Eric Dier was once a promising resource for England, but can he ever be the same again?
Dier was largely responsible for the collapse of Tottenham Hotspur’s defense last season. He was heavily criticized by fans for his slow pace, passive defense, and narrow defensive coverage. The reason Spurs finished eighth in the league last season despite scoring 70 goals was because they conceded 63.
Was Dyer a defender who made basic mistakes from the start? In the past, he’s been a highly touted resource, even earning a call-up to the England age-group squad. A product of Sporting Lisbon’s youth system, Dyer donned a Tottenham shirt in the summer of 2014 and made an immediate impact, scoring his debut goal against West Ham United on his EPL debut in the 2014/15 season.
After making 36 appearances across all competitions in 2014/15 as a center back and right back, he stepped up his game in 2015/16. Mauricio Pochettino, the Tottenham manager at the time, began using Dier in a defensive midfield role. Dier switched positions at the age of 21.
It was a stroke of genius. Playing as a defensive midfielder, Dyer became an integral part of Tottenham’s midfield. In 2015/16, Dier made 51 appearances, cementing his place in the first team. In 2016/17, he became more of a utility player, playing not only as a defensive midfielder but also as a stopper at the back. In 2017/18, Dyer was still going strong, making 47 appearances.
Dyer’s success at Tottenham caught the attention of the England national team. Head coach Gareth Southgate called up Dyer for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. In his first World Cup, Dyer stepped up to the plate as a penalty kicker in the round of 16 against Colombia and converted.
Dyer’s rise to prominence slowed in the 2018/19 season. Injuries were the culprit. Dyer was plagued by appendix surgery, a viral infection, and a hip injury that season, which limited him to 28 appearances behind the likes of Moussa Sissoko and Harry Winks. He didn’t even make the starting lineup for the UEFA Champions League final.
After the 2018/19 season, Dier’s career went downhill. When Pochettino was sacked and Jose Mourinho took over, Dier was used as a first-choice defensive midfielder, but he struggled to regain his form. Mourinho made the decision to drop Dier to center back, but it didn’t work. He seemed to improve briefly at the end of the 2019/20 season, but returned to his old ways in 2020/21.
In November 2021, Antonio Conte moved Dyer to the center of the back three. With left-back Ben Davies and right-back Christian Romero, the defensive burden was reduced and he seemed to improve. Last season, however, Dier’s form slipped again as he was blamed for Tottenham’s defensive woes.
Under Enze Postecoglou, Dier’s future looks bleak. Spurs have brought in Dutch defensive prospect Mickey van der Vaart, who is quicker than Dier, having reached a top speed of 35.97 km/h in the Bundesliga last season. Van der Vaart is a better fit for Postecoglou’s philosophy than Dier.
He had to show promise in preseason, but he failed to do so. On September 9, Dyer was at fault for a goal against FC Barcelona in the Juan Gamper Trophy. He conceded a goal in the 36th minute 카지노 when he failed to contain opposing striker Ferran Torres when a cross came in from the side. In second-half stoppage time, he failed to clear a penetrating pass from Torres, allowing Ansu Pati to score. Tottenham lost the match 2-4.
Let’s be honest, it’s hard to see Dyer returning to his old form now; he was born in 1994 and is already in his late 20s. Dyer’s contract with Spurs ends in June 2024. It’s looking increasingly likely that this will be the last season we’ll see Dyer in Spurs colors.