Date: 12th September 2006 at 1:09pm
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So we`re 7 games into Tony Pulis` second reign, maybe not enough to make a concrete judgement but enough for some impatient Stoke fans to be calling for his head already.
Some argue this isn`t the 7th game of Tony Pulis` management at Stoke, true, but he lost a whole season last year as the continuity was knocked out of his management following Johan Boskamp`s arrival and then departure.
It could be argued Tony Pulis achieved his goals before being reinstated as Potters boss. When he arrived, the aim was to stay up. We did. The next season, we needed to consolidate. We did. The season after, he needed backing. He wasn`t and our exciting signing of pre-season was a keeper, Steve Simonsen (a bloody good one mind!). He still achieved a mid-table placing ahead of the likes of Leicester, Leeds and Coventry, all heavy spenders. He did this on one of the lowest wage budgets in the division, something proved by Deloitte and Touche.
We all know the football wasn`t Brazilian style, but we were, and still are (5 games unbeaten as I write) tough to beat. People see Stoke as a tough fixture under Pulis.
The majority of fans don`t feel like I do though, and here with have the problem.
On Saturday against Barnsley we raced out of the blocks into a two goal lead. We then, for whatever reason, sat back and succumbed our lead to let Barnsley into the game. Something to feel disappointed about of course, but not a reflection of the sheer vitriolic, nasty hatred shown towards our manager at the end of the game. We didn`t lose the game. We haven`t lost since the opening day of the season in the league, in fact. Yeah, let`s berate the manager and forget about a bit of stability which he could offer us hey?!
It was only three games ago people were praising our display against Birmingham, citing the lads as “magnificent” and really being positive about things. We`d just outplayed the favourites, the multi-million pound guys of the division. Three games later and the ant-Pulis brigade are back in force, despite not one solitary league defeat since the “positive days” of Derby and Birmingham. Fickle can`t sum it up. The players are becoming visibly frustrated at the lack of support shown towards the team and the manager. Steve Simonsen epitomised this on Saturday when he shouted something in the direction of The Potters faithful (who incidentally, had been chanting “Tony Pulis` Barmy Army” when we were two goals up).
We all know points are being scored in both directions. When Pulis does something good, the pro-Pulis supporters take aim. Vice versa when we lose. The two camps are splitting the club in two and it`s done no good for the “feel good factor” which we haven`t seen at the club since the Derby victory.
I`m not all rose tinted glasses when it comes to TP though. He should have sorted out our central midfield problem by now. We`ve struggled along with Darel “we’re in red and white for f**ks sake” Russell and Dave “pass it forward PLEASE” Brammer. The lack of work rate pushes them through in a way, but they aren`t good enough and need replacing. Hopefully with Eustace on the right path now, he`ll be involved soon. But we can`t rely on that one can we?! It`s something TP needs to sort out.
Pulis is our manager and generally he`s been good for Stoke City. We know he has his faults, but who doesn`t? Finally we have a manager who loves the club and relishes the challenge.
We need unity and people need to back Tony Pulis.


8 Replies to “Pulis Needs To Be Backed…Comment”

  • Jon: we also need peace in the Middle East but that won’t happen either. The man (& the man behind the man: Coates who brought him back) has cut his cloth & divided (past tense) the fans, period. I stand by what i said when he came back, that he will need a chuffin miracle and / or to be 8 points clear of the pack at Christmas to “win” back those currently against him. It’s not going to happen now. I like many hope he’s not here at Christmas but realise of course that he will be. Unlike two of our best players: and just where is the editorial comment about the club’s treatment of Hoofers & Sam Bang please? On a positive note, you are right – we do need a new midfield and quick.

  • u havent had that bad of a start. pericard seems to be doing ok but he used to dive when he was with us!

  • You said it, John. Seven games in and the vultures are already circling, ready to pounce whenever we fail to pick up three points in a game.
    To be honest, like most Stokies I was not dancing in the streets at the prospect of Pulis returning because before he went, the team was desperately poor to watch.
    Whoever had come in with Coates as chairman did not have a lot of time to get their players in so I think it’s fair for TP to ask for a bit of patience.
    Fantastic a player though he was, Bangoura’s obviously decided he doesn’t want to stay and how the hell that’s Pulis’ fault is beyond me. Fuller seems like a good signing and our defenders have not become bad overnight.
    True, we’ve got a donkey playing in central midfield and we need to get a better player than Brammer.
    But does anyone think that Coates is going to dump Pulis after going through all that effort to get him? And if it was anyone else, or any other club, wouldn’t we laugh at the idea you can judge any manager on the basis of seven games? It’s Tony Pulis, guys, not Satan himself. He’s a bit dull, he isn’t going to produce teams that play like Brazil but he’s managing our club.
    All we’re doing when we boo the team is handing an advantage to any team we play against. If that’s what you want, keep on fighting each other.
    If you care about the club, pack it in now, before you do some serious damage.

  • I think Stokebloke is right – Pulis will still be here at Christmas and probably to the end of the season. Beyond that, it will depend entirely upon what sort of season we have had.

    Given that TP will be managing the team until April, fans have three choices:

    # Spend their energy on a failed mission to evict him and in doing so destabilise the team and the players and ensure results are worse than they would otherwise be.

    # Go away and wint until the nightmare (in the eyes of some) is over.

    # Do what fans of this club have always done – get behind the team and pray for success.

    For me the third option makes most sense – I started to support this club over 40 years ago – I shall continue to support them whoever manages the team or owns the club. I thought in their last couple of years that the Icelanders had run out of money and ideas and I grew to believe that Bozzie was the wrong man for the job. – It didn’t stop me turning up and cheering the team on.

  • Fornside (& co) I understand that view & i don’t think fans’ long term loyalty is in question. Their frustration however is bourne out of: all talk & no action (transfers – lack of tangible activity overall / apparent deceit over this “warchest” / failiure to replace some obvious deadwood and supplement it with some genuine flair in midfield) a large amount of “smoke & mirrors” going on re Sam Bang & now Hoofers (or a large “degree of economy with the truth” if you want to put it that way) and some very lack lustre performances (& results accordingly) from the team. And all this from a team that, according to their manager, is so keen to “push on”. It’s just that we all know we could be doing so much better.

  • Stokebloke – I understand what you say – but what do you plan to DO? My three options seem to tbe the only ones available – you don’t seem the sort to walk away and if you can’t throw your energy into fully supprting the team, that leaves you with option one. But option one isn’t going to work – at least not in the sense of hastening TP’s departure. Remember (unusually for a football club) the manager and the Chairman are friends. Coates is going to give TP time to build his squad whatever you do to try to throw a spanner in the works. So, as TP is going to be here until April anyway, why not just get behind the team? I presume like the rest of us you would like as high a finish as possible?

  • Dead right, TP will not be going anywhere just because some fans don’t want him. Coates is going nowhere becauses he owns the club. The club will be going nowhere if the fans are not behind the players.
    If it all goes pear shaped because a section of the fans never got behind the team then maybe TP will get the sack at the end of the season.
    Do you really want rid of TP enough to see us back in the pits of League 1 ?

  • Guys: no, of course i don’t want us in Div 1, quite the opposite, literally. There is nothing i would like more for us to do a Reading or a Watford believe me. So it’s back to the old issue of blind faith again: to keep a lid on it & slavishly offer support regardless or to express genuine concerns – that’s the hard bit. And so i guess i’m just in the camp that doesn’t think TP & PC should be exempt from such criticism, they deserve it.

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