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Geoff Cameron’s Midfield Role for USA Gives Stoke City New Options to Consider

While US beat Panama on Tuesday in a critical World Cup qualifier, the real story was Stoke City man Geoff Cameron. Out of necessity, USA manager Jürgen Klinsmann pushed Cameron into a holding midfield role due to the injury suffered by Jermaine Jones in Friday night’s qualifier. The returns were excellent with Cameron proving both an effective shield in front of the back four, linking up well with the US attack.

Cameron’s early days in Major League Soccer showed him to be a versatile and useful player who could slot into any position on the backline and also frequently in central midfield. This adaptability led Stoke to sign him last year as Tony Pulis has long shown a preference for pragmatic players and also allowed him to play in three distinct roles for the US in the Hexagonal qualifying round.

Granted, facing off with Panama is not quite a Premier League nor even a Championship level opponent, but it was a pressure match and Cameron turned in a virtuoso performance.

This leaves new Stoke City manager Mark Hughes with increased options in the midfield. Considering Sparky is likely to overturn large portions of the Potters squad he inherited from Pulis, Cameron could be featured in a different role.

Stoke’s board is obviously concerned about stylistic consideration and entertaining fans and media critics; otherwise the decision to sack Pulis never would have been contemplated. The madness of the sacking notwithstanding, Hughes must now take the mantle given him and fulfill a mandate which could be mission impossible.

The versatility and comfort shown by Cameron on Tuesday night in midfield is a good starting point for Sparky in his rebuild of the Potters. On his side he’ll find many a versatile footballer who can adapt to different roles and different styles even if Stoke played one way and lacked a plan B as critics have charged the past few seasons.

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  1. trickybrkn

    June 12, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Last season he started 5 games for Stoke City as a midfielder.

  2. Guy

    June 12, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    I think your judgment of Cameron’s potential use at Stoke is correct, but come on, Kartik. “The madness of the sacking”? Really??

    Tony’s point totals for Stoke’s 5 years in the Prem: 45, 47, 46, 45, 42. “You don’t need a weather man to know which way the wind blows.” He was simply out of ideas.

    And what on earth do you mean by, “Hughes must now take the mantle given him and fulfill a mandate which could be mission impossible.??

    Mission impossible?? His only mandate and mission is to make us better than we were last season. Hardly a gargantuan task. Hughes only needs to take our sound defense and add to it an offensive style that does not include 10 men behind the ball after the first 5 minutes wildly hoofing the ball the other way. I think he is more than capable of doing that, so I am really looking forward to the start of the season and a new era at Stoke.

    Could things go awry? Certainly, but there was no doubt whatsoever about where Tony was taking us.

    • IanCransonsKnees

      June 13, 2013 at 2:19 pm

      I tend to agree with Guy. I’ve been told that the decision to part company with Pulis was as much to do with how scared the board were at how close they came to relegation as much as anything else. If it were purely about style we’d have chased Martinez, Poyet et al rather than Hughes.

      Pulis’ pragmatism and Geoff’s adaptability were probably detrimental to both, as well as being a strength. It’s a standing joke on The Oatcake that Pulis would always look for a square peg to fill a round hole, despite a surfeit of round pegs.

      As Guy says we have a relatively sound platform to build from and tweak, Hughes may not get any better a points score than Pulis but in terms of quality it can’t get much more tiresome than switching it across to the left back who lofts the ball up to a 7ft forward.

  3. Fulhamish

    June 12, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Cameron’s Quarterback Style! is in full display in that picture.

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