Former Leeds United forward Noel Whelan has suggested that Eric Dier now needs to knuckle down and force his way back into Jose Mourinho’s starting eleven
Dier was a regular on the Spurs teamsheet at the start of the campaign, with the England international being paired alternatively with Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez.
Jose Mourinho seemed to settle on a Dier-Alderweireld pairing as his first choice after Spurs went on an impressive run of form and were sitting at the top of the table until December.
However, the 26-year-old’s form subsequently dipped and Mourinho chopped and changed his centre-back pairing over the next couple of months.
The Portuguese coach has now started Sanchez and Alderwiereld together in Tottenham’s last three Premier League games and both players have seen an upturn in form, with the North Londoners winning all three games, conceding just one goal in the process.
Whelan now believes that Dier faces a battle on his hands to get himself back into the starting eleven.
The pundit told Football Insider: “It’s a difficult one, isn’t it? Jose Mourinho always liked Eric Dier. He went to sign him at Manchester United.
“Maybe because of certain results, he’s been forced to change the partnership. There’s no doubt Alderweireld is head-and-shoulders above any other centre half at the club. He’s international quality and the type of leader you need out there.
“I think Eric Dier just needs to knuckle down and fight for his place like a lot of players have had to do.
“Dele Alli has been out in the cold but he’s fought for his place and now he’s getting an opportunity, as has Gareth Bale.
“When you’re at a big club and you’re not playing well you’ve got to expect that you’re going to get changed, you’re going to be on the bench.
“There’s that much competition that you can’t afford to have too many off days, and I think Eric Dier has done. He’s given away penalties and needless free-kicks and that’s probably contributed.”
Spurs Web Opinion
I believe it might actually help Dier to take him out of the firing line for a few weeks. Sanchez has made just as many mistakes as Dier if not more this season but the Colombian has been brilliant over the past few weeks and deserves to start alongside Alderweireld at the moment.
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