Farewell Tony Pulis
Tony Pulis - We thank you
For many the 2002/ 2003 season was to be a difficult one.
Steve Cotterill's resignation early into the season led to even more uncertainty surrounding the club and relegation looked almost inevitable. However then came one of the most important appointments in the club's history. The appointment of Tony Pulis.
first job as Stoke boss was to save them from relegation. This a job
completed on the last day of the season thanks to one of TP's first
signings, striker Ade Akinbiyi. The forward scored the only goal of
the game in a 1-0 victory over Reading at The Britannia stadium to
secure the Potter's safety.
Pulis rates survival in 2002/ 2003 as one of his greatest achievements in football.
The following season Pulis again secured Division 1 survival, guiding the club to an 11th place finish. However from then on friction grew between Tony and then chairman Gunnar Gislason and on the 29th June 2005, Pulis was sacked. The predominant reason being 'failure to exploit the transfer market'.
A continued argument throughout his second tenure at the club by many supporters.
In May 2006,
Tony was to rejoin Stoke City after just 11 months away from the club
following the takeover by Peter Coates.
The prospect of playing top flight football was then a distant thought for many Potters fans, however in 2007/ 2008 Pulis did in fact manage that mammoth feat.
It was again (In typical Stoke style) left to the final day of the season, a day every Stoke fan will remember forever.
Since this miracle day in 2008 Tony Pulis has guided Stoke City to 6 consecutive seasons in the Premier League, including an F.A Cup final AND a stint in Europe.
Not only did this great Welshman deliver top flight football, he took The Potters to Europe. Playing alongside world beaters such as Valencia and putting The Potteries back on the map, and for that, we thank you.