LONDON (AFP) – The problems confronting Mauricio Pochettino continued to mount after the Tottenham Hotspur manager watched his side slump to a 2-1 home defeat by Stoke City in the Premier League on Sunday.
First-half goals from Bojan Krkic and Jonathan Walters provided Stoke with the cushion to withstand a late Spurs rally triggered by Nacer Chadli’s 77th-minute reply before the home side was reduced to ten men following Kyle Naughton’s dismissal five minutes from time at White Hart Lane.
A fourth home league defeat of the season left Tottenham in 12th position, five places and six points worse off than at the same stage when Andre Villas-Boas was overseeing the final weeks of his reign before being dismissed in mid-December.
While Pochettino was forced to reflect on another disappointment, Stoke manager Mark Hughes could draw satisfaction from a win that moved his side into the top half of the table.
Pochettino has made no attempt to disguise his frustration at his side’s recent performances and his team selection made it clear the Argentinian manager’s patience was wearing thin.
Youngsters Harry Kane and Andros Townsend retained their starting spots after their impressive displays in an otherwise underwhelming Europa League win away to Asteras Tripolis in midweek.
The Tottenham bench, meanwhile, was a roll-call of the club’s higher profile players including Emmanuel Adebayor, Roberto Soldado, Erik Lamela and Mousa Dembele.
The clamour for Kane, 21, to be handed a first Premier League start of the season has increased steadily while the striker has excelled in the cup competitions during a run that had brought eight goals in his last eight appearances.