Eric Dier

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In the Mixed Zone with JPW: Episode 3

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NBC Sports’ Pro Soccer Talk lead writer and editor Joe Prince-Wright shares his behind-the-scenes access into the Premier League mixed zones highlighting the intriguing interviews from this week’s marquee matches.

This week, JPW shares his mixed zone interviews from Wolves-Tottenham, Watford-Liverpool and Everton-Man United.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

He also spoke exclusively with Eric Dier who for the first time revealed that he is keen to play in his natural position at center back under Jose Mourinho, rather than in midfield.

“I have always been very politically correct on the subject because of many different reasons but I’ve come to a… It’s been something that isn’t new for me. The old manager knew where I stood for a long time about position and centre-back is where I see my future and I think where I can be the best I can be. With Pochettino, I started to play there this season, in the two games before he left, and I’m happy I got the chance to play there under Mourinho,” Dier said.

To listen to more from the mixed zone with Joe Prince-Wright as he takes you deep inside stadiums, subscribe to In the Mixed Zone with JPW Podcast on Apple Podcasts or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

And you can follow him on Twitter @JPW_NBCSports here.

Click here for In the Mixed Zone with archive ]

Click play below to listen to Episode 3 in full.

Mourinho reacts to Dier’s confrontation with fan

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Tottenham’s night went from bad to worse on Wednesday, as defender Eric Dier was pictured running into the stands at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to confront a fan.

Following Tottenham’s FA Cup fourth round defeat to Norwich City on penalty kicks, Dier reportedly jumped over the advertising hoardings and climbed into the stands, away from where his teammates were heading back into the tunnel. Multiple supporters in the stands posted videos of stewards holding Dier back, as he reportedly shouted at a fan who may have been verbally abusing members of his family.

After the match, Jose Mourinho said he felt going into the stands was the wrong action to take, but also backed Dier for what he and his family may have experienced.

“I cannot run away from the question and I think Eric Dier did something that we professionals cannot but, in these circumstances, something that every one of us would do,” Mourinho told our partners Sky Sports after the match. “When someone insults you and your family is there, and your family gets involved with the person that is insulting you, in this case your younger brother, I think Eric did what we professionals cannot but, I repeat, probably every one of us would do. I am with the player and understand the player.”

In the video below, posted by a Tottenham supporter, Dier can be heard shouting “That’s my brother.” Whatever the abuse was, whether to his actual brother or to one of his teammates, Dier could clearly hear it from the field and had had enough.

In the video below, we see how Dier entered the stands after the match. It remains to be seen what Dier’s punishment will be, but there will no doubt be a fine and suspension coming his way from the FA. This could have a potential big impact on Tottenham for the rest of the season, if a suspension overlaps with the Premier League.

 

Mourinho praises ‘phenomenal’ Dele, Spurs supporters

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Spurs aren’t happy with how they ended Saturday’s 3-2 win over Bournemouth, but they know they more than controlled the proceedings and collected the three points that matter so much.

Tottenham improved to 3-0 in all competitions under Jose Mourinho, building a three-goal lead over the Cherries in moving into fifth place for the time being.

[ RECAP: Spurs 3-2 Bournemouth ]

“I felt the boys felt a bit tired after playing a high intensity game, but we had the chance to score the fourth goals, but then in the Premier League the game is always alive,” Mourinho said. “We played well for long period of the games, we had a few scary moments but I think the fans enjoyed. We scored seven goals in four days.”

Dele Alli starred with two goals, and has been a different player in recent weeks.

Mourinho is loving what he’s seeing out of a player who’s had an off period following a superstar start to life in the Premier League.

“He plays in a position where he feels happy and comfortable, we also give him space for his creativity which he always has,” Mourinho said of Dele. “I think he played three phenomenal matches since I arrived.”

The supporters have tentatively climbed about the Mou train, giving him a fine reception at home.

The manager is pleased with that.

“The fans love the club, I’m not saying they love me but they accept me as a top professional who wants to give everything for the club,” Mourinho said, via the BBC.

“People have more reasons to love me if they like my work, but the fans are behind the team and the see us working hard to get to a position in the table that is more suitable to the talent of this squad.”

Up next is a big one for the boss, and his new charges are ready for the atmosphere.

Eric Dier is aware of what midweek means for Jose Mourinho, away to Manchester United.

“Next one is a massive game for us and also for the manager coming back to his old club and it’s always a great place to go,” Dier said. “We had some good results there and hopefully we can have another one.”

Dier to miss Spurs Asia tour

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As PST’s own Kyle Bonn rightly said, nothing marks the start of a Premier League preseason like players either showing up injured or suffering an injury early on.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

This is the case for Tottenham, which announced on Saturday in a vaguely, short message on its website that Eric Dier had undergone surgery, and would thus miss the team’s preseason tour of Asia.

Eric Dier has undergone a medical procedure to correct an issue detected during medical assessments on the first day of pre-season training,” Tottenham said in the statement. “Following the successful procedure Eric will now undertake a short period of rehabilitation. He will therefore not travel on the Club’s pre-season tour to Singapore and Shanghai.”

It’s another bad sign for Tottenham and Dier. The England international played just 20 Premier League games last season due to various injuries. He missed time due to thigh, calf, and hip injuries, as well as appendicitis. Now, after a month off following the UEFA Nations League, Dier should have arrived healthy. However, whatever the ongoing problem is, it’s going to at the least delay him building his base for the 2019-2020 season.

Tottenham faces Juventus on July 21 in Singapore, Manchester United on July 25 in Shanghai, China, and then Inter Milan on August 4 back home in London, all part of the International Champions Cup.

 

Spurs wind up fourth after last-day draw with Everton (video)

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  • Dier smashes home from a CK (3′)
  • Walcott & Sigurdsson hit back (69′ & 72′)
  • Eriksen’s FK makes it 2-2 (75′)
  • Spurs finish with 71 points
  • Everton come 8th, with 54 points

In the end, Tottenham Hotspur got themselves over the finish line — even if just barely — to finish fourth in the Premier League and secure their place in next season’s Champions League, regardless of what happens in this season’s final three weeks from yesterday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Mauricio Pochettino‘s blew an early lead them came back to draw Everton at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday, securing their place as the fourth-best side in the PL. With Chelsea drawing Leicester City on the final day, a win would have put Spurs third and seen them finish top of the PL’s seven London clubs.

Tottenham needed just three minutes to find the net after being held scoreless in each of their last two PL games. Erik Lamela‘s corner kick wasn’t clear at the first time of asking and the ball fell to the feet of an unsuspecting Eric Dier, who hadn’t scored a goal all season after missing half of the season through various injuries. Dier made no mistake with his rare sight of goal and smashed it home for 1-0.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Everton drew level with Spurs, through a former Arsenal man assisted by a former Spurs man, in the 69th minute. Gylfi Sigurdsson found Theo Walcott near the edge of the box, where he cut inside and drilled a left-footed shot low and just inside the far post.

Spurs fell behind just three minutes later, when Cenk Tosun bundled the ball over the line. No one in a white shirt could put a foot through the ball from a corner kick — much like Dier’s opener — and the Turkish international did just enough to put it an inch or two over the line.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Everton led for all of three minutes, thanks to a stunning free kick from Christian Eriksen. The Danish midfielder set up 22 yards out, on the left side of the goal, and hit it ever so perfectly around the wall and just inside the far post. With the ball bouncing just in front of Jordan Pickford, England’s no. 1 could do nothing to keep it out.