‘We used to love Arsenal’ – Liam Lawrence opens up on Tony Pulis’ Stoke City vision



Former Stoke City midfielder Liam Lawrence has recalled how the Potters became a force in the Tony Pulis days.

‘No fear’ – that was the secret behind Pulis’ second spell in charge, according to Lawrence, who spent five years at the club, signing permanently in 2007 after an initial loan spell.

Pulis guided Stoke to promotion from the Championship during his second stint at the club before establishing them as a mid-table Premier League outfit.

And it all came about from the Welshman’s vision that involved a steel-like mindset, according to Lawrence.

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“It was brilliant at Stoke,” he told Jonny Drury in an interview. “Tony had a vision and I bought into it and we went up that year when no one gave us a chance.

“We surprised a lot of people when we got to the Premier League.

“We used to love Arsenal coming to the Britannia as it was then. We would work all week on throw ins and set pieces to rough them up because they were decent at the time.

“It was an attitude of no fear. As long as we could win or be in games at home we know we had a chance of staying up. And Tony bought the pitch in too to help with Rory Delap’s throw ins!

“We had me, Ricardo Fuller up top, Rory, Glenn Whelan, then we brought in Matty Etherington and James Beattie and we had a better side than people gave us credit for.”

Speaking about Stoke’s famous set-pieces, the former Republic of Ireland international said: “It was just because we were good at set pieces and people didn’t like that, it was something new and people don’t like new things.

“We played to our strengths and now you see so many sides launching balls into the box.”





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