Home
Prediction League
Fixtures
Results
News
Features
Premier League
EPL Home
Latest
Clubs
Stadiums
Friends
Blogs
Football League
La Liga
Europe
Euro Football Home
Latest
Russian Premier
Bundesliga
Ligue 1
Football Italiano
International
International Home
Latest
World Cup 2010
Euro 2012 Stadiums
Euro 2012
Denmark 2011
AFCON 2013
Twitter
About Us
Advertising
Write for us
Privacy
Recruitment
newswriter
Contact Us
 
 

Stoke Club Focus - 2011 - One year, so many highs for the Potters


Bookmark and Share

By Stuart Campbell

Saturday 31 December 2011

As 2011 draws to a close, Stoke City will look to finish what has been a remarkably successful year for the club, with a win over Wigan at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday. During the past 12 months, Stoke reached an FA cup final for the first time in their 148-year history and although this ended in a 1-0 defeat to Manchester City, it also granted the Potters qualification to this season’s Europa League, in which they have performed brilliantly to make it through to the last 32 of the competition, where Spanish giants Valencia await them. The opportunity to test themselves against such illustrious European opponents early next year is one which Stoke can rightly look forward to with optimism and deserve after their efforts in 2011.



In addition to their FA Cup and European exploits, Stoke have continued to impress in the Premier League, especially at the Britannia, where they have suffered only three defeats in the entire calendar year. These were inflicted on the final day of last season by Wigan and this campaign by Newcastle and QPR, which with no disrespect to any of these opponents, is rather ironic given that the Potters have remained unbeaten against the more potent forces of Manchester United, Chelsea on two occasions, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool at home in the Premier League over the course of 2011.


This impressive home form combined with an ability to conjure up results on their travels, has seen Stoke operate in a comfortable position in the Premier League throughout the year, with much more of a focus on occupying a place in the top half of the table rather than being concerned with the relegation zone. After a 13th place finish in last season‘s Premier League, a four-game unbeaten start to this campaign saw Stoke sitting as high as 5th and whilst their position has fluctuated considerably since, they currently lie 8th, holding realistic expectations of securing a first top-half finish since returning to the top flight of English football for the 2008-2009 season.


Stoke’s hopes of achieving this relies not on any one individual, although their ranks do now contain a clutch of influential internationalists, but on the performance of the group of players that Tony Pulis has moulded into a well oiled unit, which does justice to his ability as a manager at Premier League level. Granted, if Peter Crouch were to become the free scoring striker he has both threatened to be at his previous clubs and been for England, then that would be of significant help to Stoke’s cause.


However, the pressure on Crouch to improve upon his somewhat modest goal return is reduced and his overall efforts as a self-less striker fully appreciated by the Stoke faithful, given the consistent and steady contribution of goals forthcoming from various members of the Potters squad. Similarly, this squad has undergone a strengthening in terms of its depth during 2011, to such an extent that it arguably does not display the fragility of those owing to some of the clubs - such as Aston Villa, Everton and Newcastle - who are likely to represent the Potters main rivals for a top half finish in the Premier League this season.


Avenging the 1-0 defeat they endured against Wigan on the final day of last season, when the Latics return to the Britannia Stadium on Saturday, would constitute a fitting end to a year during which Stoke’s reputation as an established Premier League side has grown and further strengthen their prospects of an end-of-season top ten finish.


See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Stoke v Wigan



Related Articles


» 

Moses determined to help Liverpool to the title

» 

Bayern Munich midfielder Kroos puts Arsenal and Man United on alert

» 

Looking for a job in football? Submit your CV now

» 

Torres touched by emotional Atletico return

» 

Chelsea vs Sunderland - Premier League preview and team news

» 

The Top 5 Earners in Football

» 

Cardiff vs Stoke - Premier League preview and team news

 
 

 
 

Name

Email Address *

Comments


Please enter code on left.


Terms & Conditions

* A valid email is required to submit a comment. Your email will not be displayed on this or any other website, nor will it be passed to any 3rd parties. For more information please see the terms and conditions.



0 Comments


No Comments have been posted yet


 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 

Premier League Football News


ArsenalAston VillaChelseaEvertonFulhamLiverpoolManchester CityManchester UtdNewcastle UtdNorwich City
ReadingQueens Park RangersSouthamptonStoke CitySunderlandSwansea CityTottenham HotspurWest Bromwich AlbionWest HamWigan Athletic

 
 

 
 
 
 

 
  
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 

Follow us...



 
 

 
  
 

Kick Football News