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Next Up - Stoke City & Cardiff City (Published in Sheffield Wednesday's Official Programme)

Updated: Feb 18, 2021

STOKE CITY 26/12, 3:00PM

Stoke will agruably be synonymous with their enigmatic former manager Tony Pulis and their pragmatic style of play that took the club to the Premier League. Anyone facing Stoke knew they were in for a hard afternoon's work to say the least.

However, there is a famous occasion when this passion and fighting spirit boiled over into the dressing room if the rumour mill is to be believed!

In December 2009, Stoke were beaten by Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. Despite the adage of 'what happens in the dressing room, stays in the dressing room' rising to the fore, a story was leaked to the press after the game.

The story goes that the plan had been for the players to have their Christmas night out in London, the evening after the game. Striker James Beattie had been a key organiser in the event and it was reported that the club had also agreed to allow the players to have the following day off. However, Pulis is said to have announced that they were all expected to attend training the next day.

It was reported that Beattie passed comment about the manager's decision, to which Pulis confronted him. Shouting soon followed before Pulis allegedly struck Beattie.

The story was later confirmed by defender Ryan Shawcross who replied to a tweet which asked: 'What was it like seeing Pulis attack James Beattie?' His comment to describe the whole event was 'It was a spectacle.'

CARDIFF CITY 29/12, 3:00PM

There aren't many managers who suffer relegation from the Premier League and bounce back in the Old Trafford dugout However, Manchester United legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did exactly that following an indifferent spell at Cardiff.

He took the job in Wales in January 2014 and fans were excited for a change in tactics and the arrival of exciting and attacking football. Solskjaer took over from a popular figure in Malky Mackay who was surprisingly sacked despite a decent to the season.

But positive results were not forthcoming and the Bluebirds found themselves in the bottom three for the first time. Subsequently, defeats to Sunderland, Hull, Newcastle, Crystal Palace. Swansea and Liverpool put the writing on the wall for Cardiff's brief stay in the Premier League.

Cardiff vowed to stand by Solskjaer and a summer of overhaul followed with nine new signings. Alas, the bad run of form continued, the fans began to turn on the manager and Solskjaer duly departed.

Peter Jones


#SheffieldWednesdayProgramme #StokeCity #TonyPulis #JamesBeattie #CardiffCity #OleGunnarSolskjaer


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