This is the discussion thread for the article page here:
Discussion thread: Premier League 2012/13 - Team Preview - Manchester Utd
Please use this thread if you have any feedback / comments / discussion on this article.
The full article page is quoted below:
- Position Last Year – 14th
- League odds – 3501 (YouWin)
- FA Cup odds – 41 (BetFred)
- League Cup odds – 41 (BetVictor)
Who’s in who’s out?
- In – Geoff Cameron, Michael Kightly, Jamie Ness
- Out – Jonathan Woodgate, Salif Diao, Ricardo Fuller, Danny Collins, Danny Higginbotham
Does that mean they’ve improved?
We’re not really sure if Stoke have finished their business or not, but there’s not much there to say they’re going to throw the millions required to step into the next level of the Premier League. Stoke actually provide a very interesting case study in what it takes to compete.
Over the last couple of seasons they’ve spent big to bring in name footballers, some of them still in their prime, and it’s not really got them anywhere other than mid-table. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with that it just shows that there are multiple glass ceilings in the premier league and it takes smart acquisitions and smart management to get on. Stoke may at the moment be failing on the acquisition front but they’re manager is steady if unspectacular. You wonder whether getting rid of Pulis, however unpalatable that is when he’s brought so much to the club, is the logical step.
Stoke will be difficult to beat, of that there’s no doubt. Will they earn a standing ovation from opposition fans for the beauty of their football? No. They’ll be in and around the mid table positions again with no real threat of relegation. With the loss of Bolton and Blackburn there’s actually a dearth of ‘physical’ sides left in the premier league which could actually play into their hands as it the opposition won’t come up against that style so often.
Where will they finish this year – 12th
They’re doing something right as they’ve been in the top division for a number of years, but at what point will the fans revolt and the football being served up which is more functional than spectacular?
Player worth watching?
If you’re not a fan of their brand of football then you’d be hard pressed to find one, but that does the team as disservice. Whilst experimentations with ‘flair’ players like Tunkay may not have worked as well as was hoped there is genuine talent in the ranks and Matthew Etherington is always good value.
<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Sdj94WDNK0Y" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Who would they want back?
The Potteries has been home to many a black and white, or even pre TV legend, but in the modern era it’s got to be their former player and later manager Chris Kamara. Not only did he win their player of the year award for his no nonsense performances in defence and midfield, but he also managed them for 14 games with the laughable win ration of 7.14% (that’s 1 win if you’re not mathematically minded). All this is just an excuse to see his soccer Saturday highlights though.
<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/pwcaT2VKEy8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
(whack the old volume up a bit... ed)