A hard-fought 0-0 stalemate against a revitalised Liverpool should have been enough to put a rare smile on the face of Stoke City’s gaffer yesterday but alas Tony Pulis was in no mood for merriment.
Speaking immediately after the game the official spokesman for good clean football firstly lambasted Luis Suarez for diving – and repeated his plea to the FA to impose regulatory three match bans for offenders – before ignoring all requests to comment on Robert Huth’s dangerous stamp and instead unleashed a passionate diatribe aimed towards his fellow Premier League bosses.
“Have you seen the clobber these boys wear on the touchline these days? It’s embarrassing. Suits and ties like they’re office number-crunchers or worse still those jumper and shirt combos that would see you battered senseless in Hanley on a Saturday night. These guys have got to remember that each of us are representing clubs with a century or more of tradition and honour and it’s disrespectful in my opinion not to make an effort. What really bugs me is that it’s not exactly hard is it to find a nice sports coat and classy cap? I got some cracking deasl last week when JJB went bust. But instead they pace around the technical area in fancy expensive loafers that just make a mockery of the game we love. When we beat Swansea at our place last week I didn’t know whether to shake Michael Laudrup’s hand or take him out to dinner.”
Pulis’ rant is the latest in a long line of complaints he has publicly aired about the falling standards of the modern game. Last month he had this to say in an interview with Rugby World “That Spanish lad Silva at City…what a disgrace he is. Doesn’t even use his elbows and plays everything on the deck. Cynical as you like but the refs let it go unpunished. Whereas someone like Jonathan Walters gives 110% commitment and gets a yellow for nothing. But I don’t want to talk about other players from other clubs because that’s not what I do.”