How to beat Stoke City: Tony Pulis, Wenger and Mental Strength

Stoke City represent somewhat of an unassailable wall to many teams. Arsenal are an opponent who have struggled against a particularly rugged Tony Pulis side since their rise to the Premier League in 2008. Stoke have beaten Arsenal twice in the last three games at the Britannia, but never at home in two appearances.

Image courtesy of Ronnie MacDonald. Under Creative Commons Licence.

The contrast in styles could not be greater, and my sensibilities are in principle much against the Stoke method. On the other hand arrogance is a deeply unattractive trait, and Pulis deserves credit for his very efficient work with Stoke  no matter what the feelings you have over his style.

In reality survival in the Premier League boils down to money, and for clubs such as Stoke City, that resource is at a premium. Not only that but it is permanently limited by the fact that Stoke itself is a smaller club with limited ability to bring in large turnovers, or increase their fanbase drastically.

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