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Premier League Life Can Be Very Hard, Just Ask Vincent Pericard

  Stoke have today announced that French forward Vincent Pericard will be released from the club when his current contract expires in June. The Cameroonian born Frenchman has had a tough time over the last couple of years, spending a month in prison for motoring offences and struggling to make any impression on the Stoke first team.

Pericard’s time at the Britannia Stadium is up

  The 26 year old, who has been sidelined since March with a serious knee injury, was Tony Pulis’s first signing of his second spell in charge of the Potters, joining on a free transfer from Portsmouth, and actually made a promising start to his time at the club, credited with a goal on his home debut against Derby, though the last touch actually came off a defender, as well as scoring in two of his next matches, including a vital headed winner over promotion bound Sunderland.

  Things soon went wrong for him though, as his lack of pace and tendency to hit the deck at every possible opportunity alienated fans. In fact, when it comes to spectacular falls, Niagara has nothing on Pericard. All in all, he played 45 games for the Potters, scoring just four goals. With a return like that, there’s little wonder he never became a fans’ favourite at Stoke. While I’ve never been one for all out abuse and derision of Stoke players, it’s fair to say that he won’t be missed. I feel that he simply didn’t have the quality to cut it for us at the top of the Championship, let alone in the Premier League, and wasn’t helped by his string of injuries and incarceration, though he only has himself to blame for that. There are probably a fair few Stoke fans who disagree with me when I say this, but I wish him all the best for the rest of his career.

Pericard’s winner against Sunderland in October 2006 was a rare highlight of his Stoke career

  The only other Stoke player, youngsters aside, whose contract expires this summer is the veteran Senegalese holding midfielder Salif Diao. In past years, we have always announced all the players we are to release at the same time. There’s been no news on Diao today, which suggests to me that he may be signing a new deal soon. Pulis is a huge fan of him, saying he believes he is the best player of his type in the Premier League, and I’m sure that if Diao wants to stay on at Stoke, a contract will be there for him, but, now 32 and with persistent injury problems, he may wish to hang up his boots or return to Senegal, or possibly France, where he began his career.

A new contract may be on the way for Diao

  The former Liverpool man has been a solid player to have in our squad this season, starting eighteen games, and now free from injury for the first time in months, with a good pre-season behind him I feel that he could still play a significant role in our attempts to consolidate our Premier League status and push on up the league next season and beyond, and would be happy to see him signed on for at least another year.



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