Next Stoke Manager: Hughes is just Pulis in disguise

30May 2013

England - Premier League


With the news that Mark Hughes' appointment at the Britannia is imminent Christian Crowther suggests it's more of the same awaiting Stoke fans...


It's not official yet, but with reports pointing towards Hughes' forthcoming unveiling at the Potteries, the Welshman's price has shot in to 1.03.


However, when you think of Hughes' only successful team as a Premier League boss, what are the characteristics of that Blackburn side which spring to mind? Physical,  direct, bullying even - probably about as Stoke-ish as you can get. This is what makes the decision to appoint Hughes such an odd one.


Not only has his Premier League managerial copybook rapidly acquired blots in recent seasons, but, the brand of football Hughes became renowned for does not in any way  seem to deviate from that of his predecessor.


After all, the main reason for Pulis' deposal was given as the infamous 'change of direction' from chairman Peter Coates. Five years of witnessing an industrial  approach to football in the Premier League had led to growing disgruntlement from sections of the home support, as Pulis' tactics were finally deemed unacceptable,  even by his own.


Hughes' Blackburn side were often accused of deploying physicality to their game in excess of other top-flight teams while playing in a concerted get-it-in-the-box  type manner too. Rovers' strong-arm tactics were regularly bemoaned by Arsene Wenger, who will be particularly glad to have outlasted yet another of his least  favourite managerial colleagues.


Four straight years of the Lancashire club propping up the Premier League fair-play league under the Welshman's guidance may suggest the Frenchman had a point (this  time).


Then there is Hughes' questionable record with transfers, another area cited by Coates as a catalyst for Pulis' departure. Since Stoke have been in the Premier League  the club have only been able to sell on three players in excess of £1 million with Turkish striker Tuncay fetching £3.9 m after costing just over £5 m.


When you consider Hughes' history of splurging money, it only adds to the bewilderment that Coates would want him to spend his next war chest at the Britannia.


The former Man City boss spent vast sums on Jo, Roque Santa Cruz, Wayne Bridge and Kolo Toure while at the Etihad and most recently frittered Tony Fernandes' dosh on  the likes of Bobby Zamora, Nedum Onuoha, Samba Diakhite and Esteban Granero with disappointing results at QPR.


All Hughes needs now is a new baseball cap and the makeover is complete.


Stoke are currently rated at 3.8 for the drop in 2013/14.



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Keywords: Stoke, manager, Hughes

Source: Betfair

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