As is often the case for Tottenham Hotspur this season, it was another game in which they dropped points from a winning position.
Jose Mourinho has seen his Spurs side now drop a whopping 18 points having led in 21 of their 31 Premier League outings after they were defeated 3-1 by Manchester United in north London.
In an attempt to put a stop to the frequent mistakes in his backline, the Portuguese turned to Eric Dier, in what was his first appearance in the top-flight for six outings.
The England international came in for Davinson Sanchez, who was at fault for Newcastle’s late equaliser a week ago.
Dier simply failed to repay the faith put in him by his manager, and as a result, he badly let Mourinho – and Spurs – down with a shocking performance.
He was awfully lucky that Edinson Cavani’s first strike was ruled out through VAR as the lethal United striker had beaten him all ends up with sublime movement.
That was a recurring theme for the 27-year-old midfielder-turned-defender as he never really knew where the opposition was – he was again caught napping for the second, leaving the Uruguayan once again, and for the third goal, he was far too static as Mason Greenwood rounded off a calamitous afternoon.
The warning signs were there pre-game, too, as Sky Sports pundit Roy Keane told supporters in the build-up to kick-off that Dier is “not good enough” to play centre-back.
His subsequent figures would back that up.
Alasdair Gold was particularly scathing in his post-match ratings for football.london, ranking Dier amongst Spurs’ worst performers with a 5/10. No other home defender was given worse.
Whilst, as per SofaScore, the £22.5m-rated disaster has a big influence on how this side plays, managing the third-highest number of touches with 67 throughout the 90 minutes but from that, he lost possession 16 times, the second-most of any Spurs player.
It means Dier effectively gifted possession back to a rampant United side once every four touches, and once every five-and-a-half minutes.
Similarly, he was equally wasteful with the ball at his feet, making just 74% of his 53 passing attempts, which is below his season average of 82%. Not only is that underwhelming but instead of playing it out from the back to good effect, he made just four of 14 long balls (28.5%).
It’s no wonder the Red Devils dominated possession (54%), particularly in the second half (59%).
There is a reason Dier was axed from Mourinho’s starting XI for six straight league games and now the Spurs boss will be thinking again before trusting him.
That performance saw his faith completely betrayed. Perhaps it’s time to throw the dice to Toby Aldwereireld, who must be wondering what he must to do garner a start in this side.
AND in other news, Exclusive: Gary Mabbutt claims Spurs miss one man after huge transfer decision…