We ask the people who really matter – the fans – about their club’s propects for the coming season. Here the legendary Shafter shares his delight at embarking on an European adventure and dreams of seeing Bent bang them in at the Brit.
Who would you most like Stoke to sign this summer?
I would obviously love to see Stoke sign a superstar……Tevez, Rooney, Suarez etc, but we in the potteries know that will never happen anytime soon.
So, realistically I would like to see Darren Bent in a Stoke City shirt next season.
Which player would you most like to be shown the exit door?
Danny Collins. No disrespect to the lad but just too many mistakes in defence.
Happy with Pulis?
Yes. Although Pulis has his critics even amongst Stoke fans I don’t think anyone could have envisaged how far he’s taken us and what we’ve achieved during the past four seasons. Premiership solidity, an FA Cup final and a place in Europe……..nobody in their right mind would be unhappy with that.
If you could tell Pulis to change one thing next season, what would it be?
Our tactics away from home. At the Britannia, regardless of the opposition, we give it a go and will take the game to anyone……Arsenal, Man City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea have all been beaten at the Brit. However, away from home, Pulis plays too negatively and often “parks the bus”, which in my opinion has been holding us back these past two seasons.
Any young players coming through that we should look out for?
I can’t say that there is really…..unless Pulis has been keeping them a secret from us all.
Who are you most looking forward to beating next term?
Man Utd. We have failed to get the three points off them home or away since promotion to the Prem so that would be a special result.
Looking forward to Europe?
Well, Europe, what can I say? After 25 years of actively following the potters I never thought I’d see the day. I can’t wait. Money and work permitting I’ll be embarking on a mad, drunken European tour!!
What would you consider a successful season?
Since promotion I’ve always said that survival would be a good season. However, now we’ve had a few seasons here with a comfortable finish each time, I’m going to stick my neck out for a top 10 finish in 2011/2012.
Where’s a good place for a pre-match pint for away supporters?
Stoke town centre itself can be a bit tasty for away fans. Although there are plenty of boozers it can get a bit hostile at times. I would recommend the Harvester pub or the Power League bar right outside the ground.