Blog - The Toe Poke, Clubs, English FA Cup, John Stones, Manchester City, Port Vale, Story, Tom Pope

If you’re going to troll a high-profile Premier League footballer, you need to be able to back it up. Step forward, Tom Pope. 

The Toe Poke Daily is here every day to bring you all the weirdest stories, quirkiest viral content and top trolling that the internet has to offer, all in one place.

JUMP TO: Rooney’s family washbag

In the summer, England faced Netherlands in the semifinals of the Nations League. The tie was on a knife edge, poised at 1-1 in extra time, when John Stones made two huge howlers leading to a 3-1 win for the Dutch.

Port Vale striker Pope, relaxing on his sofa while Stones toiled in Portugal, was quick to judge. 

Pope tweeted: “Just watched the highlights of the England game! “I know I’m a league 2 player, I know he plays for England, I know he’s on £150K a week, I know he’s a million times better player than me but I’d love to play against John Stones every week! I’d get 40 a season! #soft #weakaspiss”

Damning criticism, indeed.

Fast forward six months, and what do you know. The FA Cup third-round draw throws up Manchester City vs. Port Vale. John Stones vs. Tom Pope. (Stream a replay of Man City vs. Port Vale on ESPN+)

As you might imagine, Man City fans soon reminded Pope of his comments.

Pope responded, tongue in cheek, by saying: “This tweet was 6 months ago and you’ve all managed to dig it up. In them 6 months he’s improved dramatically and I think he’s the best centre half in the world.”

And he added: “I feel absolutely honoured to be getting abuse from Man City fans. It’s made me emosh! You lot should be worrying and tweeting Mane and Salah not Tom ‘the carthorse’ Pope you plantpots.”

Come Saturday, Vale captain Pope led his team out at the Etihad. And Stones started for City, too.

Vale fell behind to a Oleksandr Zinchenko goal, but the best moment of the game came 19 minutes before half-time when yes, you’ve guessed it, Pope equalised for the League Two side. 

It’s fair to say Pope was delighted. 

Tom Pope celebrates after silencing the Manchester City fans.

Maybe Stones wasn’t so impressed, however, went Pope went to shake the City player’s hand at the end of the game. 

“They all dragged me in [to the changing room], the Man City players, but John wouldn’t speak to me,” Pope said. “It was a little bit awkward. I shook his hand but he wasn’t too happy.”

And he soon returned to Twitter to run salt into Stones’ wounds … even if City did go on to win the tie 4-1

He said: “Sorry I can’t reply to everyone it’s gone mental! I’d just like to say I was completely wrong and bang out of order to say I’d score 40 a season … it’s more like 50. enjoy your weekend.

“The highlight of my day wasn’t the goal it was Benjamin Mendy waiting outside our dressing room waiting for a selfie with me to put in their group chat. Mendy has bants.”

Rooney’s family washbag

Derby County are away to Crystal Palace in the FA Cup on Sunday, with Wayne Rooney part of the squad after making his debut for the Rams on Thursday.

Wayne Rooney arrives…

You wouldn’t think there’s much to this picture. It’s just a footballer strolling into Selhurst Park about to get ready for an FA Cup tie. 

But let’s take a closer look. 

…carrying something special.

Yep, that’s right. Rooney has got a personalised washbag that features a picture of his four children — Kai, Klay, Kit and Cass — on the side. We can only speculate that his wife, Coleen, features on the other side.  

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