Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Where should Stoke City be in the Premier League table?

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 2 Jan 2018

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According to reports from Sky Sports, Stoke City are considering the future of boss Mark Hughes. The news comes as little surprise as his team have struggled for form and he recently stormed out of a press conference.

The reason for his anger at the said press conference was reportedly questioned about his decision to rest players in the recent 5-0 defeat at Chelsea. The Welsh boss rested key players for Monday’s home game against Newcastle.

On paper, you can see where Hughes was coming from, as the game against the Magpies looked far more winnable. However, the gamble failed to pay off and the Potters lost 1-0 against the Magpies. The defeat coupled with other results leaves the team from Staffordshire 16th in the table, two points above the relegation zone.

To make matters worse the teams below the Potters all have games-in-hand on Hughes team. I think it is fair to say that things are not rosy in the Stoke City garden at the minute.

Where should Stoke be in the table?

Stoke City are now a typical midtable Premier League club. However, until Tony Pulis established the Potters as a Premier League club, they had spent much of the modern age of football in the lower leagues.

This not to insult Stoke or fans of the club it is just the view of an outsider looking in. As a neutral, I see them as a smallish, well-run club that has been punching above their weight for a while in a league with much richer and higher profile clubs.

The Potters have in many ways done well to maintain their Premier League status. However, the question is where should Stoke be in the English top-flight?

It is hard to know. The middle to the bottom of the table is much of a muchness. The top-six are out in front as usual. Everton have woefully failed to live up to expectations after summer spending, while Burnley have overachieved. For me, Stoke are no better than Burnley, Leicester, Everton or Watford, who occupy the top-half positions that Stoke have in the recent past.

Mark Hughes is a mediocre boss

Mark Hughes is a typically British mediocre boss in the same mould as Alan Pardew, Tony Pulis, Sam Allardyce and David Moyes. He does not achieve anything magnificent, but he achieves enough results to keep teams ticking over in the middle of the league, usually anyway.

Stoke have been in this position before under the Welshman. For the past few seasons the Potters have struggled badly for results at different stages of the campaign.

However, they have always managed to escape the drop, as their quality players have stepped up. To be fair to Stoke they do have some quality players in the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri and Joe Allen.

The Potters are in need of a decent striker, though. However, that is a major problem for many Premier League teams. It remains to be seen if Hughes will last much longer in Staffordshire, especially without the purchase of a new striker.

If he does, then it will be a case of same again next year. Judging by the majority of Stoke fans opinions on social media, they have had enough of the Welshman.

Stoke’s relegation odds shortened

I have been a good luck charm for Bournemouth and Swansea in the past week, writing editorials about their struggles and suddenly their fortunes have turned around. I wonder if I can make it third time lucky with Stoke.

Anyway, Stoke are now among the three favourites to suffer relegation at odds of 2/ 1. If they get a new boss in, then I think they should have enough quality within their squad to turn things around.

Stoke fans obviously want better than two wins in their last 12 league outings. I suppose they want some goals thrown in as well, as the Potters have failed to score in four of their last six league outings.

For all the rubbish about Stoke being a physical side, I actually like the Potters. It seems like a real family club with proper supporters.

However, if something does not change then the club are heading for the Championship in the very near future. If sacking Mark Hughes changes that, then that is what they must do.

Does Mark Hughes deserve to lose his job?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer 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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okhema francis
okhema francis

before even thinking about stoke placement in the table,the boss of stoke need to make some good decision in this transfer window and i believe one should be that he tighten up his defense since they are conceding so much goals.

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