What has gone wrong at Stoke City this season?
Approaching the end of the season with just 10 games to go , Stoke City are in an unthinkable position. The Potters were predicted to finish first at the beginning of the season by many pundits. Stoke who were relegated from the premier league last season have an exceptional team for the championship , key players such as Jack Butland , Ryan Shawcross , Bruno Martins Indi , Joe Allen and Sam Vokes. The Stoke City supporters are noticeably unhappy about the clubs performance in the league , why are they underachieving?
Following their relegation from the premier league Stoke City were on the lookout for a new manager due to Paul Lamberts departure. Gary Rowett was named the new potters boss in May 2018. Going into the new season Stoke city supporters were optimistic and anticipating for an immediate return to the premier league. City managed the situation they were in well and kept the majority of their players despite being relegated. Nonetheless the Potters haven’t had the greatest of seasons , currently sitting 16th in the championship , 10 points away from play offs with 10 games to go. In January 2019 Stoke were in a stalemate and Gary Rowett had is contract terminated due to poor performance in the league. A few days later the Potters appointed Nathan Jones , there has been no radical changes.
In terms of tops scorers Benik Afobe is leading the way with just 8 goals. This is a complication for Stoke city as to be a promotion contending team you need a striker that will take chances the team has created. Although the Congolese striker isn’t all to blame as Stoke are 21st in the Championship for big chances missed. The Potters have been lacking creativity and have an inability to construct considerable chances , Stoke City have failed to score more than 2 goals in a game all season.
Lack of creativity
The potters are 21st in the championship when it comes to scoring goals , however the defensive department is performing superior being 6th for lowest goals conceded per match this campaign. The dispute is the goalscoring. Despite goalscoring being a problem for Stoke chance creation is also a predicament , City have an average of just 3.5 shots on target per game. If you don’t have many chances you won’t get many goals.
As I’ve already mentioned Stoke have one of the best teams in the championship. However they are drastically underperforming. The Potters are on their 2nd manager of the season and neither of the managers have been able to get the results out of the players. Both managers have struggled to make Stoke City ruthless getting to many draws. Gary Rowett had trouble keeping Stoke tight at the back. Nonetheless , current manager Nathan Jones is struggling to make Stoke a goalscoring side , not scoring in 5 out of the 10 games he’s been in charge
Despite doing well to keep hold of the players they have , Stokes summer transfers have turned out to be poor signings. Spending a total of 56 million the Potters were very active in the transfer market. Tom Ince , Benik Afobe and James McClean were brought in for a total of 27 million, all three of the summer additions have played more than 30 matches and have aquired just 16 goals in total between the three. Stokes lack of goals and creativity is due to poor summer recruitment of attacking players.
Can Nathan Jones improve Stoke City next season and get them challenging for promotion?