Former Arsenal and Liverpool badboy slams Tony Pulis

Winger wants to fly away from rebel label under Mark Hughes at Stoke City.

Jermain Pennant, 30, has hit out over the lack of support he received from former Stoke City manager Tony Pulis, according to The Sentinel, in an interview where he goes on to credit the Potters fan-base who notes that the club's supporters have always been very welcoming of him.

The former Arsenal winger, a Champions League finalist with Liverpool in 2007, has, when he's on form, a tricky style to defend against and has been likened to a more robust Shaun Wright-Phillips.

Pennant believes his past, which includes a litter of driving offences, is something that plays on the minds of people when judging his present character and wanted to put right the sentiment that his falling out with Pulis was of his own design. In contrast, Pennant claims, it was Pulis who took a strong dislike to him.

'People were going on about I must have done this or I must have done that, but it was not the case at all,' the Notts County educated player said.

'It was somebody [Pulis] falling out with a player and then washing his hands of him. Then people jumped to the wrong conclusion.'

Despite Pulis' alleged personal dislike of him, Pennant went on to state that he maintained a professional attitude during training: 'As a player, I came in every day, I wasn't late, I trained hard and gave no-one a reason to doubt anything.

'Not having a great past and the rumours, people making up their own stories to portray me in a certain way, but the fans here have ignored all that. I've tried my best to deliver and they have welcomed me with back open arms, and I'm very grateful for that.'

Pennant, who has not represented Stoke for a year, has been welcomed back to the fold by new boss Mark Hughes and is likely to feature in the club's debut game of the new Premier League season when they travel to Merseyside to take on Liverpool.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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