Nathan Jones has proved a popular choice with fans for his rousing press conferences and exciting predictions of the future. However, underneath that charisma lies a sinking Stoke side, that's in worse shape now than when the Welshman took over.
Stoke have been installed as early favourites alongside newly-relegated Fulham to secure promotion next season, albeit in the absence of odds for any side currently still within a shot of promotion this year.
The Potters expected to be one of those sides last August but were met with another season of failure and troubles. Fans are once again rallying for a new season under a new leader but the cold, hard numbers suggest Stoke are in for more of the same under Jones.
Jones has had the best part of half a Championship campaign to show his hand but Stoke are still performing at a worse rate than they were under Gary Rowett. Stoke averaged 1.34 points per game under Rowett and scoring an average of 1.15 goals per league game.
The Potters are now averaging just a point a game and scoring 0.68 goals per game in a significant drop off on both stats. That equates to a difference of 15 points and a staggering 22 goals had both managers completed a respective full Championship campaign.
For a side who are already one of the lowest scorers in the league that's a difference between mid-table obscurity and relegation, never mind promotion. Jones has called for patience whilst he tries to implement his own ideas pre-season but it's a huge gap to make up.
Automatic promotion favourites are currently averaging 2 points a game, with the minimum standard for a playoff spot sitting at 1.55 points per game. That's over double where Stoke is currently at, a pretty seismic change in fortunes over four months just to secure sixth place.
Transfers don't look a strong sign of hope either regardless of Jones' current insistence on bringing in 'Stoke players'. The club has had a pretty dreadful record of incomings in recent years and surely need to balance the books after splashing big on a promotion charge this year.
Taking into account the predicted drop of revenue that relegation enforced and the losses in this year's market put Stoke at an estimated loss of around £78m. Even the most optimistic estimations put the club well in breach of FFP rules before any wages have been paid.
Jones could be forced to offload star players just to balance the books before he can even think about signing improvements. Either way there surely has to be more significant outgoings than incomings this summer, which will make progress difficult.
Not to mention Stoke's £60m+ of deadwood currently away from the club that needs to be offloaded for as much compensation as possible. This summer could be just as cruel as prosperous for Stoke fans and the weight of expectation hung heavy on Jones' predecessor.
There is no good reason beyond said rousing comments to suggest Stoke will be anywhere near the promotion picture next season either. It's time for many to lower their expectations and act surprised if the seemingly impossible does happen.