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Can Tony Pulis Spring a Further Surprise and Guide Stoke City into Europe?

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It must be said that Tony Pulis is doing a fantastic job at his second spell with Stoke City Football Club.

This is a man who gained his coaching badges in his teens and gained his UEFA A coaching licence at the grand old age of 21.

After gaining promotion with a runners up spot in 2008 Pulis has taken the second eldest registered club in the world to the top flight of English football. For all the criticism he has received regarding negative tactics; he is producing results and growing his club into an established Premier League team. You could argue that they are the same as big Sam Allardyce’s Bolton team of yester year.

However in my opinion Sam Allardyce relied heavily on technology and science to get ahead of the field, pioneering many techniques now used by a lot of teams in the league. It is hard to keep finding new areas to squeeze every drop of performance from players and that is why in my opinion his career has faded somewhat in recent years.

However I believe the Stoke manager is a lot brighter than ‘big Sam’ and if he got to the stage of where he had a few more technically gifted players, he would adapt Stoke’s style and mix it up a lot more than he does now. Pulis is concentrating on pleasing his own fans and board before concentrating on pleasing everyone else, which you have to admit is the right path to take.

This country does not have many managers plying their trade in the top division and although as a Liverpool fan I do not like watching Stoke and also dislike Liverpool playing Stoke we must give credit where it is due.

With the acquisitions of Kenwyne Jones, Jermaine Pennant and Matthew Etherington they are already turning the screw to gain lyrical wax from Journalists. After the FA Cup semi final demolition of Bolton Wanderers his potters team played with flair and steel, a very potent weapon in any division, before heading to Wembley showdown with Billionaires Manchester City.

After a tight affair Pulis narrowly lost the contest but could leave with his head held high after many predicted a City whitewash.

I don’t feel he would ever turn Stoke City’s style into an Arsenal or a Barcelona because he maybe a little too long in the tooth to completely change a philosophy that has served him so well but he seems to come across in interviews as a man wanting to learn new ideas and methods to make him and his team better. Sometimes managers want their players to constantly change and learn but abandon this philosophy themselves and can thus lose the respect of the players, but Pulis wont have this problem.

Improving in squad strength, depth and finishing position since their promotion to the Premier League can Stoke City take that final step into the European places and take the club onto a bigger scale? This would surely attract better quality players, possibly those much coveted European players to add that ‘missing technical element’ which the club need.

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1 comment

  • Stevie Gaye says:

    Kenny, I believe that a lot of your opinions expressed in this article- reflect that of a true warrior.

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