Monday, December 5, 2022

Why Stoke City Are Right Now Staring Down The Barrel Of Relegation?

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Robert Davenport
Long suffering Stoke City fan. Hoping to see the glory days in this lifetime.

Stoke City were dealt an enormous blow to their Championship survival hopes last night, with a resounding 3-0 loss to Wigan. The club as a whole seem to be in complete disarray both on and off the pitch. Many Stoke fans are in the process of preparing for League One football next season, as there looks to be no hope whatsoever when going off recent performances, this as well as the upcoming fixtures ahead.

Stoke’s final six fixtures consist of Barnsley, Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol City, Brentford and Nottingham Forest. Four of those sides have high hopes and expectations of promotion. They also face the likes of Barnsley, who seem to be hitting a rich vein of form. It’s hard to see where Stoke could possibly gain points from, as Barnsley at home on paper should be an equal match up. However, with the recent performances from both sides, there looks like there’s only one clear winner.

Many of the players within the Stoke squad have been criticised with lack of effort. Since the leagues restart, they have managed to scrape a point away against Reading, followed by two gutless showings at the hands of Middlesbrough and Wigan, both ending in defeats. Both of those sides are in the relegation battle themselves.

Joe Allen for Stoke City
STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 08: Joe Allen of Stoke City gets past David Davis of Charlton during the Sky Bet Championship match between Stoke City and Charlton Athletic at Bet365 Stadium on February 08, 2020 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

One potential reason for the sharp downturn in form could be the huge miss of Joe Allen. Since the midfielder has been out through injury, it’s left a rather big gap in midfield. His energy and ability to put tackles in was pivotal to the Stoke team.

Without him, the Potters seems weak and particularly in midfield, absolutely pathetic. It’s important that Stoke find a solution to this problem, and fast. If not, it could be the club’s second relegation within a matter of 3 years. After all, no one wants to go down the Sunderland way.

With the likes of Wigan, Barnsley, Luton and Charlton and potentially Middlesbrough all seemingly hitting a bit of form, Stoke deep in the mire of the relegation battle. Michael O’Neill will have to perform somewhat of a miracle to keep the club afloat. Whilst listening to him after the game against Wigan, it’s pretty clear to see he’s not happy with the players he has in the dressing room. It’s a huge task for O’Neill, but if there is anyone the Stoke City fans would want to lead them through it, it’s Michael O’Neill.

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