Since his appointment as Stoke City boss back in 2013, Mark Hughes transformed their heavily criticised style of play and secured a ‘top ten’ finish in consecutive Campaigns. Although the Potters were closing in on a European spot, their progress, however, suffered a setback as they slipped to a thirteenth-placed finish this term.
Players Who Impressed This Season
Joe Allen, the £13 mil signing from Liverpool, has been one of the few of their stars who performed consistently. Lee Grant enjoyed a highly impressive campaign as he deputised for injured custodian Jack Butland quite effectively. Also, the Dutch international Bruno Martins Indi was loaned in from Porto and settled in well in a vulnerable Stoke back-line.
Players Who Have Disappointed The Most
A lot of Stoke City players failed to live up to the expectations. Giannelli Imbula failed to settle in midfield and is set to depart prior to next campaign. Ryan Shawcross, the veteran Centre-back, had a series of error-prone outings whereas, both Saido Berahino and Wilfried Bony struggled in front of goal. Ibrahim Afellay had another injury-riddled campaign, whereas, out of favour former Barcelona forward Bojan Krkic was loaned to FSV Mainz 05 following series of unimpressive outcomes and will be sold prior to next campaign as per various outlets.
Stoke City had a disappointing Campaign as their progress suffered a major blow as they slipped down to 13th spot in the league table. Also, the Potters managed to proceed through to the semi-final of League Cup competition last year. However, they had a miserable cup run this time being knocked out from the third round of both domestic cup competitions. Stoke have significantly improved their style of play since Tony Pulis’ ‘Pulisball’ days and have shown ambition during transfer market after securing deals for a number of top-notch resources. But it is high time for the gaffer to constitute a comeback, even stronger than before, and re-register their European dreams.
Areas Of Improvement
Stoke City need significant reinforcements in multiple positions, particularly in attack as 36-year old veteran Peter Crouch has been their top scorer of the 2016-17 campaign. Also, their defence is vulnerable and Mark Hughes is keen to make Bruno Martins Indi’s move permanent from Porto. They need to strengthen their midfield as well and should find an apt resource who will dictate the game alongside Joe Allen.
Expectations From 2017-18 Season
Stoke City will be determined to regain their lost status and register them as a quality Premier League mid-table outfit who will be pushing for a place in Europe like previous seasons. Also, the likes of Marko Arnautovic and Xherdan Shaqiri need to step up now and lead their attack that lacked creativity as well as consistency. Mark Hughes, the Potters boss, has to rebuild his squad meticulously and be prepared for ‘Plan B’ that they lacked throughout this campaign.
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