Stoke City where probably the real success story of the Premier League last season as they displayed with great endeavour what can be achieved if you have the self belief and confidence to succeed.
Alongside the likes of David Moyes at Everton and Roy Hodgson at Fulham, Stoke City manager, Tony Pulis deserves praise for the excellent job he did in not only keeping Stoke City in the Premier League when relegation was expected but actually keeping them safe with a fair degree of comfort in the end.
Pulis is a manager who should be admired because he has great integrity, honesty and firmly believes in his own players and the determination and management ability he displayed to help keep Stoke City up was exceptional. His key strength is that he knows the exact strengths of his own players and he knows how to get the very best out of them. Pulis has always made it clear that he understands his City squad are not as technically gifted and that he has no real superstars, but he also knew that he has a squad that would give absolutely everything for him and the tremendous Stoke City fans.
Stoke City’s real strength last season was their home form, inspired by the extremely vocal and passionate fans and clearly that is going to be key to their Premier League campaign again this season, but Tony Pulis will want to try and make sure Stoke City represent more of a threat away from home as well this season.
As with every other manager in the football league, Tony Pulis is looking to add further quality to his squad and if he can bring in players that have the qualities complement the likes of Ricardo Fuller, James Beattie and Liam Lawrence then Stoke City can have confidence in once again confirming their place in the Premier League with comfort.
Pulis will be under no illusions about the task he faces and he knows that the pressure to keep Stoke City up this season will be just as great and the task of doing so just as tough, but last seasons tremendously positive experience should give them the confidence in their own ability to achieve what they set out to.
PREDICTED LEAGUE POSITION:- 14th