Before a semi-final against Liverpool, Stoke were in imperious form. Beating the likes of Everton, Man City and Manchester United in an unbelievable December. However, after an unfortunate penalty shootout loss to Liverpool, it all went downhill.
Ever since the dreaded night in Anfield, Stoke couldn’t find any rhythm at all. But the question is who is to blame? First of all, we have to start with the board. The recruitment over this time period has been nothing short of disgraceful.
We sold arguably our best player in Arnautovic for £25 million to a direct rival and replaced him with Jese. A man who spent more time on his music career than actually playing at the club.
You only have to look at our previous record signings as well in Imbula, Wimmer and Berahino. Between them, they cost £50m and they’ve all hardly featured.
Managers have also been a huge problem in this recent run, with the ones that have been appointed seemingly tactically inept. After Mark Hughes was sacked the club had an opportunity to appoint someone decent, who could reignite some quality into the cub. However, they decided upon Paul Lambert, a man who had failed in all of his recent jobs.
With no disrespect to Lambert as he is a likeable man, but he’s not the top level manager that was required. The two wins in 5 months during his time at the club backed that up, as the club sank miserably to relegation.
The fans will most certainly be hoping that Rowett buckles this awful Stoke spell, and see Stoke shoot right up the table.