful but I don't think Johnson would be thrown straight back in anyway. The rest of the back four picks itself, the match might suit Coates because of his height but again I don't think away to Stoke would be a good time to give him his debut.
Plenty of options in midfield and attack. Carroll may play to give us an out-ball when Stoke inevitably put us under pressure. Downing's on good form and I expect he'll play but I think my team has a little more fight in it and with Bellamy in there we won't sacrifice much pace. He could be a very good impact sub too if the game isn't going our way.
I'm maybe putting a bit too much emphasis on the pyhsical side of the game but it's good to see that we've got a good mixture of techincal ability and pyhsical attributes in our squad.
As for Stoke, a lot is made of their home form but last season they lost 5 times at the Britannia (Spurs, Man Utd, Blackpool, Fulham and Wigan) so we should have absolutely nothing to fear. They could give debuts to Crouch, Jerome and Palacios so this could be a good time to play them before these new players settle in.
Have to agree with the majority of opinions in that we had the chances and didn't take them. DH who is a West Ham fan, watched the highlights with me and in respect to Henderson's miss uttered the single word "Greedy". My opinion of Henderson so far is that he is a poor and slow decision maker. He should have passed to Suarez. But he's young and he will be understudying Gerrard once he returns to fitness.
The referee wasn't particularly brilliant, but not the worst I've seen. Regardless of the penalties given and refused we should have killed the game in our favour several times especially with the clear chances and possession we had.
I'm not too sure whether he could've passed before his first shot:
He definitely chose the wrong option when it came back to him though:
My opinion of Henderson so far is that he is a poor and slow decision maker.
Yea, completely agree. It was very evident against Exeter too. Hopefully playing alongside better players will improve this part of his game.
I have to say I feel sorry for the guy as he's got a lot of unfair criticism especially considering his age. He's here for the long haul though and I just hope that he'll react positively to things like this, if he loses too much confidence and then loses his place in the team I just worry that it'll be a long way back for him.