Bojan, Crouch and Walters

Bojan looks to be the centre of a bid from Middlesboro, although Mark Hughes in his press conference today said Bojan was going nowhere, although he is injured and misses tomorrow’s game at Sunderland.

Peter Crouch has signed a one year extension to his current contract which keeps him at the club until 2018.

Jonathan Walters has had knee surgery and is likely to be out for a few weeks.

Only one incoming transfer has gained any traction, the continued pursuit of West Brom’s Saido Berahnio. Spurs are reportedly interested again with Pulis and West Brom keener to cash in now as Berahino’s contract expires this summer.

Sunderland six pointer

A real six pointer this weekend as we take on Sunderland at home, the only team currently below us in the Premier League. We have a couple of injury doubts in Joe Allen and Glen Johnson, with Jack Butland due back early next month.

Sunderland could welcome back Victor Anechebe and of course they have Jermaine Defoe who always seems to have a good game against us! Plus we could see the battle of the yellow cards as Lee Catermole and Phil Bardsley, if he starts, vie to get booked first.

The game is a sell out and lest hope for our first league win of the season.

Sunderland 3-1 Stoke City

Poor defensively again and Charlie Adam got our goal which did even the game out for awhile at 1-1. Really need to get back to a Pulis like defence and stop these lapses of concentration which cost us there and at QPR away. Could see Huth back in place of Wilson if Huth is fit enough.

Worrying the amount of injuries we pick up under Mark Hughes though with Victor Moses off injured and really hope he is back, along with Diouf before our next game. Also in the physio room currently are Geoff Cameron and a long term injury to Peter Odemwingie.

Swansea next at home after the international break and that is a fixture we must get at the very least a draw from.

Stoke City 1-0 Newcastle

Begovic; Bardsley, Shawcross, Wilson, Muniesa; Whelan, N’Zonzi, Diouf (Arnautovic), Adam (Ireland), Moses (Assaidi); Crouch

Subs: Pieters, Huth, Bojan Krkic, Sørensen

Good to get our first home win and points of the season as Crouch headed home thanks to a Moses cross fifteen minutes into the first half. The pace of Moses, Diouf (who went off injured early on) and Arnautovic caused Newcastle lots of problems, plus they linked up well with Crouch, something he praised in his post-match interview. Muniesa was impressive again at left back and Moses has proved to be a real asset so far this season.

Not so great for Alan Pardew who was barracked by the away supporters, some of whom held up posters, a sign of the modern age using the internet to get rid of your manager!

Next up Sunderland away which will be a harder game than the recent Capitol One Cup win up there last week. Diouf has been called into the Senegal squad for this game in mid-October against Tunisia. Hopefully his injury won’t see him out of action for too long.

Sunderland 1-2 Stoke City (Capitol One Cup R3)

Butland, Huth, Muniesa, Shawcross, Bardsley, N’Zonzi, Adam, Assaidi (Crouch), Ireland, Diouf, Arnautovic (Moses) Subs: Pieters, Sidwell, Bojan Krkic, Wilkinson, Sorensen

Great away win and especially as that’s our first away against Sunderland since way back in 1994. Two cracking goals by Marc Muniesa put us through as we dumped last year’s runner-ups out of the Capitol One Cup. Couple of outstanding saves by Jack Butland kept us in the game.

Good to see Stephen Ireland get some game time, although he looked knackered in the second half, whereas Arnautovic looked a shadow of his former self although hopefully like last season he will find his form. Bizarre how Arnie was subbed too with his theatrical injury just as a corner was about to be taken. Assaidi had some good runs down the wing too, although he looked tired by the middle of the second half with Crouch replacing him for the last ten minutes of the game.

Southampton at home next in the cup.

Newcastle next Monday at home in the league, let’s hope we can get a decent result as away from home we are now four games unbeaten this season!

Phil Bardsley signs for Stoke

Yes that’s right we’ve signed a player before the end of May! Sunderland right back Phil Bardsley today signed a three year contract after leaving Sunderland after six and half years. He officially joins the club on July 1st.

Meanwhile striker Mama Diouf has left Hanover and has also been at Stoke today to discuss terms. Mark Hughes has tried to sign him in January. No further news but be good if Stoke get in quick and sign him on pre-contract terms.

Michael Kightly is still wanted by Burnley although the two clubs have yet to agree a fee.

Brek Shea seems to be staying at Stoke for now although a move back to the US could still happen over the summer.

Sunderland 1-0 Stoke City

Oh dear…down to ten men after N’Zonzi was sent off and we played more attacking football with ten men on the pitch. Sunderland were there for the taking, even a draw should have been the bare minimum we got tonight. Odemwingie had a good debut and even better when he played up top once Crouch was taken off. Not sure why Walters came on (subject to a £2.5m bid from Crystal Palace which we have turned down as we wantt £5m!) and feel sorry for Gudetti with a four minute added injury time cameo. Can see him wanting back to Man City at this rate!

So we could be in the bottom three after Saturday’s game against Man Utd which we will need to keep the goal difference down. I just can’t see where the goals will come from in the current system of Crouch on his own up top. Sort it out Hughes and where is Pottermouth when you need him with a rallying cry? After forty years supporting Stoke it is always a roller coaster ride supporting them!