2006–07 Stoke City F.C. season
|Football League Championship||8th (73 Points)|
|FA Cup||Fourth Round|
|League Cup||First Round|
|Top goalscorer||League: Ricardo Fuller (10)|
All: Ricardo Fuller (11)
|Highest home attendance||23,017 vs Southend United (3 February 2007)|
|Lowest home attendance||11,626 vs Plymouth Argyle (26 August 2006)|
|Average home league attendance||15,749|
With the return of Peter Coates and Tony Pulis the objective was to now gain a long-awaited return to the top flight of English football. Pulis was not a popular choice of manager amongst Stoke supporters and that feeling failed to be improved after a poor start to the season. But Coates provided Pulis with funds to spend on Danny Higginbotham, Ricardo Fuller and several high-profile loan arrivals including Lee Hendrie, Liam Lawrence, Rory Delap, Salif Diao, Andy Griffin and Patrik Berger. Stoke marked a turn around in the direction of the club with a 4–0 win away at Leeds United.
From then on Stoke produced a number of impressive performances as the side began to climb up the table. Stoke went into the final month of the season looking to claim a play-off spot but despite beating the likes of Leicester City and West Bromwich Albion frustrating draws against Cardiff City and Hull City meant that Stoke needed to win their final match away at Queens Park Rangers to have a chance of finishing 6th. It was not to be as a 1–1 was the result and City missed out on the play-offs by two points but it was a very positive season for the club.
With Peter Coates and Tony Pulis back at the Britannia Stadium the main objective was to challenge for a place in the Premier League. The first act Pulis was since returning as manager was to bring in French forward Vincent Péricard from the club he just left Plymouth Argyle. Despite Pulis expecting big things from him, Péricard failed to impress and is considered one of the worst players to play for the club by supporters. A more successful signing was that of Southampton defender Danny Higginbotham for £225,000. Stoke lost their first match of the season away at newly promoted Southend United but won their first home match 2–0 against a Derby County side tipped to be promoted. But after a woefully boring draw at home to Plymouth, Pulis was booed by the Stoke supporters. On transfer deadline Stoke completed the signing of Jamaican striker Ricardo Fuller for a fee of £500,000 and he would go on to have an eventful six-year career with the club. Pulis again took stick from supporters after seeing their side throw away a two-goal lead at Barnsley. However, despite the poor start to the season Coates remained in full support of Pulis.
To address the problem Stoke signed Aston Villa winger Lee Hendrie, Liverpool midfielder Salif Diao and Sunderland midfielder Rory Delap whilst Andy Griffin extended his loan deal. And in their first match away at crisis club Leeds United Stoke produced a fine display winning 4–0 which signalled a change in the direction of the club. Stoke won their next match against top of the table Sunderland but suffered a blow as Rory Delap broke his leg in two places. Stoke then beat Norwich City 5–0 and signed Sunderland winger Liam Lawrence. This combined with a five match winning run pushed Stoke up the table and after a 1–0 win against Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Steve Simonsen made history by keeping seven successive clean sheets. But Stoke were brought back down to Earth with a bump, losing 3–0 away at Colchester United.
In the January transfer window, Stoke signed Lee Martin, Dominic Matteo, Gabriel Zakuani and Jonathan Fortune whilst captain Michael Duberry left for Reading leaving Higginbotham to take over as club captain. Stoke then went through a tough run of form winning just two from ten until the end of March before beating Leicester City to get their promotion push back on track. Stoke then beat West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace before frustrating draws against Cardiff City and Hull City prevented Stoke closing the gap on 6th place Southampton. Stoke won their penultimate match of the season 3–1 against Colchester United to set up a decisive encounter away at Queens Park Rangers. However Stoke produced a disappointing performance and could only draw 1–1 meaning that they missed out on a play-off place by two points. Despite failing to reach the play-offs the feeling was greatly improved around the club for quite a while and there were high hopes Stoke could go one better in 2007–08 and finally gain promotion back to the top tier.
Stoke kept up their poor showing in the first round of the League Cup this time in a truly woeful defeat against League Two Darlington. Stoke, at home, took the lead through Vincent Péricard after half an hour before Darlington were reduced to ten men. With a man advantage against poor opposition the expectation was to see out a routine win but Darlington scored twice without replay leaving Stoke and manager Pulis embarrassed.
Final league tableEdit
|4||West Bromwich Albion||46||22||10||14||81||55||+26||76|
|7||Preston North End||46||22||8||16||64||53||+11||74|
|18||Queens Park Rangers||46||14||11||21||54||68||–14||53|
Key: P = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points
Stoke's score comes first
|1||9 July 2006||Newcastle Town||A||2–0||Sidibé, Nathan Blake|
|2||12 July 2006||Chester City||A||2–0||Sigurðsson, Kopteff|
|3||16 July 2006||FC Gratkorn||A||1–2||Brammer|
|4||18 July 2006||Manisaspor||A||1–1||Hoefkens (pen)|
|5||25 July 2006||PSV Eindhoven||H||0–0||4,175|
|6||28 July 2006||Grimsby Town||A||1–0||867||Russell 65'|
Football League ChampionshipEdit
|1||5 August 2006||Southend United||A||0–1||8,971||Report|
|2||8 August 2006||Derby County||H||2–0||20,013||Péricard 18', Russell 58'||Report|
|3||12 August 2006||Birmingham City||H||0–0||12,347||Report|
|4||19 August 2006||Luton Town||A||2–2||7,727||Sweeney 10', Chadwick 70'||Report|
|5||26 August 2006||Plymouth Argyle||H||1–1||11,626||Sidibé 39'||Report|
|6||9 September 2006||Barnsley||A||2–2||10,464||Hill 3', Chadwick 23'||Report|
|7||12 September 2006||Sheffield Wednesday||A||1–1||19,966||Paterson 34'||Report|
|8||16 September 2006||Burnley||H||0–1||12,247||Report|
|9||23 September 2006||Wolverhampton Wanderers||A||0–2||19,489||Report|
|10||30 September 2006||Preston North End||H||1–1||14,342||Fuller 41'||Report|
|11||14 October 2006||Leeds United||A||4–0||18,173||Hendrie 7', Griffin 58', Higginbotham 62', Fuller 88'||Report|
|12||17 October 2006||Sunderland||H||2–1||14,482||Hendrie 50', Péricard 54'||Report|
|13||21 October 2006||Southampton||A||0–1||20,531||Report|
|14||28 October 2006||Norwich City||H||5–0||13,444||Hendrie 22', Fuller 38', Higginbotham 74' (pen), Chadwick 79', Russell 90+2'||Report|
|15||31 October 2006||Leicester City||A||1–2||21,107||Fuller 42'||Report|
|16||6 November 2006||Coventry City||H||1–0||19,055||Griffin 60'||Report|
|17||11 November 2006||Crystal Palace||A||1–0||18,868||Russell 38'||Report|
|18||18 November 2006||Hull City||A||2–0||16,940||Higginbotham 2', Russell 80'||Report|
|19||25 November 2006||West Bromwich Albion||H||1–0||18,282||Higginbotham 40' (pen)||Report|
|20||28 November 2006||Cardiff City||H||3–0||15,309||Fuller 60', Lawrence 63', Sidibé 65'||Report|
|21||2 December 2006||Coventry City||A||0–0||19,073||Report|
|22||9 December 2006||Queens Park Rangers||H||1–0||16,487||Higginbotham 17' (pen)||Report|
|23||16 December 2006||Colchester United||A||0–3||5,345||Report|
|24||23 December 2006||Ipswich Town||A||1–0||20,369||Lawrence 71'||Report|
|25||26 December 2006||Sheffield Wednesday||H||1–2||23,003||Sidibé 60'||Report|
|26||26 December 2006||Leeds United||H||3–1||18,128||Sidibé 12', Ehiogu 54' (o.g.), Fuller 77'||Report|
|27||13 January 2007||Wolverhampton Wanderers||H||1–1||15,882||Hill 85'||Report|
|28||20 January 2007||Preston North End||A||2–3||15,151||Lawrence 2', Sidibé 7'||Report|
|29||23 January 2007||Burnley||A||1–0||12,109||Sidibé 24'||Report|
|30||30 January 2007||Ipswich Town||H||0–0||11,182||Report|
|31||3 February 2007||Southend United||H||1–1||23,017||Fuller 31'||Report|
|32||11 February 2007||Birmingham City||A||0–1||15,854||Report|
|33||17 February 2007||Luton Town||H||0–0||12,375||Report|
|34||21 February 2007||Derby County||A||2–0||24,897||Higginbotham 15' (pen), Matteo 26'||Report|
|35||26 February 2007||Barnsley||H||0–1||13,114||Report|
|36||3 March 2007||Plymouth Argyle||A||1–1||12,539||Russell 55'||Report|
|37||10 March 2007||Southampton||H||2–1||13,404||Fortune 34', Martin 72'||Report|
|38||13 March 2007||Sunderland||A||2–2||31,358||Russell 22', Hoefkens 45+3'||Report|
|39||24 March 2007||Norwich City||A||0–1||24,293||Report|
|40||31 March 2007||Leicester City||H||4–2||13,303||Parkin 18', Fuller 29' (pen), Sidibé 79', Lawrence 90+3'||Report|
|41||7 April 2007||West Bromwich Albion||A||3–1||20,386||Fuller 14', Greening 21' (o.g.), Parkin 22'||Report|
|42||9 April 2007||Crystal Palace||H||2–1||13,616||Parkin 20', Fuller 27'||Report|
|43||14 April 2007||Cardiff City||A||1–1||11,664||Hoefkens 30'||Report|
|44||21 April 2007||Hull City||H||1–1||17,109||Lawrence 45+4'||Report|
|45||28 April 2007||Colchester United||H||3–1||20,108||Russell 53', Sidibé 57', Higginbotham 62'||Report|
|46||6 May 2007||Queens Park Rangers||A||1–1||16,741||Sidibé 84'||Report|
|R3||5 January 2007||Millwall||H||2–0||8,024||Elliott 84' (o.g.), Fuller 87'||Report|
|R4||27 January 2007||Fulham||A||0–3||11,059||Report|
|R1||22 August 2006||Darlington||H||1–2||3,573||Péricard 29'||Report|
|No.||Pos.||Name||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Total|
- "Stoke City season review 2006-07 So near yet so far for improving Potters". The Sentinel. 18 May 2007.
- "Striker Pericard signs for Stoke". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
- "Stoke joy at Higginbotham signing". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
- "Pulis jubilant over Stoke victory". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
- "Pulis ignores reaction from crowd". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
- "Stoke capture Southampton striker". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
- "Pulis angered by fans' reaction". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
- "Coates confirms support for Pulis". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
- "Stoke complete Hendrie loan deal". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
- "Diao completes Stoke loan switch". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
- "Pulis delighted by away victory". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
- "Pulis rocked by Delap leg break". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
- "Sunderland's Lawrence joins Stoke". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
- "Pulis praise for record breakers". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
- "Duberry shocked by heavy defeat". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
- "Higginbotham is new Stoke skipper". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
- "QPR 1-1 Stoke". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
- "Pulis pledges to strengthen squad". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
- "Pulis sorry for Darlington defeat". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
- "Pulis blames mistakes for defeat". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 September 2012.