Some Stoke City fans on social media were furious with boss Michael O’Neill after he decided to take off on-loan Tottenham winger Jack Clarke at half-time against Norwich City on Saturday.
After having a season to forget in 2019/20, Clarke seems to have made progress this season.
The youngster trained with the Tottenham first-team until January and impressed for the Under-23s while also having a couple of decent cameos for Jose Mourinho’s men in the Europa League (tranfermarkt.com).
The wide man joined the Potters on loan during the January transfer window and has had an impressive start to his spell at the club.
The 20-year-old seems to have established himself in the Stoke starting eleven and is displaying the kind of promise that pushed the North Londoners to sign him for £10m from Leeds in 2019.
However, Stoke were taken to the cleaners against league-leaders Norwich on Saturday, with the Canaries ending up 4-1 winners.
Clarke was replaced by on-loan Schalke man Rabbi Matondo at the interval and some Stoke fans blasted O’Neill for his decision to take the Spurs youngster off.
Here’s how they reacted to Clarke being subbed at half-time:
Fuming with this at the time and it seems as if Clarke has been the one hung out to dry rather than the experienced bunch. Unacceptable from O’Neill and I’m one of his biggest fans.
— All Things Stoke (@AllThingsStoke) February 14, 2021
If thats tactical then he's taking the piss out of us
— Dean (@webbySCFC) February 13, 2021
You are messing with me https://t.co/FehrWNCbeZ
— el pottersaurus (@FPLstokelona) February 13, 2021
Well this isn’t the way https://t.co/rIk8Agi8VK
— Toby Edwards (@tobyedwards9) February 13, 2021
Wrong Sub. Cousins for Mikel was the obvious call and try to push on.
— Potters (@PottersSCFC01) February 13, 2021
He’s got to be injured right!!
— Uncle Ronge AKA sexy binman (@UncleRBenson) February 13, 2021
Really not helping himself
— bill (@BFinneron) February 13, 2021
LUDICROUS, NONSENSICAL, INEXPLICABLE, UNJUSTIFIABLE.
— Stokie’73 🔴⚪️🔴⚪️ (@potter2207) February 13, 2021
Talk about knocking Clarke’s confidence 🙈
— Elliot Lungrin (@Elliot_Lungrin) February 13, 2021
Spurs Web Opinion
It is clear based on the reaction of these Stoke fans that Clarke has already won them over. Like many Spurs fans, I feared last season that we might have thrown away £10m on the youngster after his struggles on loan at Leeds and QPR.
However, the 20-year-old has demonstrated this season that he has the talent to develop into a decent winger. Even if he does not become a first-team regular for Spurs in the future, he could potentially go on to have a career in the Premier League or in the top-end of the Championship.
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