Over the weekend, Stoke City confirmed a first home pre-season friendly since 2014 where we took victory over La Liga side Real Betis. The game finished 2-0 with goals coming from Erik Pieters and Bojan, and whilst the return to home soil as a factor in seasonal build-ups was a source of delight for fans…the opposition certainly wasn’t.
???? The Potters will play host to @Wolves as part of preparations for the 2018/19 Championship season.
— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) May 26, 2018
Playing host to locals Wolverhampton Wanderers as part of our preparations ahead of 2018/19, the simple fact they ran away with the Championship title whilst we suffered relegation with little more than a whimper, left some calling for heads to roll when it came to making the decision.
Which wolly came up with this idea?
— Frosty (@FrostyT2T) May 26, 2018
How they came up with this idea I'll never know. They really are out of touch with fan sentiment.
— Neil John Thompson (@Squonk47) May 26, 2018
Yeah lots of elements not to look forward to in that game. Even if we win it’ll be “early in their preparation” and “not the full team”. The bottom line is they’ve gone up and we’ve gone down.
— Jamo (@ricohjam) May 26, 2018
— Lee Hawthorne (@ORFYDUCKMAG) May 26, 2018
FFS somebody needs the sack for this ????
— StokieUK (@pharbron) May 26, 2018
— ROBIN LLEWELYN-LEACH (@ROBANDTHEMOB) May 26, 2018
Yeah you’re right whoever thought that one up needs looking at!!
— Dave Jones (@Bonner_DJ) May 26, 2018
Absolutely brilliant… ???????????? well done stoke!… somebody doesn’t know their history
— Simon (@commiecuts) May 26, 2018
Cancel it ffs. Just cancel it.
— Mr. Red (@MrOrange1863) May 26, 2018
Well if that isn't rubbing our noses in it I don't know what is.ffs.????????????
— kins#scfc (@bigpaul7) May 26, 2018
Of course, others were quick to talk about an overreaction to the news but football is an emotional game and emotions will out. Others felt it would be a good test and grounding ahead of the coming Championship season given the battles we will now face.
Problem is, Wolves stood out in the division and their quality of play and style is more akin to Premier League opponents, not the dour, scrappy games we will now have to suffer from others.
There are plenty of other tests the club could’ve lined up for pre-season that would’ve served a better purpose than this one. If they play anything like they did this year, what Gary Rowett is supposed to learn from it eludes me.
The game is however set for Wednesday, July 25 at the Bet365 Stadium and an educated guess would be 7.45pm or 8pm for the kickoff.