Hull boss Steve Bruce bemoaned Gaston Ramirez’s red card after losing to Tottenham, blaming Jan Vertonghen for an over-reaction and the officials for a lack of common sense.
The Tigers were 1-0 up after Jake Livermore scored against his former club but lost all momentum when Ramirez lashed out at Vertonghen, leaving the hosts to play 40 minutes with 10 men.
Harry Kane levelled just after the hour mark, netting his 10th goal of the season and second in the Barclays Premier League, before Christian Eriksen sealed a 2-1 win with a 90th-minute effort.
Ramirez might look at his own error in judgement on a miserable full debut for the club, but Bruce instead chose to focus on perceived shortcomings elsewhere.
Vertonghen, who had not even been involved in the initial tussle that sent Ramirez to the floor, appeared to be an innocent party but Bruce disagreed.
“We talk about diving and allegedly cheating…Vertonghen’s a big strapping, 6ft 2in or 6ft 3in centre-back and he’s rolling around as if he’s been poleaxed and that can’t be healthy for the Premier League,” said Bruce, whose side are tumbling down the table after taking two points from the last 15 available.
“That’s the disappointing thing for me, because it is creeping in.
“There’s no doubt about it, Ramirez has shown what I would call petulance. Vertonghen has a little go at him which is there for everyone to see, provokes him, and he flicks out at him.
“The letter of the law says it’s got to be violent conduct. But he has tapped him on the backside.
“If that really, really takes him to the ground I can’t really understand that.”
Bruce also felt let down by the verdict of referee Craig Pawson and assistant Peter Kirkup, who saw the incident at close quarters.
“For me, the whole spectacle and the result was ruined because of that incident.
“The linesman should have a bit more about him. Why not? Now we’re talking about a red card instead of the spectacle.
“The big referees, the good ones, the really top ones, have always got, even in my day, a common sense about them. They realise these things happen.
“The reason why the spectacle of the Barclays Premier League is loved all round the world is the honesty of it, the integrity of it and the ferocity of it.
“People enjoy watching the physical specimen of the Premier League.”
Pochettino, whose side were flattered in victory and might easily have been three behind at the interval, denied the sending off had determined the result.
“I think it did not have a big impact,” he said.
“In the second half our attacking game was better than Hull’s. I’m sure in the end it would have been the same result.
“Hull played very well in the first half but we tried to change something at half-time and I’m happy because after we showed character and good mentality.
“In the second half we created a lot of chances. The team showed a better mentality and attitude.”
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