The 12 Fails of Christmas: Day 9 – Stoking the fires

Howl loves nothing better than a clumsy analogy with football. Wales and Stoke City? Yes, of course we can shoe-horn those two completely different sporting concepts together into an article which appears to have been written by a child.

‘Wales are not rugby’s answer to Stoke City, they’re better than that, much better’

After losing to England in the 6 Nations, Howell asked ‘why do Warren Gatland’s Wales employ what football pundits would term ‘long ball tactics’ when he’s got enough attacking talent in his squad to play the Bayern Munich way?’

He went onto to say they resembled ‘Stoke City in that they employ rugby’s route one equivalent of the crude methods made famous particularly under their old boss Tony Pulis’, criticised them for being ‘boring’ and concluded that Wales ‘are not rugby’s answer to Stoke City, they’re better than that, much better’. A few months later with Gatland under pressure, Howell changed tack completely with this …

‘What’s starting to happen now reminds me of how astute manager Tony Pulis left Stoke City’. ‘He’d done a remarkable job keeping them in the Premier League but a vocal lobby wanted more and got louder as the years went on.’

‘They claimed – and it is unlikely to happen – Stoke should have been pushing for bigger things and used the spurious grounds that his supposed long-ball tactics were boring.’ ‘It’s debatable the Potters are any better under Mark Hughes.

Don’t some say the same about so-called Warren-ball? Just maybe Pulis and Gatland weigh up the strengths and weaknesses of their teams and devise suitable tactics accordingly to get the best out of them’.

Now, ignoring how lazy football to rugby analogies are, in a matter of months Howell went from criticising ‘boring’, ‘long ball tactics’ and concluding Wales were ‘much better’ than rugby’s Stoke, and ought to be playing ‘the Bayern Munich way’ with their talented attacking players….to, er… criticising those who called them ‘boring’, ‘long ball tactics’ and saying Gatland is rugby’s Tony Pulis and ‘devises suitable tactics’.


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