Stoke have signed a maverick player, but without seeing him yet, the way he uses his talent will be interesting to see. Marko Arnautovic, a player who José Mourinho described as having the attitude of a small child, will offer Stoke more attacking options, but his off-field issues concern me. Whilst I hope they are in the past now as he appears to be settled with his family, and they are all moving to England with him, I hope during the duration of his four-year contract I see him more on the back pages than the front of the local newspaper.
The player I am more excited to see is Stephen Ireland. I feel that the position Charlie Adam has held in the team for the opening two or three games is not competitive enough and the signing of Ireland will either bring the best out of Adam, or it will allow us to play a better player in the position, in Ireland. I will admit that I am already fed up of hearing in the media of how excited Ireland is to be at Stoke, ready to stick “two fingers up” to his critics and show the supporters what he is capable of. I’m glad that he is ready and willing to play and fight for a position in the team, but until next Saturday, I want him to just buckle down, stay away from reporters, and crack down in the hope of getting in the matchday squad to play Manchester City. For me, this is an important game. At the moment, there is no team I dislike more than Manchester City, and this also coincides with my first appearance at the Britannia this season. Singing “We’ll be with you” in front of a television set doesn’t feel the same as belting it out alongside 27,000 other supporters, and for this reason I cannot wait. Bring on Manchester City, and to my fellow Potters, let’s grab another unfancied three points.
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