Season 2007/8

Last updated : 08 May 2010 By Dan Buxton

Martin Paterson - Scunthorpe(Tribunal)
Striker, Right wing
Signed: Academy
Games in last season: 0/10
Goals in last season: 1
club games: 2/14
Total club goals: 1

Academy graduate who joined Stoke aged 11.

Striker who is a natural predator and top scored for both reserves and academy in 2005/6. Also top scored for academy in previous season. His academy goals in the 2005/6 season earnt him the leagues top scorer award.

Played on the right wing during his times under Tony Pulis after graduating to the first team aged 18 in the 2004/5 season.

Got more of a chance the season after making his first start away at Leeds and then his full home debut against Coventry in the final home game.Gave some promising displays in the 2006/7 season as he played on the wing and to a less extent up front, scoring his first professional goal minutes after coming on as a sub away at Sheffield Wednesday aswell as missing an open goal with minutes left as Stoke looked to finish off Cardiff at Ninian Park, Cardiff then later equalised.

Enjoyed a fruitful time on loan at Grimsby, scoring 7 goals in his three month stay towards the end of 2006.

Always gives 100% and has beefed himself up in odrer to compete physically in the professional game.

Signed his first full time deal in June 2006 as he signed a 12 month deal and had been offered a twelve month extension in the summer of 2007 but decided to take the added security of a two deal at Championship rivals Scunthorpe.

Darel Russell - Norwich(£500,000)
Centre midfield
Signed/Sold: August 2003/July 2007
Games in last season:43/3
Goals in last season:7
Total club games:176/6
Total club goals:16

Brought the day before the start of the 2003/4 season for £125,000 from Norwich.

He plays central midfield and came with a good reputation and is vastly experienced at Championship level.

Was the second signing of that summer where the club actually paid money and definately strengthened the midfield and went straight into the team for the start of the season.

Tony Pulis described him as a man with great potential.

Signed a 3-year deal which then had another 24 months put on to take him to June 2008 and Norwich have taken out a sell on clause as part of the transfer. Has played for England Youth. Rejected a new contract at Norwich so was put on the transfer list.

Was an ever present in his first season and has a great engine, which is probably his best asset as he plays the box to box game and is seen helping out in defence by his box as he is seen in the opposition area.

Main weakness is his shooting and this could do with some work as he gets into some very good attacking areas.

His fourth year at the club saw him break his own record for goals, as his partnership with Salif Diao allowed him to get forward, as he netted 7 goals.

Left just before the 2007/8 season when he rejoined Norwich in a deal worth £500,000, citing his need for a move back closer to his London roots.

Carl Hoefkens - West Bromwich Albion(£1,000,000)
Right back, Centre Back
Signed/Left: July 2005/August 2007
Games in last season:44/3
Goals in last season:2
Total club games:93/3
Total club goals:5

Very talented player signed from Germinal Beerschot for £350,000 in the summer of 2005.

Player of the season in 2005/6 after becoming a huge hit with fans straight away.

Undoubted skill as he improved the one weakness in his game, heading, after being shoved into the centre back slot as Stoke were short in that area.

He did move out wide to play right back and showed great skills in getting uo and down the wing aswell as showing a mean shot and coolness from the penalty spot as he scored 3 in the league and the winner in the shoot out against Tamworth in the FA Cup.

Has fantastic long range passing and had numerous inch perfect 60 yard passes to switch the ball from one wing to the other.

The return of Tony Pulis had many questioning his future and after being dropped early in the season due to his performances not being 100% those people thought that he would move on but a return to the team, and form, saw his stock rise in the managers eyes and now he is spoken of by Pulis as one of tle most committed players in the squad.

Sambegou Bangoura - Boavista(£350,000)
Signed: August 2005
Games this season: 0
Goals this season: 0
Total club games: 25/4
Total club goals: 9

The clubs record signing after Johan Boskamp spent £900,000 on bringing him to Stoke.

Undoubted talent just maybe hasn't got his head screwed on and maybe a bit short of respect for the club and fans that pay his big wages.

After having a first work permit application turned down Stoke tried again and got one only for him to turn up a week late after going on interntaional duty before playing a game for the Potters.

He was 3 weeks late arriving back from the African Nations cup and 39 days late arriving back for pre-season training for the 2006/7.

Doesn't look like a Pulis player and seems his days are numbered at Stoke.

Scored on debut in local derby v Crewe and then scored another 7 goals in 6 games before then scoring 1 in 15.

Went on loan to Belguim club FC Brussels for the rest of the season where he started slowly then got injured as he started to find some form.

Danny Higginbotham - Sunderland(£3,000,000)
Centre back, left back
d.o.b: 29/12/78
Signed: September 2008
Games this season: 30
Goals this season: 1
Total club games: 78
Total club goals: 8

Signed just before the start of the 2006/7 season for a bargain £350,000 and fitted straight into left back.

Moved across to his favourite and more natural position of centre back and never flinched from then on.

Lost his partner Duberry in January and inherited the captaincy after showing natural leadership skills during the initial stages of his Potters career.

Swept the board at the end of season awards and was subject to enquiries from Sunderland before the Potters dismissed them stating no amount of money would make them sell.

They weren't to be put off though and came in with a £2m bid which was rejected before upping it to £2.4m + ex-Potter Graham Kavanagh which was also rejected. A third bid was instant and was accepted and he then had successful talks with the Premiership team. There persistence was helped by Higginbotham's rejection of a new deal and then stating his willingness to leave and play for someone who'll pay him more money. He refused to play at Southampton in August 2007 stating that his ankle was injured and he couldn't play before handing in a transfer request two days later.

Was the clubs chief penalty taker scoring all 4 he took in his first season to go with the three headers to netted aswell. 

Jody Craddock - returned to Wolves after loan
Centre back
dob; 25/07/75
Signed: August 2007
Games this season: 4
Goals this season: 0
Total club games: 4
Total club goals: 0

Signed from Wolves on loan for an initial month but likely to be extended until January where it is expected he is to sign a full contract.

Made his debut, just one hour after first meeting the team, against Charlton and helped the Potters to a 2-1 win in front of the Sky TV cameras.

Signed seemingly as a replacement for outgoing captain Danny Higginbotham.

His experience helped an otherwise youthful defence come through the early season matches and kept his proteges concentrated and positioned well.

Matt Hazley - released
Left winger
d.o.b: 30/12/87
Signed/Released: Academy/December 2007
Games in last season: 0
Goals in last season: 0
club games: 0/1
Total club goals: 0

Made his debut in the last home game of Johan Boskamps reign, coming on for the last half an hour.

Has a lethal dead ball delivery but injuries hampered his progress in the 2006/7 season.

Signed a four-month deal to try and prove his worth to the team aswell as fitness and earn a longer contract than that but failed to muscle into the first team and was released in December 2007.

Peter Sweeney - Leeds(£220,000)
Left wing
Signed/Sold:July 2005/January 2008
Games in last season:0/6
Goals in last season:0
Total club games:22/19
Total club goals:2

Signed by Tony Pulis days before his sacking but new manager Johan Boskmap decided he wanted him to and his fee was decided by a tribunal.

Was injured for a lot of his first season and then couldn't get in the side as the new manager had brought in Martin Kolar, Peter Kopteff and Paul Gallagher and Sweeney was always playing catch up in terms of fitness and positive impression the manager had of him.

Ended up with 20 appearances split between starts and substitute appearances.

Scored his first Potters goal in the 5-1 win away at Brighton on the final game of the 2005/6 season.

The second season started really well and he was possibly the Potters best player in the first dozen games but the arrival of Lee Hendrie and then Patrick Berger saw him stagnate and become frustrated at the competition brought in front of him.

As Berger and Hendrie, altough temporarily, departed Sweeney might have expected a chance but Lawrence switched to the left before Lee Martin was brought in and Lee Hendrie returned to freeze the Scot out once more.

He moved to Yeovil on loan but after a good start his fitness faltered and he returned to the Potteries early.

The 2007/8 season saw him go out on loan to Walsall for 2 months after failing to get a first team spot at The Brit before a £170,000 transfer to Leeds in January 2008 ended his frustrating time with the Potters.

Clint Hill - Crystal Palace (undisclosed)
Centre Back
Signed/Sold:July 2003/November 2007
Games in last season:4/1
Goals in last season:0
Total club games:74/9
Total club goals:3

Became the first player Stoke have paid money for for 2 years when they paid £120,000 when they brought him from Oldham.

He was worth a lot more than what the club have paid and Oldham paid £250,000 only 12 months earlier but Stoke got him on the cheap after Oldham faced financial meltdown.

Broke into the Tranmere team when he was 17 during there great cup run season. Broke his leg in December and was rushed back for the play offs where Oldham went out in the semi-finals, but that may have hindered his chances of making the start of the following season as he hadn't got full strength back in the leg.

Has had bad luck with injuries with Stoke which has restricted his appearances but was player of the year in 2004/5 and although not playing a game until mid February in the 2005/6 season he was still shortlisted for that seasons award.

The following season saw him start at centre back alongside Duberry but after suspension and injury saw Higginbotham take that spot he had to settle for left back until Andy Griffin switched across the defence and left Hill on the bench.

Scored a vital late equaliser in the local home derby with Wolves but got injured shortly after and failed to play in the rest of that season.

Was backup for the 2007/8 season before being involved in the Leon Cort transfer to Crystal Palace which saw Hill go the other way with a value of £350,000.

John Eustace - Watford(£250,000)
Centre midfield
Signed/Sold:July 2003/January 2008
Games in last season:24/6
Goals in last season:0
club games:66/27
Total club goals:6

Brought in July 2003 to fill the gap in the centre of midfield after the departures of Gunnarsson and O'Connor. Sent off in the last minute of the last match of our pre-season trip to Holland and Belguim earning himself a one match suspension for the start of that season.

Came with a good reputation from Coventry after playing there for his whole career upto the point he signed for the Potters.

Has Championship experience and has also played in the Premiership where he started his career.

Is a skillful yet hardworking midfielder and one who has the ability to turn any match on its head.

Had horrendous injuries that restricted him to 2 starts in 2 and a half years after he first seriously injured his groin then soon after regaining fitness injured his knee.

Returned at the start of the 2006/7 season and was loaned out shortly into the season to League Two Hereford where he starred and ran the show before returning after his three month loan to be in the matchday 16 on all but one of the last 25 games starting 8 games and grew in confidence and fitness as the season drew to a close.

Started the 07/08 season on the bench but soon regained a place in the starting XI before being transferred to Watford for £250,000 in January of that season.

Marlon Broomes - Blackpool(Free)
Left back, Centre back
Signed/Sold: August 2005/May 2008
Games in last season:0
Goals in last season:0
Total club games:41/1
Total club goals:2

Brought in a swap deal for Lewis Neal where the left winger went to Broomes former employers Preston in August 2005.

Although naturally right footed he played a big chunk of the season at left back and played pretty poorly.

Played better at right back and then played his best matches at centre back towards the end of his first season as he finally got to play in his natural position.

Missed the whole of the 2006/7 and 2007/8 seasons with an achilles injury picked up in a pre season game v PSV and then aggravated it on his comeback for the reserves to force another operation before being released and joining Blackpool in May 2008.

Stephen Wright - returned to Sunderland after loan
Right back, Left back
dob: 08/02/80
Signed/Left: August 2007/January 2008
Games in last season: 15/2
Goals in last season: 0
Total club games: 15/2
Total club goals: 0

Signed on loan until January from newly promoted Sunderland.

Former Liverpool full back was signed just prior to Carl Hoefkens departure and will fill the Belgian's position at full back.

Stated upon signing that his main aim is to go back to the Stadium of Light and reclaim the right back slot.

Injured knee ligaments on home debut versus Charlton and missed a big chunk of his loan spell before coming back and playing a total of 17 times before returning to Sunderland in January 2008.

Rob Garrett - released
Defensive midfield
d.o.b: 05/05/88
Signed/Released: Academy/May 2008
Games in last season: 0
Goals in last season: 0
club games: 0/2
Total club goals: 0

Played two games as sub towards the end of the 2005/6 campaign but didn't feature again as the Potters recruited the likes of Salif Diao to the centre of midfield.

Went out to Wrexham twice on loan where he earnt rave reviews as he helped them narrowly avoid relegation from the football league.

Spent his final season on loan at Wrexham and his failure to cement a place in the team of a club relegated to the Blue Square Premier that season plus Stoke's promotion to the Premier League led to him not being offered a new contract.

Russell Hoult - Notts County(Free)
d.o.b: 22/11/72
Signed: January 2007
Games in last seasonseason: 2
Goals conceded in last season: 4
sheets in last season: 0
Total club games: 2
Total club goals conceded/clean sheets: 4/0

Brought in as the transfer deadline loomed in January 2007 to provide cover for number one Steve Simonsen.

Wasn't needed in the remaining games of the season but was offered a fresh deal in the summer to keep him at the Britannia for another twelve months.

One-time England squad member who played 2 games in 2007/8, the first being a dreadful cup defeat to Rochdale and the other being a 2-2 draw away at Plymouth where, after being recalled for the dropped Simonsen, Hoult rushed out late on to foul Sylvain Ebanks-Blake and protect the Potters point earning him a red card and a pat on the back from all his team mates.

Marton Fulop - recalled by Sunderland by loan
Signed/Left: February 2008/February 2008
Games in last season: 0
Goals conceded in last season: 0
Clean sheets in last season: 0
Total games for club: 0
Total goals conceded/clean sheets for club: 0/0

Signed on an emergency months loan from Sunderland in February 2008 and watched the Potters next game from the bench before being recalled by Sunderland 2 days later.

Pulis reportedly remains an admirer and many press reports have linked Stoke with a move for the 6'5 Hungarian stopper.

Chris Riggott - recalled by Middlesbrough from loan
Centre Back, Right Back
Signed/Left: March 2008/May 2008
Games in last season: 9
Goals in last season: 0
Total club games: 9
Total club goals: 0

Experienced defender signed to give Ryan Shawcross a rest during 2007/8 season.

Started well and used knowledge and skill to help the Potters to vital wins in their battle for promotion.

Was recalled by Middleborough two days before Stoke sealed promotion against Leicester but took his place in the stands to watch the Potters claim the point they needed to book their Premier League ticket.

Stoke were warned off any bid for the former England U21 international with Middlesborough manager Gareth Southgate commentaing that he was wrong to banish Riggott from the 1st team.

Paul Gallagher - returned to Blackburn after loan
Striker, Attacking midfielder
Signed/Sold: January 2008/May 2008
Games in last season: 2/5
Goals in last season: 0
Total club games: 37/10
Total club goals: 12

A big hit during his initial loan spell at the club but a far less successful second spell.

Joined for initial 6 months from Blackburn after being frozen out at Ewood Park and played the last few minutes the day after when Stoke beat Norwich 3-1.

Loan was extended until the end of the season in January and he ended up being top scorer with goals before being recalled days before the final game of the season.

Scored many spectacular goals and seemed to be that every goal he scored was a winner and from outside the box.

Scored the winning goals away at Hull, Preston, Coventry, Crewe and Luton aswell as at home to Millwall and Burnley and the equaliser away at Tamworth that set up the victory on penalties.

During his second spell in 2007/8 he rarely featured and failed to impress on his few outings leading to his early return to Blackburn.

Carlo Nash -  returned to Wigan after loan
Signed/Left: March2008/May 2008
Games in last season: 10
Goals conceded in last season: 7
Clean sheets in last season: 4
Total games for club: 10
Total goals conceded/clean sheets for club: 7/4

Signed as a way of giving regular number 1 Simonsen a break and helped the Potters seal promotion to the top flight.

Conceded a goal after 2 minutes of his debut but then only conceded 6 more as clean sheets in 1-0 away wins at Norwich and Colchester aswell as the goalless draw at Watford where Nash superbly saved a second half penalty and the final day home game against Leicester that sealed promotion for the Potters.

Gabriel Zakuani - returned to Fulham after loan
Centre back, Right back
d.o.b: 31/05/86
Signed/Left: August 2007/May 2008
Games in last season: 11/8
Goals in last season: 0
Total club games: 20/8
Total club goals: 0


Signed on deadline day in August 2007 on loan from Fulham for the second time, he also played on loan from January to May 2007.

First time round played games at right back and centre back when players were missing or when Hoefkens was pushed up into midfield.

A good, solid defender who will get better with experience and one which Stoke were thankful for as they pushed, unsuccessfully, for the play-offs in 2006/7 and helped plug many gaps, mainly early on, in 2007/8.

Has said he would welcome a full time move to the Brit and may be one that would interest the management in their search for new players. 

Stephen Pearson - returned to Derby after loan
Centre midfield, Left winger
Signed/Left: March 2008/May 2008
Games in last season: 3/1
Goals in last season: 0
Total club games: 3/1
Total club goals: 0

Signed to try and give Stoke a proper winger on the left hand side and made an immediate impression on debut against Sheffield Wednesday, striking a shot goalwards that was deflected in by Richard Cresswell.

Injury niggles hampered him from then on in and he made only 2 more starts.

Seemed to have quality about his game but not enough to convince Stoke manager Pulis to complete the proposed transfer that went with his loan and he returned to Derby.

Shola Ameobi - returned to Newcastle after loan
d.o.b: 12/10/81
Signed/Left: March 2008/May 2008
Games in last season: 3/3
Goals in last season 0
Total club games: 3/3
Total club goals: 0

Signed for a British record £500,000 loan fee and on £25,000 per week, he was hoped to be the man who fired Stoke to the Premier League. He failed to live upto his hype but it'll never be fully known what impact his arrival had on Mama Sidibe whose own goalscoring record improved no end after Ameobis arrival.

Initial impressions were pleasing but these fell away and a confidenceless Ameobi played the last month for the Potters as he had to sit and watch the last 3 games from the sidelines following a hamstring injury away at Coventry.

Jay Bothroyd -  returned to Wolves after loan
Right wing, Left wing, Striker
Signed/Left: March 2008/May 2008
Games in last season: 1/3
Goals in last season: 0
Total club games: 1/3
Total club goals: 0

Signed to make up squad numbers in March 2008.

Provided decent cover for Lawrence and was able to give Lawrence a well earned rest in games that the Potters were controlling.

Stoke decided not to take the deal any further and he returned to Wolves after the last day draw with Leicester.