Tim Sherwood has claimed that Mauricio Pochettino was not willing to give Eric Dier opportunities to prove himself at centre-back and that Jose Mourinho has done the right thing by shifting the 26-year-old into the backline.
Tottenham boast of a much-improved defensive record over the past few months, having conceded just one goal in their last six Premier League outings.
Dier has played every minute of that run and is certainly showing signs of adapting to the role, which was his primary position while coming through the ranks at Sporting Lisbon.
Speaking to talkSPORT, Sherwood said: “I think he’s (Dier) versatile. He’s a very good Premier League player, but he likes to defend the box.
“Eric has told the manager he wanted to play centre-back. He told Pochettino he wanted to play there and he didn’t listen.
“Jose has put him in his correct position and he really likes him. He wanted to buy him for £50m at Man United.”
While Tottenham have improved considerably from a defensive point of view over recent weeks, they have not shown the same attacking impetus they did in their first few matches of the season.
There have been some question marks raised about Mourinho’s negative style of play, with some pundits suggesting that the Tottenham players will not enjoy playing the way they currently do.
Sherwood disagreed with that claim, insisting that Mourinho has ‘brainwashed’ his players into believing this is the best way to win silverware this season.
The former Spurs boss added: “You only care about 30 per cent possession if you end the season without silverware.
“They played on the front foot for five years and what did they get for it? A pat on the back.
“When they look at their trophy cabinet, there’s nothing in there since 2008. They need to start winning trophies and Jose has won 20 major trophies.
“He has a clear identity of how they want him to play.
“I would say to Jose, ‘Just be yourself – you’re a winner and you’ve been brought in there to win, so why would you change?’
“The players are brainwashed, they’re enjoying it now. Harry Kane had one shot at goal. You would think he would want to get the ball and have more touches in the opposition box, but he’s not like that after the game.
“He realised he’s come to the stage of his career where he needs to start winning. If they win something, the fans won’t care and neither will the players.
“Jose has got them believing – and why wouldn’t you believe a serial winner? If he told them to go and stand on their head for five minutes, they would do it.”
Have something to tell us about this article?