We all know what type of tradition this club are bearing, and how fans might be totally in limbo at the moment, seeing their team in decline from previous seasons. Ending 15th in “tier 2” might not be as expected.
The Potters left the best party after the 2017/18 season and with their financial robust owners most believed their stay down would be short lived and a return to the top would happen as fast as lightening, but that has not happened, seeing a surprising decline in performances over the last couple of seasons.
A lot has happened since the days of Tony Waddington who had a 17 year spell in charge for the club that played their home games at Victoria Park. On the manager front these days you seldom see a manager in charge for such a long period and the fact that current and newly appointed Michael O’Neill has just been around for a few months really shows the grand picture of the situation.
We have seen this phenomena at so many “giants” and while some clubs manage to get out of it and rise like the Phoenix, others will see the downfall even worse than Stoke City have experienced so far. But will Michael O’Neill be able to bring on the tradition and get this club up and flying again?, It looks possible but a number of changes must be done regarding players and in a season or two it could be possible, but without patience and new manager sackings you will not be able to get there.
So if you say Stoke City what comes to your mind? Thinking of players of recent years you get three names fast as lighetning, Peter Crouch, Rory Delap and Xherdan Shaqiri, all of them characters who had a key with their special skills. Crouch and his goalscoring, Delap with his throw-in’s and Shaqiri lifting the crowd with his creativity and often blistering performances.
Stoke City reached the FA Cup final in 2012, and that is not that long ago, but they did see a defeat v. Manchester City and the only major silverware in the cabinet is that League Cup trophy won in 1972. It was of course with the legendary Tony Waddington in charge, and with players such as Mike Pejic, Jimmy Greenhoff and Terry Conroy in the line-up.
Those Talisman moments when Terry Conroy scored from a header and later George Eastham settled the 2-1 winning score, will never be forgotten, and of course be days you would like to see return, but how?
Michael O’Neill has made it possible to “escape” from relegation this season and hopefully will add the power to the squad that can make this great club again push for a place in the top . Hopefully soon the tunes of Delilah again can be heard before, under and after games in the Premier League.