Stoke City Is Just What the Premier League Needs

Photo by Kenwyne Jones

What a storming start to the season Stoke City has had. The club sits in seventh place in the Premier League, having had probably the most testing start of all the teams. Tony Pulis’ men have quietly managed to grab five points from Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool. And despite one slip up at The Stadium of Light, is a leading example to others coming up from The Championship to follow, especially given their success in the top tier over the last three seasons.

One of the most fascinating aspects of this beautiful game is how different styles work for different teams. Stoke doesn’t play football in the way Barcelona or Manchester United do, but the club plays with a sense of togetherness and intelligence, thriving off certain aspects, such as Rory Delap’s throw-ins, and this allows them to take on the very best. Stoke is moving from strength to strength and Sir Alex Ferguson should be very happy with his point at The Britannia Stadium.

Stoke City is often compared as brutish, aggressive, clumsy, old-fashioned and even morally objectionable. But this is ridiculous. The club simply doesn’t play football that can be worshipped, but that is no concern to Tony Pulis. Stoke has the motivation and desire, and it is these two factors that have propelled them into the top-half of the table and the side looks set to stay there. Pulis has a purpose in the game and injects this into his club. He is a master at tactical organisation, as we have seen from the performances against the country’s heavyweights. Stoke is often at the end of a lot of criticism from pundits and football fans who do not respect their style of play. But why play in a way which the club is not suited to?

Stoke has continued to progress, reaching the FA Cup final last season and as a result winning a place in the Europa League. So far, the side has been magnificent in Europe and by spending £20 million on transfer deadline day last month, bringing in England striker Peter Crouch among others, who knows how far the side could go? This scenario was improbable at best not so long ago, but Stoke has proved that it is very possible for a less fashionable club to break into the elite. The manager’s system is praised by all and City’s supporters are impressive. They never get on their players’ back and the sense of togetherness that I was talking about earlier is noticeable amongst the fans as well. A cauldron of noise and sheer enthusiasm is evident at all games; They’re a classic example of the crowd being a 12th man on the pitch.

The ambition that the club possesses is brilliant. Stoke is rapidly becoming a side that can beat anyone at home, and their next task is to become dangerous away from home and with Tony Pulis in charge, that is not far off. Stoke is improving all the time, in all areas, on and off the pitch. The club deserves a huge amount of credit and it’ll be interesting watching them continue this season. The Premier League has always needed clubs to break through into the established teams, and we may just have our first.

12 thoughts on “Stoke City Is Just What the Premier League Needs”

  1. I love how Stoke has risen from a lower division side to one of the near-elite teams in the league. It’s amazing. And the the Britannia Stadium is by far the most fun ground to watch on TV, with the singing and overall noise level.

    I do think the Delap throw-ins are tedious to watch and unless someone provides me with a statistic of their success (compared with other teams’ throw-ins), I’ll consider them a bit over-hyped.

    But still, I said it before in another thread, I would love to see Barcelona play Stoke at home. I wouldn’t bet Stoke, but I’d bet it would be close.

  2. I absolutely love watching Stoke, especially at the Britannia. Tony Pulis is top notch and his tactics get the most out of his players. The throwback style of hard-nose defending, pacy wingers, and big strikers is a refreshing change of pace from the tiki-tack style that’s so en vogue. With the financial weaknesses of Everton and the inability of Aston Villa to keep their best players (Downing, Young, Milner, Barry…) Stoke have the potential to compete for a Europa League consistently.

  3. I am lovin me some Stoke…and with Spurs and Chelsea looking a mess..and Pool also…Stoke and Newcastle are just what the EPL needs this year…great stories both.

  4. Stoke City have become a phenomenal mid-table side in recent years in EPL.

    Tony Pulis has been a smart shrewd man in terms of tactics, man management, transfers, and bringing the best out of his squad at home and away.

    If they can get a great youth system going, and invest shrewdly in their squad if and when the need arises, I say they have the potential of consistently challenging for European and Cup spots each season.

    All the best to them!

  5. Stoke are a good side, however, the way they are playing so far this season is pretty much unbelievable. They’ve got the talent, coaching, but the one thing that’ll be desperately important for Europa or FA Cup run and/or a Europa spot outright is health. While their bench is deeper now, it isn’t like Man. United or Man City.

    I hope Stoke keep this run up. They are tops in the Europa Cup group (including their game against the best team in it). They tied Chelsea, nearly beat Man. United, defeated Liverpool. It is really absurd, and wonderful! Their homes games are electric, and their style of football is hardly what people think it is. People talk about how Stoke played two years ago, not how they play now. Hopefully the Man. United game woke people up.

  6. Stoke is becoming a formidable TEAM they gonna definitely be stronger than before I would like to see Stoke playing Barcelona at The Brittania Stadium, I would definitely Predict the score 2-1 or 1-0 favour to Stoke Peter Crouch Header from a Whitehead Corner who believe Me?

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