Waiting For The Transfer Cogs To Start Moving

By Dan Buxton
Last updated : 28 January 2010

Well, January is nearly done folks and as I type, Stoke must have saved a fortune in text messages as we are still awaiting our first arrival.

Recent results have displaced the theory that the goals in the side have completely dissappeared this season and to top it all off, the majority of the goals have come from open play.

Taking my rose tinted Elton John specials off for a second, it must be tough for any manager to convince players to come to any club north of the Watford Gap, never mind a club like Stoke whose style of play has divided fans and pundits alike.

I do think however that our recent run of live TV games has come at exactly the right time for us. Our performances against Fulham and Arsenal show that we can mix our aerial threat up with pace and skill and with Liverpool we can grind out a result when we need to. A fact that all Stoke fans already knew but seemed to be lost on nearly every other football fan, pundit and journalist.

I was expecting to open the papers on Monday morning and read what usually happens when a widely unexpected result happens. Rather than talking about the fact Arsenal were well beaten on every front, I was fully expecting to read about how poor Arsenal were and how they should have normally trounced us followed by a condescending pat on the head to Stoke. Whilst there was talk about team selections the widespread reception from most was that we won through with not only the long throw, but two other goals of genuine skill.

We are showing that we are a team that can adapt their style. We are a hard working, physical team that can not only play the long ball game and deadly at set pieces, but can get it down and use the wings. It will take a long time to win everyone around, but no-one will be losing sleep over that.

I suspect that with the reputation that we had, prospective players would probably be wondering where they would fit into that style of play and unfairly written us off as a viable option. I think it is would be easier for players to see themselves in a Stoke shirt now, than the same time last year.

I think our biggest problems with regards to the lack of transfers, ironically now we have a bit of money to spend, is the lack of activity from other teams who may not have any money at all. It just needs a couple of deals to go through for other clubs and things will start to drop. A bit like Kerplunk with football tranfers! With the league being so tight this year, teams are not taking the gamble of selling before they buy so it seems!

The one hope that I have is that we start to see Pulis' plan unveil during the next week and he surprises us all with a couple of quality signings up front, in midfield and a left-back would be my particular preference to push for the top half

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