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20th Jun 2022

Glenn Whelan highlights Rory Delap’s importance under ‘Pulis-ball’ at Stoke City

Luke Jennings

‘Delap had more than just the throw-in.’

Glenn Whelan has discussed Tony Pulis’ tactics during Stoke City’s first season back in the Premier League in 2008 as they utilised Rory Delap’s long throw-ins.

Whelan made 277 Premier League appearances for the Potters between 2008 to 2017 as they reached an FA Cup final and played in the Europa League.

The 38-year-old reflected on Stoke’s glory days as they punched above their weight during the decade spent in the top flight.

Glenn Whelan Rory Delap Stoke City

Glenn Whelan highlights Rory Delap’s ability.

Whelan said Pulis had a perceived playing style as “long-ball,” although, the midfielder claimed Stoke played a good brand of football in certain moments whilst Delap’s throw-ins were utilised.

The Dubliner highlighted Delap’s long throw-ins as getting the Potters out of trouble if they were under pressure during a Premier League match.

Whelan felt sorry for Delap whilst he labelled the former Republic of Ireland international as a very good player, “who had more than just the throw-in.”

“People always go on about Tony’s perceived playing style and it was tough at times because it was pretty long-ball and also we had Rory’s throw-ins. But there were certain times where we did play some good stuff,” Whelan told the Mirror.

“We got the ball down and played, but we’ll never get the credit for that because people just associate us with hitting the long ball or Rory’s long throws. If we were under a bit of pressure we could perhaps get out of trouble with Rory’s long throw.

“But I felt a bit sorry for him because everyone just remembers Rory for the long throw. But he was actually a very good player and had more than just the throw-in.”

Glenn Whelan Rory Delap Stoke City

Whelan discusses Tony Pulis’ philosophy.

Whelan referenced Pulis’ tactics that “not many teams were prepared for” as they established themselves as a Premier League club for a decade.

The Britannia was a fortress for the Potters under Pulis as the question became: ‘Can they do it on a cold rainy night in Stoke?’

Pulis managed Stoke until 2013 as he established the Potters as a Premier League side.

“It got to a stage in the Premier League where the manager had this certain tactic and not many teams were prepared for it,” Whelan added.

“We used it pretty successfully. If you have that as a weapon, then why not use it?”

Glenn Whelan Rory Delap Stoke City

Stoke finished in the top half of the Premier League for three consecutive seasons before they were relegated to the Championship in 2018.

Whelan is without a club after deciding against staying at Bristol Rovers after they were promoted to League One. Delap, meanwhile, returned to Stoke in 2018 as first-team coach under current boss Michael O’Neill.

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