Stoke City: No style revolution at Brit, warns Dave Kemp
FANS can expect evolution rather than revolution as Stoke's playing style changes to accommodate their talented summer signings.
The capture of goalscorer Michael Owen and midfield playmaker Charlie Adam has prompted speculation that City will modify the direct style which helped them win promotion from the Championship and maintain mid-table stability in the Premier League for the last four years.
City make no apologies for their direct game, and assistant manager Dave Kemp says the style will naturally evolve.
He explained: "I don't know about modifying it, but when you have players of that quality you have to use their talents, and we will do.
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"Charlie fitted straight in at Wigan last Saturday when he came on and he hadn't even trained with us at that time; he'd just watched one training session.
"That he did so well was all credit to him and what a fabulous player he is.
"He is a terrific footballer and he stepped straight into the team. There was no adjustment for him. The adjustment becomes natural because he can do things that bring positives to the team. That's what happened last Saturday."
Kemp insists City's style has already evolved since they won promotion in 2008.
He added: "We have changed anyway. We weren't as bad as people made out. I think the long throw allowed our detractors to jump on that bandwagon, but we don't really have a long throw now.
"There are other teams that have a long throw specialist, but they dress it up like they are playing some beautiful game like Barcelona or something.
"But we don't try to pretend. Yes, we are playing a good, old-fashioned English style football, but there's a lot to be said for that."
However City line up, their new United States international Geoff Cameron is making a strong case to be in the starting XI.
The 27-year-old was the sponsors' man of the match as a midfielder in his debut against Arsenal last month, and then started in midfield against Wigan last week before switching to right wing-back and then right full-back.
Kemp says Stoke are keeping their options open, but Cameron could emerge as a rival to Andy Wilkinson at right-back.
He said: "He's an adaptable player and, with the players we have now, we could possibly look at doing something like that."
The Stoke assistant boss says the management have been impressed by how the £1.6m signing from Houston Dynamo has settled in at the Brit.
Kemp, below, added: "He has trained and played very well. Let's not forget he's also been to Mexico City playing for the United States and been back to the States getting his visa sorted out.
"There's been a lot going on in his life – it's not like he's just moved to Stoke from Nottingham.
"He's made the move from Houston and gone through all the toing and froing that's gone with it.
"But in the short time he has been here, I have to say he has been first class."