On Wednesday evening Stoke City’s 2018/19 season got a little bit worse as we were booted out of the EFL Cup at the third round stage by Nottingham Forest.
Taking a trip to the City Ground for the game in midweek, Forest took a 3-2 victory and although we almost managed to stage a late comeback on the day, goals from Benik Afobe and Saido Berahino just weren’t enough in another poor showing – especially on a defensive front.
More issues in defence, but we scored with our only two efforts on target – so again it’s more questions than answers under manager Gary Rowett.
Reacted to the defeat on social media, fans were mixed but some were determined to find the positives from the showing.
– Our defence is very, very poor.
– First half performance was absolutely awful.
— Phil Barker (@philbarker2410) September 26, 2018
Forgive me I havent seen the game, but didnt Berahino score earlier in the game? Bit harsh moaning at a players who has already scored and got you back in the game.
— Matthew Jackson (@Mattjackson_88) September 26, 2018
So we only start playing when we’re 3-0 down these days. Defensively not good enough but a few promising performances out there tonight. Adam, Ince, Afobe, Berahino & Bojan dominated second half!
— Sunny Badwal (@sunnybadwal1) September 26, 2018
We have to play 2 up top in my book – we look good going forward but generally only when we play 2 up top. Afobe and berahino to start and not with one of them on the left wing
— Greenhoff1972 (@greenhoff1972) September 26, 2018
Bojan, Berahino and Afobe must start Saturday. Yet again stupid schoolboy mistakes at the back have cost us.
— Ross Harris (@RosssHarris) September 26, 2018
Berahino, afobe and bojan played great. So they won't be starting on Saturday ???? @stokecity
— Stephen Pugh???? (@SCFC_Pughy31) September 26, 2018
Berahino could be a brand new signing now he's found he's scoring boots
— jack (@jackISallman) September 26, 2018
You know what's frustrating, BOTH of our strikers are scoring. But the defence are giving them no chance
Berahino and Bojan were unbelievable. But clueless Rowett will drop them at the weekend you watch.
— Stace (@stokie_stace) September 26, 2018
Berahino finding the net once again to leave his barren spell firmly in the rearview is an obvious go-to on the positive front and it was also a way for him to answer the criticism he’s taken given media reports this last week about scoring of another kind, but eagle-eyed fans will have noticed Rowett opening himself up to accusations of deflecting and blaming Berahino for us not taking more from the game given the one miss in particular.
The cynic would say Moritz Bauer was given this game off on that front.
I actually like Rowett, but this is becoming predictable and it appears his favourites are blameless irrespective of the fact they are the ones letting everyone down.