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Archive for September, 2019

Press conference with Nathan Jones

Tomorrow’s game is as big as anyone wants to make it. I think the crowd have been excellent, I can’t fault the crowd, our form hasn’t been down to any edginess in the crowd”.

“individual errors have cost us, I think that’s why the crowd have stayed with us, because they can see desire and work rate. I have to take responsibility for what’s happened, I pick the players, but you cannot legislate for the mistakes that have been made on the pitch”

“if results don’t improve I fully expect a decision to be made on my future. I know that if this wasn’t such a great club I’d be gone”.

“things will turn here, whether that’s with me or not I don’t know, I don’t want to walk away, but I know this is a results business”.

“if we don’t win the game tomorrow, we’ll be in an even more difficult situation, we setup to win games, and we’ll go out to win tomorrow – to do that we need to defend well, but we also have to be attaching”.

Huddersfield Town are a good club but hopefully we can come out on top tomorrow in a match important for both teams.

The thing that we have debriefed about today is that if we have a setback to deal with it better. We need to get back on the saddle and try and win the game. We are top of the table in terms of some of our stats apart from results.

I just want people to make normal decisions and to have a normal game because if we do then we will win games.

It will be a late call on Badou Ndiaye for tomorrow. He probably shouldn’t have came out for the second half on Friday but was desperate to play. Whether he is fit for tomorrow we will have to wait and see.

I do feel that if we do break the duck in terms of getting that first win then a few will follow.

Were Stoke fans right to blame Mark Cartwright?

It’s hard to say whether it’s right to blame Mark Cartwright’s or not as his role within the club was cover in a cloud of mystery

Liam Lawrence On a recent section on P&G alluded to something that I was of the understanding years ago and have mentioned a few times before, but for those that have missed it here is what I understand.

When Hughes was appointed he knew he had to rebuild his reputation & did not want to rock the boat. Hughes put to the recruitment team the type of player he wanted and Cartwright used his database of knowledge and club scouts to find suitable players to fill the role Hughes wanted. Hughes then picked a player he wanted the most out of the 3 or 4 offered to him.

After gaining his 3rd 9th place finish it all changed as Everton asked Stoke to speak to Hughes about the Everton job, Stoke refused the approach and Hughes wasn’t best pleased. He basically spat his dummy out and wanted to take control of the recruitment as he said he couldn’t achieve any higher than 9th with the current structure. He was given the control and that’s when we went from the likes of Arnautovic, Shaqiri and other players who had points to prove to the likes of Wimmer, (who was Mark Bowen’s scouting by the way)and Imbula a player Hughes wanted due to his performance against us in a friendly.

Even though Hughes got his way with recruitment he was still miffed at the missed chance to manage Everton and basically down tools, very rarely did he take training and if he did was rather stand offish.

What amazes me more is when Rowett was appointed he wanted the same full control over signings that Hughes had when he was sacked. Scholes disagreed with a few of the signings, in particular McClean to the point that Rowett almost left but for John Coates sanctioning the signing.

Jones has the control too even though Mark Cartwright was the bloke who put Nathan Jones’s name into the hat for the managers job due to their friendship back when both played for Brighton.

Cartwright has left has he feels he has not been used for 3 years now and has just basically built up a dossier of player for no reason.

It will be interesting as how transfers are done in the future with Mark Cartwright leaving. Mark’s role has yet to be filled with the incoming Phil Chapple taking over the role left by Kevin Cruickshank rather than Cartwright’s role.

I suppose any appointment or not in the director of football role will depend on who’s managing the side.

Preview: Stoke City v Huddersfield Town

Preview: Stoke City v Huddersfield Town

It’s the Ramadan Sobhi Derby.

There are quiet a few connection between the two sides with Tom Ince & Tommy Smith coming to Stoke, and somehow we convinced Huddersfield Town that Ramadan Sobhi was anything other than someone who could stand on a ball.

The game is massive for Stoke, probably the biggest game since Hughes was sacked. Stoke and Huddersfield currently sit in the bottom two places in the league with virtually the same record. Nine games in and not a single win between them.

The game could be the last game for Nathan Jones as mounting speculation is growing over him being removed as manager if the result goes the wrong way, some even saying he could leave if we win.

Results have not come for Jones despite performances improving, this is due to our ability to shoot ourselves in the foot in every game, non more than our last game v Nottingham Forest, a game which Stoke were well on top until Jack Butland gifted Forest back into the game to which the obliged.


Our opponents have recently changed manager and have been expecting the new manager bounce to kick in, let’s hope this doesn’t happy tomorrow to put the final nail in Nathan Jones’s coffin.

Players to watch out for

Karlan Grant: Grant is Huddersfield’s top goal scorer thus far with 5 goals in his 9 league games so far

Trevor Chalobah: Chalobah is a Left sided England U21 defender who often plays as a defensive midfielder. He is positionally sound & Huddersfield attacks tend to start from his deep position.

Recent results between sides

Stoke are unbeaten against Huddersfield in the last 5 meetings with Stoke coming out on top 2-0 in the last two home games together. The last League meeting was the first game under Paul Lambert but that revival was short lived under him.

Moyes or Hughton?

Sunday mirror are reporting that it’s coming close to the end for Nathan Jones.

They are reporting that Chris Hughton and David Moyes are front runners for the Stoke job if and when Jones is sacked.

Which manager would Stoke fans want?

Moyes has a wealth of experience and bar his stint at ManU he has been successful wherever he has managed.

Hughton did an outstanding job at Brighton taking them to the Premier League and keeping them their. Hughton has already turned down two job in Sheffield Wednesday and Tuesdays opponent in Huddersfield saying to those that have spoke to him, that they were not the right fit for him. We believe the Coates Family would pose a different prospect for him and one he could take.

Fans View with Rich James: I feel for Jones, but he has made mistakes

Fans ViewRich James

I really do feel for Jones, he’s tried his best but despite the player errors he has (despite what he says) got plenty wrong.

Firstly his signings have been awful in the main. His reluctance to play them speaks volumes in that regard. 3 of “his” lads a week tells a story.

Then we have his muddled tactics. There’s no continuity to what we do. Players are asked to perform different tasks on a weekly basis and as a result look all over the place when put under any pressure at all.

His selection policy dumbfounds me also. The constant chopping and changing has meant there are no partnerships anywhere on the pitch yet. No two players work together for the benefit of the team.

He says that we have been set up correctly because we start games well. I’d argue it’s how you finish games that counts. Teams know they can be patient because we are so weak in the full back positions and all over defensively. We didn’t even have a CB who can head last night.

James McClean is a player who divides opinion but Jones’s decision to convert him to a full back is not only totally wrong but unfair on the player himself who tries his best but can’t play the position at all. The notion that this would work always looked flawed and it’s a big issue.

Last night was loads better until they scored but if we actually assess the performance it centred around two total gems for this division in Etebo and Badou who the manager inherited. In truth the rest were just OK in the main.

This leads me on to the biggest issue, this division (despite what people say) isn’t very good so to keep losing games with some of the players we have is where Jones has to look in the mirror. Yes the errors are costly but we don’t score enough to be competitive in most games.

That has to be at his door. He’s signed 3 strikers (hardly playing two of them) and two attacking midfielders. One we know we’ve had missing for ages so why not play Duffy who was one of the division’s best players last season? Again it makes no sense.

Despite all this, I like the guy. He’s passionate and believes in his own ability but looks panic stricken now his ideas aren’t working at a higher level. Sometimes managers don’t work out and sadly this looks like one of those times. He’s tried but his ideas have fallen short.

I’m sure he’ll do well somewhere with less pressure because it appears the size of the job has really affected his thinking and how he goes about things. It doesn’t make him a bad manager, just one who this club and situation is too big for him.

What we do know is that whoever replaces Jones (which looks inevitable) won’t have an easy job because he has undoubtedly also been let down by some of the players (but he’s also kept picking them to be fair).

It feels like we need to hit the reset button, go back to basics and remember the critical parts of how to win a game of football. Currently that looks a long way off sadly. As for Nathan, I wish him all the best. I truly wanted him to work out and be a huge success.

As a club though we need to act, as good a guy as he may be, we cannot afford to wait any longer for him to get it right. It doesn’t bear thinking about that we could end up playing in the third tier again after our last 13 years or so of hard work.

Rich James @ricohjam on Twitter

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