Bassett’s Diary – August 2012
Capital One Cup 2nd Round Draw
We’ve been drawn away to Notts County in the second round of the League Cup. Having already beaten County in pre-season, I’m quietly confident about this one. We couldn’t have got a much easier draw, and I’m looking forward to the trip to Nottingham, as we look to get a cup run going.
West Brom 0-4 Stoke – Premier League – 19.8.2012
Begovic, Lustig, Huth, Shawcross, Pieters, N’Zonzi, Abrashi, Kightly, Etherington, Crough, N’Djeng
Subs Used: Wilson for Abrashi (82)
Goals: Etherington (4), N’Djeng (19, 82), Huth (58)
MOTM: Etherington (Stoke)
New signing Paddy McCourt has been ruled out for the next 2-3 weeks with a calf strain, which he sustained in training. Thankfully, he isn’t essential to my plans, but could still play a part, so hopefully this injury won’t have too many implications. As it stands, he’s the only injury in our squad, so nothing to worry about yet.
Stoke 2-0 Chelsea – Premier League – 25.8.2012
Begovic, Lustig, Huth, Shawcross, Pieters, N’Zonzi, Abrashi, Kightly, Etherington, Crouch, N’Djeng
Subs Used: Shotton for Lustig (HT)
Injuries: Mikael Lustig (bruised rib, 4-5 days)
Goals: N’Djeng (23), Crouch (78)
MOTM: Crouch (Stoke)
Notts County 2-3 Stoke – Capital One Cup R2 – 28.8.2012
Butland, Wilkinson, Huth, Shotton, Muniesa, Wilson, N’Zonzi, Pennant, Shea, Lita, Walters
Goals: Zoko (41, 75); N’Zonzi (30), Lita (36), Huth (64)
MOTM: Zoko (Notts County)
Capital One Cup Third Round Draw
After overcoming Notts County at Meadow Lane and winning a chance to play in the Third Round, we were drawn at home to Derby County, which should be another winnable tie as a team. We may have struggled slightly in the County game, but I harbour no worries that on our own ground, we will be in a bad position at the end of the game. Hopefully it’ll be another victory, and my minimum target for this particular competition will be reached. The tie will be played on the 25th September, after a double of games against the two Manchester sides.
Barring a miracle, I am now confident that we’ve completed our transfer business for the summer, after we finished the signing of Hibernian’s young striker Euan Smith, for £250k, which could rise with add-ons. The 18-year-old has been given rave reviews by my scouts, and is also thought upon as a great prospect in Scotland. Smith will join us at the start of next summer’s transfer window, when his current loan spell at Arbroath finishes.
Also, our young Swiss striker Karim Rossi has completed a season-long loan switch to Championship side Doncaster Rovers in a bid to try and gain first-team action. Who knows, we could be seeing Smith and Rossi line up together in a few years’ time!
All-in-all, a good month as a team. We had some fantastic results – particularly the 2-0 victory over Chelsea, in which we could have won by more – and also signed a couple more players who’ve started to make a difference. Yannick N’Djeng has particularly impressed me this month, with three goals in two league games. Meanwhile, I picked up the Manager of the Month award, which shows it’s been so far, so good at Stoke for me!
Thanks to our good start, we've managed to get to third place in the league, behind the two Manchester clubs, who are arguably the best two teams in England. However, they both play us next month, and with a lot of luck, we could move even further up the table!