- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 21, 2013

STOKE, ENGLAND (AP) - Stoke says Tony Pulis left as manager by mutual consent Tuesday, ending his seven-year tenure at the Premier League club.

By guiding Stoke to a 13th-place finish this season, Pulis secured the team’s status in England’s top division for a fifth straight year. Still, he came under increasing criticism for failing to change its direct and physical style of play.

Pulis was the second longest-serving manager in the Premier League, behind Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger, in the wake of Alex Ferguson’s retirement from Manchester United last weekend. After Wenger, who took over at Arsenal in 1996, the EPL’s longest-serving manager is Newcastle’s Alan Pardew at 2 years, 156 days.

Ferguson retired from United last weekend after nearly 27 years and is being replaced by Everton manager David Moyes.

Manchester City fired Roberto Mancini last week, and interim Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez is leaving after this week’s U.S. tour and likely will be replaced by Jose Mourinho.

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