Charlie Adam a victim of social media witch-hunt – Hughes

Date published: Tuesday 13th December 2016 11:39 - James Marshment

Charlie Adam: Defended by Mark Hughes

Stoke boss Mark Hughes insists he would be “astounded” if Charlie Adam is punished for his clash with Alexis Sanchez.

The midfielder initially appeared to stamp on Arsenal forward Sanchez in Stoke’s 3-1 defeat at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Stoke are yet to hear for the Football Association over whether they will take any retrospective action but Hughes does not expect anything to happen.

“I would be absolutely astounded if any charge was forthcoming, it’s not warranted,” he said.

“At the time it’s very quick. When you see the slow motion frame-by-frame, people jump up and down, but in real time the lad (Sanchez) has fallen across Charlie’s path and he hasn’t had time to take evasive action.

“The referees on Sky looked at it this morning and came up with the same opinion.”

Stoke host Southampton in the Premier League on Wednesday with Marc Muniesa a doubt after he suffered a knee injury on Saturday and Glen Johnson has an eye infection.

Ryan Shawcross has trained but could miss out with a calf problem while Jack Butland remains sidelined with an ankle injury along with Geoff Cameron (knee).

Jon Walters could return to face Southampton after missing the Arsenal defeat with thigh trouble.

Hughes added: “We’re a little stretched in defensive areas at the moment and that can happen. Everybody will be needed, I keep emphasising that to the guys who are not in the team at the moment.

“It was just a warm-down session today but we hope tomorrow that Ryan Shawcross and Jonathan Walters will be an option. They’ve been outside today whether they join in tomorrow we don’t know.”

The player’s stamp on Sanchez was discussed on our weekly Ref Review feature – but in the meantime, Hughes feels Adam is the victim of a social media witch-hunt.

Hughes believes, because Arsenal have a bigger online following, that Adam’s incident could be blown out of proportion, especially after Arsene Wenger pushed the fourth official, Paul Tierney, on Saturday.

“Whenever these things happen and you go up against the top clubs because of the presence of social media it becomes something of a witch-hunt and suddenly people are shouting from the rooftops that we need retrospective action,” he said.

‘It’s a little bit unfair, our presence isn’t as great as theirs and sometimes that can influence them.

“Charlie gets the type of press that people feel he deserves – but we have a completely different view.

‘On this occasion you hope that an unwarranted reputation doesn’t go before him and people can see the incident for what it was.

“Maybe he (Wenger) was trying to protect his personal space, but ‘hands on’ an official is always a little bit dangerous in my view – I know this to my cost.”

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