Writer: Lloyd Reddin
Date:Wednesday August 15 2012
It`s that time of year again folks, the Barclays Premier League is upon us once again.
The realisation struck today when my season ticket was firmly in my left hand and my Reading ticket was clutched in my right.
The excitement started to bubble up like my stomach the day after a curry that I could once again take up my weekend routine which I left behind way back in May.
Yes, we`ve had a long summer of sport, with an exciting European Championships, Wimbledon and the sporting extravaganza which is the Olympics, but nothing can compete with the buzz and enjoyment I get when I`m on the terraces supporting my beloved Stoke.
I know a lot of you will be crying out that you really can`t get that much pleasure from watching the route one, wannabe rugby team that is Stoke City, but for me nothing compares to the camaraderie that you get supporting Stoke City.
The weekend for me can`t come quick enough!
So let`s get to the business end of matters, this season will see Stoke celebrate it`s 150 year anniversary of being a professional football club and will cement their place as the second oldest league club in the world, so what does the 2012/13 Barclays Premier League season have in store for the mighty Potters!?
After a quiet few months on the transfer front for Stoke, Tony Pulis got his finger out and added four new additions to his squad, which was desperately needed after a horrendous end to last season, only winning one game in the last 11.
Pulis has surprised a number of people by bringing in some 'risky` signings. This is unusual for the normally cautious manager who tends to only purchase players who are in the 'tried and tested` category, but this season, Pulis has taken a risk. He has brought in three players who have never played a Premier League game in Jamie Ness, Geoff Cameron and loan acquirement Goran Popov. You couldn`t have imagined that coming from a manager that was sacked for not 'exploiting the foreign market` a decade ago. The Welsh supreme also attained Michael Kightly who is a risk as he has been out injured for the best part of the last two seasons.
Only time will tell to see if Pulis` risks pay off, but I still believe that the squad needs improving, especially in the attacking positions, particularly after such a woeful goal return last season; the worst in the whole league.
Jermaine Defoe would be an ideal acquisition and I believe that he will be the traditional Stoke transfer deadline hour signing. He has a readymade partnership with Crouch, and I would love to see this being struck again, week in and week out at the Britannia Stadium.
If we can obtain Defoe or even Michael Owen, then I believe we could finally finish in the top half of the Premier League table, it all depends on how Pulis sets up his players, but our home form will be very important again.
Date:Wednesday August 15 2012
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