It’s always difficult when a manager who has overseen a dramatic turnaround in a club’s fortunes leaves his project behind. Tony Pulis may have thought ‘style’ was putting a small bit of curl on your hoof towards Peter Crouch’s forehead, but it was effective and established Stoke in the top flight – much to the delight of the league’s physios.
Thankfully for the Potters, Mark Hughes isn’t a manager likely to change things too much. If Pulis was hardcore S&M, Hughes is more ‘vigourous spanking’ – not quite as intense, but still likely to leave a few people rather sore. With plenty of Premier League experience and a squad capable of competing at a high level when they feel arsed, you’d think Hughes would be able to keep them out of trouble. But that’s also what we said when he was in charge of QPR about 12 months ago and that didn’t end so well. With a patchy record of seeing out contracts, there’s always a chance he won’t be around for too long.
Overly optimistic pre-season tweet:
Less optimistic Christmas-time tweet:
Bitterly disappointed end of season tweet: