Very quiet on all fronts....ominous or encouraging omen?
Stoke City manager Tony Pulis did not seem as happy as we might have expected in his post match interviews having inspired his team to an excellent win against everyone's promotion certainties Charlton Athletic.We've seen him in that sort of mood before when something was bugging him.Last time it was the Icelandic owners.
For Stoke to retain the services of Danny Higginbottom - splendid in all respects on and off the pitch last season - would be symbolic as well as beneficial to the club's prospects this season.It's pretty certain that is how Pulis sees it too.
Who's been conducting the negotiations with Higginbottom with a view to an improvement to his existing contract?Apparently Tony Scoles,the club's Chief Executive, and he's presumably not only applying but bound by the agreed wage structure.Since Higginbottom has turned down an improved offer (there may have been more than one for all we know) and we have heard no more there is a likelihood that he is looking for wages well in excess of those envisaged in the wage structure.
It would be no surprise if TP's long face was a reflection of tension between himself and Scholes,with the former wishing to pay what it takes to retain a player who he sees as central to his team building plans and his ablity to attract other quality players to the Britannia Stadium,and the latter refusing on cost grounds.
Two weeks to the transfer window closing....and Scholes goes off (or is sent perhaps)on a 2 week holiday.Certainly he has to take his holidays sometime.....but just coincidence?Unlikely,especially when Chairman Peter Coates issues a statement that there are people perfectly well able to handle prospective deals in Scholes absence.