Mark Hughes was announced as Stoke City manager just a week after Tony Pulis was sacked and promised a shake up of the first team.

So far, there has been a shake up of the coaching/backroom staff, with several individuals leaving their posts - most notably Dave Kevan, the under-21s coach.

There has also been a list of players released: Jermaine Pennant, Rory Delap, Mama Sidibe and Dean Whitehead, the biggest names on that list - only for Hughes to make a complete U-turn and offer out-of-favour winger Pennant a new one-year deal.

Over the past few weeks, Stoke City have been linked with everyone Hughes brought in his managerial stints with Manchester City, Blackburn and Queens Park Rangers. Names from Roque Santa Cruz to David Bentley have appeared on the radar with every journalist appearing to have the 'scoop'.

But, in truth, Hughes has been Stoke manager for nearly a month and no new player has put pen to paper, this leaves Stoke fans feeling slightly cheated.

Some fans think, yes Hughes has a lot of changes to make and needs to sift through all the names he has in the hope of finding a rough diamond, but with the new season just six weeks away and every player being linked with Stoke City is linked with several other teams, how is the Welshman going to convince any of them to come to the Potteries?

Stoke fans are filled with a lot of promise for the new season, with strikers being linked all the time - some with exceptional scoring records. And with the long-ball tactics said to now be a thing of the past, all looks bright over the Britannia heading into the 2013/14 Premier League season. 

But the question still remains: who will that starting eleven be on August 17? 


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#Premier League
#Stoke City
#Mark Hughes
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