Archive for the The Premiership Category

Dean Whitehead retires and Lambert’s future in the balance

Posted in Championship, Football, football transfers, News, Stoke City FC, The Premiership with tags , , , , , , , on May 11, 2018 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Dean Whitehead has announced he is retiring from playing at the age of 36. Whitehead played 158 times for Stoke between 2009 and 2013, will next season manage the under-17’s at his current club Huddersfield.

Darren Fletcher has said he would be up for staying at Stoke next season, although that will depend on who is in charge as he has not featured much under Paul Lambert. He has one year left of a two year contract he signed when joined a free transfer last summer.

Lambert will learn his fate after our final game of this season away at Swansea. Personally I hope we part ways with him as despite shoring up the defence, his record of one win since he joined in January is very poor and he doesn’t inspire me to think we can be in a chance of promotion if he stays. The Daily Telegraph broke the story that there was a clause in Lambert’s contract where either he or the club could walks away from the contract after this season finished. Mixed messages from the club as to whether he is staying and don’t be surprised if he is given a chance by the club to lead Stoke in the Championship next season. Graham Potter, a former player who was interested in the job in January, is a leading contender for the Swansea job.

Club statement on relegation

Posted in Championship, Football, Stoke City FC, The Premiership, Transfer rumours with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2018 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

The Coates family have issued a statement following Stoke City’s relegation and they admit they should have dismissed Mark Hughes earlier. They are certainly honest in admitting the failures and losing the core values of the team on the pitch. Planning for next season is underway as Newcastle striker Dwight Gayle is being linked as a player to get us those much needed goals. Who the manager will be is still open to debate as the club statement did not name or back current manager Paul Lambert, who has a good record in the Championship but has had an awful results record since he joined in January.

Summer transfers 2018 –

In

Out

Ibrahim Afellay – contract cancelled

Jese Rodriguez – loan finished

Kostas Stafylidis – loan finished

Kurt Zouma – loan finished

Stoke City relegated – big summer ahead!!

Posted in Championship, Football, The Premiership, Transfer rumours with tags , , , , , , , on May 7, 2018 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Sadly I predicted we’d be relegated last summer as we stuck with Mark Hughes, who the club should have sacked last summer. As it was he wasted £18m on Kevin Wimmer from Spurs (he will hopefully be off in the summer), we had Jese on loan which ended badly and only really Kurt Zuoma on loan from Chelsea was a success. Arnie leaving for West Ham was a blow as we never really replaced him or his goals/assists. Plus we kept Glen Johnson and let Phil Bardsley go, who would have been much better in a relegation scrap.

January we changed manager (finally!) with Paul Lambert taking charge and three new signings, including the highly impressive Bauer. But most importantly we failed to sign a striker and even in the summer we took a gamble with Jese on loan. That cost us a lot as a decent striker makes all the difference and our defence under Hughes was awful, plus he bizarrely threw the Chelsea game where we were thrashed in order to beat Newcastle – we lost one nil.

We certainly stopped shipping goals under Lambert, however we scored rarely and relied heavily on Shaqiri for any goals. So the Championship next season after ten years in the Premier League and twenty years since our last relegation from old Division 2 (Championship) to Division 3 (League 1). Big rebuild needed in the squad with Jack Butland, Shaqiri and Joe Allen all likely to be sold as they will want PL football next season. Hopefully we can hold onto Grant, Shawcross, Bauer, Martins Indi, Diouf and Pieters, even Crouch and Adam as they would be useful experience/cover in the Championship where games come thick and fast.

Paul Lambert wants to stay, he has Championship experience however his record as our manager is poor – one win since he joined in mid-January. Chances are Peter Coates will stick with Lambert and our inept recruitment team of Scholes & Cartwright. We really need to focus and get a team spirit back as we could easily go down again as our problems mirror that of Sunderland, with a wage bill full of players on high wages playing little (Berahino) or on loan (Imbula – £20m for him, what a flop signing), who you can’t see many other clubs falling over themselves to sign.

I have supported my team Stoke City since the mid-70’s when I was a wide eyed & excited eight year old attending his first game and do feel for those youngsters seeing us being relegated – not anyone over 16 though, crying on TV get a grip 🙂 We will be back in the Premier League. Here’s hoping Coates & Co. admit their mistakes and more importantly learn from them, so we don’t have to wait twenty odd years until we get back in the top flight.

It is a very sad to see us relegated and with a whimper, look at West Brom they at least battled under Darren Moore. Still Stoke is my club and I will carry on supporting them through thick and thin. Already getting excited about next season…surely it can’t be any worse than this one?!

Jese finished at Stoke

Posted in Football, Stoke City FC, The Premiership, Transfer rumours with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2018 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Jese Rodriguez has finished his time at Stoke after he was given unpaid compassionate leave until the end of the season. He has not had a successful loan spell since joining in the summer and won’t be missed by Stoke fans it has to be said.

A club spokesman said: “In order to respond to recent press speculation surrounding Jesé Rodriguez, we would like to confirm that the club has given Jesé permission to take unpaid compassionate leave until the end of the season for personal reasons and therefore he will not be returning to Stoke during his loan period.”

Even though we are not yet relegated the rumours are rife over departures of some of our players with Jack Butland linked with a summer move to Premiership new boys Wolves. One former player who may join us on a free is Leicester’s Robert Huth according to a posting on the Oatcake MB. He maybe 34 now but he’d add that defensive steel missing from Stoke most of this season.

 

 

 

Lambert & Cartwright to stay?

Posted in Football, football transfers, Stoke City FC, The Premiership with tags , , , , on April 24, 2018 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

‘The Sentinel’ are reporting that Lambert and Cartwright will still be at Stoke next season based on comments from Chairman Peter Coates. As Lambert signed a two and a half years contract when he joined in January is does seem as though he will be allowed to rebuild our squad in the Championship next season (I am an optimistic Stoke supporter but even I know we are down).

Bar the loanees – Jese, Zouma & Staffy – other players likely to leave in the summer are the three out of contract, although don’t be surprised if Glen Johnson ends up getting another one year deal as he seems to be favoured by Lambert. Plus the better players like Shaqiri, Butland and Allen are likely to leave, although hopefully we can hold onto Martins Indi, Diouf, Shawcross and Ndiaye. Wimmer and Berahino are signed until 2022!! Can’t see any club coming in for them, still perhaps Berahino will find his scoring boots again next season…

2018
Haugaard
Johnson
Ireland

2019
Grant
Muniesa
Afellay
Adam
Fletcher
Crouch

2020
Pieters
Cameron
Bojan
Choupo
Shaqiri
Diouf

2021
Butland
Shawcross
Allen
Imbula

2022
Bauer
Edwards
Tymon
BMI
Wimmer
Ndiaye
Ramadan
Berahino
Ngoy
Verlinden
Campbell

On a more cheery note there is a good interview with former boss Gudjon Thordarson here.

Big summer ahead for Stoke City…

Posted in Football, football transfers, News, Stoke City FC, The Premiership with tags , , , , , , on April 9, 2018 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Zouma, Stafylidis and Jese loans end and they will return to their respective clubs, whilst we will have returning loanees Imbula, Bojan and Muniesa. Of those if we are relegated I am sure we will look to loan or sell Imbula. Jacob Haugaard, Glen Johnson and Charlie Adam are all out of contract in the summer, plus Stephen Ireland’s short term contract expires in June. That will be seven out of the squad for starters – can’t see us offering contracts to any of these four.

Then if/when we are relegated we will lose Shaqiri, Joe Allen and Jack Butland plus looks like Badou Ndiaye will be off and Ramadan Sobhi.

Does leave a big rebuilding job for whoever is in charge come the summer (I do think Paul Lambert will be kept on) and hopefully the likes of Grant, Shawcross, Martins Indi, Cameron, Diouf and Bauer will stay, plus Crouch and even Darren Fletcher could prove better at Championship level. That leaves the flops like Berahino and Wimmer to deal with as well, plus Afellay will surely be on his way given recent events. The positive is the decent batch of younger players we have including Tyrese Campbell, Tom Edwards and Sorenson.

Whatever league we end up in next season it will require a massive squad overhaul and rebuilding, which has been long overdue and one of the reasons why we have struggled this season with an unbalanced squad.

Glory Hunter by Brian Darling

Posted in Books, Football, Stoke City, Stoke City FC, The Premiership with tags , , , , , on February 12, 2018 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

gh

Brian Darling is a glory hunter in that he was raised in Rugby and chose to support Stoke as they were going through a purple patch in the early 1970’s when he started supporting Stoke.

His memoir recalls not only watching Stoke, he adds in his career in the banking world which may not be of interest to some, however he gives an interesting insight as to how banking has changed over the years. Fear not though as football is the main focus and Stoke fans will enjoy the highs and lows mentioned in the book. Be it the classy players we have had like Jimmy Greenoff, Mark Stein, Ricardo Fuller, Gordon Banks and Peter Shilton to name but a few to a few donkeys like Keith Scott.

You don’t need to be a Stoke supporter to enjoy this book, as Brian gets onto the printed page the joy of seeing your team win and the abject despair when you get relegated or lose a big cup game (losing to Man City in the FA Cup final still hurts…)

Highly recommended for Stoke fans as a must read and for any lover of football fan memoirs.