Jose Mourinho has revealed that Eric Dier met with the fan who kickstarted controversy following Tottenham’s FA Cup defeat to Norwich City back in March.
After Spurs were beaten by the Canaries in a penalty shootout, Dier climbed into the west stand to confront the fan, who was allegedly involved in an altercation with the star’s brother, Patrick (Mirror).
Dier was banned for four matches on Wednesday by the FA and fined £40,000 for his involvement in the incident.
Mourinho has now revealed that the fan in question met the England international after the incident to apologise for his actions and insisted that he was now willing to welcome the individual back to the stadium when it is safe to do so.
The Spurs boss said (Football.London): “I want fans back. I want fans back very, very much. Of course, we prefer fans to support, of course, we prefer fans to react, but lots of the beauty of football is the fans.
“I want them back. I want them back as soon as possible.
“Even that specific fan, especially because the fan had the opportunity to meet the player, had the opportunity to apologise to the player, had the opportunity to understand that we are very well paid but we are not robots.
“We are very well paid but we have families and friends that support us in the stadiums. So I think it was a good opportunity for that fan to turn his profile and become a different fan, but no space of doubt, I want fans back.
“It was his own decision to do it, because the person in this case, first of all, is a Tottenham fan and was sorry about what happened.
“The way I was told it is he had the dignity to want to apologise to him. It was a nice thing that, in normal circumstances, especially after saying that he never felt under threat at any moment of the situation, would be enough for a fair decision.”
Mourinho also lavished praise on Dier’s personality and insisted that the Football Association had picked the wrong player to make an example of.
He said: “He’s a top-level boy. He’s one of these guys that looks older than he is, the way he thinks, you can see the example that he is at the social level.
“You can see his profile even socially without being married with kids, he looks really a family stable guy, very easy to communicate with and it’s not because he speaks perfect Portuguese.
“It’s not because of that that our communication is so, so easy. He’s really a young guy with a lot of potential, part of his football qualities, a young guy with a lot of potential. To choose somebody to be the face of this decision, I think is the wrong guy.”
The Tottenham head coach also identified the 26-year-old as one of the leaders in the Spurs dressing room.
Mourinho added: “Of course he is [a leader]. He is one of the captains. To wear or not to wear the armband in a certain match is not the most important thing. A team needs more than one leader.
“It happens many, many, many, many times that the real leaders in some dressing rooms are not even the captains. I have to say that is a great situation to have the captain of England and the world champion captain in the same dressing room.
“So that’s a good starting base. When I keep opening the door for a certain kind of leadership that I want, with time, he’ll feel with more confidence and with more freedom, he can exert that leadership.”
Spurs Web Opinion
It is unfortunate that the FA still decided to punish Dier despite the fan who was involved taking responsibility for the incident and admitting that he did not feel threatened. It is particularly disappointing considering how well the 26-year-old was playing at centre-back since the restart. However, the club made the right choice in not appealing the decision. The last thing we need is for the suspension to run into the start of next season.
Have something to tell us about this article?