• Premier League

Bruce furious at Tottenham's Vertonghen

ESPN staff
November 23, 2014
Gaston Ramirez was sent off after clashing with Jan Vertonghen © Getty Images

Hull City manager Steve Bruce accused Tottenham's Jan Vertonghen of exaggerating to get Gaston Ramirez sent off, suggesting such behaviour "can't be healthy" for the Premier League.

Ramirez was shown the red card for kicking out at Vertonghen in Spurs' 2-1 win at the KC Stadium on Sunday. However, Bruce said Vertonghen provoked Ramirez, whose reaction was petulant but not violent, and felt the Spurs player had gone down as if "poleaxed."

Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen scored second-half goals, with the Dane delivering a 90th-minute winner, after Hull had been reduced to 10 men.

Bruce said: "There is no doubt about that, that Ramirez has shown petulance. Vertonghen has had a little go at him, which is there for everyone to see, and provokes him, and he has flicked out.

"The letter of the law says it has got to be violent conduct. He has tapped him on the backside. If that takes him to the ground, then I cannot really understand that. For me, it is an act of petulance - it is not violent conduct.

"It is petulance. If someone kicks out, goes over the top, headbutts someone or throws an elbow at someone's face, then I can and will act.

"However, Vertonghen is a big strapping 6ft 2in centre-back and he is rolling around as if he has been poleaxed. That can't be healthy for the Premier League."

Bruce also felt referee Craig Pawson, who dismissed Ramirez on the advice of his assistant, should have shown some "common sense."

He added: "The big referees, the good ones, have got a common sense about them. They let the game go. They realise these things happen."

Bruce revealed Ramirez, who was making his first start for Hull, was distraught, explaining: "He is totally and utterly despondent. It is so out of character. He is such a quiet individual, and it was not like him."

He said the red card was the "turning point," but Spurs counterpart Mauricio Pochettino disagreed and claimed his side would have won even had Ramirez remained on the pitch.

Pochettino said: "In the beginning of the second half, our attitude and our game was better than Hull at 11 against 11, but I am sure that it would be the same.

"We showed character, good mentality and we were more aggressive on the pitch."

Pochettino claimed he did not see the incident involving Ramirez but added: "Jan Vertonghen told me it was a sending off."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close