Ledley King claims ‘negative narrative’ led to Euro 2020 snub for Spurs man

Ledley King
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur First Team Assistant coach Ledley King has admitted that he was left surprised by the decision not to include Eric Dier in the England squad for Euro 2020.

Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate decided to leave the Spurs defender out of his provisional 33-man squad ahead of this summer’s rearranged competition having selected a blend of experience and youth in Harry Maguire, Conor Coady, John Stones, Ben Godfrey and Ben White.

Dier had been a regular in Southgate’s plans in recent years and played a key role during the World Cup in Russia three years ago. However, his form for Spurs this season has meant that he has missed out on a place in the squad.

King claimed that he would have thought that the 27-year-old would have made the cut given his experience and stated that Tottenham’s dip in form is one of the reasons behind it.

The former Spurs skipper also highlighted that he believes there was something of a spotlight on the defenders at the North London outfit, with criticism quick to appear if a mistake was made.

He told the Evening Standard: “For me, the only real surprise from England’s Euro 2020 squad was Eric Dier being left out, at least of the provisional 33.

“Eric’s a leader, he enjoys responsibility and he has got the experience of previous tournaments.

“I know Gareth Southgate said it was his most difficult decision and, having worked with Eric this season at Tottenham, for the majority he was excellent, especially at the beginning.

“It was the first year he committed to playing just one position but I think the team’s dip in form played a part in him not making the squad. It doesn’t help when you don’t have a consistent partner and there are a lot of changes around the back four.

“I haven’t spoken to him since the last day of the season, but we obviously had discussions throughout.

“Even when the team was performing well and we weren’t conceding many, there still seemed to be a negative narrative around the defenders. There were individual mistakes from Eric and others — and that’s what people remember.”

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