After the weekend’s results so far, Tottenham Hotspur could give their European hopes a major boost with a win in North London this afternoon.
Ryan Mason and his side welcome Wolves to N17 knowing that three points would see them leapfrog local rivals West Ham into sixth place, and that would put them just four points behind the top four, with six points left on offer.
Last time out, Spurs suffered an embarrassing 3-1 defeat to Leeds, so the interim head coach will want to see a reaction from that pathetic outing, though he could do himself a favour or two when it comes to team selection.
Up at Elland Road, Eric Dier suffered a disaster of an afternoon as Patrick Bamford ran him ragged throughout the 90 minutes and the England international was arguably at fault for all three goals.
Writing in The Athletic, Alan Shearer slammed the centre-back and questioned his involvement ahead of this summer’s European Championships. He wrote:
“We saw Tyrone Mings and Eric Dier make big errors at the weekend, but that hasn’t been uncommon this season. Dier was given the runaround during Tottenham Hotspur’s dismal 3-1 defeat at Leeds United.”
Dier allowed Jack Harrison’s cross to fly past him for their opener, was stood like a statue for Bamford’s strike and was woefully out of position when playing Raphinha onside for the third.
Defensive problems and a lack of cohesion have been the defining theme of Spurs’ turbulent season.
No centre-back has started more games in the Premier League than Dier (26) and that comes as a surprise considering their issues and his performances.
In February, former midfielder-turned-pundit Jamie O’Hara urged Jose Mourinho to drop the 27-year-old, he told talkSPORT: “As a centre-half, he just looks lost around the box. In my opinion, he needs to be dropped.”
Indeed, just a few months later, Danny Mills was heard describing Dier’s mistake against the Whites as a “defensive calamity” during commentary.
Mason may have provided a hint heading into kick-off, too.
“He’s trained well,” he revealed to reporters ahead of the match – will there be a change? Only time will tell but on the above evidence, the 29-year-old caretaker must show no mercy and chop Dier from his starting XI today.
He has let Spurs down for far too long now.