8 Reasons to be Happy About the Start of the Season
Once more the start of a Stoke City season hasn’t provided much to write home about it, or has it? Let’s take a look and try to take a positive out of everything.
1. We have our 20 goal a season striker
Wilfried Bony scores goals. When he was given a starting position at Swansea he averaged just under a goal every two games. Diouf scores every four games, Walters every five games and Crouch every five too, for comparison. We will give him the run of games and consistency he needs and he will bang them in for us, I’m sure of it.
2. Goal difference is even
Despite shipping a perhaps undeserved four goals to the blue side of Manchester our goal difference for the season so far isn’t THAT bad. Yes, four of those goals came against a bang average League 2 side but we didn’t score any against Luton last year so I’m counting it. I’d take even goal difference at the end of the season so I’ll take it four games in to the season too.
3. An exceedingly exciting transfer deadline day
It’s tragically over the top but no one can deny that transfer deadline day is an enthralling affair. In the Mark Hughes era we haven’t really been treated to a deadline day frenzy, especially when compared to the madness that ensued when Pulis had control. Three new signings, two of which will make an immediate impact on the first team. Maybe they will bring the end of any defensive/attacking issues. Maybe not.
— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) August 31, 2016
4. Youth players in the squad
I say players, it’s more just one. Many Stoke players voiced their discontent about the inclusion, or subsequent lack of, youth team players in the league cup squad that faced Stevenage. Perhaps the Stoke hierarchy heard the pitchforks sharpening, perhaps Joselu’s imminent departure created an opportunity or perhaps the time was right but against Everton Julien Ngoy was named on the bench. Hopefully it’s not too long before we see a youth team player stretch their legs properly on the Bet365 turf.
5. We don’t win in August anyway
The last time we notched three points in August was when Diouf scored one of the goals of the season, bursting down the entire length of the Etihad to pop the ball through Joe Hart’s legs. Since Hughes has been in charge of the Potters there have only been three wins in the first month of the season. Cut him some slack, he clearly has an issue with winning in August.
6. Tough start to the campaign
Promotion side away (with a stellar defensive record), title favourites at home and a strong Premier League side with one of the Managers of last season at their helm. Not an easy start by any stretch of the imagination. If these results were spread across the season I don’t think there would be many complaints about the results we ended up with. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get any easier with Spurs up next…
7. Refs are being refs
Apparently Stoke are being targeted. Two of the games so far have been significantly impacted by the man in black. Especially the penalty conceded to Everton. Ashley Williams has a history of gaining questionable penalties from our lot, and refs are hawk eyed to see when he falls over in the box. Surely we can’t always be the victims of these soft corner associated penalties. Surely?!
8. Joe Allen
Nothing else needs to be said.
Written by Ben Cartwright
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