Great Post, agree with most of that. Just on the last point about blame, I personally think when you play expansive football as we are trying to do at the moment, you are naturally going to leave yourself more exposed and that's the sacrifice with playing this type of football as I'm starting to realise. Even if you have the best players in the league when you're playing offensive front foot football you have to allow for soft goals going against as the team is more exposed, we still only have 11 players afterall. Its easy to have a go at our starting 11 when things don't go right but that back 4 are good by championship standards at least.
Stoke have good quality players for this league and they played well stifling us and that's what they did today and fair play to them. teams in general will also figure a way to stifle us and we need to rise to that.
I think Smith will hopefully get around this. I wouldn't want anyone other the Smith to navigate this season to be honest.