Pundit lashes Nuno favourite ‘nowhere near’ good enough for Tottenham

Chelsea's Thiago Silva heads in a goal against Tottenham

England star Eric Dier has been labelled ‘nowhere near‘ good enough to play for Tottenham after his comical own goal against Newcastle on Sunday.

The 27-year-old managed to put the ball into his own net with just a minute left on the clock. That made the scoreline 3-2 in Spurs’ favour and they saw out the match to claim all three points. But it meant the final few moments at St James’ Park were more tense than they should have been.

Goals by Tanguy Ndombele, Harry Kane and Son Heung-min made the half-time score 3-1 following Callum Wilson’s second-minute opener. It appeared as though that would also be the final score until Dier chested the ball past Hugo Lloris from a set-piece.

Former Leeds United and Middlesbrough striker Noel Whelan was far from impressed. And he thinks it is symptomatic of bigger problems with the former Sporting ace.

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“That own goal was one of the worst ever and the problem with Eric Dier is he makes these mistakes too often,” he told Football Insider. “For an experienced England international, you have to question whether he is good enough for Tottenham. At times, he looks nowhere near.

“He’s a good competitor and no-one can question his commitment to Tottenham. But, you look at his performances and he is hardly a reliable centre-back at the top level.”

Nuno puts faith in Dier

Dier is a player who can feature in many positions and quite often anchors midfield. But he has been used as a centre-back in 2021-2022 by manager Nuno Espirito Santo.

The Portuguese tactician has handed him a start in all eight of Spurs’ top-flight games this term. The Cheltenham-born star also has 45 England caps to his name.

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However, he has not featured for the Three Lions since 2020. It remains to be seen if Gareth Southgate offers him another chance.

But Whelan feels the ex-Everton youth star does not measure up favourably to a few former Spurs stoppers.

“You compare him to Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen, Ledley King, that kind of players, and Dier is a long way from that level,” he added.

Toby Alderweireld and Moussa Sissoko in Tottenham team photo

The north Londoners sit fifth in the Premier League standings and travel to West Ham United on Sunday. Before then, they are in Europa League action with a Group G clash against Dutch outfit Vitesse on Thursday.

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