Chatting With The Oppo's - Latics v Stoke
In the build up to the Latics v Stoke game at the DW Stadium tomorrow I managed to grab a few words with Vital Stoke editor Lloyd Reddin, let's take a look how our little chat went:
worbo - First of all welcome to Vital Towers Lloyd, nice to meet up with you, excited about the season ahead?
Lloyd - It really does depend on how we do in the final stages of this transfer window. As I football fan I am obviously really excited about the new season and have missed Saturday afternoons but if Pulis doesn't purchase right we could be in for a very long and exhausting season.
worbo - I see you signed Michael Kightly from Wolves, he`s a player that I really rate, how`s he settled in to life at the Britannia and who else did Pulis bring in during the summer?
Lloyd - He has been tremendous so far. One of our few shining lights so far this campaign. his directness and willingness to take on a player is a breath of fresh air and I believe we have grabbed a bargain especially when you see how much Jarvis went for.
worbo - I've just got to ask, what is going on with Wilson Palacios? World class player, ex-Latic, we loved him here, can't get a look in even though you paid big money for him, problems behind the scenes?
Lloyd - Something is amiss with this one. He was clearly not fit enough last season after a long lay-off with injury whilst at Spurs, but the moments we got to see him on the pitch, we saw what a talent he was. His reading of the game is marvellous and his range of passing is spot on. He is currently training with our youth team, a few rumours flying around about why this is. He's either fell out with Tony or the other rumour is that he is still not fit enough even after a full pre-season so needs to work on his stamina with the little un's. The few glimpses we have seen of him this season isn't encouraging though as to me it seems as if his legs have gone because it looks like he's treading water whilst running. It's not good but I just hope that we can sort him out and get the best out of him, because we are definitely missing out on his talents.
worbo - Are you happy with Pulis? I have read over the past couple of seasons some rumblings from Stoke fans about Pulis, his style, not only of play but man management, he does at times come over as quite abrupt, what's the general consensus amongst the Stokies?
Lloyd - Personally I'm happy with Pulis. He has got us promoted, taken us to a Cup Final and even Europe, but his style of play is dreadful. Yeah I didn't mind it the first few seasons because it was effective but now people have now cottoned on to it and with only a handful of wins this calendar year, it needs to change and soon or the fan base will be well and truly on the capped one's back.
worbo - We`re in for a big season this time round, by that I mean not in the relegation dog fight, we`ve a settled squad who know each other, I can genuinely see a top ten finish for us, maybe 10th or 9th and that would be fantastic, as for Stoke, following on from the back end of last season when you had just the one win from 12 games, you've started off with two draws, not the best of form
I'm sorry to say but I think Stoke will have a tough campaign and I can see you finishing the season having a fright, I don't think you'll go down but your situation reminds me so much of us three years back, I think you`ll finish above the relegation spots, but only just, 17th or 16th.
How do you think the season will pan out for our clubs Lloyd?
Lloyd - I always get my predictions horribly wrong when it comes to the Latics. Your club is so hard to read, especially with your transfer policy of bringing in a lot of players from abroad that aren't really house hold names. I'd say you're going still going be bottom half of the table this season, but not in a relegation battle. I guess it'll just be how you cope with injuries as your squad isn't the biggest. 14th
Now with Stoke, as I've noted before it can go one of two ways depending on who we can bring in and get rid of on this transfer deadline day. If we don't get a goal scorer and a creative midfielder we will really struggle this season and could be dragged in to a relegation dog fight, but if we can inject goals to the team we should be safe and fighting along with you for the top of the bottom half of the table, maybe even breaking through to the top half.
worbo - Right prediction time, I`m going for a home win for the Latics, 2-1, what's your forecast Lloyd?
Lloyd - We never do well at the JJB Stadium but never normally lose, so I'm going follow the norm and go for a 1-1 draw.
Thanks very much for the chat Lloyd and the best of luck for the rest of the season
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