Stoke City boss Michael O’Neill has voiced his frustration at the number of long throws that Birmingham City utilised in the Blues 2-0 victory on Saturday, which has caused a stir among many fans.
Birmingham’s impressive run under Lee Bowyer continued yesterday as they made it 10 points from a possible 15 since the new manager’s arrival – helping them climb nine points clear of the bottom three in 18th.
A brace from Lukas Jutkiewicz ensured the Blues ran out 2-0 winners at St Andrew’s, handing them a huge boost in their pursuit of survival.
The result means it’s near-impossible for the Potters to make the play-offs and O’Neill was clearly annoyed when speaking after the game.
Speaking to Birmingham Live, he voiced his frustration about the Blues’ use of long throws and how it slowed down the game.
He said: “I was frustrated at the end because the officials have a responsibility to keep the game flowing and I accept Birmingham will manage the game and the time but we had situations where their right centre-back was going to the far left hand side of the pitch to take throw-ins and the referee allowed that to happen at a very slow pace.
“So from a spectacle point of view, it wasn’t a great watch.
“Yes [I did speak to the ref] but as usual, I never had much back. I spoke to the fourth official and a lot of teams accept long throw-ins are part of the game.
“Personally, I think they should change the rule and it should be offside from a throw-in and it would stop that.
“But we’re going to see more of this and we dealt with it a lot.
“It’s the time taken to take throw-ins and free kicks that frustrates me more than anything else.
“I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with playing like that and I know Stoke have played like that in the past but we won’t play like that under me.”
How much do you know about these past and present Blues bosses – can you get 15/15?
Given Stoke’s history with long throws, it’s a bold stance to take from the Northern Irish coach – particularly calling out an opposition side.
Those comments haven’t gone down well with Birmingham supporters with many taking to Twitter to respond to his claims.
Read their reaction here:
I’m sorry Stoke can never complain about long throws hahahaha https://t.co/pYuNWw4cHm
— Lad from the Tilton 🌹 (@LadFromTheBlues) April 10, 2021
The STOKE manager complaining about the use of long throws and playing for set pieces. With Rory Delap as 1st Team Coach. I’ve seen it all now https://t.co/uhL33YcIaL
— Jack Gidney (@Jgidney88) April 11, 2021
Haha he'd actually moaning that he threw it short…..
Because they expected him to throw it long like he normally does 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
Every time we win the manager of the opposition has a proper little crying fit https://t.co/nrxWRL7DkU
— kiora (@fmcbcfc) April 11, 2021
Stoke… complaining about… long throws…. que? https://t.co/HoBsOsLltn
— The juke of headinburgh (@ramdingo75) April 10, 2021
Stoke moaning about long throws? Wow! https://t.co/SwfnEbbSc9
— Barbs (@barbs_paul) April 10, 2021
😂 bitter much…. https://t.co/KMTclbl6EY
— Lee W1875 (@LeeW1875) April 10, 2021
Imagine Stoke complaining about throw ins 🤣🤣🤣🤣 https://t.co/YpZJviQhub
— Bentson87 (@fifa_serious) April 10, 2021
— Blues Breakdown (@blues_breakdown) April 10, 2021