Writer: Tom Mckeon
Date:Thursday September 1 2011
The summer transfer window slammed shut last night, and I think it`s fair to say Stoke were the main winners in what was an otherwise fairly typical deadline day.
The outstanding £8 million signing of Wilson Palacios on a four-year deal set the wheels in motion and the capture of iconic England striker Peter Crouch for £10 million completed a sensational double swoop by Tony Pulis.
Birmingham striker and long-term Stoke target Cameron Jerome also followed the Spurs duo to the Britannia Stadium after putting pen to paper on a four-year-deal after the two clubs agreed a £4million fee.
Wilson Palacios, for me, is a massive signing for the club. We desperately needed a top class central midfielder who, most importantly, fits in with our DNA, and Pulis produced.
The 27-year-old promises to be a big favourite at Stoke, harbouring not only the work ethic which Stokies adore, but the genuine quality on the ball which we`ve been searching for - if Palacios remains injury free there`s no doubt the Honduran international will prove to be a terrific signing and I can`t wait to see him play.
Peter Crouch is a top class footballer, we all know that. The Potters will not only benefit from his ability, but the 31-year-old is a world-renowned striker who will only raise the profile of the club.
There`s no doubt about it, he`s one of the biggest signings the club will ever make, in more ways than one.
Some are saying he won`t be able to play alongside Jones as they`re both big forwards, but Crouch`s quality on the deck far outweighs his aerial prowess despite his 6 ft 7 frame, and I believe if Pulis decides to go with the two, Crouch has more than enough in his game to play behind Jones and link up the play. A forward line of Kenwyne Jones and Peter Crouch lacks no firepower, either.
For all those supporters of other clubs making jokes about our style of play and the signing of Crouch - Crouch is like Stoke in many ways, his looks are very deceiving and whilst he`s very tall and has obvious qualities, he has genuine ability on the ball and overlooking his footballing qualities is extremely unfair. If you think the signing of Crouch will only serve to see Stoke consistently hoofing the ball up to a 6 ft 7 inch giant, you should really watch more football as opposed to adopting a stereotype, Peter Crouch is decent in the air but his real ability lies on the deck and he`ll be feeding our wingers as much as they will be feeding him, I don't think his 17 assists(More than Tevez) over the past few seasons have all been with his head...
I still believe when Ricardo Fuller is fully fit, he`s Stoke`s best and most influential attacking threat. So Stoke now have five strikers of great quality and with the addition of European football to the Potters` schedule this year, we`ll need all of them to play a big part.
Cameron Jerome is a player who a lot of football fans dismiss as a workhorse, clearly he puts himself about and that`s a big part of his game, but I think the 24-year-old will prove to be a very good signing.
He`s strong, quick, direct, and as much as his goal record disappointed last year, he was in a Birmingham team who struggled to create chances and with the likes of Etherington and Pennant providing the ammunition he won`t have that problem here.
Might I remind you, the former Cardiff man has scored six goals in his four appearences at the Britannia Stadium and he netted 11 goals in his first Premier league season for Birmingham - so he has genuine potential and I for one am excited about what he can achieve given the chance at Stoke.
It would be very harsh to criticise Tony Pulis in this window, but if I was looking for one point to pick up on it would probably be the failure to sign another winger. HOWEVER, the signing of Jerome means Jon Walters can easily fill in for Etherington or Pennant when needed, and his solid and reliable play will probably benefit Stoke more than a lower league winger who`d be happy to sit on the bench, after all - that`s all we could`ve attracted.
On behalf of Stoke fans all around the globe, I`d like to thank Tony Pulis, and especially the extremely generous Peter Coates(who must be a very proud man after making his boyhood club great again) for delivering once again by signing players we never even dreamed of signing for Stoke.
I don`t think there will be a better time to support the Potters, seeing Peter Crouch on Sky sports news last night in Stoke`s offices was surreal as it was fantastic. His signing, along with Palacios and Jerome, will ensure our place in the top flight for a long, long time.
Tony Pulis is laying down scary foundations, our progress has been staggering and there isn`t a better club to support than Stoke at the moment, whilst clubs are stagnating around us we are only looking forward.
These signings are a warning shot to the rest of the Premier league, I just hope I won`t wake up tomorrow morning for all of this to be a dream.
Date:Thursday September 1 2011
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