I Love Stoke City

Potteries Football Blog

Butland need to prove himself

Posted on May 4, 2017

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has told Jack Butland that he needs to prove himself with his club first before ever thinking of getting a place in the England national team.

This comes after the statement made by the goalkeeper that he wants to establish himself as the first team goalkeeper of the England national team.

Mark Hughes has told him that he needs to take each game one at a time and focus on ending the season well with Stoke City. The coach believes that it is only after this that he will be able to get a sustained run in the national team.

Jack Butland has only been back after a long absence following an injury, and Mark Hughes said that it is too early to be speaking about the national team. He believes that the goalkeeper should be focusing on his performance with the club and then after that considers his place in the England team.

Mark Hughes said that if he performs well with the club, it is natural that he will get a place in the national team and that he should not be worrying for this at this moment. Butland said that the player should focus on improving his performance with the team first and work on his fitness.

Jack Butland has been out for so long, and it is natural that he lacks match fitness. The manager wants him to work hard in training and get some playing time first before considering to be part of the national team. Mark Hughes said that you cannot represent your country if you are not playing well with your club. He said that he is the one to be pleased first before the player ever consider attracting the attention of the England manager.



Posted on March 28, 2017

A columnist for Birmingham Mail has condemned the sad story going around the media concerning the naming and shaming of Stoke City striker Saido Berahino.

The writer asked that the public stopped taking about the ban leaks but face the issue on ground which is the wrong doing of the professional player.

Berahino was not picked by the club as West Bromich Albion tried to cover his eight week ban by the Football Association for his use of “recreational drugs.”

Ross added that he suspected that the player was paid for even missing action due to his actions that brought shame to the club. He added that the actions of Berahino showed a lack of respect for the club that was spending a fortune of him. The player was reported to have come in late for training to the anger of his teammates.

Ross hinted that his anger that Stoke City would point fingers at the Albion for the leak of the news few days to when Berahino was supposed to line up against them in the Premier League. Ross advised that Stoke focus on chastising their player for his unprofessional conduct rather than complain. Ryan Shawcross also put West Brom on blast, accusing the club of having a hand in the leak as it made no sense that they covered it up very well but the news filtered just a few days to their clash.

Tony Pulis was scrutinized when he refused to play Berahino with the media not knowing that the club was trying to shield the scandal. Now the move seems justified though many still blame the club for going to those limits to protect the player. The club was likely avoiding the open blown scandal and PR issues.

West Brom defeated Stoke 1-0 as Berahino was booed throughout the match.



Posted on February 22, 2017

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has revealed that he was disappointed with the leak of his latest acquisition Saido Berahino being banned for failing an out-of-competition drug test.

The striker only just joined Stoke after he completed a winter window transfer. Ahead of a meeting with his former club, there were numerous newspaper reports that said the player was banned for failing a drug test. The Baggies eventually won the match against the Potters 1-0 as the striker started from the bench.

“We knew at some point it would come out but it’s a disappointment. It’s probably disappointing for West Brom too because clearly they were able to keep the issue discreetly under wraps for six or seven months and, lo and behold, two days before a game against his new club it comes out.

“It’s a shame as people would suggest maybe West Brom had something to do with that. I’m not saying that, you can interpret it like that,” Hughes said.

Further development of the story reveals that Albion did all they could to contain the leak and that they fully briefed Stoke of the situation before the Potters paid for the player.

West Brom continued their good form this term as James Morrison’s goal was enough to separate both sides. Salomon Rondon had scored early in the encounter but it was flagged offside. Morrison’s goal was only few minutes apart as he connected with a pass from Nacer Chadli to score.

When Berahino came on in the second half, the fans booed at the player, though they started booing him when he first warmed up before the game started. Stoke tried to equalize but the home side stopped them. The loss see Stoke drop from the top half of the standings.


Mark Hughes comments on International Players in Club

Posted on January 28, 2017

Mark Hughes reveals that his players who have come from other countries are taken aback by the fact that they are supposed to be at the practice ground on 25th of December as well in England, a day when the entire world has a break from work.

There are actually no games scheduled on 25th of December in the English League calendar, but, a number of games happen to be scheduled the day after that which is called the Boxing Day. And it’s only normal that the players go through a full-fledged practice session a day prior to the game, be it any game. So, those teams which have to take part in the Boxing Day matches have to practice on Christmas.

While it’s not such a big deal anymore for those who have come through the ranks in UK and have followed the English system or even for those who have settled in England for some time, the new boys are finding it weird because they haven’t seen it happen at the places they belong to.

In the other countries, the season is separated into two halves by a break in between and that break comes at the time of the Christmas and New Year so that everyone can go home and can have fun, but, in England no such official break comes in the middle of the season. It’s only the international break that halts the season for a bit, but, there is nothing like a holiday break.

As per Hughes, even if the English administrators think of providing any kind of break to the teams ever, it won’t be at this stage of the season; that is towards the end of December. It will probably be in the second or third week of January so that these festive matches continue taking place.


Stoke City have managed to rise above the relegation zone

Posted on December 12, 2016

The start of the season was a disastrous one for Stoke City as they were not able to secure a single victory in any of their 7 opening league matches of this current season. This consistent drop of points saw Stoke City being dropped to the bottom relegation zone.

However, for the past few weeks Mark Hughes and his squad have been able to secure points on a more regular basis and have been able to slowly escape the relegation zone and the head coach of the club, Hughes has recently talked about their recent up-rise as the Welsh manager said:

“We came here with a little bit of confidence, in good nick, looking to ideally get a fourth win on the trot. We weren’t quite able to do that but we’ve kept our run going. That’s six games unbeaten in the Premier League which is something. It is difficult to get runs going. We’ve clearly turned our season around’’

“A lot was made of our opening three or four games where we had a really poor performance against Palace and were well beaten and maybe a half against Tottenham where we weren’t as good as we can be. Apart from that we were always in the other games so we knew we weren’t far away from getting back to the level we know we’re capable of and the last few weeks have proved that.”

This was the statement released by Mark Hughes after his team tied with West Ham on November 5 in a match which had a final scoreboard that displayed 1-1.

Stoke City are going through a fairly impressive form as they recently went through a string of 3 successive triumphs against Sunderland, Hull City and Swansea City. These 3 victories are huge for Mark Hughes and his squad as they collected 9 points and have gone from being located in the bottom spots of the Premier League to the middle section to the 12th spot after having played 11 league matches.



Posted on November 5, 2016

Manchester United and Three Lions skipper Wayne Rooney has been ruled out of the Premier League clash against Stoke City, according to reports.

The Red Devils are poised to face Stoke City at Old Trafford on Sunday in the League, and Coach Jose Mourinho is doing everything possible to ensure they remain on the winning path.

Sky Sports report that Rooney will play in the Europa League game against Zorya Luhansk at Old Trafford, but that he would be on the bench again in the Premier League.

Mourinho dropped the Englishman in the game against the Premier League defending champions – Leicester City last week. The result was United celebrating a 4-1 win, world record transfer signing Pogba bagging the Man of the Match Award and his first goal since returning to England.

The absence of Rooney in the Leicester game was only the third time in four years that he was on the bench in a Premier League game. He was eventually set on by Mourinho when they game was done and dusted with seven minutes to the final whistle.

Rooney has spoken regarding the level of criticism he has had to bear this term. Mourinho claims the forward has been taken aback by the level of criticism, hence the rationale behind taking a back seat for a while.

The three straight losses of the Red Devils really attracted a lot of scrutiny, particularly after the club spent so much during the summer on players’ reinforcements and welfare.

Numerous people have joined to back Rooney to face the stormy water. Defender Chris Smalling said Rooney remains the “main man” for club and country despite the condemnations. “Regardless of whatever the situation is, whatever game, whether he is on the bench or playing or whatever, he is always the same type of character and that’s why he is England’s main man, and our main man,” said Smalling.


Is Mark Hughes admitting defeat in signing Saido Berahino?

Posted on October 16, 2016

For the majority of the summer transfer window, Stoke City’s Mark Hughes has been attempting to lure Saido Berahino to his squad but it seems like this transfer will not be happening as the transfer window is reaching it’s final stages and nothing has really occurred with Berahino and a possible transfer to Stoke City.

The 52 year old Welsh manager has admitted himself that it might be better off for him to attempt and sign another player instead of Saido Berahino and make a last minute surprise signing.

“We’re quite a way down the line with that one, in terms of going back and to. I’m not really up to date in terms of where we are at this moment in time.You have to let these things run their course and give them the time that they deserve. There may well become a point, not necessarily with these negotiations, but certainly some deals just go on and on and you get to a point where you have to make a decision to move on.’’ Stoke City’s Mark Hughes said as he revealed information concerning his current situation involving Saido Berahino.

Stoke City launched an offer in the region of €20 million but it’s believed that West Bromwich Albion will not be letting go of the 23 year old striker until they find a proper replacement but taking into consideration that the summer transfer window is only a few days away from finishing, Mark Hughes doesn’t have a lot of time left to reinforce his squad and he is in a big need to strengthen his offensive department.

Saido Berahino has not scored a single goal in any of the 3 opening matches of the season for West Bromwich Albion, it’s clear that he is struggling and it might be better off for him to join another club and West Bromwich Albion could utilize those funds to sign another player.



Posted on September 7, 2016

Coach Jurgen Klopp gave the go ahead for Mamadou Sakho to be placed on the market before it closes in a matter of days.

The former Dortmund boss isn’t very impressed with Sakho, but he wants to keep him for the future. He is releasing the player to any club only on a loan deal, reports say.

Liverpool defeated Burton Albion on Tuesday, but when Klopp was speaking to reporters, he didn’t confirm the deal outright. He dropped hints, particularly with Sakho not likely to be glad with the transfer at such a turning point for the Reds.

“Everybody who needs to be informed about this have been informed about this. There are no secrets with the important people, I would say,” Klopp noted to the reporters.

The August transfer window closes next week, so Sakho has to get set for a move. Reports that linked him with a move from Anfield claim the move was so he would get better match fitness, and develop to return better for the team. The concern is that Sakho is the first sent out on six months loan to regain fitness, even when Joe Gomez, Danny Ings and Daniel Sturridge struggled with fitness.

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes is set to help Sakho as he is offering the 26-year old defender an escape route to join his side. Same Stoke got Joe Allen from Liverpool, and would be building on that relationship to add the player as well. Stoke conceded four goals when they encountered Manchester City in the Premier League, so they could really use an experienced help. Sakho is one of Liverpool’s bests; so many other clubs would be ready to receive him. Red Devils player Phil Jones is linked with a move to Stoke City but Hughes might prefer Sakho.


Peter Crouch may make move to Swansea

Posted on August 14, 2016

There are media reports that former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch may make a move to Swansea City in the coming days.

Indeed the Welsh side is currently short on strikers and may be in the market for at least two attacking reinforcements. Several attacking players are going to leave Swansea in the summer, and the club is actively looking for a replacement. BatetimbiGomis is said to be going out on a season loan to French side Marseille while Alberto Paloschi and Eder are both going to be sold.

It is believed that Swansea has made inquiries for Peter Crouch, and it is believed that they are preparing a £3 million bid for the player. Peter Crouch has enjoyed a poor season with Stoke City last term and might be favorable to a transfer. Indeed the tall striker has been quite frustrated with his lack of playing time and will feel that a move to Swansea may revive his career.

It is also reported that Swansea City might also make a move for Leicester City’s striker Leonardo Ulloa. The latter had risen to prominence last term when he helped Leicester City end up the season as champion. However, with the departure of Kante and potential departure of Mahrez, it is very unlikely that Claudio Ranieri will allow Leonardo Ulloa to leave the team.

Leonardo Ulloa has stated that he is happy to remain with Leicester City and want to be part of the team next season. Indeed Leicester City is going to play in the Champions League next season, and it is very hard to imagine that Leonardo Ulloa will want to forego this possibility and play with Swansea.

However, time is running out for Swansea City, and they might want to finalize the Crouch deal as soon as possible.


Geoff Cameron claims that he is more worried about keeping his place in the first team

Posted on July 16, 2016

Stoke City’s Geoff Cameron claims that he is more worried about keeping his place in the first team of the Premier League outfit for the 2016-17 campaign since he expects the club to have a busy transfer window.

There have already been reports that manager Mark Hughes has been looking at several players who are unable to get game time at top clubs like Barcelona. Christian Tello is one of the names being linked with a move to Stoke City. A transfer will not be beyond the possibility since Stoke City already have a former Barcelona player in the squad – Bojan Krkic.

Cameron is currently with Uruguay at the centenary edition of the Copa America. Doing well in this tournament will be a major boost for Cameron’s hopes of getting the attention from Hughes. The 30-year-old is a versatile player in the Stoke City dressing room. For the first time, he has admitted that his versatility may be starting to hurt his first-team opportunities. Stoke have been quietly improving the squad since the arrival of Hughes. The revamp is expected to continue even though the club come on the back of an impressive campaign in which theyonce again finished in the top half.

It is a major achievement for a club who were once known for their long ball style game.“The main thing for me is to get a shirt. As long as I’m playing I’m happy so we’ll see. I imagine Mark Hughes will be looking to strengthen the group. It’s one of those normal things but a lot of my focus at the moment is on the national team.The main thing for us is to get out of the group and then anything is possible,”said Cameron, whose United States national team is one of the favourites to win the tournament.