Since their return to the Premier League in the 2008-09 season, Stoke City have proven to be quite a formidable Premier League side.
While the squad and manager heavily differ from the squad that gained promotion seven years ago, Stoke continues to be one of the trickier Premier League teams to come up against.
Currently, under the management of Mark Hughes Stoke City have undergone plenty of changes since the Englishman took the role in 2013.
Stoke has moved from Tony Pulis roots of defensive direct football to a new brand of free-flowing football which led to them finishing ninth last season.
Along with this new style, the Potters have also managed to bring some top quality players in from around the globe.
The summer the 2014/15 season saw the side bring in the attacking duo of Mame Biram Diouf from Hannover 96 and Bojan Krkic from Barcelona.
This pair starred for the Potters last season and early and were key to the implementation of Mark Hughes’ style of football.
But, Stoke’s best transfer period could have come this Summer.
The club heavily invested into the market and brought in several names in their push for European football.
Overall Stoke added eleven new players to the squad this summer, including the huge signings of Ibrahim Afellay from Barcelona and Xherdan Shaqiri from Inter Milan.
The quality Stoke can boast this season is one that many would think are capable of huge things this season. Their opening results, however, shown otherwise.
Currently, Stoke City are 18th in the Premier League with a mere three points from five. With three draws and two losses, the side is yet to achieve their first win of the new season.
So far, their best chance to clinch victory was this weekend as they hosted the undefeated Leicester City.
After a fantastic starting, The Potters found openings in on the park and began carving through the foxes defensive lines, leading to their two-goal lead in the opening twenty minutes.
It looked as though the Britannia Stadium would be able to celebrate their first win of the season entering the second half but, it wasn’t to be.
The valiant Foxes continued their unbeaten form and fought their way back into the match resulting in share spoils between the sides.
Frustration is beginning to build for The Potters fans as they try to piece together why results aren’t going their way.
Despite many different reasons being thrown around, the issues could be as simple as team chemistry.
When any side brings players into the squad it takes time for all to adjust. With Stoke bringing in several players, the side could be going through some teething issues.
This season, however, has a brings a new pressure on Stoke City.
Many were expecting the side to continue their fantastic form toward the of last season finishing saw them beat Liverpool six-one on the final day.
Their start to this season, however, has brought the Potters back to earth in recent weeks and fans may have to be patient as the team adjusts.
It hasn’t been easy for Mark Hughes either as members of his squad have had lapses of discipline in the opening five matches making the side having to deal with suspensions. Which, of course, have taken their toll on their recent results.
For Mark Hughes, the need to keep his players positive and together in times like these is paramount for the season ahead.
Only positivity and patience can get the Potters back on track this season as the side aims to return to winning form.
Looking at the Stoke side on paper they have a team that could be challenging for European football this season.
But to go with the old to cliché, football matches aren’t won on paper.