Vital Football

Latest Norwich City News

In Profile: Stoke City

In Profile: Stoke City

Stoke City F.C.
Formed: 1863
Nickname: The Potters
Chairman: Peter Coates
Manager: Tony Pulis
Ground: The Britannia Stadium
2010/2011: 13th
Best League Finish: 11th
Player of the Season: Robert Huth
Last Time Out: Norwich 0 Stoke 1
One to Watch: Matthew Etherington

Last Season

After managing to obtain very respectable positions in the league for the last two seasons Stoke were looking to establish themselves as a Premier League team. Their home record again was respectable and helped them to finish mid table.

Their away form was to be improved if they had hope for a top half finish. A 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns saw Stoke break two new records - the result was their largest away win in the Premier League and the largest top division away win since 1982. It was also the first time since the 1983/84 season that Stoke had won three top-flight matches on the bounce with Tony Pulis hailing the new records as 'a fantastic achievement'.

The 210/11 season will most be remembered for Stoke fans as they managed to make the final of the FA Cup for the first time. Overcoming Cardiff City, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Brighton & Hove Albion, West Ham United and Bolton Wanderers, who they destroyed 5-0 at Wembley for a place in the final. However, after a spirited performance they lost the final 1-0 to Manchester City. By reaching the final though, Stoke managed to qualify for the Europa League, after Manchester City confirmed a place in the Champions League.

Transfer Activity

A fairly quiet summer has seen only two players join on free transfers in Matthew Upson and Jonathan Woodgate. The two centre backs will help to add depth in the defensive position while adding more strength that Stoke are known for.

A few players have been let go by the club with the disappointing Eidur Gudjohnsen leaving for AEK Athens, and Abdoulaye Faye leaving on a free for West Ham United. Pulis has also let a few of his young stars go out on loan to a number of respectable football league teams.

The Manager

A former Welsh player, Pulis obtained his FA coaching badge at the age of 19, followed by his UEFA 'A' licence aged 21 - making him one of the youngest professional players ever to have obtained the qualification.

Pulis has a reputation within the game for achieving solid results on small budgets and also maintains the proud record of never being relegated as a manager. He is sometimes criticised for using a direct style of play; however, Pulis has defended his approach.

Tony Pulis is in his second spell at Stoke after the current Chairman Peter Coates brought the club and approached Pulis who was manager of Plymouth at the time. Missing out on a play off place on the final day of the season, Pulis used the loan market to help fill the void of departing players.

The next season Stoke managed to achieve promotion. He has then gone onto keep Stoke in the Premier League successfully, winning over neutral fans who judged Stoke`s tough approach when they first joined the top flight.

This season is the first time that Pulis has managed a team in European football and look good to qualify for the group stages after a 1-0 win away in Switzerland this week.

Prediction

When the fixtures were announced most fans saw this as a winnable first home match, but after an impressive start of the season as the club have yet to concede a goal in three matches in the Europa League and a very respectable clean sheet against Chelsea.

Paul Lambert will have a tough choice with his team selection with the arrival of Daniel Ayala this week, and some nervous performances from a number of players during certain phrases of last week`s game.

With the long European travelling that the Stoke players have had to endure this week with their trip to Switzerland - the whole of the Stoke squad travelled to the match - there could some tired legs especially with playing on artificial pitch midweek.

Stoke are known for their strength and tough tackling, but if Norwich look at their weaknesses they could have some joy. The full back area will need to be attacked with Pulis playing centre backs in these positions, and width was something was missed last week for Norwich at Wigan. The pace of Bennett and the quick feet of Pilkington and Hoolahan could be important for Norwich.

With a sold-out Carrow Road welcoming Premier League football back to Norfolk the atmosphere could help Holt and the boys to a first win of the season, but a fast paced start could be vital. Norwich 1-0.

We want to know what YOU think. Have your say by leaving a comment below, or click here to discuss this article in the forum.

You can also share your thoughts via Facebook (Facebook.com/VitalNorwich) or Twitter @VitalNorwich.


Join The Vital Debate



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Jal_NCFC
Date:Saturday August 20 2011
Time: 5:06PM

Login to post a comment

Best of Vital Network

Recent Norwich City Articles

Webber Brings In Two Old Trusted Colleagues at Norwich

Getting recruitment right is crucial, so fingers crossed

Leeds 3 - 3 Norwich

A pulsating game with City dogged by defensive struggles again

Webber's Recruitment Team Assembles

The Pieces are falling into place as two appointments look imminent

Irvine Left Angry And Disappointed

City's interim manager on that dramatic draw with Leeds

Archived Vital Norwich Articles

Vital Norwich articles from

Site Journalists

The Tuckster
Editor email
Profile
Savvy_Monkey
no email
Profile
LeeBoz
no email
Profile
Tom McHugh
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Are You Optimistic About The Future At Norwich City?
Suggested By: Tuckster
Yes75%
No25%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
P Brighton 45 28 8 9 92 34
P Newcastle 45 28 7 10 91 42
3 Reading 45 25 7 13 82 2
4 Sheff Wed 45 24 9 12 81 16
5 Huddersfield 45 25 6 14 81 1
6 Fulham 45 21 14 10 77 27
7 Leeds Utd 45 22 8 15 74 14
8 Norwich 45 19 10 16 67 12
9 Derby County 45 18 12 15 66 4
10 Brentford 45 18 10 17 64 12
11 Preston 45 16 14 15 62 2
12 Aston Villa 45 16 13 16 61 -1
13 Cardiff 45 16 11 18 59 -4
14 Barnsley 45 15 13 17 58 0
15 Wolves 45 15 10 20 55 -5
16 Ipswich 45 13 16 16 55 -7
17 Bristol City 45 15 9 21 54 -5
18 Q.P.R. 45 15 8 22 53 -10
19 Burton 45 13 13 19 52 -12
20 Birmingham 45 12 14 19 50 -20
21 Forest 45 13 9 23 48 -13
22 Blackburn 45 11 15 19 48 -14
R Wigan 45 10 11 24 41 -17
R Rotherham 45 5 7 33 22 -58
Vital Football Comment
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Write for Vital Football

Recent Norwich City Results (view all)

Norwich City Fixtures (view all)

May 7 2017 12:00PM : Queens Park Rangers (H)
Sky Bet Championship

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.Steve from Oz571
2.FCBEARS378
3.DRAYTON GREEN206
4.yellow belly120
5.fanforlife81
6.screaming canary80
7.Rex36
8.Nathan_NCFC29
9.suffolkcanary16
10.mooro14
The Vital Football Members League