Who could he possibly mean?! Eric Dier blasts the ‘unfair narrative’ around him this season and says ‘one mistake is talked about like it’s four or five’… weeks after now-sacked boss Jose Mourinho criticised him
- Eric Dier and Tottenham have had an underwhelming season that promised more
- Dier has made individual errors that have cost Spurs at time this campaign
- He has started Spurs’ last three games since Ryan Mason came in as interim boss
Eric Dier has hit back at criticism of his form, claiming he has been the victim of an ‘unfair narrative’ this season, with his mistakes amplified and blamed for Tottenham’s failings.
He did not mention Jose Mourinho by name but the former Spurs boss was clearly on his mind as he reflected on a campaign that promised so much and has fizzled into disappointment.
‘At times, I feel like it’s a bit unfair,’ said Dier, taking time to select his words carefully. ‘Sometimes I’ve made a mistake or something has led to a goal and one mistake is talked about like it’s four or five. I’ve felt that at times. Just the narrative I see that is painted of me.
Tottenham’s Eric Dier has slammed the ‘unfair criticism’ he has received for this term’s displays
Dier believes an error on his part is magnified with Spurs overall having a disappointing season
‘It doesn’t really bother me too much. It’s football. I just need to worry about myself and keep trying to do better. I’m my own biggest critic and I know where I can improve and when I can improve.
‘As defenders, you’re always going to make mistakes at times, and the most important thing is how you react to them.
‘The fans have seen what I can do in glimpses, especially at the beginning of the season. I think I had a very good first six months and it dropped a little bit for a few games. But I feel like I’ve been back to a good place for a couple of months now.’
Mourinho dropped Dier after Tottenham’s home defeat by Chelsea in January, when the defender was widely criticised for conceding a penalty, and claimed he was suffering a dip in confidence, which the England defender later denied.
The 27-year-old was recalled, then dropped again after a defeat at West Ham in February.
Dier was often in and out of the Spurs XI under Jose Mourinho – before his sacking last month
He sat out six Premier League games in a succession, but was present for the humbling defeat at Dinamo Zagreb. Spurs took a 2-0 lead to Croatia only to collapse, lose 3-0 after extra-time and crash out of the Europa League.
Mourinho clearly grew dissatisfied with his defensive options, switching impatiently between different combinations of Dier, Davinson Sanchez, Toby Alderweireld and Joe Rodon, and reverting to a back-three for his final game in charge, at Everton.
As all of this unfolded, Dier lost his England place, an unused sub as John Stones, Harry Maguire, Conor Coady and Tyrone Mings were capped by Gareth Southgate in March.
In three games since Mourinho’s exit, however, interim boss Ryan Mason has restored his partnership with Alderweireld.
‘I’m really happy to have played the last three,’ said Dier. ‘I’ve felt good in those games. I want to be playing, I want to be performing to a level I know I can. I believe I can still perform to a much higher level. I’ve just got to keep working hard and improving.’
However, he has started all three games since Ryan Mason took over as interim manager
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