It feels like it’s been forever since Tottenham Hotspur were playing good football, and there’s now a sense of acknowledgement, even among the players, that things aren’t going according to plan. Eric Dier has now broken his silence, opening up on Tottenham’s website ahead of this weekend’s match against Watford and saying that the entire club — players, staff, supporters — needs to come together to snap Spurs out of the doldrums.
“We’ve wanted to get to the point where we are considered a team that if you lose two games like that, you come in for a lot of criticism. Now, we have to embrace the situation. We’ve got to this point and now we need to... as I said to the press after the Brighton game, we can’t back down, we need to push forward, push through it, fight through it, everyone together.
“I really feel the mentality in the building is ‘let’s fight through this’. I don’t want us to be one of those teams that allows a situation like this escalate and eventually bring us down. I want us to all stand up and push through it and that’s the feeling from everyone here. We’re a very realistic group, very realistic about our situation and we know we need to do better.
“One of the hardest things in football is not to take the highs too high and the lows too low. We need to try to keep that balance. I know sometimes that’s difficult (with all the opinions outside the Club) but that’s the reality and as I said, you can go through a good period or a bad period and both will be blown out of all proportion.”
One of the things supporters have been wondering about is where exactly the division at the club lies — who are the players who are unhappy, who are sticking by the club. It feels as though, by virtue of coming out with a big pro-togetherness interview, Dier is someone who is in the latter group. I can’t imagine that he’d come out with a piece like this publicly without truly believing in the project that Mauricio Pochettino has put together at Spurs, even though he was among the first players that Poch signed after arriving five seasons ago.
“To be honest, after Brighton, I wanted to play again the next day. It’s never nice going into an international break on that note and having to wait this long. At the same time, it gives you time to settle and put your emotions in the right place. Hopefully that’s what we’ll do, and we can all push through this as a Club. We need everyone - players, staff, fans - to stand up and push through this.
“For me, the main thing is we’ve been working all together – okay, some people have gone, some people have come in - but working all together over the last five years to get to the point where this is the conversation when you lose two games on the trot...
“It’s always been one of this team’s strengths, coming together and getting ourselves out of difficult situations in games, in tough periods. We’ve shown that so many times and my drive, and everyone’s drive, is to get us out of this situation as well.”
It’s a statement at how far Spurs have come under Pochettino that the club can be going through one of the worst periods of his tenure and are still only three points out of fourth place going into this weekend’s match against Watford. Thanks to the international break, the players have had two weeks now to get the Bayern and Brighton results out of their minds and hopefully into a better headspace. While the suggestions hint at Pochettino ringing in the changes in the short to medium term, it certainly appears that Dier is going to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.