2015/16 Conclusions #3: Butland and Arnautovic rise above the rest

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The player of the season contest was only ever a two-horse race, and if the identity of the contenders couldn’t quite be described as a surprise, it’s also fair to say you wouldn’t necessarily have called it this way at the start of the season. Both Jack Butland and Marko Arnautovic began 2015/16 with something to prove. Continue reading

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2015/16 Conclusions #2: Injuries wreak havoc

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There’s no getting away from it, injuries did serious damage to our prospects in 2015-16. Continue reading

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Conclusions 2015/16 #1: Ninth feels like both an accomplishment and regression

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How to even begin unravelling Stoke City’s season, when the Premier League in general chose 2015/16 to fall into the realms of Fantasia? This was one long mad hatter’s tea party, starting with a row with a club doctor knocking the league’s most powerful manager from his perch and ending with Nessun Dorma bringing the house down as the unlikeliest English champions in history took their applause. Continue reading

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The Top 5 Conclusions from Stoke City 2-1 West Ham United 15.05.16

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1) A bright finish we never saw coming

Before kick off, three points seemed unlikely. At half time, they looked impossible. Another thrashing looked a distinct possibility, while at the other end it had seemed as if the next man in a Stoke shirt to score a goal at the Brit might be one of the old boys returning to pay tribute to Andy Wilkinson, like Chris Iwelumo. Continue reading

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The Top 5 Conclusions from Crystal Palace 2-1 Stoke City 07.05.16

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1) Serious grounds for concern

As English football’s unlikeliest of champions prepared for a bonkers party in the East Midlands, the only dilly dinging and indeed donging in Potteries football is coming from the alarm bells that are well and truly clanging now. Continue reading

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The Top 5 Conclusions from Stoke City 1-1 Sunderland 30.04.16

1) A curious improvement

Ordinarily, a draw at home to the side in 17th place – coming as a result of a penalty conceded in the 92nd minute – would be a weekend ruiner. Disappointing though this draw undeniably is, however, especially in light of Stoke’s dominance and the chances they created, this was a fixture where the performance mattered more than the result. Some weeks, it’s just nice not to lose 4-0. Continue reading

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The Top 5 Conclusions from Manchester City 4-0 Stoke City 23.04.16

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1) This is getting embarrassing now

When you go into a game actively expecting to lose 4-0, something is badly wrong. At the end of a week when the world lost Prince, Stoke partied not like it was 1999, but 1998. All this needed was Shaun Goater casually lobbing the sumo version of Neville Southall. Continue reading

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The Top 5 Conclusions from Stoke City 0-4 Tottenham Hotspur 18.04.16

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1) An exercise in sloth and cowardice

 Strewth, where to start dissecting this? Shall we start by getting the excuses out of the way? Continue reading

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The Top 5 Conclusions from Liverpool 4-1 Stoke City 13.04.16

1) A Mersey killing

Well that’s pretty much that then. Technically it might well still be possible to finish strongly and even sneak into Europe. But this was a performance that screamed ‘it’s over’. There are too many players out, and the ones that remained are a disorganised rabble. Ring the bell, blow the whistle, unfurl the towels, wax your bikini line. See you in August. Continue reading

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The Top 5 Conclusions from Stoke City 2-2 Swansea City 02.04.16

1) Stoke do it to themselves (and that’s what really hurts)

For some reason, this feels worse than a defeat. Continue reading

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