Sunday, August 20, 2017

Stoke get deserved FA Cup final appearance

Yesterday Stoke City absolutely hammered Bolton Wanderers 5-0 at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final to book a final appearance against Manchester City in May.

Stoke won the game with remarkable ease considering how hard Bolton usually are to beat.

The Potters performance proved that they deserve their day out in the Wembley sun.

For all their critics everybody at the club deserves a reward for the years of solid work that have gone into the club.

The result may have been harsh on their opponents but I’m sure nobody at Stoke will be complaining about the victory.

Critics

Stoke City have gathered a reputation in Premier League for playing the longball game. This style of play has attracted a lot of criticism from mostly press journalists who believe the game should be played a certain way.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with the way that Stoke City plays football. They have found a winning style that works for the players they have at their disposal. The Potters don’t have the resources of some of their rivals so have to cut their cloth accordingly.

I’m sure if you asked the Stoke City fans if they would rather be winning in their style or losing trying to play neat passing football I’m sure the majority would prefer the former.

I’m sure if you asked fans of the clubs in the bottom three of the Premier League would they take winning ugly to stay up they would probably answer yes.

And anyway there is more to Stoke City than just Rory Delap long throws and big humps up front. Stoke may have a lot of players who like a good tackle but they also have some decent footballers. The likes of Matthew Etherington and Jermaine Pennant prove they have some silk in their side as well as brawn.

Solid

Stoke City are now an established Premier League club. They may only be five points clear of the relegation zone but I really can’t see them being dragged into that bottom three. They are now a good solid Premier League side.

Stoke may only need a few more victories before they can start planning for another season in the Premier League. The board and manager should be given great credit for how they have transformed the club into what it is today.

For so many years Stoke City were in the wilderness of lower league football struggling to make a breakthrough into the top flight team and now they are a model for other clubs trying to succeed in the English top flight.

Manager

I have to say I think that Stoke boss Tony Pulis is much underrated. He has always been a decent man manager in the lower leagues but since moving to Stoke he has moved up a level.

Tony Pulis strikes me as an honest hardworking guy who has worked his way up the ladder of coaching and is finally getting his reward at Stoke. I think the club and Pulis go together so well. Stoke are an underrated club and Pulis is an underrated boss.

Underdogs

Stoke will be massive underdogs in the FA Cup final against Manchester City in May. It’s a classic David vs. Goliath clash just because of the vast differences in finances available to the respective bosses.

However Stoke City is a team who can cause any opponent problems. They will thrive on the fact that they are considered underdogs and it really wouldn’t surprise me if Stoke caused a shock by beating City in May.

Can Stoke City defeat Manchester City in May’s FA Cup final?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The 33-year-old has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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