Stoke City would be potty to miss out on O’Neill

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After five years in the Premier League, the Stoke City side under the leadership of Tony Pulis gained a reputation for deploying an efficient, yet physical playing style that may not have been to every football fan’s taste.

But now, with Pulis departing, could Martin O’Neill be the man to revitalise The Potters?

Stoke have averaged just 45 points per campaign in their five years in the top flight so far, indicating that they have been steady, yet unspectacular under Pulis. The Staffordshire club are in desperate need of a manager that can take them to the next level.

At 10/1 with Ladbrokes, Northern Irishman, Martin O’Neill could be just the man for the job.

In his managerial career he has guided Leicester to two League Cups, ensured Aston Villa claimed a sixth-place finish three years running, not to mention his successes with Scottish champions, Celtic.

It’s also worth noting that his sacking as Sunderland manager in March was his first dismissal in a management career stretching 25 years.

In the current personnel at the Britannia Stadium, O’Neill looks to have a perfect base to build a squad around.

Previous team selections indicate that O’Neill’s favoured playing style benefits from having a big target man up front. Emile Heskey, John Hartson and John Carew have all lead the line under his management.  And with Peter Crouch and Jonathan Walters at their disposal, Stoke look tailor-made for his style.

Other manager’s linked with the job include Roberto Di Matteo (4/1) and Gus Poyet (8/1). Although they are both young, exciting managers, it is hard to imagine the current squad deploying the free-flowing, attractive football these two are known to endorse.

But with money behind him to expand the squad, the appointment of O’Neill at the Britannia Stadium could prove a shrewd piece of business for both Stoke City and those who choose to back him in the next manager market.

All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.