The Twohundredpercent Pre-Season Previews: Stoke City

Ian

Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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7 Responses

  1. Tim Vickerman says:

    I fully understand the arguments about the extra burden the UEFA Cup (as it actually is) places on a small squad with its main target to stay up.

    And I do think it should revert to the old two-legged knockout system (or ideally an unseeded, one legged FA Cup style knock-out tournament). But if I were a Stoke fan, I’d be excited about playing in Europe, if they get to the groups stage, there’s a good chance of some decent European opposition you don’t play every season turning up at the Britannia. I should think the chance to see Roma, Lazio, PSG, Sevilla, Schalke, PSV, even Rangers or Celtic turning up ‘on a wet Thursday in Stoke’ would be more attractive than more meetings with Fulham, Sunderland and Blackburn.

  2. Jon Davies says:

    Great summary of our progress and well written!

    Very excited this season, provided that we can preserve our Premiership status, which I think we will.

    I’d also be very happy with a graceful exit at the group stages, however, dependent upon the signings we make before Sept. 1st, our unique brand of football could take us quite far.

    I’d also like to add that whilst you suggest that the media hype vastly simplifies the complexity of our methods, I would argue that we play some beautiful football at times.

    Played Arsenal off the park at the Britannia, completely annihilated Bolton (as you rightly mention) and scored some incredible goals.

    Whilst we have direct outlets we don’t play bad football. It’s effective but once the ball is around the opposition penalty area/in the opposition’s half, we are fantastic!

    Exciting times to be a Stoke fan!

  3. Ian says:

    Tim, I quite agree. With the amount of money sluicing around it, I can understand why the Champions League plays group matches. What exactly is gained from the interminable group stage of the Europa League – apart from injuries, less than full houses, maybe a little more tv money and the perception that it is all dragging on too much – is beyond me.

  4. Tim Vickerman says:

    It is a shame that tournament that, arguably, was for a long time harder to win than the European Cup should be seen as such a burden, rather than a privilege.

    It will never offer the same financial rewards as the Champions League and will always play second fiddle but that doesn’t mean it should try to imitate its big brother. UEFA has a chance to try something new and give it a unique character, I feel.

    Anyway, that’s probably enough about that. Congratulations to Stoke for getting past Hajduk Split and I’d like to see them do well.

    I’m a Huddersfield fan and Stoke are a club to aspire to. I don’t think the constant bashing of them by the big club-obsessed media is shared by many football fans in England.

  5. Johnnyfstoke says:

    A really good article , sums us up better than virtually all of the media. I hope we can make the group stages of the Europa League even if pragmatism has to come if out League form suffers , the experience is good for all and so far fans have really embraced European football , a lot will depend on increasing both the quality and size of the squad and high wage demands are making that job very difficult at present

  6. Wal says:

    Great article. Good read. I just wish that (most of) the media would actually watch us,as you have, to see that we aren’t a bunch of knee-capping neanderthals. We’ve brought something back to the money bags Premier Greed League -a bit ‘more old skool, a bit more like football used to be-dirty, smelly, sweaty, passionate, noisy, angry and fun’.
    Quote from ‘ a view to a kiln’ wembley edition.
    Go on Stoke!

  7. Quacky says:

    Cracking piece and the double edged sword you refer to is something which I feel is lurching in the back of many Stokies minds. However having just returned from Split after watching Stoke play in Europe for the first time in my lifetime, I have experienced something I shall not forget for the rest of my life! Here’s hoping that Stoke don’t suffer the European hangover I am at the moment!

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