Calamitous Stoke City lose 0-3 at Wigan


Wigan (1) 3 Stoke 0

30/6/20 7.45pm Chsp
A truly awful result, but an even more awful performance. Sloppy Stoke were wiped out by a lively Wigan, who barely broke sweat. Michael O’Neill is in trouble. Here’s how it unfolded in real time:
The night of the long knives as Michael O’Neill makes SIX changes, axing most of the back-4: Ryan Shawcross & Stephen Ward return from injury to replace hapless James Chester & Martins Indi. But Nathan Collins returning as a right back after his unconvincing Reading appearance? Cousins & Ince replace naughty Nick Powell (suspended) & out-of-depth Lasse Sorensen, and experience preferred for lone-striker…so Sam Vokes is today’s sacrificial lamb. Oh dear. But…but…but…look who returns to the bench: it’s only Mame Diouf! He’ll save the day, mark my words! (I regret saying that already.)
0.20 Sam Vokes gets the ball, so naturally he’s looking for a way to get the ball…back to Stoke’s back-4??? Oh dear, it’s not going to be like that, is it?
2.34 Bizarre yellow card for Jordan Thompson, running out of the wall too early! Ryan steps forward to defend him to the ref, but what can you say? “He’s only young, ref!” ??
4.05 Bloody hell!! Michael O’Neill yelling at the top of his lung like a fog horn!! He’s ballistic already. He then retreats NINE rows back into the stand to calm down.
10.40 MON is back on the touchline, calmer & quieter, as his side have a look of a team who could easily have been 3 down already!
12.32 McClean muscles Wigan winger off the ball. It’s comical. A guy in a hairband too!
16.00 Somehow Nathan Collins misses an open goal header from a corner. He was probably startled by the roar of manager MON. He won’t stand still; in the technical area, dugout area, up in the stand, or striding between all three.
30.00 After the quiet of the water break, the din here explodes again with managers Cook & O’Neill
33.40 McClean & Vokes combine for the first time. James’ shot just over the bar. It’s almost like they’re on the same side! Nathan Collins gives the ball away, but moments later makes up for it with an excellent tackle. If Nathan loses the game for Stoke, MON will have to take full blame for recalling him…
39.50 0-1 !! Wigan take the lead after right winger has the freedom of the park to cross low from the by-line. Goal probably went in off Jack, although official records say it went off Ryan Shawcross.
41.23 Jack makes finger-tip save to his left.
HT Team-staying-up 1 Team-going-down 0
49.27 Ward marks his return on Naismith’s legs. yellow card.
50.26…followed by Nathan Collins into the book too! MON stares on in a gloom.
54.24 OMG! Jamal Lowe misses an open goal!!! When harder to miss, the ball crashes off the bar!
55.40 Meanwhile Tyrese replaces Ince and Gregory replaces Thompson. Jordan Cousins has thus won the Battle Of The Jordans!! (Yes, things are THAT bad here.)
57.33 Clucas touches the ball (badly) giving it away. Hardly noticed he was playing.
59.25 Lee Gregory finding out why they watered the pitch at half-time, slipping over on the ball.
64.43 0-2 !! And it could be that own-goal for Jack this time, as he is surprised by a neat turn by Naismith, that sort of slips through his grasp. This is a stupid game.
67.59 0-3 !! And what a strike by. McClean couldn’t close them down – and he looked like he’d scared them off –
70.00 After the water break, MON swaps the full backs. He’d be lucky to get a bag of sweets & a book of green-shield-stamps for them. Smith & Indi for Nath & Ward. What’s the difference, we ask?
79.30 After failing to get his cross in, you just hope that the TV mikes don’t pick up McClean swearing. I’m sure that word has a different meaning in Gaelic…
90+2 Vokes holds his head as Batth & Jack get all muddled at the back. Can it get any worse?
FT Wigan 3 Team-on-the-Brink 0