Shawcross will benefit from his England experience, says Pulis
E NGLAND new boy Ryan Shawcross was mocked mercilessly by his team-mates when he returned to training at Stoke.
But no, Kenwyne Jones didn't roll his hair up into an Ibrahimovic pony tail, nor did Jon Walters pull off a few overhead kicks from outside the area.
It was all good-natured stuff, apparently, as the Stoke squad welcomed their captain back from his England debut in Sweden this week.
"He's getting hammered at the moment from the lads, but it will be the normal stuff," manager Tony Pulis revealed.
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"I texted him before the game to wish him luck and again after the game, but the lads have been caning him since and so I've left it to them.
"It's just normal banter, making sure he doesn't get too big-headed."
Not that Pulis thinks there is any danger of that – nor Shawcross being distracted come Monday evening's clash at West Ham.
"Ryan will be fine," he insisted, "He's a big, honest lad, one I've got tremendous respect for.
"He will have gained from playing against a top player and you just hope he comes out a better player for it."
Shawcross became the first Stoke player to represent England in a senior international since Mark Chamberlain 28 years previously, of course, and Pulis believes that gives his captain every reason to walk tall.
"We are as proud as punch that we've got a player who's represented his country, England," Pulis continued.
"It's a great fillip for everybody around the football club and another feather in the cap.
"Ryan and his family, and everybody connected with him, will be very, very proud."
Shawcross had to wait until the 74th minute to earn his stripes, you may remember, and barely a minute had passed before he was spun aggressively by Zlatan Ibrahimovic en route to his second of four goals during Sweden's 4-2 victory.
Pulis acknowledged the goal and how it looked on Shawcross, but was quick to place it into a more favourable context for his captain who, just for the record, has only ever stepped off the bench four times in his five years at Stoke.
"I was disappointed he didn't start because I thought he deserved to start," Pulis added.
"But Roy (Hodgson) picks the team and I'm going to be biased.
"He will be disappointed with the goal and will be the first to hold his hand up.
"He looked a bit frozen. Not mentally, but a bit stiff. He's a big lad and so they should have had him warming up 30 minutes before he came on.
"He's been sat on the bench for 75 minutes and it normally takes him 15 to 20 minutes to get his legs going.
"Also, you have a look at what the lad (Ibrahimovic) did during the game because he caused every centre-half a problem.
"But Ryan has got his cap and his England shirt... and he will always treasure that."