May 22, 2013, 2:40 PM EDT
It is too early to tell how Tony Pulis’ removal at Stoke City could affect the trio of U.S. internationals there, Geoff Cameron, Brek Shea and Maurice Edu.
But it’s hard to see how this will be good for one of them (Cameron). It could go either way for another one (Shea). And it can only be good for the third (Edu), for whom things went pear-shaped pretty much from the moment he arrived at the Britannia.
The soccer around the Britannia will improve. Pulis’ negative tactics were generally effective, but they were brutal on the eyes. As for our chief interests on this side of the Atlantic …
Cameron was a Pulis favorite from the moment he landed in the midlands. He had to switch positions, from center back to outside back, but that was hardly a stretch for the former Houston Dynamo man, who had been an outside midfielder and central midfielder before he was a center back for Dominic Kinnear in Houston.
But Cameron was an immediate starter, named to the first XI just days after arrival. So, hopefully Cameron is OK under a new manager – but he was already in the safe zone under the old guy.
Shea was practically in the witness protection program at Stoke, a fact that never sat well with U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann, who wondered aloud why the player made a move to a place where he wasn’t more certain of time on the field. But Pulis said all along that Shea came in carrying an injury and that his winter arrival was mostly about 2013-14.
He seemed to fancy Shea and what the lefty winger could do – even though “wingers” were never really part of the vocabulary around the Britannia under Pulis. “Getting stuck in” was always prioritized under Pulis over “getting forward.” Shea could prosper if the new man actually uses wingers, or he could be seen as surplus under a new man who wants “his guys” to get the minutes.
As for Edu, he never really got a chance, sentenced to languish on the bench before a loan into Turkey spelled reprieve. But he remains Stoke property … and now he presumably gets a fresh start.
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