Stoke City have endured a dismal start to the campaign and it’s hard to see Nathan Jones lasting much longer in charge.
And, he can have absolutely no complaints if he is sacked. Eight points from 14 games is an embarrassing return for the Potters and the manager is ultimately the one who is held responsible for that, with Jones making some baffling calls over the past few months.
However, you had to feel sympathy for the ex-Luton boss after he delivered a frustrating update on Nick Powell yesterday.
The summer signing was one of many to arrive at Stoke during pre-season and most of those signings haven’t done enough – again, something that rests with the manager.
But, Powell’s lack of impact has been because of injuries, with Jones revealing that he hasn’t been fully fit since arriving which is why he has featured in just three league games so far.
Of the many summer recruits, Powell would have been one to excite the fans and the boss.
Should Stoke City stick with Nathan Jones?
His talent has never been in question, this is a player that Manchester United bought and one Sir Alex Ferguson tipped to replace Paul Scholes for the Red Devils.
Whilst that claim now looks daft, Powell has gone on to have a decent career. He scored 23 goals over the past two years for Wigan during which time injuries prevented him featuring in about a quarter of the Latics games.
So, that quality was still there and Jones would have had real high hopes for the player when he arrived.
His skill-set makes him the ideal man to play at the tip of the diamond too. He is clever with his movement, superb on the ball and he scores goals. He has talent that makes him stand out at this level and offers the team qualities that nobody else really has.
The struggling boss will have had this all planned out and Powell would have been an integral member to this team with how he links play and the expectation would be for the 25-year-old to become something of a talisman.
Instead, he has barely played and this Stoke side look clueless going forward – backed up by the fact they have scored just 13 goals in 14 league games this season.
Of course, you can argue that Jones shouldn’t have been pinning his hopes on an injury-prone player and we’re not suggesting if Powell played that everything would be rosy for the Potters.
But, he was a significant arrival in the summer and you could sense Jones’ frustration when he spoke about Powell yesterday and you do wonder where Stoke would be right now if the attacking midfielder had been fully fit.
Thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.