Sunday, August 10, 2008

The off-season: Stoke City

Like Hull City, Stoke will be struggling to stay up this coming season. They were hard to beat in the Championship with the impregnable defence but in the Premier League they will need more than that to stay up. I really don’t think they will be able to stay up if they continue with the squad they currently have.

GK: Steve Simonsen, Thomas Sorensen

Getting Sorensen will help bring some solidarity in between the posts. This is a goalkeeper who has experience with Aston Villa, Sunderland and Denmark. Simonsen may have been given a chance but I think Sorensen will start in goal at the beginning of the campaign.

RB: Andy Griffin, Lewis Buxton

Griffin might be an experienced right-back with Newcastle United, Portsmouth and Derby but I don’t think he has the capability to be a Premier League right-back. Clearly Tony Pulis will need recruiting in the upcoming weeks.

LB: Carl Dickinson

I have never heard of Dickinson which doesn’t say much about his playing ability. Even if Dickinson is an unfound treasure playing in the lower leagues, Stoke will still require a back-up left defender in Dickinson falls foul to any injuries.

CB: Leon Cort, Ryan Shawcross, Andy Wilkinson

In Cort and Shawcross, Stoke have two up and coming centre backs. They maybe have fantastic ability but experience is still wanting. Tony Pulls will need to bring in another centre-back, preferably somebody with experience.

WG: Liam Lawrence, Danny Pugh

Not a great line-up - a Manchester United reject and somebody who couldn’t make the grade with Sunderland. I actually think Lawrence is underrated and shouldn’t have been booted out of the Stadium of Light by Roy Keane. I still think Pulis needs to recruit a natural winger.

CM: Glenn Whelan, Salif Diao, Rory Delap, Seyi Olofinjana

Probably Stoke’s strongest area with Premier League experience with Diao & Delap plus natural flair in Olofinjana and Whelan. I don’t think Stoke will require buying players in this area.

FW: Richard Cresswell, Ricardo Fuller, Dave Kitson, Vincent Pericard, Jon Parkin

Probably not the most impressive line-up in the Premier League. None of the players actually lit up the Premier League or are twenty goals per season strikers. Fuller is chronically injured whilst Kitson was not prolific in the two seasons when he was playing in the Premier League. It will require more goals to keep Stoke City up. Even Pericard, who has played for Juventus and Portsmouth, is not in the frame.


In: 1 x Right-back, 1 x Left-back, 2 x Centre-back, 2 x Wingers, 1 x Forward
Out: Buxton, Phillips, Parkin, Pericard

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