Does the style of a football team matter? Stoke City get short shrift in media coverage for their direct approach to football. They utilize a well-drilled defensive line, which aims to break-up opposition possession and get the ball forward for tall target men to hold up and bring in other players. Many of their goals come from Rory Delap’s famous long throw-ins and set piece conversions. Player/ coach Salif Diao recently described manager Tony Pulis’ thinking: “The coach (Pulis) is using a simple statistic: more than 60% of goals are scored from inside the box. So why 15 passes in the midfield if you can reach it in just one pass?”
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