Stoke City has been guided by Mark Hughes to three straight ninth-place finishes for 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 season, their best place finish since 1974-75 before finishing 13th last season. However, their team which has added weight by bringing in new players like Jese from Paris Saint Germain, Kurt Zouma from Chelsea and Saido Berahino from West Bromwich Albion in January has failed to perform this season.
Stoke City is known for their mettlesome defending and they have become famous in the footballing world as the place teams struggle to win points at. Their physical style of football at the bet365 stadium has been popularized to the extent that it is now considered an achievement for teams who to win matches on a “cold, rainy night at Stoke”.
They are a powerful side with tall burly players all across the pitch who loves to play the physical game. With the addition of stout and pacey attackers, they perfected their balance on the pitch. However, things have fallen apart this season. As is always the case with any club suffering a loss of form, the axe falls on the manager. Mark Hughes is no exception. This was their club statement.
“Stoke City can confirm that the contract of manager Mark Hughes has been terminated with immediate effect,” the club stated in a string of comments posted on Twitter.
“We would like to thank Mark for all he has achieved for the Club over the last four and a half years, notably in guiding us to three successive ninth places finishes in the Premier League, and we wish him every success for the future.
“The Club will look to appoint a new manager as soon as possible and will be making no further comment at this time.”
With Hughes removed, here is a look at the possible options for Stoke to chase to replace him as manager.
The former West Bromwich and Albion and Stoke City manager came into the limelight for introducing to the Premier League a Stoke City side that bullied opponents. The core of his team had a physical tenacity to outmuscle their opponents and grind out results. He tried a similar approach in West Brom where things did not fall into place this season and it ended with the Welshman getting the sack.
As the merry go round goes playing, he could be one option for Stoke to pursue. Though the Englishman has already taken on the charge at Championship club Middlesbrough but the chance of a return to the top flight might be too hard to resist for him.
Garry Monk shocked Leeds United at the end of last season by resigning from his job and took over at Middlesbrough. He has now been sacked at the club after failing to perform and a chance at Stoke City might help both the concerned parties.
Burnley are enjoying a dream start to their 2017-18 season. In a season where the good teams like Everton and West Ham United have failed to turn up, Burnley have gone about their business quietly. They are now seventh on the table just behind the top six sides of England. Their achievement becomes even more impressive when it is noted that they competing against teams who have far better financial resources than them. The majority of the credit will go to Sean Dyche and he may be sought out by Stoke City.