‘Picked up and plonked’ – What away fans really think of Stoke City & bet365 Stadium – Richard Cusack


Stoke City’s ground is so well-known it has its own saying.

“Can he do it on a cold, rainy night in Stoke” has long been a barometer to measure whether a player is actually any good and, judging by the success City have had in recent years the answer has often been in most cases a flat no.

But what do the punters who have rocked up to watch their side take on the Potters?

Michael O’Neill‘s side have played 20 games at home in the Championship this season, welcoming nearly of all the League’s 24 sides to the bet365 Stadium.

This is your round up of all things Stoke; the one-stop shop that will keep you updated on the latest goings on at the bet365 Stadium and beyond.

Transfers, injuries, match-days and managers, we’ve got you covered.

We’ll be bringing the very latest on the Potters throughout the week and around the clock.

Make sure you keep yourself updated with our handy daily catch up…

 

Must reads…

For all your latest Stoke news, opinion, analysis and transfer gossip, click here

You can follow our Stoke reporter Peter Smith on Twitter, and his email address is peter.smith01@reachplc.com
You can follow our Stoke reporter Martin Spinks on Twitter, and his email address is martin.spinks@reachplc.com

It’s been a happy hunting ground for Stoke in recent weeks, dropping just five points on home turf since the last weekend in November.

Here’s what those who have come to watch their side in action think of the ground…

Dave Hammond (Swansea City)

“It was about 20 minutes walk from the rugby club to the ground and plenty of home fans were making the same journey on foot.

“The ground is in the middle of an industrial estate with countless car garages and warehouses so not the best location but the stadium itself was excellent.

“The away end was spacious and had good facilities for the 682 Swans fans that had made the trip.

“There is a gap between the away end and the double-decker Main Stand so the wind whistles through and I would recommend bringing a hat and gloves with you in the winter.”

Adrian Hurst (Sheffield Wednesday)

“The ground looked as though it had been picked up and plonked around several car showrooms and other units in a remote area.”

Ben Preston (QPR)

“The journey was simple as I drove up. Parking is also very simple as there is a Harvester outlet near the ground on Trentham Lakes which allows match day parking for five pounds.

“I always enjoy visiting Stoke. I’ve done the bet365 stadium twice now and both times I’ve enjoyed it. Last year we drew 2-2 and this year we won 2-1 on the opening day. This was my Mrs first game and she absolutely loved it!”

Norman Wilson (Millwall)

“The Chicken Balti pie was as good as any but not too hot so as to burn myself. The service of food and hot drinks was from one counter with alcohol from another. The wind was clearly having an effect on the game and the match was a tame 0-0 draw.

“Very good experience except for the football. We could all have stayed at home and watched paint dry.”

John Holland (Norwich City)

“It was a pleasure to meet so many Stoke fans before the match and it was a good match for neutrals.

“It is a more impressive stadium than I had expected, probably helped by being on a hill and with the sunny weather. The sun shone on the away end which made it hot which I expect is a rare problem. The seat spacing was as good as any I’ve seen and the seats were comfortable.”

Ross (Rotherham United)

“It was a poor atmosphere from Stoke fans even when they went 2-0 up in the first half.

“I haven’t been to the new Stoke ground so that’s a winner. Plus it is an ex-Premiership stadium too. It is quite good but the openings in a couple of the stadium corners can let a chilling breeze through.”

Stoke City’s bet365 Stadium

William Biss (Reading)

“On seeing the ground from my coach as I was arriving, I was really impressed by the way it looked both in terms of structure and build quality.

“I’d go back again when we play them next season. The bet365 Stadium ground is definitely recommended by me for those who haven’t been before.”

KP (Bristol City)

“I had not been to Stoke before and wanted to “tick” this one off.  The ground looked very good, I thought it looked smaller than 30,000 capacity but it was obviously deceptive.

“This was a perfect away day. An easy journey up and back. Convenient car parking, albeit a £6 charge. A short walk to a pub, a few pints then another short walk to a nice stadium and watch us (apparently) steal all three points.”

Simon (Brentford)

“I personally loved the ground. Nice views, big enough to be impressive and good leg room. The PA system is loud, in fact very loud, so if bringing youngsters bear this in mind. Also, you will end up singing to Tom Jones… I tried to resist, but hey I’m only human.

” A word of warning to travelling fans, bring cash. I know it’s not the only club, but it’s 2018 and you’ve just come from the Premier League and you don’t accept card payments at the food and drink kiosks. Seriously sort it out. so no pie or coke for this lad.”

*The reviews can be found at footballgroundguide.com





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