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Peter Crouch on losing Stoke City’s identity

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Peter Crouch believes that the reason behind The Potters’ relegation was a change in ideology year by year and wrong signings.

When Peter Crouch was at Stoke City, for most part of his sojourn, The Potters were a tough nut to crack. Never really there when it came to European qualifications or winning titles, Stoke City were uber difficult to beat at home.

The Britannia Stadium was a fortress that wasn’t kind to the best the land had to offer. Under Tony Pulis, Stoke carved out the reputation of a team that would add the sort of physicality in the game that is pretty much extinct in most parts of the world.

While it wasn’t pretty, it always worked.

The “but can you do it on a cold rainy night in Stoke?” became one of the most famous football phrases of all time.

Sadly, everything changed by the end of the 2017/18 season when the Potters were relegated to the Championship.

And Peter Crouch says that there was a time when teams didn’t want to face them away from home.

While speaking to talkSPORT, Crouch said: “Stoke is the prime example of where fans and people wanted a different brand of football. We finished ninth three seasons in a row in the Premier League.

“We were tough to beat. People were coming to the Bet365 Stadium and not wanting to be there. The cold wet windy night in Stoke on a Tuesday was a thing.

And Crouch blames the change in identity and influx of new players started a run in the league that ended with relegation.

“We tried to change for the better. We started passing and got different players in.

“We lost an identity that was Stoke. If you look at it now I felt like every season we would lose a character and bring in the wrong type of character.

“With every character you lose, you lose something. At around Christmas time we were getting found out year in year out.

“We escaped a couple of times but if you keep doing that and trying to play attractive football and bringing in continental type players and it culminated in relegation.”

Peter Crouch also spoke about how the best teams in the league experienced life sucked out of them at the Britannia Stadium.

“It could be horrible,” he added. “Having played for the Tottenhams, Liverpools and Englands, and playing the right way, it was so funny playing for Stoke and watching the Arsenals turn up, Tottenham at times, and you could see the moment they got off the bus how they were beat already.

“It was so funny. The way that Tony Pulis had us wound up, with the throw-ins, we were piling into the box, and you could see the life draining out of the opposition.”