Stoke chairman reckons fans would be ‘bored to death’ if they played like Arsenal



Despite having not seen his side score a league goal from open play since January, Stoke City owner Peter Coates has launched a strident defence of the team’s direct, any-means-necessary style of play, claiming fans would be ‘bored’ if every Premier League team played a proper passing game:

There’s a load of garbage talked about us.

I don’t think we want everyone to play like Arsenal do, we’d be bored to death.

Yeah, who cares about shit like fluid movement, pinpoint passing and dribbling wizardry when you could pay upwards of £40 to watch Rory Delap tossing a ball 30 yards across a field?

Coates also defended the way his side played during their FA Cup quarter-final victory over West Ham on Sunday, saying:

Don’t tell me they played better than us in any aspect. We absolutely slaughtered them in the first half. We didn’t out-muscle them, we outplayed them.


(The Spoiler assumes Coates missed the bit where the Hammers’ wall was very much ‘out-muscled’ during Danny Higginbotham’s match-winning free kick.)

6 responses so far
  • John // March 17, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    I didn’t agree with people saying Stoke don’t play football…but that doesn’t mean Arsenal play boring. Both are different versions…but Arsenal are not boring…

  • TO // March 17, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Arsenal are without doubt the most entertaining team to watch in the Premier League from a neutral standpoint… And this has been the case for some time now even when they are having a bad season… On the other hand I can’t stand Liverpool’s completely unimaginative tactics of simply punting the ball upfield

  • Adam // March 17, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    I don’t think Coates is trying to say Arsenal are boring he’s just saying that the league would be very boring if everyone played the same. Thats what makes the Premiership special – the fact that you have to beat teams of all styles to win the league.

    Arsenal fans seem to be a bit too precious about comments made about them and tend to be a bit too defensive. Coates probably didn’t mean any harm at all. (I take it this was written by an Arsenal fan?)

  • Andre // March 17, 2011 at 6:41 pm


    You apparently missed Stoke’s media campaign that went on for months following Shawcross’ horror tackle on Ramsey. It got to the point where one might be confused as to who was actually in the hospital with his leg in pieces.

    Pot/Kettle/Color and what not.

  • luigi cornuto // March 18, 2011 at 4:47 am

    Ah yes, the english fear of technical skills is still strong.
    What was it the FA used to say about ball possession? Nothing good can come about if you keep the ball too long or something like that?
    Luckily, there is still the second division for english players.

    EPL is popular around the world but in reality thats only true about the 6 top money clubs.
    No one in africa or south america cares about Stoke vs Sunderland or Wigan, Birmingham, Wolves, West Brom and on and on.
    Usually, if a game is on like that its treated like some kind of circus sideshow…. a parody of a game they play.

  • Neumanic // March 18, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    The fact that he had to clarify that Stoke’s “slaughtering” of West Ham meant “outplayed” says everything you need to know about the football philosophy of Peter Coates. This is the 2011 version of the annual whingeing about the English game compared to the continentals, and has been ongoing since the Premier League first started hiring foreign managers. Let Coates and Delap get back their “spirited” defense of long-pass, 9-behind the ball play. I’ll take Gunners with a side of Barcelona, please.

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