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Tony Pulis
Tony Pulis
Personal information
Full name Anthony Richard Pulis
Date of birth January 16, 1958 (1958-01-16) (age 52)
Place of birth Newport, Wales
Playing position Central defender
Club information
Current club Stoke City (manager)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1975–1981 Bristol Rovers 85 (3)
1981–1982 Happy Valley 13 (0)
1982–1984 Bristol Rovers 45 (2)
1984–1986 Newport County 77 (0)
1986–1989 Bournemouth 72 (3)
1989–1990 Gillingham 16 (0)
1990–1992 Bournemouth 16 (1)
Total 324 (9)
Teams managed
1992–1994 Bournemouth
1995–1999 Gillingham
1999–2000 Bristol City
2000 Portsmouth
2002–2005 Stoke City
2005–2006 Plymouth Argyle
2006– Stoke City
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Anthony Richard "Tony" Pulis (born 16 January 1958 in Newport) is a Welsh former football player and is currently the manager of Stoke City.[1] Pulis obtained his FA coaching badge at the age of 19, followed by his UEFA 'A' licence aged 21 – making him one of the youngest professional players ever to have obtained the qualification.[2] His son, also called Anthony Pulis, is a professional footballer.

Pulis took his first steps into management at Bournemouth, where he was a player/coach and then Harry Redknapp's assistant.[2] He then took control when Redknapp left the club.[2] His most significant achievement to date was guiding Stoke City to the Premier League in the 2007–08 season by finishing runners-up in the Football League Championship.

Pulis has a reputation within the game for achieving solid results on small budgets and also maintains the proud record of never being relegated as a manager.[2] He is sometimes criticised for using an overly negative and direct style of play; however, Pulis has defended his approach.[3]

Contents

Managerial career

Bournemouth

Pulis finished his playing career at Bournemouth, where he assumed a player/coach role.[2] He made 16 appearances, scoring one goal, while in this role. He was promoted to the position of manager in 1992, following Harry Redknapp's decision to leave the club for Premier League side West Ham United. Pulis spent two seasons (1992–93 and 1993–94) at Bournemouth, before moving on.[2]

Gillingham

He then moved to Gillingham,[2] whom he managed for a further four seasons, turning a team that had struggled at the very bottom of the Football League into a promotion winning one in his first season, and laying the foundations for the club's eventual elevation to the First Division for the first time in their history. In the 1999 Division Two play-off final the Gills were 2–0 up with less than two minutes left, following goals by the prolific partnership of Robert Taylor and Carl Asaba, only to see Manchester City score twice, the equaliser in injury time, and after that win a penalty shoot-out 3–1.[4] Following the defeat, Pulis was controversially sacked by the club amidst claims of gross misconduct.[2] He later brought a £400,000 court case against Gillingham for unpaid bonuses,[5] which was settled out of court in 2001 for £75,000.[6]

Bristol City

Pulis was appointed manager of Bristol City in July 1999, prior to the start of the 1999–2000 season.[7] A previous long stint at bitter rivals Bristol Rovers meant that Pulis' appointment was met with mixed reception. He made several reasonably big purchases including Steve Jones and former Rovers player Peter Beadle, but his unpopularity hit an all time low only six months into his term as manager and when rumours surfaced of a switch to Portsmouth, home fans chanted for him to leave.[8] He moved on to Portsmouth shortly, where Milan Mandarić had recently taken over as chairman.

On his return to Ashton Gate seven years later (with Stoke City) he was severely abused by the home fans. After the game, Pulis wound home fans up further by saying it "felt good to bring a team back wearing blue" (Bristol Rovers' colours).[9]

Portsmouth

In January 2000, he left Bristol City to become manager of Portsmouth.[10][11] Neither was he a success at Fratton Park, lasting only 10 months in the job before being replaced by Steve Claridge in October 2000.[2][12][13]

Stoke City

He was then out of work for two years, before the resignation of Stoke's manager Steve Cotterill early into the 2002–03 season led to Pulis being given the job that November.[14] Pulis immediately found himself in a relegation battle and it looked likely that the club would be relegated back to Division Two, only a year after being promoted. However, Pulis completed the signings of striker Ade Akinbiyi[15] and goalkeeper Mark Crossley,[16] on loan from Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough respectively, who helped turn around the club's bad run. Stoke avoided relegation on the final day of the 2002–03 season with a 1–0 win over Reading at the Britannia Stadium, with Akinbiyi scoring the only goal of the game.[17] In the following season, 2003–04, Pulis guided the club to an 11th place finish.[18]

Tensions grew between the manager and chairmain, Gunnar Gislason, in the 2004–05 season. Pulis was frustrated with his lack of transfer funds which led to Dave Brammer and Steve Simonsen, both of whom were free agents, being his only significant signings prior to the start of the season. However, Pulis did add Anthony Pulis, his son, and Lewis Buxton to his squad in January 2005.[19][20] The disagreement between Pulis and the club's Icelandic ownership culminated with Pulis parting company with the club on 28 June 2005. He was sacked for "failing to exploit the foreign transfer market" by then Stoke chairman Gislason.[21] Following his dismissal, Pulis bemoaned the club's decision to sell Ade Akinbiyi to Championship rivals Burnley, stating: "We sold our top scorer and never replaced him."[22] Dutch manager Johan Boskamp was named as Pulis' successor on 29 June 2005, only a day after Pulis was sacked.[23]

Plymouth Argyle

After taking over as manager at Championship side Plymouth Argyle,[24] Pulis managed to turn around a floundering team, to one that with the right investment could challenge for a top half/play off place in 2006–07. The turn-around coincided with the loan of West Ham United central defender Elliott Ward[25] and the club improved even further with the permanent signing of Lilian Nalis from Sheffield United F.C.[26] Plymouth Argyle ended the season 14th in the Championship table.[27]

Second spell at Stoke City

In May 2006 he was the subject of an approach from former club Stoke,[28] who had recently parted company with manager Johan Boskamp, following Peter Coates' takeover of the club. Plymouth reportedly turned down this approach.[29] However, on 14 June 2006 it was announced that Pulis would be returning as manager of Stoke City.[1]

Pulis bolstered his squad for the 2006–07 with the permanent additions of Danny Higginbotham,[30] Ricardo Fuller[31] and Vincent Pericard.[32] His most notable coup was the loan signing of Lee Hendrie from Aston Villa.[33][34] Hendrie's arrival (along with the loan signings of Salif Diao,[35] Andy Griffin[36] and Rory Delap[37]) coincided with a change of form for the Potters following a poor start to the season.[38] Stoke went as high as 4th in the table prior to the January transfer window.[39]

Pulis was named manager of the month for April 2007, after Stoke picked up eleven points from five league games.[40] This unbeaten run lifted Stoke to 7th in the table, on equal points with sixth-place Southampton.[41] However, a 1–1 draw against QPR on the final day of the season[42] led to Stoke finishing eighth in the Championship.[43] Pulis sold several key players prior to the 2007–08 season; club captain Danny Higginbotham was one of a number of players to depart, joining Sunderland for £3m.[44] However, Pulis utilised the loan market again, signing five players on loan, including Ryan Shawcross from Manchester United.[45] With a few of these loan signings joining on a permanent deal in the January transfer window.

Pulis guided Stoke City to promotion to the Premier League on the final day of the season. It was to be Stoke's first top flight campaign in 23 years. Upon promotion, Pulis admitted the need to strengthen his squad but he also made it clear that the club would not go 'over the top' with spending. Stoke's biggest summer signing was that of striker Dave Kitson, who joined from recently relegated Reading for £5.5m. Kitson was followed by the captures of Seyi Olofinjana from Wolverhampton Wanderers for £3m, Abdoulaye Faye from Newcastle United for £2.25m, Amdy Faye from Charlton Athletic for an undisclosed fee, Andrew Davies joined for £1.2m from Southampton, defender Ibrahima Sonko signed for an initial £2m fee from Reading and former Potter, Danny Higginbottom rejoined his former club from Sunderland for an undisclosed fee. Pulis was also prepared to move players on, including his son Anthony Pulis and striker Jon Parkin. After an promising start to the season, Stoke's mid-season slump left them as one of the favourites for relegation. However, the January additions of Sheffield United's James Beattie and West Ham United's winger Matthew Etherington helped rejuvenate their season. The £3.5 million signing of Beattie was widely considered to be one of the most prudent purchases in English football that season.[46] Stoke dipped in and out of the relegation zone until March, when a good run of form lifted them above the bottom three. Their 2–1 win away to Hull City on 9 May 2009 secured their Premier League survival. Pulis has received much praise for his work with Stoke on a limited budget, in particular his achievement of keeping them in the Premier League. He was mentioned as a possible candidate for the 2008–09 Premier League manager of the year award. The following season has seen Stoke looking more likely to consolidate their Premier League status than to face relegation, and also seen them reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup with victories over York City, Arsenal & Manchester City before losing to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Pulis made his 300th appearance as Stoke manger with a 3–0 win over Blackburn Rovers on the 6th February 2010. The result was Stoke largest top-flight win for nearly 24 years after a 4–0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1984.[47]

Statistics

Manager

Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Bournemouth England 9 June 1992 5 August 1994 107 31 38 38 28.97
Gillingham England 31 July 1995 1 July 1999 216 94 62 60 43.52
Bristol City England 5 July 1999 14 January 2000 33 10 14 9 30.30
Portsmouth England 13 January 2000 12 October 2000 35 11 10 14 31.43
Stoke City England 1 November 2002 28 June 2005 131 47 32 52 35.88
Plymouth Argyle England 23 September 2005 14 June 2006 39 12 15 12 30.77
Stoke City England 15 June 2006 Present 178 68 57 53 38.2
Total 739 273 228 238 36.94
As of 13 March 2010.

Honours

As a manager

Promotions

Outside football

Pulis was awarded an honorary degree at the University of Staffordshire on 10 July 2009. He received the reward for his contribution in helping sports journalism students at the university.[48] Pulis participated in the 2009 London Marathon to raise money for the Donna Louise Trust which assists a children hospice [49]. He completed the marathon in 4 hours 31 minutes 57 seconds.[50]

Pulis is a Catholic and regularly attends church.[51]

References

  1. ^ a b "Pulis confirmed as Stoke manager". BBC Sport. 14 June 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/s/stoke_city/5075140.stm. Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Who is Tony Pulis?". http://www.plymouth.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=21020. 
  3. ^ "Pulis stands by management style". BBC Sport. 18 June 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/s/stoke_city/5092066.stm. Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
  4. ^ "Play-Off Finals". The Football League. http://www.football-league.premiumtv.co.uk/page/PlayOffsDetail/0,,10794~475418,00.html. Retrieved 2007-04-11. 
  5. ^ "Pulis given Pompey 'leave'". BBC Sport. 12 October 2000. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/p/portsmouth/968357.stm. Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
  6. ^ "End of ills for Gills". BBC News. 30 April 2001. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_div_1/1304932.stm. Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
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  25. ^ "Transfers – November 2005". BBC News. 28 November 2005. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/gossip_and_transfers/4400082.stm. Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
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  29. ^ "Stoke rebuffed in Pulis approach". BBC News. 26 May 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/p/plymouth_argyle/5019754.stm. Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
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  31. ^ "Stoke capture Southampton striker". BBC Sport. 2006-08-31. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/s/stoke_city/5298288.stm. Retrieved 2007-05-23. 
  32. ^ "Striker Pericard signs for Stoke". BBC Sport. 2007-06-19. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/s/stoke_city/5095918.stm. Retrieved 2007-05-23. 
  33. ^ "Stoke complete Hendrie loan deal". BBC News. 29 September 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/s/stoke_city/5391308.stm. Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
  34. ^ "Pulis hails Hendrie performance". BBC News. 28 October 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/s/stoke_city/6094390.stm. Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
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  39. ^ "Championship league table". http://www.stokecityfc.premiumtv.co.uk/page/Match/LeagueTable/0,,10310~20061223,00.html. Retrieved 23 December 2006. 
  40. ^ "Pulis receives Championship award". BBC Sport. 3 May 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/s/stoke_city/6619495.stm. Retrieved 3 May 2007. 
  41. ^ "Coca-Cola Football League Championship – Updated 28/04/2007". stokecityfc.com. http://www.stokecityfc.premiumtv.co.uk/page/Match/LeagueTable/0,,10310~20070428,00.html. Retrieved 3 May 2007. 
  42. ^ "QPR 1–1 Stoke". BBC Sport. 2007-05-06. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_div_1/6602873.stm. Retrieved 2007-05-13. 
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  44. ^ "Sunderland seal Higginbotham deal". BBC Sport. 2007-08-29. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/s/sunderland/6967059.stm. Retrieved 2008-01-12. 
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  46. ^ "THE LIST: Top 10 best signings of the season Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1178356/THE-LIST-Top-10-best-signings-season.html#ixzz0QiItVByI". Daily Mail. 8 May 2009. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1178356/THE-LIST-Top-10-best-signings-season.html. Retrieved 2009-09-10. 
  47. ^ "Special Day For Pulis Too". Stoke City. 2010-02-06. http://www.stokecityfc.com/page/NewsDetail/0,,10310~1956730,00.html. Retrieved 2010-02-6. 
  48. ^ This is Staffordshire
  49. ^ http://www.justgiving.com/tonypulis
  50. ^ http://results-2009.london-marathon.co.uk/index.php?lastname=pulis&firstname=&club=&gender=M&nation=&event_id=MAS&position=&split=FINISHNET&Submit=show+results+%3E%3E&a=d&o=s&start_no=28005&ostart_no=
  51. ^ Walsh, David (November 22, 2009). "Fanfare for the common manager". The Times. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/premier_league/stoke/article6926939.ece. Retrieved 26 November 2009. 

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