Paul Lambert: Stoke City Cannot Rely On Xherdan Shaqiri Like Lionel Messi

Stoke City manager Paul Lambert feels the club cannot be solely reliant on Xherdan Shaqiri to change the club’s fortunes. The Switzerland international is the Potters’ leading contributor this term with seven goals and a further six assists, but this has not been sufficient to propel the club above the drop zone.

Speaking in a press conference, Lambert stressed that the Potters cannot be ‘too reliant’ on one player unlike he is of the calibre of Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, he said: “I don't think you can be too reliant on one player. I think it is a difficult thing for that to happen unless you are Lionel Messi or that type of player. Xherdan Shaqiri has done well for us but he needs a little bit of help as well. We need it from other areas on the pitch, if we get that we are certainly in the game. I think that's where if everybody chips in with some goals we stand a better chance.”

Stoke are currently lying three points adrift of safety with just seven games to play, and their fixtures do not get easier, considering they have to face-off against the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Burnley. Two of those games against Arsenal and Liverpool are on the road, and it would not come as a surprise, if Lambert adopts an ultra-defensive approach in order to scrape a point from one of those games.

The Staffordshire outfit take on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium this weekend, and their chances of a victory are slim considering the form of the opposition in their home patch. Stoke have enjoyed a strong run against the Gunners at the Bet365 Stadium, but their record has not been the same in North London where they have lost nine straight games since their top-flight promotion in 2008.