Sunday, 8 January 2017

[SPORT NEWS] Stoke 0 Wolves 2 TALKING POINT: Is it a case of more steel or more balance?

toke fans can seem to swing between calling for more flair and more mettle.

The manager was surprised at criticism even in victory after using the old guard led by Jon Walters, Peter Crouch and Charlie Adam to secure a win over Watford. Then, after recalling Bojan, Giannelli Imbula and Xherdan Shaqiri, he made a pointed reference to what this Wolves defeat told him about selection.

Hughes implies there is a balance to find in terms of personality and determination but he is also perhaps still searching for a starting XI that complements each other in terms of roles.
Stoke are overloaded with number 10s and box-to-box midfielders while Glenn Whelan is the only one who naturally sits deeper, although Charlie Adam has been manoeuvred into that task and Geoff Cameron had been impressing before his injury.

The Bojan, Ibrahim Afellay and Imbula triangle was missing an anchor, especially if they are being encouraged to play with freedom. Hughes made a big statement when he hooked two of those off at half-time – even if he later insisted he wanted to bring off half the team.

He had admitted on Friday that it can be impossible to shoehorn in all the technically-gifted players at once, but it is not a case of all or nothing. It is his job to find the right mix, regardless of the opposition.

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