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shefcanary

Brilliant article - dispels the myth of Stoke - we're not doing so bad

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The attached is a link to an article by Michael Cox, probably one of the best writers on the game at the moment.  In it he demonstrates that Stoke are the third highest spenders in the EPL, yet serve up total dross, whilst apparently not investing in the youth set up (as witnessed by our own lads whipping them 5-0 at their own ground).  Yes, Hughton is focussing on results in his tactics at present, but I believe things will change once he has next summer to get in the players he wants for his system.  You can''t see any hope in the Stoke "plan" - let''s not go there.

 

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/blog/_/name/tacticsandanalysis/id/838?cc=5739

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Does anyone actually watch Stoke?

Because they can, and do actually play some nice football...

Players like Crouch and Jones are actually just as good on the ground, probably better in Crouch''s case, he''s a rubbish header of the ball really, he''s just very tall (well not necessarily rubbish, but he often lacks power and direction). They have 2/3 decent wingers, ok their main job is to cross the ball to the big men, but they are decent players. And they actually have a ball playing playmaker in Charlie Adam.

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GP; my Brother in law and his son are Stoke season ticket holders.  Both are really finding it tough to keep up much enthusiasm this season.  I note your view on them being able to play some good football, but speaking to them whilst they acknowledge that this is true, the expectation is that they would be playing so much more of it and looking a top 3 team in line with the amount of cash that has been splashed.  They can''t believe how mediocre the fare is that has been served up.  

 

Pulis always tends to go for the safe option in their view - get a goal, defend the win.  This is not too far removed from the current discussions on this site about Hughton, but unlike Pulis, this is Chris'' first season.  Stoke really should have moved on further than they have done (which is the point of the article) than they have done.  What they are saying is they can almost pre-determine the result from the announcement of the team before kick-off and are regularly switching off and planning their trip home as soon as they get their heads in front.  They actually look forward to going a goal down as that is the only time Stoke tend to play the good football that you talk about. 

 

The myth here is not so much the quality of the football, but the fact that Stoke are so heavily bankrolled!  Some on here who expect everything to be more exciting should a rich, indeed local, benefactor takes control of the club need to look at Stoke to disavow themselves that this is guaranteed. 

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The first half at Carrow Road this season against Stoke was a footballing contest, Stoke indeed played some good stuff, but we were the better team and played the better football. In the second half when they were losing they resulted in their classic ''hoofball'' which was very effective and very unattractive and certainly made for an uncomfortable last half an hour.Last season when we lost one nil at their place it was one of the most dreadful games i''ve seen (Luton included, at least Luton played football with desire), I have no qualms saying i would not want to watch Stoke week in, week out, truly awful, and further to that Pulis is a c*ck!

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I remember an interview with Pulis where he said Stoke would maintain the long-ball style until the club were secure in the Premier League, no more than 3 seasons was his promise. This hasn''t really come true, although there aren''t as bad as they use to be in fairness. For me the evidence is there that Pulis doesn''t know how to change the style - he brought in Tuncay and didn''t really know how to get the best out of him. This is a consistent trend (as the article points out) with the amount of players coming in and then not getting games. £6m for Palacios? Nuts!

 

I have heard of grumblings from Stoke, that for the money they have spent they should be doing better, the lack of a ''Plan B'' and the inability to make any progression from season to season. You feel Pulis would be happy to finish 17th every year until the end of time. Their cup final apperance has given Pulis extra time but I wouldn''t be surprised to see him leave Stoke in the summer. Everyone will say ''Stoke are mad'', ''Where is the loyalty'' etc etc but with Pulis in charge they will never progess from being a route one, clogger of a team.

 

Don''t even get me started on the brutality they show when playing some teams, it is getting beyond a joke.

 

GP is right, they have some players who are actually pretty good on the ground, which is why it''s strange they continue the arieal bombardment tactics. Charlie Adam is at the club to whip in good set-pieces for their tall men.

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Dare i say , but my son is a Stoke season ticket holder and it is rare that he says he has seen a good display from them.There are Stoke fans who would take relegation if it would get rid of Pulis and his tactics,but i think he will be there for a long time,has he has got a very good relationship with chairman Peter Coates,and i think they are both happy just to finish 17th.Having said that,All of us would take 17th this season and some would take that next season too

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"Last season when we lost one nil at their place it was one of the most dreadful games i''ve seen"

 

I made the unfortunate error of attending that game, which I reckon was probably about the worst game I''ve ever seen. The Dutch may have invented ''total football'', but Stoke have perfected a curious version of ''anti-football''.

 

I notice that they took Kei Kamara on trial last year and have just signed an American winger. Both come in at six foot three (same as Huth and Shawcross, but well short of Crouch and Nzonzi).

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i have a friend who is a season ticket holder at Stoke, and he says there is a big difference this season in that they are playing more football rather than hoofball, his words not mine!!!

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As always a really good insight from the zonalmarking guy. Another myth that needs to be busted is what a mircale worker David moyes is working with next to no money. Dont get me wrong. Moyes is a good manager, but Everton spend a lot more on wages and transfers than the likes of West Brom, Swansea and us for relatively few extra league points.

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Find it amusing when people, usually the media, state that Peter Crouch is suprisingly good with his feet, despite his height. That is utter rubbish because it must surely be a pre-requisite of a professional FOOTballer to be good with his or her feet. Just a myth that goes with a tall footballer and especially someone like Crouch.

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I am a great believer of the Stoke model of buying better quality players each window.  It is how we have proceeded up till this last window and it is the way any small club must go From Fuller to Jones to Crouch.

 

It is both surprising and disappinting that Pulis does not do more with what he has bought and change the play to a more skillful and pleasing way.  If he wants to stay with his style then why buy the better players?

 

Much as I dislike their way of playing, I despise their cynical fouling and casual brutality far more.

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I think Pullis is trying to improve the football at Stoke. This is evident as he has improve the quality of player he recruits each season. When the team goes behind  they do tend to go back playing to their strength - the long ball.It''s obvious those bankrolling the club want Premiership football. This alone is Pullis'' primary objective - not pussyfooting around trying to be something that he''s not. Which is actually what Hughton is trying to do with his 4-4-1-1 formation - he''s a realist not a dreamer - he knows who our best players are to achieve the objective. He knows it''s tedious for the fans but he''s got a job to do. 

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Found this on another forum:

I fucking hate Stoke.

Usually I just hate them in the build-up and aftermath to us playing them, but take great pleasure in other teams struggling against them. No more. Maybe it''s some newly found solidarity from other teams, or maybe it''s just after however many years, I resent having to watch Tony Pulis'' black arts. Like Sam Allardyce on Red Bull, trying to push the envelope and tour the ugliest back alleys for any way to get through a football match. Maybe each human being has a finite amount of space in their lives they can accept Stoke being part of, and I''ve exceeded mine. Whatever it is, I fucking hate Stoke.

I fucking hate their alehouse tactics. I fucking hate that a Stoke shirt seems to grant players a certain immunity. I hate that because referees expect Stoke to be overly physical, that seems to allow them - in their own tiny little minds - the excuse for Stoke to be overly physical. I''m sick of their fucking back four, all of whom look like proper Rugby League Town twats, smacking their way around the league. Wilkinson''s elbows, Huth''s stamp, Ryan Shawcross and his peculiar brand of footballing Jiu-Jitsu. In midfield you''ve got cynical shites fucking Whitehead, who takes great pleasure in mastering the poorly timed trip, or Charlie Adam who is just tugboat slow and reckless. Top it off with that twat Waters upfront. God I hate him. He''s got the face of a badger baiter. Just a horrible, horrible collection of players.

It''s not a surprise though is it? In Tony Pulis you''ve got a really vile manager. Him and his stupid fucking baseball cap. All his pundit mates laugh off his teams; "well if you knew Tony as a player you''d know what his teams are like" - there''s a fucking reason no one knows what sort of player he was. They simply don''t care to remember some lower league yard dog, and cringe that they have to watch a team in his image. I''ll give Pulis something though, never has a manager captured the essence of a town and it''s people so well in how their team plays football than Stoke. He''s such a horrible, overly macho twat. The poster boy for British footballing culture, where a dive is sneaky and insidious and thus far worse than breaking a players leg with a horror tackle, elbowing someone in the face or stamping on their chest. The man has managed to usurp Mark Hughes and Sam Allardyce as the Wannabe Alpha of the league.

The fans, in amongst it all, I have some twisted sense of sympathy for. Tony Pulis'' own personal Volkssturm of outcasts, trudging along every (other) week out of some misplaced sense of duty. Duty to protect their birth place. All off on a march to their death. A football death. A football death that couldn''t be further removed from the one Rodgers speaks of. Off to the windy vortex of misery, void of hope. the great architecture of schadenfreude. "If we can''t enjoy football then neither can you". The essence of Stoke.

Stoke. That horrible fucking verb.

1) Stoke. To remove joy and purpose from the occasion

Tony Pulis was delighted to stoke Liverpool at the football match

Just fuck off, Stoke. Not even down the lower leagues, because if that happens some poor twat will be stuck paying to watch his team run the Stoke gauntlet, being told to ''embrace'' the challenge. Nah. Fuck that. Fuck this idea that defeating Dr Pulis'' Monster is some kind of footballing achievement. They''re removed almost entirely from the sport. Stoke a horrid mix of shotput, 11 players cynically fouling on rotation, and set pieces. That''s the fucking Stoke credo right there. If it''s not a set play you can''t control what''s happening, so you foul, and get another set play.

I''m not against physicality in football. I''m not against the odd bit of cynicism. But I''m not having the defence of Stoke. It''s pure anti-football. They routintely turn up to games against any team to make sure the ball is out of play as much as possible. That is not a worthwhile tactic. Wouldn''t wish it on anyone.

Fuck off you oatcake munching twats.

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