Stoke City defend Ireland's Glenn Whelan from Twitter critic and aim a playful dig at Paul Pogba

They leapt to the defence of their midfielder after the 1-1 draw

BY Raf Diallo 19:30 Monday 23 January 2017, 19:30 23 Jan 2017

Stoke City's Glenn Whelan (right) and Manchester United's Paul Pogba battle for the ball during the Premier League match at the Bet365 Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent. Picture by Nick Potts PA Wire/PA Images

"To the naked eye, and the uneducated football fans, it's difficult for them to understand his role, but he keeps the team ticking over. He's the guy who is the disciplined one, who'll sit in front of the back four, do the dirty work that people don't appreciate at times. He's made a whole career out of that and that's why he's been so valuable to teams."

That was former Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic as he discussed his ex-club team-mate Glenn Whelan before his country Bosnia took on Ireland in the November 2015 Euro 2016 playoff tie.

Essentially, Begovic was defending the Ireland international midfielder and explaining why he believes the Dubliner is underappreciated.

Indeed, Whelan has been a fixture in most Stoke teams during the Potters Premier League years, under a succession of managers.

Current manager Mark Hughes is no different. This season, Whelan (33) has featured 18 times in the league and has played all 90 minutes in all but five of those games.

He featured for all 90 minutes during Stoke City's 1-1 draw with Manchester United, when they only missed out on a win late on thanks to a fantastic (and record breaking) goal from Wayne Rooney.

After the match, Stoke tweeted Whelan's post-match comments. 

Given that it was on Twitter, abuse was almost always likely to follow. In this case, one user had a go at Whelan's mobility.


Stoke didn't take that lying down: 

The £89 million was in reference to Man United midfielder Paul Pogba, who played against Whelan on Saturday.

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