Tony Pulis' second spell as Stoke City manager has come to an end following a disappointing season in which the club finished 13th in the Premier League. After his initial three years with Stoke between 2002 and 2005, Pulis returned in the summer of 2006. He won promotion to the Premier League and eventually led Stoke to their first ever FA Cup final in 2011 and a spot in the Europa League. The baseball cap and tracksuit wearing 55-year-old, who physically fought one of his own players in 2009, ultimately didn't reach the heights expected of him with the money he was able to spend. So now he's gone.
But on his way out the door, he took a cue from Roberto Mancini's full-page ad in the Manchester Evening News saying goodbye to Man City supporters last weekend and penned a farewell letter to Stoke fans that ran in a local paper.
From The Sentinel:
I'D like to start by thanking every single one of you who have made the last decade so special for me at Stoke City.
I am grateful for this opportunity here to express my gratitude because, unlike Roberto Mancini in his local paper last week, I can't afford to take out a full-page advert.
After running through his list of memorable moments and achievements, Pulis concluded by saying:
Of course I am disappointed I cannot carry on in a job I have loved from first minute to last.
But I accept the club's decision to move things in a different direction because that is the right of any owner.
The journey stops here, but what a journey.
And you, Stoke's City's wonderful support, have played such a massive part in the distance we have travelled over the last 10 years.
That is how vital your support is.
And that is why I urge you (for one last time) to get behind the new manager just like you got behind the old one.
Thank you so much.
It was a mix between a lovely goodbye and a subtle "let me remind the ingrates of all I did for this club" from Pulis. I have to think that if Rafa Benitez had done this after leaving Chelsea, it would've been very similar to our version of his note to Jose Mourinho.