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Stoke City : The Saviours of English Football

23 December 2012 by

As a Premier League snob, I miss the old days when Nottingham Forest, Leeds, Southampton, Coventry, Derby—and I could go on—were in the Premier League. Despite my utopian image of the Prem, there is one team that have cemented their place in this league for me. That team is Stoke City.

A lot of people would say that Stoke’s style of play is boring and ancient, but I think otherwise. The way Stoke play is the way I have always pictured English football to be: strong, aggressive and neat. And Stoke also have a flair going forward, which makes them a very entertaining side to watch.

When most people talk about beautiful football, they mention Arsenal doing 149 passes around the centre circle before Theo Walcott runs blindly down the wing and loses possession, and this season also sees Liverpool starting to use tiki-taka, is a shame to English football. I would much rather see a perfectly timed crunching challenge, or a perfectly weighted through ball with a clinical finish, both of which Stoke show regularly. There is nothing wrong with physical approach to the game. It is simply a different approach to trying to win, and it’s proven to be a effective way.

The way football is going, I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years any sliding tackle, whether it’s clean or not, will be considered a foul. The thought of this depresses me, and could put me off the game entirely. I like to see good defence as much as good attacking play, but if players are falling to the ground after a tap or trying to get players sent off like in the Spanish and Italian leagues, then I can see the Premier League losing what it has always been about.

That’s why I like Stoke.

Tony Pulis is a great manager, and when Stoke hold so called “superior teams” to draws, or steal three points, the opposing manager slates his tactics deeming them “too aggressive” or “negative.”

That’s ridiculous.

Stoke are obviously not the most gifted skill-wise, so Pulis does what he can so his team can get results, which is what a manager’s job is supposed to be. Also, the signings they have made have always impressed me , and looking at their squad it looks strong in every area of the pitch. They are always in solid mid-table position  without spending big.

I just wish other teams would take a leaf out of Stoke’s book and play the game as I believe it should be played in this country, not copy the Spanish style of play. It’s not as if Stoke haven’t had success since rejoining the top flight. They have reached an FA Cup final and have had a mini European adventure.

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  • Paul Fairhurst

    Nice read, but we have spent a bit of dough while we've been in the PL. We always give 100% in matches and there ARE no prima-donnas playing for Stoke City. 9 clean sheets up to now should tell you something, but they could of been wins (well, some of them) if we had a ''Fuller'' type player up front. I've loved every minute of the last 5 years back in the top flight and all the moans from others teams managers and other fans, it spurs us on!

  • Lucy Berrisford

    Good to see that someone from outside Stoke sees what the fans see. Stoke are keeping good old English football alive!

  • Chris Austin

    Im guessing this wasnt written by an arsenholes fan :0)

  • Lee Fennell

    Keep it up from dirtyLeedsfan

  • Chris Austin

    Im guessing this wasnt written by an arsenholes fan :0)

  • Chris Price

    Come on Stoke!

  • Oddvin Bøthun

    Ein som forstår seg på kordan engelsk fotball burde spilles! Tøft og kontant, uten grining om det er nåken som nesten er borti de.

  • Geoff Barnett

    Bang on, all the top clubs in the prem have become clones of Europe. Shame the ENGLISH game has Changed to poncy tip tap stuff. Perhaps tell you something about the their backbones.

  • Sean W Pascoli

    We have spent some money and our big money signings have flattered to deceive: Arismendi, Jones, Jerome, Palacios, Gudjohnssen to name a few have not really come good. Our cheap ones: Wilson, Cameron, Huth, Shawcross, Etherington, and Begovic though are another story.

  • John Sollom

    Good article true!

  • John Sollom

    Good article true!

  • Malcolm Glazer

    This is how football should be played, rough, aggresive and physically. Unlike spain's tiki-taka where you see eleven girls passing the ball around.

  • Mio Fric

    That's why I like Stoke!

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