Tony Pulis brought success to Stoke City, says Charlie Nicholas
Tony Pulis deserves more respect for the job he did at Stoke City, says Charlie Nicholas.
Last Updated: 23/05/13 10:46am
Pulis, who first took charge of the Potters between 2002 and 2005, left the club for a second time on Tuesday, according to Sky sources, bringing to an end a 333 match stay at the Britannia club.
Following the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson and David Moyes' move to Manchester United, Pulis was the second longest serving manager in the Premier League, behind Arsenal's Arsene Wenger, after re-joining Stoke in 2006.
And Nicholas believes Pulis - who had been criticised by some Stoke fans in the final weeks of the season as the side struggled for form - deserves plenty of credit for taking the club to the Premier League, establishing them in the top flight and reaching the FA Cup final in 2010/11.
"I was doing the Stoke v Aston Villa match for Soccer Saturday three or four weeks ago, when Villa beat them 3-1, and he got a heck of an amount of abuse from his supporters because he was leaving Charlie Adam and Michael Owen on the bench," said Nicholas.
"Myself, Jeff Stelling and the rest of the Soccer Saturday boys were speaking after the game and we felt he wasn't being respected for the success he'd brought there.
"To be a regular in the Premier League, to be in Europe, to have brought people like Peter Crouch and other big reputation players there... yes, he had spent a few bob to bring them there and his style wasn't everyone's cup of tea, but it was a formula he had success with.
"So this isn't a surprise, I think he came to a conclusion he'd had enough."
Nicholas believes detractors of Pulis must re-consider their definition of success and suggested a change in management and playing style would not necessarily improve Stoke's Premier League performance.
"You can't blame the supporters for wanting their team to get better and play with more style but at some of the top teams, such as Arsenal, the top four is success for them at the moment," he said.
"But what do Stoke require? Are they trying to change the whole system?
"If you're trying to change style and philosophy you're taking a big risk and players have to hit the ground running. There will be hiccups along the way.
"Peter Reid at Sunderland, in back to back seasons, got them seventh. Then they wanted a change of style and they got relegated. So be careful what you wish for."