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Football News: Stoke City Premier League season so far

Stoke City Premier League season so far
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Results so far:

A v Middlesbrough 1-1
H v Manchester City 1-4
A v Everton 0-1
H v Tottenham Hotspur 0-4
A v Crystal Palace 1-4
H v West Bromwich Albion 1-1
A v Manchester United 1-1
H v Sunderland 2-0
A v Hull City 2-0

The season has been a complete disaster for Mark Hughes' Stoke City, so far at least. It took eight matches to get their first win, even then it was only over bottom-feeding Sunderland. Despite the addition of big star name players, such as Bojan Krkic and Xherdan Shaqiri, the Potters have failed to move forward under Hughes. If anything, this season has been a huge backward step for Stoke.

While the football is much more entertaining than it was under previous manager Tony Pulis, results have got worse, rather than better. The unrest amongst the fans, which had been growing fast under Pulis, had gone away, but how much longer can they remain happy with the team struggling so badly? At least the last couple of games have shown they are capable of picking up wins, though the Mackems and Tigers are hardly top class opposition.

This season will be a test of Peter Coates' patience, as it seems unlikely that the Potters will be in contention for European places, they seem to be merely treading water in midtable. Is the more entertaining football enough to keep Hughes in the role? Certainly it was the lack of that entertainment, rather than the results, that saw Pulis shown the door. Hughes is able to get a similar level of results while giving the crowd excitement and flair on the pitch as well.

Coates did stand by Pulis, long after the fans had begun to turn, so I do expect him to stick with Hughes unless the team slumps again. He will be expecting to see some return on his investment soon though, or he will have to look elsewhere for a manager to build on the foundations in place. One thing is for sure, it is unlikely that Stoke will still be battling relegation as the season goes on.

Written by Tris Burke October 26 2016 19:27:21