Sentinel Playerwatch - Transfer Window Day 23: Pieters channels Souness to cool Stoke's interest
IT is a little known fact that George Orwell's first draft of Nineteen Eighty-Four focused on his dystopian imaginings of Stoke City under Bill Asprey.
Asprey was a teenager yet to make his Stoke playing debut when Orwell took up his pen, and although the plot changed, his book still captures the sombre mood at the Victoria Ground in 1984.
It was a miserable time to be a Potter, battling relegation at the end of the 1983-84 season then plummeting towards the abyss at the start of the next campaign.
Imagine, then, being on the losing end of a game against that most-maligned Stoke team.
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Imagine being on the losing end of a game against that most-maligned Stoke team if you were an irrational hot-head in an all-conquering Liverpool team who would go on to win the treble of championship, European Cup and League Cup.
To be fair to Asprey, Alan Hudson and Paul Maguire, the haul from second bottom of the top flight on January 1 to fifth-from-bottom and safety on the final day is still remembered as one of the most incredible feats of survival in the club's history.
But that did not make Graeme Souness feel any better when Mark Chamberlain-inspired Stoke ran riot against Liverpool at the Vic on Easter Saturday, winning 2-0 with goals from Ian Painter and Colin Russell.
The home side were so in control that Brendan "Big Bren" O'Callaghan stood on the ball on the edge of his own area, beckoning Souness to come and get it; mocking Souness's mickey-taking earlier in the season when Stoke had put 10 men behind the ball at Anfield.
Souness was not amused and smashed a pane of glass in the tunnel as he stormed off the field at full-time.
That gives you some kind of impression of how angry PSV Eindhoven defender Erik Pieters felt when he did exactly the same after being sent off during his side's 3-1 defeat to PEC Zwolle on Friday night.
Stoke scouts, claim Sky Sports, were due to be at the game to have a look over the Dutch international left-back, making his comeback after nine months out with a foot injury, but had to put off the trip when snow cancelled flights.
The 24-year-old needed surgery on his underarm, is expected to be out for another few weeks at least and Stoke's scouting party will need another excuse for a night out in the Netherlands.
At least it has given us breaking window news.