Stoke concede four to Crystal Palace and Mark Hughes' job looks in serious danger

Three wins since February. Four goals conceded in six of their last 11 Premier League games. Three goals scored all season.

Three statistics that leave Mark Hughes in a very bad situation.

The Potters lost 4-1 to Crystal Palace, a second win on the bounce for Pardew’s men, and for some that’s reason enough to get to the sack.

Since taking over as Stoke manager Hughes has changed everything about the side, transitioning them from purely physical and a bit of an eye-sore, in all honesty, to a team boasting a number of former Barcelona players who played great football at times last season.

The team, on paper, is better this season than it was last season – bar the injuries to Xherdan Shaqiri and Jack Butland. So what’s going on? They have all the ingredients, so why is greasy mush being served on those finely crafted plates?

Is it the unthinkable decision to swap New Balance for Macron?

The new sponsor means they have more than a few things in common with the Aston Villa side relegated last season.

Maybe they’ve done the classic thing of investing a lot in forward departments and not enough at the back…

The most damning thing though was the lack of fight Stoke showed against Palace. Sure, they bagged late on, but there was no leadership on the pitch and seemingly no desire. Even when Stoke weren’t very good to watch under previous managers, they could always be relied on for desire.

It might be time to Pray for Mark Hughes. And don’t take it from us, take it from another team to get relegated last season.

More in this Section

Tottenham need to back up Red Star Belgrade triumph in Premier League – KaneTottenham need to back up Red Star Belgrade triumph in Premier League – Kane

England stamp out penalties with training-ground regimeEngland stamp out penalties with training-ground regime

Wales and South Africa’s route to the Rugby World Cup semi-finalsWales and South Africa’s route to the Rugby World Cup semi-finals

England and New Zealand’s route to the Rugby World Cup semi-finalsEngland and New Zealand’s route to the Rugby World Cup semi-finals


Lifestyle

Steak night just got zingy.How to make Antoni Porowski’s hanger steak with charred limes, fresh chillies and herbs

Seasonal affective disorder is a lot more complex than just mourning the end of summer and being a bit glum. Liz Connor finds out more.Could your winter blues be something more serious? What to do if you’re worried about SAD

Ideal for a quick mid-week meal, eaten in front of Netflix, of course.How to make Antoni Porowski’s cauliflower steaks with turmeric and crunchy almonds

Lacemakers in Limerick want to preserve their unique craft for future generations and hope to gain UNESCO heritage status, writes Ellie O’Byrne.Made in Munster: Lace-making a labour of love rather than laborious industry

More From The Irish Examiner