Category Archives: Stoke City

Carabao Cup: Round One Draw Announced

The Carabao Cup Round One draw was made on Thursday evening from Morrisons, Colindale, North West London.

There were two stand out ties from the draw with AFC Wimbledon playing MK Dons, while newly-promoted Salford City will face Leeds United.

The draw was conducted by two former England internationals in John Barnes and Ray Parlour and was split into two regions – North and South.

Huddersfield Town, the hightest-ranked team in the Northern Section, will face Lincoln City while the highest ranked Southern side, West Bromwich Albion, will face Millwall.

Every club from Sky Bet League One and League Two enter the Carabao Cup in Round One, along with 22 Championship clubs.

Only Cardiff City and Fulham – who finished 18th and 19th respectively in the Premier League last season, will enter in Round Two, alongside the clubs from the Premier League, not in European competitions.

The first round matches are scheduled to take place week commencing Monday 12thAugust, with the final due to take place on March 1, 2020.

Full Round One Draw can be seen below:

North Draw

Tranmere Rovers v Hull City

Grimsby Town v Doncaster Rovers

Wigan Athletic v Stoke City

Port Vale v Burton Albion

Nottingham Forest v Fleetwood Town

Bradford City v Preston North End

Blackpool v Macclesfield Town

Blackburn Rovers v Oldham Athletic

Mansfield Town v Morecambe

Accrington Stanley v Sunderland

Scunthorpe United v Derby County

Rochdale v Bolton Wanderers

Huddersfield Town v Lincoln City

Middlesbrough v Crewe Alexandra

Shrewsbury Town v Rotherham United

Sheffield Wednesday v Bury

Salford City v Leeds United

Barnsley v Carlisle United

South Draw

Colchester United v Swindon Town

AFC Wimbledon v MK Dons

Oxford United v Peterborough United

Queens Park Rangers v Bristol City

Plymouth Argyle v Leyton Orient

Wycombe Wanderers v Reading

Charlton Athletic v Forest Green Rovers

Gillingham v Newport County

Stevenage v Southend United

Luton Town v Ipswich Town

Walsall v Crawley Town

Bristol Rovers v Cheltenham Town

Brentford v Cambridge United

Coventry City v Exeter City

Swansea City v Northampton Town

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Donald Udoh… A Rising Star!

Daniel Udoh…  Daniel Who? Daniel Udoh is the star striker currently plying his trade for

AFC Telford, who play in the National League North and is a name that the league scouts have been flocking to see play, as he has been setting the National League North alight with his scoring prowess, by netting 26 league goals in all competitions, which is a record for AFC Telford, since they reformed

Udoh, was born in Nigeria and has shown good promise with his all round game, since joining Telford. His 26 goals have come in 46 appearances, which is better than 1 in two and would be the envy of any of the top strikers.

Shrewsbury Town, managed by Sam Ricketts, are the current front runners and favourites to secure his signature.

Should this happen, then it would mean a return to league football, for Udoh, who was a member of the famed Crewe Alexander academy and made 15 appearances in Leagues 1&  2 for the railwaymen before he was released last summer.

However the links between the two clubs, who are not far apart geographically, is not renowned, though Sam Ricketts the Shrews boss, once played for Telford in their previous guise

So with Udoh being out of contract this summer, could it be that he will be plying his trade at a higher level. If that is the case, then Telford would receive some nice compensation

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.

Goal scorers

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.

Management

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

Summer spending

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?

Top 3 Welsh Wonders in the Premier League

Since the evolution of the Premier League, there have been a flurry of Welsh players such as Joe Allen and 2016 Premier League winner Andy King. But who are the top three players?

 

Ryan Giggs

The former Manchester United captain has won (nearly) everything there is to win in club football, from league titles, to cups, including European glories and the FIFA Club World Cup. He also holds a unique record of scoring in every Premier League season (except in 2013/14).

Just a pity he never played in any international tournaments, but at least he was part of Team GB.

 

Gareth Bale

Since being plucked from Southampton by Tottenham Hotspur, Gareth Bale went from strength to strength, having first experienced Champions League football with the North London side back in 2010/11, and captured the imagination of fans with a memorable hat-trick against Inter Milan. Since then, he’s achieved more than he could ever imagine with Real Madrid, having won a league title, one Copa Del Rey, and four Champions League titles. Three of which were consecutive.

 

Aaron Ramsey

Aaron Ramsey signed on at Arsenal from Cardiff City in the summer of 2008. During the period, he showed promise, and his confidence improved from there on. Although he was showing he was the real deal, it all came crashing down in February 2010. A horror tackle by Ryan Shawcross saw Ramsey out for the rest of the season.

Thankfully, he recovered from that, and returned to form to help his Arsenal side end their wait for a trophy in 2014, and win two more along the way.

 

Special mentions: Ashley Williams – He’s been instrumental in the rise to prominence of Welsh football, having been part of the Swansea City side that won promotion in 2011 – thus being the first Welsh club to compete in the Premier League, and the side that won the League Cup two

 

Joe Allen – comically known as “the Welsh Xavi”, like Williams, he was part of a successful Swansea City side that won promotion, and was a regular feature at Liverpool until his unfortunate injury just before the 2015/16 season.

 

Andy King – Having signed for Leicester City as a teenager in 2006, the Barnstaple-born (qualified to play for Wales through his grandmother who is from Wrexham) midfielder didn’t experience Premier League football until 2014. His side stayed up in their first season back in the top flight, which included a memorable 5-3 win over Manchester United. He was a instrumental part of the incredible 5000-1 side that exceeded expectation. In doing that, he became just the fourth Welsh international to win the Premier League.

 

So, those are my top three Welsh players who have graced the Premier League. What are yours?

3 potential candidates as next Stoke City manager

Stoke City have recently sacked Mark Hughes, meaning that the club are looking for just their third manager since 2006, with Hughes having succeeded Tony Pulis who guided the club to the Premier League. So, which candidates are likely to take the hotseat at the Bet365 Stadium?

  1. Martin O’Neill

Currently manager of his native land, the Republic of Ireland, O’Neill couldn’t guide the Irish to the 2018 World Cup after being defeated by Denmark in the Play-Offs. This means that if he were to be given a chance in the Premier League, where he has succeeded with Leicester City, Aston Villa and Sunderland, so it would not be too unfamiliar territory for O’Neill and it may be one that he would grab with both hands.

2. Gary Rowett

Probably one of English football’s top young managers. Rowett has done incredibly well during his time at Birmingham City and currently works at his former playing club, Derby County, sitting second in the Championship. Many have called for Rowett to be given a job in the Premier League, a chance he may be given with Stoke. However, with his Derby County team doing incredibly well, and with him only being there a matter of months, he may want to see how it goes at Pride Park.

3. Slaven Bilic

Having recently been sacked from West Ham, Bilic is a man with Premier League experience who is currently out of work. He has been known for getting the best out of a West Ham side, guiding them to sixth in his first season and having two stints in the Europa League. Now he’s had some time off, he is fresh and good to start again. Maybe a good appointment for Stoke City.

Stoke fans who would you like to see in the hot seat next? Let us know in the comments section…