Eriksen and Townsend get Tottenham short straw from Pochettino

Andros Townsend

Tottenham Hotspur head coach Mauricio Pochettino says his half-time changes against Stoke were tactical.

Tottenham Hotspur suffered another unwelcome home defeat, continuing their poor run of losses after Europa League games.

Head coach Mauricio Pochettino seemed to be at a loss to prevent the 2-1 defeat, even though he tried to address a poor first half with two big changes.

He took off attackers Christian Eriksen and Andros Townsend after just 45 minutes, telling SkySports after the game the substitutions were 'tactical'.

  MatchGoalsTouchesKey PassesSuccessful Final Third PassesDribblesMins Played
Christian Eriksen Tottenham vs Stoke 0 31 1 7 0 45
Andros Townsend Tottenham vs Stoke 0 26 0 5 0 45

Moussa Dembele and Erik Lamela came on in their places, but did the changes actually have any effect? 

While Eriksen and Townsend combined for only 12 passes in the final third of the pitch, and touched the ball a combined 57 times, their replacements were hardly much better.

  MatchGoalsTouchesKey PassesSuccessful Final Third PassesDribblesMins Played
Mousa Dembélé Tottenham vs Stoke 0 39 0 2 0 45
Erik Lamela Tottenham vs Stoke 0 27 1 5 2 45

Lamela and Dembele managed a combined seven final third passes combined, and their 66 touches was only marginally higher.

Eriksen and Townsend will feel they got the short straw from the boss, whose changes did little to help the side.

While at 2-0 down Pochettino will have felt he had to do something, they pulled a goal back through Nacer Chadli late on, but the displays of the two substitutes gave little to be hopeful about.

Pochettino is struggling to get the best out of any of his players in the Premier League, and they are failing to grasp any opportunities they get.

Sooner or later Spurs have to back a head coach, and that may mean it is the under-performing players who get moved on sooner rather than later.

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