Stoke City manager Tony Pulis believes the Potters' success with the long throw-in has proved early critics wrong and says more teams are now replicating the tactic.
Since their promotion to the Premier League in 2008, Stoke have established themselves in the top flight and reached the FA Cup final last season, losing 1-0 to Manchester City.
Midfielder Rory Delap has become renowned for his long throw-in tactic that has helped the Brittania Stadium become a ‘fortress’ and manager Pulis believes other teams are now taking note of Stoke.
"When we played Newcastle, Ryan Taylor was hurling them in long. Everybody initially criticised it because it was successful, and the big teams especially didn't like it. They didn't like playing against it," he told Yahoo!
"But now you even see Gareth Bale throwing long balls into the box. People have picked up on it, but it's not just Stoke City using it anymore.
"It's an amazing thing that people have taken to it. It's made Rory very famous, or infamous, and he's such a great lad and a great character that I'm very pleased for him.
“The people who moaned about it most were the people who couldn't deal with it. That will always be the case. They'll be trying to get a rule change to stop it. But it's exciting and our supporters love it, and teams don't like defending against it."
Stoke earned Europa League qualification through their successful FA Cup run last season, and former Plymouth Argyle boss Pulis believes it has brought Stoke together as a team and city.
"I think it has been brilliant for the supporters,” he added.
“It's the first time in 30-odd years that the club has been in Europe, so the supporters have really taken to it.
“We've filled every game we have played at the Britannia, and the Thursday nights have been special."
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By Matt Maltbycomments