The Potters did brilliantly last season. We have acquired players with considerable potential to push us even further forward this season.But we have lost more Pulis building blocks,who have underpinned our successes under Hughes' stewardship.N'Zonzi and Begovic departed,Ryan Shawcross still crocked.
On the evidence of pre season we have,in Butland, a keeper who is up to the job.Wollscheid does not fill me with confidence, no rock in the Shawcross mould,a tad on the slow side,and too easily bypassed by opposing forwards.It remains to be seen whether between them Afellay and Van Hinkel can compensate for the loss of N'Zonzi.
Success will require not only that the team gels, but 'cruciately'(apols!) we avoid injuries on the scale that we suffered them last season.
Good luck to the Team,and the Fans for the new season.