As any avid fan of football, I tune in as much as I can when it comes to the beautiful game. The drama, elegance and passion of footy is unparalleled and provides excitement one might not find in any other sport.
Transfer deadline day proved to be just as entertaining for fans as it was for clubs and players. With all the last-second moves that took place, it was hard not to get wrapped up in the action.
Supporters of all 20 EPL clubs were anxious to see what moves their respective clubs made.
As always, come the end of the day, fans were either jumping for joy or shaking their heads at the results.
Teams like Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool all have the benefit of being historically successful clubs, who players would die to play for. It also doesn’t hurt to have millions of pounds poured into the club in order to go out and sign the best players on the planet.
Other teams don’t have such luxuries, though. A team like Wolverhampton or West Brom must conduct themselves differently in the transfer window, as they don’t have the resources that giant squads are fortunate enough to have.
Stoke City is embarking on their first European journey in close to 40 years. The Potters are beginning to dispel the notion that they are a mid-table squad by getting results in the league. They do this by having a stout defense and disciplined tactics.
On deadline day, Stoke City were able to sign gangly striker Peter Crouch.
Crouch is a player who boasts plenty of domestic and European experience. This should come as a major victory for the Potters, who were able to secure his services for €10 million.
Peter Crouch utilizes his height to win plenty of aerial balls and is exceptional on set-pieces. Contrary to popular belief, he is also surprisingly good with the ball at his feet and possesses above-average technical abilities.
The criticism of Crouch is that he doesn’t find the back of the net regularly like a classy striker should.
Odd, considering his dominance in the air and his obvious physical advantages.
In signing Crouch, Stoke City get a tall, all-out center forward who can provide an extra dynamic to their attack. Stoke City is known to have a unique set of tactics and many teams in the Premier League find it frustrating to play against the Potters for that reason. Nonetheless, Stoke has seen success by implementing their game plan.
Stoke City’s tactics involve a lot of direct, straightforward football.
While they lack flair and trickery, they make up for it with brute strength and controlled defending.
Stoke City is also known to utilize Rory Delap’s astonishing throw-ins, as he is able to send a ball in from the sideline as if it were a cross.
Stoke is known to stick to this formula every match, and manager Tony Pulis prepares his squad to play like this regardless of what pundits say. Many have criticized the play of the Potters because it is so rudimentary and unattractive at times. However, Pulis and his team could care less, as long as they continue to get results.
Within Stoke’s tactical ideology, signing a player like Crouch is a brilliant piece of business. Having Rory Delap flinging balls to the towering striker will result in plenty of panic for opposing defenses. Teams will have to account for Crouch, not only on set pieces, but on throw-ins as well.
The former Spurs man also complements Stoke’s direct style of play, as he will provide an aerial outlet for the Potters when they counter out of the back. If Crouch is not able to take the ball out of the air, he can lay it off accordingly to teammates and connect the midfield using his height.
Signing Peter Crouch may not have jumped off the headlines, but in time this will prove to be a very beneficial buy for the Potters.
As they are set to continue with their brand of counter-attacking football, Crouch may just provide the factor that brings Stoke success in the Premiership, Europe and beyond.