Former Stoke City manager Lou Macari believes that having a bloated squad is proving to be a major problem for current boss Nathan Jones.
The ex-Luton chief took over in January but the focus was on building a side that could compete for promotion this season.
However, things have gone disastrously wrong so far, with the Potters bottom of the league, four points from safety and without a win this season.
And, writing in his regular column for Stoke-On-Trent Live, Macari made it clear that the club didn’t do enough to move players on in the summer, which has left them in an difficult position now because of the way it impacts the dressing room.
“There is no getting away from a big problem facing Nathan Jones this season and that’s his very big squad. If you’ve got 37 players fighting for 11 places then you’ve got 26 unhappy people every time you come to announce the team.
“The numbers are just too big. I just don’t know how you can juggle so many and keep the atmosphere happy, especially if you’re not flying at the top of the table. The manager doesn’t need any added problems and Nathan Jones has got about 17 of them.”
You have to agree with what Macari is saying here. Stoke do have too big of a squad, although Jones is partly to blame for that as he would have been insisting on new signings when they perhaps weren’t needed.
It’s by no means the only problem the Staffordshire club face, but as the ex-manager says, it’s hard to create a togetherness with so many players who will feel they want to be playing.
Unfortunately for Stoke, there’s no quick fix for this type of problem. They will simply have to address it over the coming windows and it will be interesting to see if Jones is still around to do that.
Thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.