Ferguson, programme notes: Stoke are a handful and I expect them to ask questions.
Ronaldo, post-match interview: The Boss told us to score at least twice before half time.
Final Score: Man U 5 Stoke City 0
Quick assessment for AndyP:
Now Listen, as Aidan O’Brien always says, anybody can lose 5-0 at United. The difficulty may be that a particular matter has now been exposed: Ferguson has revealed the way to play Stoke: pass and move. Of course, he has the resources to do that better than almost anyone, and the Big Two (there is no big four) can execute this more or less at will – Chelsea strolled past us at home, and indeed they have gone on to dish out the same treatment to both Hull and West Brazil.
Pulis is wont to talk bollocks following defeat – it’s always been his way, and it makes little difference to anything. The dismal thing is that you know he will never learn anything from watching Man United. The depressing follow-on from that is that our boys look so clueless once they are left with only one option: to attempt to play football; they have no idea how to pass and move because they are not coached to do so. To watch Nemanda Vidic and Jonathan Evans lap up hopeless punts to Ricardo time after occasional time was particularly pitiful. United actually share two ‘Pulis-team’ characteristics: they are excellent at set pieces and they defend with due vigour. The similarity ends there.