Tottenham vs Arsenal: Eric Dier disagrees with Dejan Kulusevski's north London derby assessment
Eric Dier has surprisingly claimed that Tottenham Hotspur‘s first-half performance ‘wasn’t bad’ during their north London derby defeat yesterday – which was quite the contrast to Dejan Kulusevski’s post-match comments.
Tottenham put in yet another disappointing first-half display yesterday which saw them fall two goals behind against their bitter rivals Arsenal.
Hugo Lloris was at fault for the opener as he failed to deal with Bukayo Saka’s cross and parried the ball into his own net. Martin Odegaard doubled the Gunners’ lead with a stunning goal from distance just half an hour later.
Spurs fans didn’t have much to get excited about during the opening period, apart from Heung-Min Son’s chance to level the scoring.
But Dier feels that while Tottenham weren’t good in the first-half, he adds that Conte’s men weren’t bad either.
Dier disagrees with Kulusevski after north London derby defeat
“I don’t think the first half was terrible. We did good things,” Dier told Stadium Astro after the game.
“We were definitely [in the game] at 0-0, we had good spells of possession, and were finding what we wanted to do.
“But when you come in at 2-0 at half-time it looks a lot worse. But I don’t think the first-half was as bad as it would seem. It wasn’t good but it wasn’t bad.”
Spurs managed to create just one big opportunity in the first-half but above all, they were completely outplayed by Arsenal in their own backyard.
Dier’s comments are all the more baffling when you consider the fact that Spurs were lucky to go into half-time just two goals behind.
And when you compare his post-match comments to those of Kulusevski, there is a stark contrast between their outlooks on the opening 45 minutes.
The Swedish winger was arguably one of Tottenham’s brightest players on the day but feels the team’s performance wasn’t acceptable after a promising start.
“We started good and then they scored a lucky goal and after that we didn’t play good enough – we couldn’t touch them,” he told the Evening Standard.
TBR View: Tottenham need a shift in mentality
Dier’s comments will be concerning for Tottenham fans, especially after such a poor display yesterday.
Of course, Conte’s men improved in the second-half but their performance in the opening 45 minutes of a north London derby was inexcusable.
Kulusevski hit the nail on the head with his post-match assessments, but Dier was completely wide of the mark.
Tottenham need to shift the players from the ‘old guard’ over the coming transfer windows, Dier included. Spurs are in desperate need of more players like Kulusevski – players who will not accept below-par performances or try to justify them.
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