Jack Of All Trades, Master of None?


There can be no doubt that the £4m signing of Eric Dier from Sporting Lisbon 3 years ago was a shrewd investment however what Saturday’s loss to Manchester City has proved is that against the elite teams, Dier cannot be trusted at the heart of our defence. 

Since joining us, Dier has played as a makeshift right-back, centre-half and at the heart of our midfield which has proved to be the position that he has flourished the most for club and country.  However, should Dier be in our first XI if we have a full squad to pick from?   The three centre-halves of Sanchez, Alderweireld and Vertoghen is unquestionably ideal for the Pochettino philosophy of playing out from the back as all three defenders are composed and comfortable with the ball at their feet and it is no coincidence that all three have played for Ajax who have the well-documented philosophy of “total football”.

The physical presence of Wanyama to help shield the defence has proved to be a great signing who chipped in with 5 goals last season and was ideal for us in dealing with set-pieces which we’ve looked vulnerable from in his absence.  A Wanyama/Dembele partnership in the middle of midfield for me would be first-choice although I can’t envisage Dembele at 30 years old being with us long-term due to the various time he is out of the team through injury.

Dier has proved to me to be a Jack of all trades but a master of none and should an offer of £50m have been offered for him to join Manchester United, then I would have accepted that bid as for me he is good utility player but not indispensable for what he offers to the club as we strive for progression from last season.  

I would continue with the current club philosophy of investing in home-grown players such as Harry Winks or signing players of the calibre of Davinson Sanchez from Ajax who already looks a bargain at £42 million and is only 21 years old. 

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  1. It's true that Dier found his best position, through Poch, in defensive midfield ..even though he was
    bought as a defender. It's also true that even in DM position, he's not the player he was over the
    last couple of years (ditto Dele Alli ..both distracted by riches elsewhere since we finished 2nd??).
    Last season, I preferred Dier over Wanyama in that DM role, as the
    latter was prone to too many late tackles and yellow cards and couldn't pass as well as Dier.
    Although Dier's tackling and interceptions have been often very good this season, both in defence or
    midfield, his passing/distribution, however, has not. And that clear vision passing attribute is VITAL for a
    central defender or defensive midfielder in a top team. Hopefully it's just a blip, or the fact that Wanyama's
    presence has not been there to shake him up in a competitive sense. I didn't miss Wanyama much
    when he was fit but not playing, because Dier was excellent then ..but I miss Wanyama now!


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