Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Spurs duo Eric Dier and Erik Lamela will not be involved in tomorrow’s Europa League playoff.
Dier played the full 90 minutes in both Sunday’s Premier League draw with Newcastle and Tuesday’s League Cup penalty shootout win over Chelsea.
Lamela, meanwhile, came off the bench in the 79th minute against the Magpies and played the full game against the Blues two days later.
The £85,000-a-week duo both played significant roles as Spurs drew level with Chelsea late on after Timo Werner’s early opener and then went on to defeat their London rivals on spot kicks.
However, Mourinho made it clear that neither player will take part against Maccabi Haifa, acknowledging in particular that Dier playing two full games over 48 hours was “dangerous”.
“Amazing. Coco amazing,” Mourinho told Football London when asked about Lamela. “I cannot play him Thursday. Amazing performance. You speak about Coco and I understand why but everybody was really, really good.
“What Eric Dier did is not human but I needed that. I needed that third centre-back. I knew we couldn’t play with Tanganga and Toby in a match of this dimension. First match of the season for Tanganga and I knew I couldn’t.
“So I needed Eric to make that incredible effort. Of course he cannot play Thursday and this is the way we are organising very important matches, where you cannot go maximum strength and this is the way it is… what I did today with Eric Dier today is very, very dangerous.”
Spurs have done well to get the results they have over the past few days, given a fixture list so congested that Dier himself previously deemed it as a danger to player welfare.
Indeed, Dier having to rush off the pitch mid-game shows just how much of a toll this turnaround in games is taking on players’ bodies.
The footballing authorities really need to do much better to ensure this type of scenario doesn’t arise again.