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04 Aug 2018

Stoke, Swansea and West Brom need to return to their roots if they are to get promoted

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Stoke City

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Swansea City

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West Brom

REUTERS/Matthew Childs

For Stoke, Swansea and West Brom, relegation was not in the plan last season.

All three sides had established themselves in the Premier League over a period of years and had built themselves up to be genuinely good top division sides.

Stoke began the season with Mark Hughes, West Brom had Tony Pulis and Swansea started the season with Paul Clement. It is fair to say that all three sides had expectations to comfortably stay up and possibly challenge for a top half position.

How wrong they were, all three managers were gone before February and they finished well off the pace.

But how can these sides get themselves back in the big time?

Stoke City

The Potters brought in Derby County boss Gary Rowett to lead their promotion charge this summer and the appointment made a lot of sense.

Stoke had moved away from what made them good by signing foreign stars for inflated prices. Their success early on in the Premier League was built around hard workers and a certain brand of football that garnered them results.

Eventually, the change of philosophy became too much, and it is clear from comments made by certain players that the dressing room was split last season. That most certainly relegation inevitable and the ship could not be turned at Stoke.

Rowett represents a change back to what Stoke once were and their signings this summer have been more traditional ‘Stoke’ signings rather than the average foreign stars they have been persisting with.

For Stoke to be a Premier League side again they should get back to what made them good the last time they came up. A hardworking, physical side with a sprinkling of quality.

Swansea City

Remember the ‘Swansea way’ that Roberto Martinez and Brendan Rodgers championed for years? Well, Swansea have drifted away from that slick style of football and that eventually led to their demise.

Once Garry Monk left the club a few seasons ago, the trajectory for the Swans was downward and they moved in a different direction.

New boss Graham Potter has already said that he wants to get back to that style of play, and it seems to make sense for the club to revert back to the style of play they had enjoyed so much success with.

Their 28 goals in the Premier League last year was the lowest total in the league and their football had become mundane and stale compared to those early Premier League years when they were considered as one of the finest footballing sides in the country. 

West Brom

After spending much of the early 2000s as a Yo-Yo club, West Brom looked like they had finally reached the holy grail of Premier League mid-table.

The Baggies spent around £50 million on players last season, yet lost their way early on and Tony Pulis was dismissed.

Their previous regimes had saw West Brom play attractive football but their change to Pulis football never resonated with fans despite the fact the club were comfortably sat in mid-table. 

Eventually, fans became sick, attendances sagged, and the club sacked Pulis and brought in Alan Pardew.

Poor form continued and eventually, the Baggies were relegated. 

For this coming season, West Brom need to find a new identity after they seemed to lose theirs with the appointment of Pulis midway through the 2014/15 campaign.

What a perfect way to rebuild the West Brom identity than a promotion campaign? Darren Moore has a great opportunity to rebuild the club and get them back to where they believe they should be.