Barker's 2012-2013 season preview
So, here we are again. After a summer packed full of sport, triumph and heartache, you`d be forgiven for thinking the last day of the season wasn`t too long ago. Yet we are here, on the opening week to the Potters 5th consecutive season in the top flight, and our 150th year as a club.
Over the summer, we have made some reasonable signings, but nobody that has made us step back, hold our hands up in the air and go "Pulis, that is a masterstroke." Coming to think of it, the only signing that has really made me realise that Stoke are properly in the big time now, is our talismanic striker, Peter Crouch. With the rumours of potential transfer candidates flying around left, right and center, nobody has really 'Wowed` me. Personally, I think if we want to push forward this season, we need to strengthen our midfield and our strike force. I`m not going to go into potential transfer gossip and players we could look to sign, as I will still be naming players come next seasons preview.
Personally, I feel we will be ok this season, with the squad we have, but only 'ok`. I can`t see us finishing anywhere in the top 10, or getting any real recognition through the season. A cup run wouldn`t go amiss, and without the pressure and excitement of the Europa League this year, we have more chance to train and rest through the week. This will of course take a massive burden off our shoulders, and it also means I can actually attend more games throughout the season (I have to work every Sunday, the Europa League was the bane of my life for months…) Without this pressure, and unless we sign anyone amazing, I can only predict a finish of mid-table mediocrity.
Predictions for the season:
Champions: Manchester City
Where will Stoke place?: 12th - 14th
Cup Runs?: Knocked out in Quarter Finals of both League + FA Cup
Relegation: Wigan, QPR, West Brom.