In Honour of our Sweet Prince

If you haven’t seen the tragic news, it has been announced that Dionatan Teixeira has departed Stoke City by mutual consent. ‘Johnny’ Tex signed for Stoke in the summer of 2014, after completing a short trial and impressing Mark Hughes. Fans named him the Slovako-Brazilian Ryan Shawcross, whilst Sparky himself said Tex reminded him of Ryan Nelson and Chris Samba who he had previously signed after trials.

Tex has an illustrious record as a Stoke player, with a 100% win record in the league for the Potters. His first appearance came against Aston Villa in a 2-1 victory. Stoke had initial trailed and Mame Diouf had brought the Potters level, but it was after Teixeira’s introduction that the game changed in Stoke’s favour. Minutes after the Slovako-Brazilians introduction Stoke won a penalty which Victor Moses buried with composure. Many point to Teixeira’s introduction as one of the most important turning points in Stoke’s modern history.

His next, and now final league appearance, came in a 3-1 romping away at Bournemouth. Again, Tex played a pivotal role from the bench as he ensured Stoke all three points, in what was arguably the sides’ best performance of the year. The Potters led 1-0 at half time, and again within minutes of Teixeira’s introduction, Stoke galloped into a further lead. First it was 2 and then it was 3, it became clear that the dominating presence of the legendary 23 allowed the attackers and midfielders the freedom to take the game to Howe’s men. The Cherries pulled a goal back with a fantastic long range effort from Matt Ritchie. However, this should be viewed as a cautionary tale, as Ritchie is the only player to ever score against Tex, and shortly after doing so was banished from the Premier League into the Championship and has not been heard of since.

Johnny Tex clearly displayed top quality ability in both fixtures, but this was not seen by boss Mark Hughes, who failed to give Tex the game time he deserved. This did not stop the Slovako-Brazilian, as he went on a personal mission to force Hughes’ hand. Unfortunately, Tex found himself injuring attackers, instead of the defenders whose absence would increase the likely hood of his play time. It was not just Hughes who insulted the brilliance that is Johnny Tex, as EA Sports famously spelt his name incorrectly, leading many Stokies to burn their copies of the game.

Rumours began to swirl in the summer of 2016 that Teixeira was off to the MLS to begin a new chapter in his career. But Tex had an awareness that he was too highly valued by the fans, and began sabotaging his own move. During this period, he took time out of his busy training schedule to attend Stoke’s first pre-season game, against lowly Burton who Tex was clearly too good to play against, and even had time to take photos with his adoring fans.

Ultimately it became clear the Dionatan was not valued enough to have a place in the side, as Stoke decide to register 5 goal-keepers in their 25 man squad instead of giving the Slovako-Brazilian a place. Teixeira will be remembered as one of the greatest cult hero’s the side has ever had, and in this humble blogger’s opinion it is time to build that statue.

Written by Tom Thrower

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