Jermaine Jenas feels that Eric Dier is a player “not good enough to play for Tottenham right now” following his display in Spurs’ Premier League defeat at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last time out, but some fans think the 26-year-old performed admirably on the day.
Dier, a versatile defensive player, has largely been deployed as a defensive midfielder during his time at Spurs, with 134 competitive appearances in that position compared to 69 at centre-back, as noted on Transfermarkt.
The England international played in central defence for Tottenham against Wolves at the weekend, and despite their 3-2 defeat, his performance saw mixed reviews amongst fans, some thinking he did well and could improve going forward.
Writing on BBC Sport, Jenas questioned Jose Mourinho’s recent chopping and changing at central defence, saying: “There are not many teams in the history of football that, if they change their two centre-halves as often as Tottenham do, are successful. Partnerships have to be made and Spurs do not have one right now.
“Was Toby Alderweireld rested because of the baby situation on Sunday? That is not the manager’s fault, but before that there had been a lot of changes – three at the back, Toby with Japhet Tanganga, Toby with Jan Vertonghen, Toby with Davinson Sanchez.
“On Sunday, Eric Dier came in out of nowhere and Dier is a player I continuously look at and feel he is not good enough to play for Tottenham right now, along with a couple of others.”
After the Wolves game, Dier himself is quoted by the official Spurs website as saying: “Centre-back is where I see my future and I think where I can be the best I can be.”
Some Tottenham fans agreed with Dier’s comments and felt he did a decent job in the position, with further improvements going forward as he gets more accustomed to the position – similar sentiments echoed by Mourinho himself (HaytersTV YouTube channel).
Here is some of what was said on social media:
Glad he thinks so as he’s a good centre back and will get even better with games. He’s not a central midfielder at this level.
— Paul Crabb (@PaulJCrabb) March 2, 2020
Honestly thought he did good at CB
— Thomas (@RizzoTHFC) March 2, 2020
This isn’t a surprise even from his good season in holding mid everyone always said he will end up being a centre half. Give him game time and will come good
— Adam (@adamhotspurs) March 2, 2020
And you are going to be great there, Eric!
— Stephen John Taylor (@StephenJohnTay4) March 3, 2020
Always said top centre back
— danny gardner (@danny0x0) March 2, 2020
He’s better at centre back than cdm. But we have stronger in those positions
— Mark Lucas (@Mark_lucasSkem) March 2, 2020
Yes man, he did a good work in that position
— Piero Goñi (@GoniPiero) March 3, 2020