Martin Smith: There is absolutely no justification for demanding TP's head
STOKE'S draw with lowly Wigan generated a great deal of discontent among Potters fans.
There were lots of unhappy voices to be heard inside the Britannia Stadium, around the ground after the match, and later on the radio.
And you could read all about it on Internet forums and just about any form of social media you cared to name.
But you probably don't need me to tell you this. You're either one of the unhappy voices yourself, or you heard or read all about them.
There's clearly a lot of frustration among fans at the moment, borne out of Stoke's stuttering form and what a lot of them see as the tactical shortcomings of manager Tony Pulis.
We still aren't scoring enough goals and our once impregnable defence is all at sea. That 3-1 Boxing Day win against Liverpool seems an awfully long time ago.
The Wigan match was a strange game, but the simmering discontent seemed to have been quelled by our deployment of a 3-5-2 formation and a first-half performance which promised a change from the usual.
It's not that we were great in the opening 45 minutes, but we were undoubtedly better than a very poor Wigan and deserved our lead.
After the break it seemed we just needed a second goal to kill off the game, and when it duly arrived from Peter Crouch we seemed to be on easy street.
However, what followed was possibly the worst 40-minute spell we've endured since our arrival in the Premier League in 2008.
Quite simply, we were played off the pitch by a team who had started the match in the bottom three.
There was no bad luck, no bad refereeing and no excuses. Wigan made us look dreadful.
They scored twice, should have scored more, and long before the end of the game were the ones going for a win.
By contrast, we sat deeper and deeper, invited Wigan pressure and took off our creative players as we hung on for a draw.
It was really hard to see what we were trying to do in those final 20 minutes, and it seemed as though the players weren't too sure either.
It was a bad day at the office for Tony Pulis, but just as he was showered with praise for being the architect of our 10-match unbeaten run before Christmas, he now has to accept the criticism that comes when his team is performing as poorly as it is now.
Some fans are now openly questioning the role of TP as the Stoke manager, and on Saturday night, in the wake of the FA Cup defeat by Manchester City, I was asked by more than one supporter why I wasn't calling for his head.
Well there's a simple reason why I'm not, and that's because I don't believe it's the right thing to do. More than that, I don't believe such demands are warranted at this time.
Am I happy with the way things have gone lately? No.
Do I think the manager has made some mistakes? Yes.
Do I think our transfer decisions and lack of signings for certain positions is hurting us right now. Again, yes.
Is all of this reason enough to call for a change of manager? Well no, I don't think it is.
Frankly, I refuse to be involved in any campaign for the manager to be removed when we are in the top half of the Premier League table, in our fifth season of relative security in the top flight, and are still basking in the glow of appearing in our first FA Cup final and the subsequent European campaign.
No, such a move would be premature in the extreme, and from the outside it would be viewed as utter madness.
I haven't met a single Stoke fan who wasn't aghast at Southampton's decision to part company with the unfortunate Nigel Adkins, so can you imagine the negative reaction our club would receive if they were to get rid of Pulis?
Managers are sacked when their teams are in trouble or are not performing as their owners want them to, and neither of those things apply to Pulis. And not by a very long way.
I'd like to finish with a little game, so please indulge me for a minute or two.
Imagine we could go back 10 years in time, before we'd played Cardiff City in the play-off semi-finals and when it looked as though we were never going to make it back into the Championship.
Then imagine that I could speak to you about what the future might hold for us and whether you'd like to sign up for it.
I'd tell you that just six years later you could see your team in the Premier League, and that five years after that we'd still be there; strong, solid, stable and respected – and with a first FA Cup final and an exciting European adventure behind us.
I'd also regale you with tales of the games we'd win, the memories we'd have, the millions we'd spend on players, and of the joy of watching our team at a Britannia Stadium packed full for almost every league game.
Now if I'd been able to offer all that, but with the proviso that we'd have a manager who didn't always serve up entertaining football, do you think you'd have turned it down?
No, you wouldn't, and 99.9 per cent of our supporters would also have accepted in a heartbeat, no doubt also promising they'd never complain if they could revel in such riches.
Of course, we made no such pact with the devil, yet all of these things have come to pass.
After 24 games this season we have lost just SIX of them, no mean feat whatever our current problems.
As fans who only want the best for our club, we have a right to make our feelings known.
But we also owe it to ourselves, and the club we love, to think long and hard about the consequences of what we do and what we demand.
Some of us need to take a deep breath before we head off down a path from which there may be no return.