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The European Championships 2004. Ah, what a tournament. The Greeks told every single one of us that fairy tales can come true. They defeated France and Portugal along the route to triumph and won a major International tournament for the very first time as rank outsiders.
Unfortunately, what came with their ascent were the usual accusations of ‘ugly successes.’ They were criticised for playing a defensive game, for lacking ambition on one of the grandest stages of them all, even being accused of not deserving the title of European Championship winners, …

9 years yesterday, Tony Pulis took charge of his first Stoke game, a 4-2 defeat against Walsall. ‘Pulis Out’ rang around the terraces, even after just one game in the hot seat. Relegation was looming.
Fast forward to present day, and last night’s Europa League tie with Isreal’s Maccabi Tel-Aviv. Pulis, backed by owner Peter Coates, has transformed the football club. From a lowly old Division One side, to a mid-table Premier League outfit, the results are for all to see. That season, Stoke finished 21st, just alluding relegation to …

After a comfortable 2-0 victory against Fulham on Saturday, Stoke entered Thursday night’s European excursions against Maccabi Tel-Aviv in good form. Not so good, however, that manager Tony Pulis would allow his side to take their foot off the pedal. Pulis used his pre-match programme notes to signify the genuine threat the visitors posed to the Potters.
Seven changes were made from the team that beat Fulham, with the likes of Salif Diao, Ryan Shotton and Thomas Sorenson given a run out on a cold, blustery night at the Britannia.
The …

After a two-week absence from Premier League duty; Tony Pulis’ side were replenished and ready for the challenge of Martin Jol’s Fulham.
Fulham arrived on the back of a seven-match unbeaten run, and Pulis would have warned his team to overlook Jol’s team at their mercy. Fresh from a largely in-active international break, the Potters entered yesterday’s game in ebullient fashion, whilst being mindful of complacency. When a team boasts two draws and a win from fixtures against Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool, confidence levels would be through the roof.
So, with …

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As the Europa League rolled into the Britannia Stadium on Thursday, a genuine atmosphere was present, similar to fevers only attained in the league matches.
Besiktas were the visitors, competent opponents for the Potters. Boasting a squad complete with the likes of ex – Chelsea winger Ricardo Quaresma, the Turks were a tough test for Pulis’ men.
Eventually Stoke ran out 2-1 winners, coming from behind after Hilbert put the away side in front after 14 minutes. Peter Crouch equalised for Stoke just …

Manchester United saw their 100% record come to an end as they were left frustrated at Stoke.
“We’ll get to see Rooney today” was a popular remark circulating around the Britannia Stadium before yesterday’s late afternoon clash.
Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, United’s talisman striker didn’t grace us with his presence; Alex Ferguson sighting a slight hamstring strain for Rooney’s absence.
But, as they say in the theatre industry, the show must go on, and Ferguson fielded an entirely competent eleven. As Rooney departed, step forward Dimitar Berbatov. Not exactly a …

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After clocking up 42 years at BBC Radio Stoke so far; Nigel Johnson is somewhat of a legend in the Stoke-on-Trent region.
His voice has been heard in thousands of homes, projected to the masses as he commentates on each Stoke City game. Nigel has seen several different eras of football in his time, each I’m sure as enjoyable as the last. From the days where players received a modest £20 for their labours, to recent times, where top players can warm the bench and then retreat to …

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An injury time equaliser from Ognjen Vukojevic denied Stoke a perfect start to their European adventure.
Pulis’ side took the lead at the Valeriy Lobanovskyi Stadium after 55 minutes. Recent signing Cameron Jerome went some way to dispelling his recent critics; his shot flew into the top corner after a powerful run from Ryan Shotton found the forward unmarked in the box. Jerome showed his quality, and Stoke went ahead with their first shot on target.
In a game with more bookings than chances, the Potters will feel aggrieved …

It was like the Alamo, but Stoke held on.
After a 20th minute penalty courtesy of defender Jamie Carragher, Stoke forward Jonathan Walters struck an emphatic spot-kick, punching the ball into the centre of the goal.
To say it was one-sided would be, unquestionably, a gross understatement. But for all of Liverpool’s possession, 59% of the play, Dalglish’s side couldn’t find the back of the net. Suarez, Adam and Henderson all tried, only to be thwarted by keeper Asmir Begovic and Stoke’s resilient back line.
Liverpool clearly didn’t find the form that saw …

What a difference a few years make. Once dubbed the ‘new Derby’ by a mis-informed journalist, Stoke have defied the band of critics and secured a spot in the upcoming group stages of the Europa League. Stoke fans are joyous at the prospect of European talent convening on the Britannia Stadium.
The draw wasn’t kind to Stoke, pitting Pulis’ men against Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv, Ukrainian side Dynamo Kiev and Turkish club Besiktas. Not exactly anything to leap out of your seat about. Nevertheless, Stoke fans will travel in their droves …