Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Tuesday May 16 2006
The jungle drums are beating and they all seem to be saying the same thing: Tony Pulis will be returning to Stoke City as manager as soon as Coates has completed his purchase of the majority shareholding from the current Icelandic owners, which could be as soon as Friday.
There are still some formalities to be gone through such as requesting permission to talk to Pulis from his current employers, Plymouth Argyle. But again, reports suggest that this should not be an obstacle.
Fansí views seem to be mixed. Whilst he was generally well regarded during his last tenure, many people thought his style of football was negative and think that it is time to move on and get someone else who can push the club onwards and upwards.
Pulisís supporters will point to the fact that he did what he could with the resources that were put at his disposal and that he was not sacked for any inability to work successfully with those resources, but for his refusal to work the way that the Icelanders wanted him to.
It was clear from comments that emanated from the South Coast last season that Pulis was angry that had he had £1m to spend on a player (Johan Boskampís purchase of Sammy Bangoura), he would have done far better if he had been given the same opportunity.
Now it looks like he is going to be given the chance to complete a job he clearly felt was unfinished when he was suddenly sacked last June.
With the return of Tony Pulis, we would also expect that John Rudge will return to the role of Director of Football. Both men got on well together and appear to have kept in touch with each other over the past 11 months.
Date:Tuesday May 16 2006
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