HomeOTHEREPLStoke City | One year on..

Stoke City | One year on..

Stoke finished off a hectic week of football with a 1-0 win over Everton, after successfully seeing off Blackburn the previous weekend and holding Dynamo Kyiv to a 1-1 draw to secure qualification for the last 32 of the Europa League. After a dodgy couple of results against QPR and Bolton, Stoke fans are once again over the moon, and with the club sitting 8th in the EPL table, things are beginning to look up for the Potters once again. And once again, they’ve shown that on occasion, statistics are meaningless. For this review, we’ll take a look at the stats for Stoke in the game this past weekend against the stats from the same fixture last season.

In a reverse of this year’s result, last season’s game at Goodison Park ended with a 1-0 win for the home side if it were at all possible, Stoke managed to have less possession of the ball in the more recent game – 35.2% the previous season compared to 32.6% this time round. They also managed less accurate passes – 173 to 161, and a lower pass completion rate – 58.6% to 56.7%. In breaking down their passing, this year they made less forward passes (60% to 67%), with the spare 7% going backwards instead (16% to 9%). The Potters created 5 chances in last season’s game, while this time around they created only 4 – a chance every 25minutes.

In defence, Stoke were the usual dominant self in both games – winning 56% of possession duels in 11/12 to 53% in 10/11, while winning 56% and 55% of the time respectively in the air. Their tackle success rate was above 80% in both games, averaging around 5.5mins per tackle throughout the two games. Stoke lost possession once every 12 minutes in 10/11, while only once every 9 minutes in their victory last weekend. They made less interceptions (10-4) and made less defensive errors (1-0) in 11/12 compared to 10/11.

Up front, Stoke continued to struggle to hit the target, with only 2 shots testing the keeper, with another two going off target. Last season, while more trigger happy with 9 shots in total, all of these went off target. Stoke managed to create 5 chances this year, compared to only 3 in the corresponding fixture last year.

So Stoke seem to scrape another win out of a poor set of stats. Not much difference in stats from last year – if anything things would seem worse, but Pulis seems to be able to pull these results from nowhere. Is it the additions to the squad? No, as impressive as Mr Clancy has been in the red and white stripes, his contribution is no more than Jones on a good day. Palacios? Anyone remember him? Thought not.

Maybe Stoke have an inherent need for their stats to be bad, while nobody seems to mind. Next weekend it’s Tottenham at home, with Besiktas away in the Europa League next midweek. Two tough games, and perhaps a true suggestion of how far this Stoke team can really go this season.

Impassioned Scottish football fan, more precisely Rangers and Peterhead... The Stoke City writer around here... Although i'm more of a Fulham man. @ICG90 on twitter.
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