Date: 17th January 2018 at 11:07am
Written by:

In the past few years things have changed dramatically in North London, as we are now enjoying much better fortunes than our historic rivals down the road. With a quota of developing stars and a top-class manager, as well as a new stadium on the way, we certainly pushing to break into the ‘elite’.

The impressive displays of Dele Alli and Harry Kane continue to catch the eye, with both now established as crucial players within the England ranks as well as with our club, but one name is starting to be forgotten after enjoying a similar rise previously.

Two years ago, at Euro 2016, Eric Dier was one of few positives for a disappointing tournament for the Three Lions and he entered the international competition on the back of a superb season for Spurs. Now, the 24-year-old is more of a squad player than a starter.

Dier may have 22 appearances across all competitions under his belt this season but the former Sporting Lisbon man has struggled to find stability, often playing in the centre of defence, and it`s clear this isn`t the right fit for him.

WhoScored`s average ratings show a poor 6.83 in a defender`s role, compared to 7.24 as a defensive midfielder. Dier certainly benefits from playing in holding midfield, just like he did in the 4-0 drubbing of Everton, but competition with Moussa Dembele and Victor Wanyama is having it`s toll.

As such, after being a starter for England at the European Championships, Dier may just be a member of the squad in the World Cup in Russia later this year. Versatile players like Dier are very useful in modern football but it`s often at the detriment of their own fortunes.

We can find evidence of this further down the road at Arsenal, where Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain never quite settled into a specific role and ended up having to leave the Gunners in the past summer. The same situation has occurred with Theo Walcott, who is also poised to leave.

Mauricio Pochettino won`t want that to happen with Dier but it`s certainly a risk. After his meteoric rise, Dier has gone from a first-team starter to a player fighting for opportunities and it`s therefore clear that he`s started to go backwards.

For that to change, Dier may have to take one more step back before launching forward. It`s clear that he`s better in defensive midfield than he is at centre-back, so a frank discussion with Pochettino needs to take place to make it clear that`s where he wants to be playing.

The immediate result would likely be a decrease in action, as he`d compete with Dembele and Wanyama for starting opportunities, but Dier would then be able to show the consistent form that had him turning heads previously.

Having said that, it is difficult for players in a holding role to grab the spotlight and the plaudits in a Spurs side that is so deadly going forward. The talk will almost always be about Kane, Alli or Son Heung-Min, with players like Dier in a less aesthetic role often underrated.
For Dier though, as long as he`s pleasing Pochettino and Gareth Southgate, plaudits shouldn`t matter at all and it may actually be beneficial to us as it would potentially reduce the links to his services- with Manchester United already tipped with a swoop in the previous years.

Keeping the Spurs squad intact is crucial for the club`s development, especially in a year when a stadium move is on the horizon, and Dier will play an integral role in this important transition.


30 Replies to “Is Eric Dier Slowly Going Backwards For Spurs?”

  • He hit the ground running, and he’s Def gone backwards, gets England call up, hes. Utility player but master of none. Pity but why hasn’t then been addressed off the pitch and try and put it right

  • Is a 6.83 rating so bad? There is some evidence to suggest that Dier performs better in midfield, but does that automatically imply that he’s a poor defender? I think he is an above average PL CB, and a good PL midfielder. You can probably find better at either position, but you’d struggle to match the versatility and the options he gives to a manager. As I’ve said before, his ability to hold in midfield and drop into the back line when our full backs go forward is an integral part of the team tactics. We have seen some hiccups along the way, but that’s not really unexpected for a young player. Alli has known dips in form too. Even Kane and his apparent inability to score in August. Nothing unusual and Dier remains an important player who stand a good chance of being even better in a few years.

  • Ah, but we bought Eric as a CB that had had experience as a defensive midfielder also. When MP moved him a step forward, many supporters felt that he was not good enough for that role and his natural position as a CB was then in jeopardy. I think we are most lucky to have such a flexible player and I think he has excelled in bath robes given that he has often swapped position during the course of one match let alone from game to game. So yes, I agree he is a much needed and appreciated (by me) member of the Spurs squad…. As for England, I still see him as being a first choice come the WC.

  • BATH ROBES? I wouldn’t know what he looks like in any kind of casual lounge wear! That was somehow corrected from BOTH ROLES! LOL

  • 123, he’s actually gone forward a little, then moved back, moved to the right, back to the centre and then forward again.

  • not sure I understand the article TBH. Dier does not have the enforcer or muscle power of Wanyama and he certainly doesn’t have the ability to beat players as Dembele does so what are Eric Dier’s strength’s and why does he more times than most end up getting picked as CB and DM ?cos he’s not a specialist player playing in a speacialist position! he is a utility player which is a rare bird cos he’s actually quite good at it, except when he puts on an England shirt and suddenly has an embelism where a lateral pass across the 18 yard box or a back pass becomes a pass to the opposition and its all hands to the pump to recover the error! he’s also not brilliant when facing players like DeBruyne or any of the higher technically skilled players in the PL he also has a habit of standing off and allowing a player to shoot from distance West Ham at Wembley being a case in point! For me Dier is good for 14 out of the 17 teams we play in the prem but defo no Cigar when its City United Chavs or Pool! Wanyama’s better for those games!

  • England first. If Southgate has access to his best players then Dier plays every time. By that, I mean we would have Walker and Rose raiding down the wings and combo’s of Alli, Wilshere, Barkley, Winks and Lallana running the show ahead of him and combos of Sterling, Rashford, Lindgard etc supporting Kane from the wider areas. There would always be a place for Dier as Henderson simply isn’t a holding player with a brain and Livermore isn’t up to it. Southgate could be brave and copy what Hodgson did and put Wilshere there but I doubt he will.

    It’s Dier’s Spurs shirt that is more interesting. This season we’ve had barely any access to Wanyama, whilst Dembele has only completed back to back 90 mins once all season. Winks has carried injuries as well. Add to that the big injury to Toby, and Sanchez’s 3 match suspension. Dier has once again been our ever dependable utility player and has started 22 out of 23 league games and 5 CL games.

    I think we’re now all desperate to see Toby and Rose back which gives Poch access to his best players. After that, it will be interesting to see what the team selections look like and whether Dier can continue his impressive record of starting games. I don’t conform to the idea that he has gone backwards, but clearly playing with different midfield and defensive partners all of the time can take it’s toll on his form for club and country. Don’t be surprised to see him and Wanyama play together in some big games in the second half of the season. Anfield could be one.

  • I’m fully in agreement with you, BelgianSpur. He’d definitely make it in most teams, defence or midfield and his versatility is a huge bonus. When Sanchez got sent off recently Dier slotted in and performed well. Most were surprised when Poch made him a DM, to which he excelled and became a big part of the England team. Just turning 24 he’s not even peaked and probably won’t for another 2 or 3 years, while not being able to play at specifically one position for continuity. Not too shabby for £4m

  • A lot of PL clubs wish they had a player like Eric Dier, he can play at DMF, CB or FB, all to international standard, he is Mr. Versatile. Utility players tend not to be stars, they don’t get the chance to settle in one position long enough to do so. If Spurs decided to seek offers for Dier there would be no shortage of interested parties, and our squad would be very much the poorer if he left, and perhaps his efforts would be appreciated more when he was gone. There are players far more worthy of serious criticism than Dier, Sissoko would be a good starting point.

  • 124 Premierleague starts from a possible 137 gives him 3rd most starts behind Eriksen and Hugo isn’t a bad feat, especially as the team has progressed massively in that time. As muttley points out: not only playing in one position, but with the numerous partnerships he has to form and work alongside it can’t be easy for a young player to be as consistent as a seasoned player. I’m guessing very difficult.

  • I am so pleased that we have a squad that is beyond improvement, and after MP making an empty statement about “getting our transfer business done early” it is now more than halfway through the window without a peep from Spurs. From this I deduce that we don’t need additional cover or options in MF for Eriksen or Ali, we don’t need to inject extra pace into the squad which we lost with the sale of Walker, to give us some proper width, or an additional striker as cover or a selection option for Kane, who can actually run, unlike Lloriente. What we have got is a typical “Spurs window”, with us staying in the shadows, waiting for a possible BOGOF or special offer (a la Van Der Vaart) on the 30th or 31st, same old same old. If you didn’t know better (hopefully) you would think we as a club don’t really want to go forward.

  • Enic are more interested in building a multi purpose sporting arena rather than buy a player who might strengthen the squad. There used to be a football club there now it’s more like a property development with enic building up for the big sell off after nearly two decades of mediocrity.

  • Eric Dier is playing well. Please he?s our utility player who can fill 3positions. Let?s give the criticism a break. Seems like if a player isn?t wanted by Barca or RM something must be wrong with them. The lad is solid and young. Support him and help him to grow.

  • Must admit, I’m somewhat bemused that to think we need to buy someone, given Lamela, Wanyama, Toby and Winks are getting back to fitness or recovering from injury. If we did buy someone to replace GKN I would hope it would be someone for our starting XI, although that would mean a £70m+ signing while Son, Eriksen or Alli would then be on the bench. Yannick Carrasco is the type of player I think we’d need: pace and can beat a player, although he’d have to hit the ground running. Frank and palmover, who would you like or expect to come in and how much would you expect them to cost? I’m not sure I agree about the board not wanting the club to move forward. Isn’t being able to compete financially (part of) the reason we are building a new stadium?

  • …..”2 decades of mediocrity” at Spurs? If it’s been so mediocre in all that time at THFC, then imagine what it’s been like being a WHU supporter. You’d probably have to stop watching football altogether. Or support another club?

    Question: Name all the clubs in the PL that have not won a trophy in the past 20 years and who don’t have a right-back called Walker or a crap manager named Pochettino?

    If ENIC have no interest at all in buying any players that have ever improved the THFC Squad, then there must be some kind of magic going on these past few years.

    Mediocre players, mediocre manager, mediocre owners… Mediocre supporters? Mediocre new stadium too, no doubt. With mediocre burgers, beer, tea, goalposts, pitch. And, all with a mediocre Dier, Kane, Alli, Eriksen, Jan, Toby, Son, Hugo, Rose, Dembele, Wanyama et al, all running around randomly with no real mission in their lives. Like drunken blue-arsed flies after s**t… Who could ever support a club like that?!

  • Dier is a good utility player.. remember he can also play as RB… and was quite good as well. The recent injury list has moved him around a lot, and perhaps has affected his concentration causing some mental mix up as to what he has to do in certain positions. also a Man Utd manager “chats” did not help ! as he was confused for a while as to his future.. Hopefully poch can have a chat with him and our injury list reduces, his role as DMF will be more defined.

Comments are closed.