After The Whistle – 3/10/2016

It was yet another week without a win, but even I have to admit that walking away from Old Trafford with anything other than a loss is a fantastic result. It was an odd one yesterday, after fighting our way to a 1-1 draw with the Red Devils, many Stoke fans were saying that it was by far our best performance of the season. On the other end though anyone who isn’t a Stoke fan is saying that we were lucky not to have been smashed (Which I admit is in part true), and that we played awfully.

So, with that being said, it seems like the perfect opportunity for me to play Devil’s advocate and help the naysayers by finding flaws in our performance. No performance is without sin and no matter how good I believe we were yesterday, there were still issues to be found.

Issue 1.) Bony

Until yesterday I had been a staunch defender of Bony’s, however having watched the Man United game back I am finally beginning to become frustrated with his work on the pitch. It seems to me that his ineffectual nature on the pitch is a mix of having not played regularly at Man City, resulting in him being unfit, and not having the right attitude to work hard enough to make an impact on the game regardless of your fitness levels.

I posed the question yesterday to the other bloggers at The Bear Pit TV as to whether Bony should be given a couple of games for the U23’s. It would help his fitness, confidence and hopefully nestle a few goals in a Stoke shirt. Let us know in the comments what you would do with Bony to turn him into the goal machine we know he can be.

Issue 2.) Bias

This one isn’t so much an issue with Stoke, it is instead a criticism of bias refereeing either against Stoke or in favour of bigger clubs in general, particularly when they play at home. Manchester United should have had 2 red cards this weekend. One for the horrendous tackle by Herrera on Allen, and secondly when Pogba decided to try and take Allen out with a UFC style take down.

What makes it worse is that both of these incidents were seen. The ref had a clear view and both times he failed to brandish the red card (Not even giving the yellow against Pogba which blows my mind). This kind of bias refereeing needs to be addressed, and with all the corruption controversy going on at the minute, now is the perfect time.

Issue 3.) Substitutions

I feel as though I can’t escape this negative and that I won’t until Hughes has left the club. But once again Hughes’ substitutions blew my mind. Yes to some minor degree both Walters and Crouch were involved in Allen’s goal, but anyone in there positions would have been.

Choosing to bring on two relics of a bygone era over Bojan (What the hell has Bojan done to piss off Hughes?) and say… Sobhi, is ridiculous. Speaking of the Egyptian, once again he failed to find a place in the squad. Clearly we all saw a very different game to Hughes when we played Hull in the Cup.

This a criticism of Hughes that likely isn’t going to be addressed during his tenure, but by god am I going to keep hammering away my point each and every week.

In all honesty I would be nitpicking if I filled out the list of issues to its usual 5, so instead I’m going to say congratulations to the boys in red and white and now let’s just pray that this point serves as the kick start to our season that we sorely need. We have a strong run of fixtures coming up after the International break and a number of wins are absolutely needed to send us on our way.

Were there any issues that I missed? Let us know in the comments below.

Written by Mitch Adams


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