Charlie Adam has told talkSPORT there is a ‘disease’ at former club Stoke City and their next manager needs to ‘shake things up’ and ‘tell some home truths’ to their underperforming players.
The Potters axed Nathan Jones as boss last week after just nine months in charge, with the club sat rock-bottom of the Championship.
The Welshman was brought in from Luton Town in January to replace the sacked Gary Rowett, but Stoke won just six times in 38 games under his tutelage.
In their first game since Jones’ departure, the Potters suffered a 2-0 defeat to West Brom on Monday night – a result which left them six points adrift of safety.
And former Potters midfielder Adam fears for the club’s future based on what he saw at the Bet365 Stadium.
“I watched them last night and they were all over the place, it’s a worry,” he told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.
“They’re in a position where confidence is shot, it’s as low as it’s ever been, and if they go any lower they’re going into League One and there’s no way they should be anywhere near that with the players they have there.
“But it’s easy to talk about on paper, it’s what you do on the pitch that matters and whether you have the hunger and desire to get out.
“For me, it comes down to the players. They have brought in Championship players who have been a disappointment. They’ve come with a decent reputation but they haven’t performed to the level they should have.”
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The club’s slide down the English football pyramid has been quite remarkable since they axed long-serving boss Tony Pulis in 2013, and is perhaps a message to all ambitious fans to ‘be careful what you wish for’.
Stoke never finished lower than 14th in the Welshman’s five Premier League seasons in charge, but fans were unhappy about being merely a team playing for safety and so the club swapped him for Mark Hughes. Hughes guided the club to three straight ninth-place finishes, but was sacked after then dropping to 13th despite big spending, and Stoke have gone south ever since.
Whoever gets the job, Adam insists they have a lot of work ahead of them to cure their rotten squad.
“I’ve said before there’s a few there who are too comfortable,” said the Scot, hinting at his explosive criticism of Xherdan Shaqiri for ‘going missing’ when Stoke were relegated from the Premier League in 2017/18.
“It needs somebody to go in there to shake it up, tell a few home truths to people. If they accept it they will go on a journey, if they don’t they’ll sink.
“It’s the mindset of players. It’s different from playing against Liverpool and Man City when you’re against Barnsley, West Brom and Millwall. They’re not Premier League players any more, that’s gone.
“There’s a disease that seems to set in and that’s what’s happening at the moment. There’s an issue at the club.
“That’s me as a former player being brutally honest. It’s not good and it’s hard to see.”
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