It has been a tricky start for everybody at Stoke City with Gary Rowett’s side currently sat in 18th position with just five points to their name.
The Potters have won just once so far, beating Hull City 2-0 at the Bet365 Stadium and the pressure is growing on everybody at the club to get some more points on the board and fast.
Those marquee signings from the summer who were supposed to fire Stoke back to the Premier League with ease at the first time of asking may well be feeling the pressure more than others.
One of those will be former Blackpool and Derby County man Tom Ince who arrived at the club from Huddersfield Town in the summer for £10million but is yet to set things a light at the club as expected.
This is FLW Spotlight, where we take a closer look at the form of a particular player in the Football League.
It would be ridiculously harsh to pin full responsibility for Stoke’s poor start to the season on Ince, but it is the case that a lot of top quality players have been badly underperforming. The winger included.
In his last season in the Championship with Derby County in 2016/17 he scored 14 goals and assisted eight, but is yet to hit the back of the net so far this season and has just one assist to his name.
The more detailed statistics show this as well, with Ince completing, on average, just 1.5 dribbles per game which is low for a winger. Fans want to see their wingers taking on their fullback.
A pass success of 76% shows that he is at least trying to make things happen. It would be a much bigger worry had it been in the 90’s. You would expect a winger to misplace his crosses into the box a few times.
For somebody who has a very good reputation for scoring at Championship level, he should be taking more than two shots per game, however.
It may be the case that the chances just are not being created for him by his teammates, but his ability to score from long-range is well known so it is surprisingly low.
Ince is one of the names in the Stoke squad who is more than likely undroppable, and rightly so.
His quality at this level is indisputable and he will no doubt begin to show that after a tricky start.