Do you wanna know why I typed that in caps lock? Because Tony Pulis has “mutually walked away from Stoke City after chairman Peter Coates sacked him for a sh*t run of results.” There’s nothing “mutual” about Pulis’ departure, he’s been sacked. Why? Because Stoke City have stagnated badly. Pulis has one way of playing football and it’s not a sustainable method.
If a new manager were to arrive at Stoke, could he get them playing passing football? Of course he could. For those who think not, look at the quick transition that Owen Coyle made at Bolton Wanderers when he first arrived to replace Gary Megson, who played an awful brand of football. Bolton were a team of cloggers and “experienced pros” but a different style of management brought the best out of them and under Coyle, they started to play good football. With a whole summer under a new manager, if that’s sorted quickly, then Stoke will be fine next season. They’ll be stronger without Pulis and I don’t see them being relegated.
Stevan Jovetic to Arsenal
Italian journalist, Tancredi Palmeri, yesterday broke the news that Arsenal had launched an official bid of £24.5 million for Fiorentina player and Montenegro international, Stevan Jovetic. There were then reports that Jovetic’s agents were in London to discuss a potential move. It’s also said that Jovetic hasn’t decided between Arsenal and Juventus yet, but an early, bold move by Arsenal has set the race for signature and caught the Serie A winners cold.
Jovetic, should he sign for Arsenal, has the qualities that dictate he could play across the entire front line. Supremely gifted, Jovetic is that extra yard of quality that Arsenal have missed this season in matches against the big teams. He possesses a Suarez-like ability to dribble through crowds of players, but his goal record has been highlighted as a weakness. Personally, I wouldn’t pay much attention to it. I looked at his stats yesterday and I think, without time to look right now, that Jovetic scored 14 goals in 31 appearances last season for Fiorentina. The guy is only 23, still in the development stages of his career and in a better team, Jovetic will prosper.
What Jovetic isn’t, is a specialist striker. As I say, he could play across the entire front line and even behind another striker. Life the specialist defensive midfielder, the specialist striker is a dying breed; you have to be so much more than a lump of meat who scores goals. What that means for Arsenal, is that with only Jovetic, Olivier Giroud and the incoming Yaya Sanogo, there is room for one more striker of a quality calibre at Arsenal. With Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott both tried in roles as striker at various stages last season, it could mean that one or the other could be seen primarily as a striking option. If that were to happen though, then a right or left-winger would need to be signed.
What is a certainty, that even with Jovetic coming, if it is indeed true, that Arsenal will still need more forward options, whether it be on the flanks or through the middle. Arsenal are from done with their transfer activity.
Kolo Toure to Liverpool
Ben Smith of BBC Sport reports that Kolo Toure will move to Liverpool once his Manchester City contract expires in June. Once dubbed the “African Cannavaro” by Italian press, Toure only made 18 appearances for Manchester City in all competitions and was left out of their Champions League squad.
The rumours are that Brendan Rodgers wants two central defenders after the retirement of Jamie Carragher and the departure or Martin Skrtel imminent. Kyriakos Papadopoulos is Liverpool’s priority signing, but an asking price of £20 million for the Greek international could prove to be too much, even for a club which spunked £35 million on Andy Carroll. Alternatively, Liverpool could turn their attention to Swansea City captain, Ashley Williams and rumours are that Winston Reid is being measured up by two other Premier League clubs, with Arsenal being one of them.
That’s all from me today, see you tomorrow.