Stoke's dour tactics ruin the club's pure footballing tradition
STOKE City have played in the Premier League for nearly three seasons and the supporters turn up in all weathers to acknowledge the wonderful traditions that this great club was built on.
It seems, however, that Stoke play their own unique system of four defenders with two more defenders in front, two wide players and two front players.
They do not have a working, creative, manipulative midfield and that is why Blackpool dominated the play when they visited the Britannia recently and why many other teams do similar.
Stoke rely so heavily on set pieces and throw-ins because they have few other options to create goal-scoring opportunities.
Call WHITEGATES Today 01782 209935 ..Limited offer. Available only up on production of voucher. Sell your home for £399 plus vat.* #EPC is required to market your home not included in offer.
Terms: *Upfront payment, non-refundable in the event of property remaining unsold, being withdrawn from the market or being sold by another agent, yourself or by any other means.#EPC £62.50 plus vat.
Contact: 01782 209 935
Valid until: Thursday, July 04 2013
When you play six men in defence, two wide men and two strikers, you don't have a midfield.
Manager Tony Pulis, pictured, has Tuncay Sanli, and Eidur Gudjohnsen wasting their time on the bench most games.
The fans of this great club deserve better.
They are asking the same questions about the quality players who spend most of their time on the bench.
Mr Pulis's team selection is difficult to understand. He seems to send teams out to defend, not to attack, and the irony in having no midfield of your own means that as soon as the defence has cleared the danger the opposition midfield is putting you under pressure almost immediately.
This is why Stoke are constantly defending. They have no players on the park who can hold the ball and relieve their defence.
From my earliest memories of Stoke in the days of Bobby Cairns and John Sellers, Dennis Viollet and Jimmy McIlroy through to Alan Hudson and Jimmy Greenhoff, Stoke have always had players who could slow the game and create opportunities with skill.
Now the supporters are presented with a team who don't create much, while the manager keeps the players who could make a difference on the bench.
Think of the pure footballing traditions of this great club, Mr Pulis. It has served Stoke well.
The supporters are among the best in the country. Give them a side that plays football.
If your flair players are allowed to flourish and know they will be given starting places more regularly you will transform the side. Eventually even the best players lose confidence when they are not appreciated.
The greatest managers like Liverpool's Bill Shankly, Manchester United's Matt Busby and Tottenham's Bill Nicholson allowed their flair players to play.
For every mistake a flair player makes, they will repay a hundred fold.
But it requires courage on the manager's part and trust.
Mr Pulis, you have flair players in your squad. Please allow them to make a contribution.
You have more than enough players of quality to establish Stoke City as a team that puts money on the gate at away fixtures, as Tony Waddington's teams did.
This is a great club Mr Pulis, please keep it that way.