Short or Long Term Problems? Fixtures
Josh Flint continues his look at Stoke’s struggles, concentrating on the fixtures thus far and what is to come.
It was a tough start on paper, and it’s been a tough start in reality.
Middlesbrough (13th in the current table), Man City (1st), Everton (2nd), Tottenham (3rd) and Crystal Palace (8th) have been our opponents up to now, with their average league position being 5.6.
Whether Stoke are a top ten team out of position or a bottom ten team where we deserve to be, playing five teams of this difficulty would take its toll on most squads.
Looking at our next five fixtures– which is the amount that has been suggested should be given to Mark Hughes to change things around– we are due to play West Brom (10th), Manchester United (7th), Sunderland (19th), Hull City (12th) and Swansea City (15th), averaging a league position of 12.6.
Seven league positions (on average) worth of difference between the run of fixtures should be enough, on paper at least, to give the manager a chance to change things for the better, especially in the knowledge that should worst come to worst after the Swansea game- this being little to no points, plus no improvement in performances- there are games against West Ham, Bournemouth and Watford to try and get points under a new manager should it come to that.
Hopefully this run of fixtures will see us turn the tide.
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