Garth Crooks names four Tottenham stars in Team of the Week after NLD victory

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Former Tottenham striker, Garth Crooks has named Eric Dier, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Son Heung-min and Harry Kane in his Team of the Week after the Lilywhites put in an accomplished performance to overcome Arsenal 2-0 in the North London Derby.

Spurs managed to keep a fourth clean sheet in a row in the Premier League and have now conceded just once in their last six league matches.

Eric Dier has played every single minute of that run and his improved form has been instrumental to Spurs’ improved defensive showing. In fact, the 26-year-old made Crooks’ Team of the Week for the third week in a row.

The pundit wrote in his BBC column: “The first ball into the box by Arsenal was a real tester but the header from Eric Dier was emphatic and so was the rest of his performance.

“This is the third consecutive week the Tottenham defender has made my team of the week and each time his selection comes with a clean sheet. This defender is tailor-made for Jose Mourinho. No frills, no fuss and always ready for the battle.

“The England international has come a long way since the night in March that Spurs lost at home to Norwich in the FA Cup and Dier was walking up steps to get to a fan who had upset his brother. Let’s hope the next time he’s walking up steps it’s to collect the Premier League title.”

Another player who has been crucial in helping Mourinho’s men to keep it tight at the back is summer signing Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who put in another impressive performance against Arsenal, taking home the Man of the Match award.

Crooks wrote about the midfielder: “I didn’t think much of the signing of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in the first place, to be perfectly honest, and I wasn’t even sure he was a Tottenham player.

“What has become increasingly obvious is that here is another Mourinho player. Hojbjerg is looking like the real deal in a side that is more interested in being solid than pretty football.

“To be fair, Tottenham’s style of play at home against Arsenal wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be under Mourinho. In fact, Hojbjerg had Willian in his pocket for much of the game. If these performances continue like this, I might get to like Mourinho.”

The former Tottenham striker also lavished praise on Tottenham’s deadly duo up front, Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, who both got on the scoresheet and combined to brilliant effect once again.

Crooks added: “I don’t think I’ve seen Tottenham have a better start in a north London derby and I’ve been in a few. The strike by Son Heung-min was just magical and his assist for Harry Kane’s thunderbolt wasn’t far behind. However, this is also a very different Spurs side to the ones I have witnessed in the past.

“To see Hojbjerg, Moussa Sissoko and Steven Bergwijn all prepared to hoof the ball aimlessly to relieve the pressure with time to play is something of a culture shock. But if it’s been good enough for other teams to win the title playing that way in the past, why not Spurs?

“From the reaction of the players, Tottenham think they can win the title playing like this and I’m starting to ask myself the same question.

“I just can’t leave him (Harry Kane) out. As good as Marcus Rashford’s second-half performance was against West Ham, I have to find a place for Kane and it comes at the expense of Rashford.

“Kane was brilliant in every department against Arsenal. His link-up play with Son is outstanding, while his defending from set-plays in his own penalty area is second to none.

“The England captain maintains that Tottenham’s players are in their prime and that now is their time. He could be right, you know.”

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