By 90Min
September 22, 2017

The clichéd 'Tuesday night in Stoke' sentiment continues to be thrown around in 2017, even after the emergence of the Stoke-alona era and the arrival of better quality and more technically gifted players at the bet365 Stadium.

Yet five games into the new Premier League season, Mark Hughes' Potters have picked up just four yellow cards. Only newly promoted Brighton have seen players cautioned on fewer occasions (3) so far, while it is a far cry from those 'dirty' clubs that lead the table in yellows.

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Crystal Palace (14), Newcastle (12) and Chelsea (10) have all got into double figures in exactly the same number of games. Stoke aren't even halfway there.

The Potters have beaten Arsenal this season, their biggest and most impressive result. That came about as a result of piece of individual brilliance from summer signing Jese, following an exceptional debut in general.

There was a time when Stoke would have been lambasted for kicking the Gunners off the field if such a result had transpired. Yet not a single player from either side was booked during the contest, with Stoke committing just six fouls. Arsenal, on the other hand, were guilty of 11.

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Back when Stoke were first promoted to the Premier League, 'rough and ready' was what they had to be to survive. Tony Pulis' team were tactically drilled, well organised and much more physical than most other teams in the division. It made up for a comparable lack of technical quality in those early days and ensured the club remained in the top flight for the long-term.

Now, in the 10th successive season at this level, an excellent achievement, Stoke have evolved.

In 2008/09, the team collected 73 yellow cards, the second most in the Premier League that season. In their first seven Premier League seasons, the Potters were only once out of the top seven most booked teams - that one anomaly in 2011/12 is the closest they have come to relegation battle.

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It is important to bear in mind that refereeing has changed over the years and so bookings are now more easily awarded in light of increasing health and safety concerns. So how the club compares to others within the Premier League is arguably a more telling stat.

Taking that into account, in the last two seasons, Stoke have fallen out of the top 10 for most yellow cards. In 2015/16, there were just 51 for the Potters. That season only three other teams saw less cautions brandished by referees, while last season they were 12th.

At this moment in time, the club is averaging 0.8 yellow cards per game. If they were to maintain that level of discipline for the whole season it projects to a final total of 31 - very low indeed.

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No longer is 'rough and ready' a weapon people can use to criticise Stoke with.

Season Yellow Cards Rank
2008/09 73 2nd
2009/10 63 7th
2010/11 68 4th
2011/12 60 9th
2012/13 78 1st
2013/14 72 3rd
2014/15 82 2nd
2015/16 51 17th
2016/17 70 12th

Data sourced from the Premier League's official website

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