Mauricio Pochettino has said Eric Dier’s tackle on Sergio Ramos during this week’s UEFA Nations League clash exemplified the aggression and attitude he wants to see from his players as Tottenham prepare for Saturday’s London derby at West Ham.
England travelled to Seville to face Spain on Monday, and Dier raced into his opponents’ box in the 11th minute to make a crunching sliding challenge on the hosts’ captain. The 24-year-old was shown a yellow card but his pugnacity set the tone for a 3-2 victory, and Pochettino said: “The tackle was nice, it was good. He touched the ball. He was aggressive. In England, it’s never a foul.
“Dier, a holding midfielder, was pressing Sergio Ramos in the penalty area and that is the mentality that, from day one, we tried to translate to the players.
“Of course I feel proud about that because it’s a fantastic attitude, that always we need to keep pushing.
“The signal that you send to your opponents is important — to say ‘we’re not scared of you. We come here and we want to beat you.’
“You can’t always win but you are going to have the possibility to win with that attitude. With a different attitude, it’s sure the game would have been completely different, and with a different result.
“Football is about attitude and then talent. With only talent you cannot beat any team. But talent with attitude is everything.”
Dier has struggled to find form at times this season and was dropped from the starting line-up for the visit of Barcelona earlier this month. But he scored the winning goal in Spurs’ last match against Cardiff, and Pochettino feels the midfielder’s performance against Spain will also help him to put his less convincing displays behind him.
“Football is about perception, and always the last performance is the perception that keeps in our minds — in our fans’ and everyone,” said Spurs’ manager. “I always tell the players that they need to improve and improve and improve.
“It’s the same when you don’t perform as well — you need to move on and forget it, [the same as] when you play well and get a very good result.
“If you don’t perform well, you need to perform better. If you perform well, you need to keep your level and always move on, move on, move on.”
Support InfoStride News' Credible Journalism: Only credible journalism can guarantee a fair, accountable and transparent society, including democracy and government. It involves a lot of efforts and money. We need your support. Click here to Donate