Can it be done on a rainy Wednesday night in Stoke?


Jan 26, 2017
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Club Information

Year Founded: 1863

Stadium: Bet365 Stadium

Capacity: 30,089

Rivals: Potteries Derby(Port Vale), Crewe

Training Facilities: Excellent

Youth Facilities: Great

Media Predication: 9th

So Why Stoke?

Well who doesn't want to see if they can get a team back to the top flight after a couple of years out and the fact the club have been hampered by the financial deals they had in place for a number of players but after a couple of years the club seems to be at a turning point. They have got rid of a large number of players on high wages but still have some remaining at the club but they have started to build a younger team that will be able to start fighting at the right end of the table after finishing in the bottom half in the years since their relegation.​
Season 1

So the first thing that grabs my attention when reviewing the club on day one is the club are over spending on wages by £60,000 so its going to be a big jobs to bring that down. second thing is that the club don't have a lot of money in the back which we are going to need to grow over the next few seasons or else we could find ourselves in trouble.


To get the budget down in meant clearing some of the squad which is ok as we have a pretty large one with some players on big wages. The only downside to selling players is that at the moment we only receive 25% of the transfer fee so it won't really help us sign anybody.


So we have shifted 4 players so far out and have also agreed to sell Jordan Cousins in January for £450,000 as well. Along with this we also ended the loan of Rhys Norrington-Davies as well as he wasn't going to be first choice.

With the outgoings we did bring in Joe Gelhardt from Leeds on loan while paying his £5,000 a week wages so we still have a spare £5,000 along with a budget of £500,000 to spend if we can find somebody for that.



I'll be going with a 4-4-2 as I feel we can still play decent football and try and go for it and not get outnumbered too much in the middle of the park.



We have some good results here with a good win over a young Spurs side and feel ready for the season ahead now.



So whats the aim this season?

Well we'll obviously hope for a cup run in either of the cups but would prefer the FA Cup for the cash but in the league I will be aiming for the play-offs and then take it from there if we make it.

I'll also be looking at using our youth facilities over the course of this save as we look to bring youngsters through to build a strong team.​

Caraboa Cup 1st Round
Grimsby Town v Stoke


The best start we could hope for here as 2 young players get on the scoresheet along with us keeping a clean sheet.

Millwall v Stoke


John Obi Mikel is certianly showing after 2 games he's going to have a big impact for us this season.

Caraboa Cup 2nd Round
Huddersfield v Stoke


We knew this was always going to be a hard game and were made to work for it but Campbell gets us through to the third round.

Stoke v Bristol City


Our young players are really showing they can take the step up this season with 2 goals and our 4th clean sheet in a row to show just how good our defence is

Caraboa Cup 3rd Round
Stoke v Brentford


2 down at half time I thought it was all over but we fought back quickly in the 2nd half after a bollocking at half time but sadly after that we tasted defeat in the penalty shootout but

Preston v Stoke


We really struggled here and it should of been a lot worse but we managed to just stay in the game but we do get our first defeat in the league


So I forgot to get a screenshot of this but will get it next month.



Some big games this month that we'll need to win if we want to make the play offs​


Well deadline day has come and gone at the start of the month and there was a bit of late movement as Sam Clucas joined Bristol City for £775,000 and cleared £35,000 off the wage budget as well. With this we there then able to bring in Curtis Jones from Liverpool who can play down the left wing or in the middle of the park and versatility is always important.

Stoke v Birmingham


A very tough game here and it was one we need to be winning for the play offs but we just manage to keep a clean sheet as they were all over us after the penalty.

Luton Town v Stoke


A **** poor result here after going 2 down to then being 3-2 up. Luton is a team we should be beating as they will be fighting it out at the other end of the table and this could cost us going forward.

Stoke v Barnsley


A much better result and the comfortable win was needed to get some confidence back into the team. We just need to be a bit more consistent now.

Stoke v Brentford


We really struggled here and it didn't get any better when they went a man down either as they still played us off the park and fully deserved the 3 points.

Swansea v Stoke


Campbell has been doing really well for us so far this season and he's going to be one of the players that we could struggle to hold onto come the next couple of transfer windows.

Stoke v Rotherham


A great way to finish the month on a high as 3 of our young players get on the scoresheet. Collins is another one that is the future of this club.



Sitting 3rd now but only 5 points separating 3rd and 12th so its going to be close but it does look like Brentford are going to make a run for it at the top.



A tough run of 4 games against 4 other teams fighting for the play offs so hopefully we can get some points out of them​
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Watford v Stoke


This result flatters as as at 4-1 down I really did wonder how many more goals they would go onto score but a couple of choice substitutions seemed to make the difference her.

Reading v Stoke


We should really have seen this game out as 3 points here would of been huge but a point is still better than nothing.

Stoke v Huddersfield


A great game for the fans here and it looked like it was going to be a 2nd draw in a row but a poor challenge in the box was enough for Mikel to score the winning goal with the final kick of the ball.

Stoke v Norwich


A much better result here as we keep our first clean sheet in 4 games against a strong Norwich team and these 3 points could be the difference at the end of the season.

Sheffield Wednesday v Stoke


Of course we drop points against the team thats bottom of the league but to be fair they probably deserved to win the game so we'll happily walk away with a draw.



Something special will need to be done for Brentford not to win it I reckon but we're still in the play off spots which is all that matters.



A lot of games this month which will test the fitness of the players along with the strength and depth at the club​

Wycombe v Stoke


We seem to be struggling more against the teams in the bottom half of the table and we really struggled here and Wycombe really deserved the 3 points here.

Stoke v Middlesbrough


How can we go from a draw to Wycombe to a result like this? Middlesbrough weren't in with a chance here as we came out fighting in the 2nd half and punished some sloppy defending.

Stoke v Cardiff


Well this was disappointing as we lose the game with the final kick of the ball.

Derby County v Stoke


How the tables have turned as this time Campbell wins the game for us with the final kick of the ball.

QPR v Stoke


Our form seems to be a bit sketchy at the moment as we drop more points to a team in the bottom third of the table

Stoke v Blackburn


A draw against the team sitting second in the league is a lot better than I was expecting after some of the results we've had so far.

Coventry v Stoke


We finally put in a performance to be proud of against a team near the bottom of the table. Its great to see the young players showing what they can do as I really want to develop players over the course of this save.

Stoke v Nottingham Forest


Campbell has really been the difference for us this season as he leads the goal scoring charts for the league and we're going to have to do our best to hold onto him.



We stay in 4th spot but closing in on 2nd which would be huge for us to get.



This is the month that will make or break us as we've got 4 games against teams fighting with us for the play off s and we have the added bonus of the FA Cup as well​



We've had 3 players leave the club this window as we do our best to try and get some cash into the club and also continue to reduce the wage bill as well where we can just now but none of them were getting much game time so it made sense.

The only player to join the club this month was Billy Gilmour on loan from Chelsea. He should be a big step up in our midfield and can hopefully bring a spark of creativity.

Stoke v Bournemouth


It really looked like we were going to walk away with a draw here but what a final 2 minutes of added time as we get a quickfire double to get a big 3 points to close the gap.

FA Cup 3rd Round
Leeds United v Stoke


What a result as I didn't expect to get past Leeds but our young team really is something special and we're proving it here.

Blackburn v Stoke


We carry the good form into this match as it really was a 6 pointer over 2nd placed Blackburn and we again show that we are here to get promoted

Rotherham v Stoke


Its not often you see both teams scoring in the same minute but we did manage to concede a goal that quickly after going ahead. We were lucky to kick on after that and get the 3 points.

FA Cup 4th Round
Swansea v Stoke


It was a nervy final half hour after they pulled a goal back but we hold on and now travel to face Manchester City in the 5th round.

Stoke v Watford


It was a proper ping pong battle with goals galore for the neutral fans and a draw was probably the correct result after 90 minutes

Huddersfield v Stoke


We nearly manage our first season undefeated but we get tripped up in the final game of the month but we just couldn't cope with Koroma. We did get close to the draw but Campbell missed a penalty in the dying minutes.



We're still in 4th spot but we're slowly closing the gap to 2nd and increasing the gap on 7th



These months don't get any easier at the moment as we always seem to have games against the teams around us​

Stoke v Reading


Campbell just keeps scoring as he gets an excellent first half hat-trick and a big win over Reading.

FA Cup Fifth Round
Man City v Stoke


What the ****? I don't anybody could see this result coming as we put in the performance of our lives as we do it on a rainy Wednesday night in Manchester.

Norwich v Stoke


A second 4-1 win in a row and scoring goals is something we don't struggle with and its good to increase the gap between us and Norwich.

Stoke v Sheffield Wednesday


A much nervier game this time but its our main man who gets the decisive goal and stops us dropping points to them again this season.

Stoke v Luton Town


Its always the team bottom of the league that does us as we have a terrible game against Luton and were lucky to get a point.

Barnsley v Stoke


A better result here and its nice to be doing better against a much lower team to get an expected 3 points.

Brentford v Stoke


Brentford have been far too strong for everybody this season and running away with the league.



We've closed the gap to 2ndplace now down to a point and we should be close to guaranteeing a play off spot.



It finally looks like a bit of an easier month well apart from a massive FA Cup quarter final.​

Stoke v Swansea


We're starting to get the hang of these big wins now against stronger sides. We have been excellent this season against the stronger teams, shame its our form against the lower teams thats the problem.

Stoke v Wycombe


We go from the result against Swansea to creeping past Wycombe thanks to a very late goal which keeps us in the hunt for 2nd spot

Middlesbrough v Stoke


It looked liked this game was going to be easy as we were 3 up with just over half an hour to go but they got 2 goals in 10 minutes to mean we had a very nervy final 20 minutes to see the game out.

Cardiff v Stoke


We rested some players here and it cost us as Cardiff played is off the park and it shows how key players like Jones, Campbell and Gilmour are to us.

FA Cup Quarter Final
Stoke v Brighton


What an opening 7 minutes as we see two goals. Its a shame the rest of the 90 minutes was drab affair and neither team really had many more chances but thanks to the magic of the FA Cup we see our way to the Semi Final



We finally get up to 2nd place and have a 1 point gap going into the final 8 games.



Thankfully we have got most of the big games out the way now so hopefully we can do enough to hold onto 2nd.

Youth Intake


So it looks like we might have a couple of players who might make it one day wit the most notable being Arthur Kutsanzira


We'll be looking to train him as more of a left winger and hopefully he can develop well and work his way into the first team.​

Bristol City v Stoke


A comfortable game as Souttar as he's becoming key for set pieces as he can get above everyone else/

Stoke v Millwall


A poor game here as fitness is getting to us as a lot of players are now in need of a rest.

Birmingham v Stoke


What a result and its not often that you see a CB stepping up for a penalty to smash it home for his hat-trick

Stoke v Derby County

A repeat score line but this time its Campbell getting the headlines with an excellent 4 goals.

FA Cup Semi Final
Chelsea v Stoke


Well its finally over but we did well to only lose by a goal never mind to reach the semi final/

Stoke v Coventry


It was a tale of two halves here as we were poor right up until the 44th minute which was the turning point of the game for us.

Nottingham Forest v Stoke


We come from behind twice here and its our main man that makes the difference and this draw means we only need a point from our next game to get 2nd.

Stoke v Preston


Well if your going to do it then do it properly and we certainly did. It helped we were in front of our own fans as well. The only downside to this win was that the 3 goal scorers were people in on loan this season.



We're going up!!!!!!





We're going to have to make our budget stretch for next season as we need a lot of players in next season for pretty much every position so we'll need to be smart.​

Stoke v QPR


Our first game after securing promotion and we give the fans something to cheer about as a good second half performance gets the 3 points.

Bournemouth v Stoke


The final game of the season and its a pretty boring affair and a draw was a lot more justified but I wasn't going to knock back the 3 points



Well I'm pretty sure that in most other seasons 97 points would be enough to win it but we will power on now and see what we can do next season

With reviewing the squad though we will need a new players for every position even if its just to add some more depth at the club. We have a lot of loan players returning though so we can see if any of them will make the grade or we'll be able to sell them and then use that but the only downside is because of the club finances then we only get 25% of any transfer fees​
Season 2

So we were in the middle of formalising out plans for the season a head and had some transfers in the pipeline with contracts being discussed along with waiting for work permits as I like to move quickly in the window but it all cam crashing down when one day we were put under a transfer embargo with the next day a takeover of the club being completed which meant that all of the deals that we were working on for players coming in and out fell down around us and we had to start again from scratch which obviously meant we didn't sign a single player we had work permits pending for as they all decided to join other clubs this time.


Transfers Out


So we had a lot of players out on loan to try and save on their large wages so when the returned if they didn't fit in with my tactical style or were on ridiculous wages from the Premier League days they were then out the door and we made just over £24 million from it.

Transfers in


So we've had to do the best with our budget and with the players we missed out on we've really struggled to attract some top talent but I still feel that we've done some good business as the players we have signed are young but if anything we should be able to sell them for a profit come the end of the season for some well needed cash but if they stay then we will look to develop them into top class players.



Not too much expected from us this season as we just need to fight against relegation and just have a good account of ourselves in the cups as well.



I've decided to go a bit more defensive this season as we try and protect the defence a bit more as we move from the 4-4-2 that got us promoted



We got an excellent result against Ajax but everything else was expected as we didn't play the strongest teams out there but it let us get use to a new formation and let the new players settle.



We're looking forward to get the season started now and we can hopefully get something from our opening 4 games.

Final News

One of the strangest transfers I've seen so far in this game happened after Burnley finishing 7th last season they managed to sign Camavinga from Rennes for £24.5m so it will be interesting to see how long they can hold onto him for.


Stoke v Leicester


What a welcome to the Premier League as we lose a 3 goal leaf twice and looking like it was going to be a draw before Matondo grabs hit hat-trick in the 7th minute of injury time to round off a great attacking performance from the team.

Crystal Palace v Stoke


We got lucky here with the own goal and I thought Palace might of been a team we could beat but we'll take the point.

Stoke v Sheffield United


Another game I was hoping to get 3 points from but a draw is better than a loss as we seem to be finding our level early on.

Caraboa Cup 2nd Round
Stoke v Bradford City


We rotated the squad here to see how some of the players would react and Hlozek showed he can step into the lone striker role when needed.

Tottenham v Stoke


Well our first defeat but it wasn't unexpected and we can expect a few more over the course of the season.



A strong position in the league in my books as I'll take a mid table finish happily



A nice short month but two tricky games.

Final Transfers

So on deadline day we did one final piece of business as we needed some cover for a DM so we signed Sean Longstaff from Newcastle for £6million upfront and a further £12million over the next 3 seasons. We sadly missed out on his brother thanks to our takeover.

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Stoke v Everton


We put in a great defensive performance here as Everton dominated possession and probably should of taken at least one of their chances but we got lucky and Gilmour managed to slot home from 12 yards out.

Caraboa Cup Third Round
Chelsea v Stoke


This was never going to be an easy game and all I wanted to do was avoid a hammering and I feel we still managed a decent performance

Stoke v Manchester United


I would of easily have taken a point before this game but I was a wee bit disappointed to end up losing as both the goals that we conceded were scored from outside the box and we should have done better closing them down



We hold onto 12th spot but a string of a couple of wins could see us jump right up the table.



Another short month for us thanks to Internationals and a couple of games that we will be looking to win here thanks to the form of teams like Burnley​

Stoke v West Ham


As long as we can stay in games like this then we should be safe. We did very well to walk away with a point after West Ham dominating possession

Wolves v Stoke


One of these days we're going to hold onto a lead against the teams around us. It was disappointing to throw away a 2 goal lead

Burnley v Stoke


We finally hold onto a lead again yet I was scared that we would throw it away again after they got their 2nd but thankfully there were only 7 minutes left.

Stoke v Leeds United


It finally goes our way with a late goal to mean we go this month undefeated but I think this might be the last since its going to get a lot busier soon.



We've moved up to 10th and now on the verge of the top half. Its scary that we still have a chance of a European spot.



I love these short months after the Championship as it means our players can get plenty of rest​

Brentford v Stoke


A bit of a disappointing result here as we have to rely on a very late goal to get a point but on the upside it was a point against a team that ran away with the league last season. One downside to this game though is we've lost Billy Gilmour for 4 months with a broken foot.

Aston Villa v Stoke


Another poor game here as I feel we deserved something but we just couldn't take our chances and got a goal in the 90th minute again.

Stoke v Arsenal


A much better result as Arsenal just couldn't cope with us as we got off to a flying start from a set piece.



We've dropped back down into the bottom half this month but its still really close for the European spots and we're looking good for staying up.



8 games this month which isn't something we're use to and 3 huge games against Liverpool, Chelsea and Man City​

Liverpool v Stoke


An expected result here and we can't be too disappointed with it.

Stoke v Fulham


A much better result here but we needed two set pieces to get the goals as we've been struggling up top for goals.

Stoke v Blackburn


A poor result as we were the better team and we really need to be beating the other teams that came up with us.

Man City v Stoke


We put in a good performance here and didn't let City run away with the game .

Chelsea v Stoke


Another expected result but again we hold on and don't let Chelsea run away with the game

Southampton v Stoke


Going ahead early gave us hope for a good result but sadly we ended up needing an own goal to walk away with a point.

Leicester v Stoke


This was a needed win here even if it was surprising after we were 2-0 down. This was our 4th win in the previous 15 games to show how much we need to keep going to get to the level we want to get to.



We're up to 11th and would happily finish here come the end of the season.



A bit of a mixed month here with an easier start and a much tougher finish​

FA Cup 3rd Round
Stoke v Derby


A much more difficult game than I would of liked here as its only a poor challenge in the box that stops a reply here.

Stoke v Crystal Palace


This is a result that shows how far we've come since the start of the season as this time we get the win over Palace and even better we get off to an early start as well.

Sheffield United v Stoke


What a game for the fans with plenty of goals both teams took the lead throughout the game but a final minute of added time goal was enough for Matondo make a darting run in off the wing before a well placed finish to win the game.

Stoke v Tottenham


What a difference that a sub can make sometimes at half time as Matondo came off the bench and caused the Spurs defence all sorts of problems as they just couldn't hand him as he set up Campbell for 2 goals along with getting one himself.

Everton v Stoke


We are brought back down to earth in this game as Everton dominated us here and should really have won by more than a goal.

FA Cup 4th Round
Stoke v Swansea


We made some changes here to try and give some other players a run out and they didn't disappoint as we march onto the 5th round of the FA Cup

Stoke v Chelsea


The usual result against Chelsea as they beat us yet again, maybe next season we'll get a result against them


We have now managed to clear out all the players from the start of the save that I just wasn't happy with along with the odd player that was signed in the summer which just hasn't worked out


We were also given a bit more money from the board to spend as well so we were able to bring in two players who will really help us going forward.

First in is yet another midfielder as we needed the cover after losing Gilmour but it also means we don't need to replace him in the summer

Lewis Cook


Cook joins from Bournemouth for £10m and should be a staple in our midfield now for years to come.

We also needed to get another defender in to try and shore up our defence as it the part of the squad I'm least happiest with at the moment.

Felix Uduokhai


Uduokhai joins from Augsburg for £10m as well and will be straight into the first team and hopefully be there for years to come now.

We have also made a couple of signings on pre-contract deals but they won't be joining until the summer



We've moved into the top half of the table now but the gap between us and 7 is starting to grow but I'm happy with where we are as a club for just being promoted.



Back to a nice short month and we should have a chance of at least 1 win against Burnley​

Manchester United v Stoke


Well Man Utd didn't hold back here at all as they punished us from the off and we just couldn't get back to the game.

Stoke v Burnley


A nice early goal against the league strugglers to give us a good win to get over the defeat to Man Utd

Stoke v Wolves

Apart from the 6 minutes the goals were scored in it was a pretty boring game but at least we came out on top in that 6 minutes.



We've grown that gap over 10th now and it would be huge for us to finish in the top half this season.



The FA Cup tie will be out main focus this month but the 3 league games we will be looking to take some points from all of them if we can​

FA Cup 5th Round
Watford v Stoke

We've been lucky so far an avoided Premier league opposition in our 3 games so far and our old foes from last season couldn't cope as we edge the games thanks to a great solo goal from Campbell just before half time.

West Ham v Stoke


We fall behind to a set piece before pulling it back from Hlozek cutting in from the left wing. I'm more than happy with this result considering West Ham are 5th in the league.

Leeds United v Stoke


I was hoping for a result here but sadly it didn't go our way today.

FA Cup 6th Round
Aston Villa v Stoke


Our first game in the cup with Premier League opposition and we make quick work of them as Campbell gets an excellent brace. He just loves this competition

Stoke v Aston Villa


A much more exciting game this time as we do our best to keep throwing the lead away but the 4th goal was just what we needed to get a big 3 points over a team just behind us.



We hold onto 9th and we're into the home stretch with 7 games to go.



We get lucky in the FA Cup again as we draw Birmingham in the Semi final so in my eyes without anything too wrong then we should make the final.

Youth Intake

Well its that time of year again and I can honestly say that I've never had a youth intake quite like this.


We really do have the fabled Golden Generation as we have no less than 5 players who might make it and one of them even looks like they could go into the first team already.

Dave White


Tomas Williams


Declan Daly


Jacob Bell


Oscar Bull