Port Vale striker Tom Pope reveals ‘awkward’ meeting with Manchester City’s John Stones after Twitter jibe

4 Jan

Port Vale striker Tom Pope revealed John Stones was in no mood for forgiveness after Port Vale’s FA Cup tie with Manchester City.

Last summer, Pope declared he would score ’40 goals a season’ if he played against Stones every week following the defender’s two costly errors in England’s Nations League defeat to the Netherlands.

Those comments dominated the build-up to Saturday’s third round tie and the 34-year-old certainly made his mark at the Etihad, scoring for his side before City went to close out a 4-1 victory.

Port Vale striker Tom Pope well and truly put his money where his mouth was!
AFP or licensors

While Pope insisted his Twitter barb at Stones was just banter, it became apparent to him that he had upset Stones when he visited the City changing room after the match.

“They all dragged me in, the Man City players, but John wouldn’t speak to me,” said Pope, whose goal was also his 109th for the club, a post-war record.

“It was a little bit awkward. I shook his hand but he wasn’t too happy.”

Pope does not rate Stones (left) highly
Getty Images – Getty

When asked if Stones said anything to Pope during the match, he added: “He’s pied me!

“Benjamin Mendy’s just said they’ve all been winding him up for weeks so I don’t think he’s been very happy with me.

“But it was only banter at the end of the day. I know what it’s like when you’ve got all of your teammates hammering you, it can be quite hard.

“I’m sure he’ll forgive me.”

Pope later couldn’t resist another cheeky Twitter jibe at Stones, tweeting: “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.”

The goal understandably meant a lot to Pope, which actually brought Port Vale level after Oleksandr Zinchenko had put Pep Guardiola’s men in front.

Pope and Port Vale’s joy was short-lived as Sergio Aguero restored Man City’s lead just before half time.

The Premier League side showed their class after the break and sealed a 4-1 victory thanks to goals from Taylor Harwood-Bellis and Phil Foden.

Pope was happy to get on the scoresheet but was disappointed it didn’t affect the result.

He added: “It’s a good occasion. It’s very rare as a League Two player that you get to play in games like this so you just have to embrace it.

“It’s up there – gutted it didn’t mean anything really but I don’t think any goal I’d have scored here would have got us anything.”

Pope, meanwhile, could face possible disciplinary action for a Twitter post unrelated to football.

He was accused of anti-semitism after he respondedto a tweet about the Third World War by claiming that he envisaged “the Rothschilds are crowned champions of every bank on the planet”.

The FA is understood to be looking into the matter.

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