Team guides. Stoke City.

August 15, 2012

Key player – Jonathan Walters – 6.5m

Made a blistering start to last season, but tailed off in the second half. Listed as a midfielder, but plays off the front man, and takes penalties. Kind of a Championship Clint Dempsey, but as reliable as any other 6.5 million midfielder.

New signing – Michael Kightly – 5.5m

Signed from Wolves on the back of a promising end of season in which he scored 3 goals. Couldn’t save them from relegation, but at least it looked like he gave a shit, which is more than could be said for the rest of the squad. Already scored for Stoke in a friendly appearance. Kightly on one side and Etherington on the other will be supplying the high balls for Crouchy to boot into the Trent (and maybe sometimes – the net).

Bargain buy – Asmir Begovic/Thomas Sorensen – 4.5m

Pick ’em both. Then you’re always guaranteed a keeper appearance. Pulis chops and changes between the two. Last season Stoke kept a respectable 9 clean sheets. Begovic kept 6, Sorensen 3. Stoke slipped back a little last season, but that was probably due to the idiotic Thursday/Sunday scheduling involved with the Europa League. No such distractions this season, and they could finish higher – with maybe even a few more clean sheets into the bargain.

Avoid – Matthew Upson – 4.5m

Not that long ago Upson was 3rd choice England centre back. Now he’s struggling to be Stoke’s 3rd choice.


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