Eric Dier: Draw at Arsenal shows talk of a Tottenham ‘crisis’ has been overblown
Eric Dier feels talk of a crisis at Tottenham has been rather overblown after the Lilywhites earned a 1-1 draw at Arsenal in yesterday’s north London derby and maintained their unbeaten record in the Premier League.
Spurs arrived at the Emirates having failed to win any of their six previous games in all competitions, after drawing four times and losing twice.
The latest defeat on Wednesday, just three days before the trip to the Emirates, as Spurs went down 1-0 against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League at Wembley.
The nature of that poor performance, which left Mauricio Pochettino’s side third in Group E, prompted some to predict a one-sided derby on Sunday - and the Gunners led 1-0 at half-time after Kevin Wimmer’s own goal.
But Harry Kane levelled from the penalty spot after the break to earn a share of the spoils, and Spurs remain unbeaten in their 11 top-flight fixtures so far this term.
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“People started talking about Tottenham being in crisis during the week - we haven’t lost yet in the Premier League,” said Dier. “Obviously the Champions League was very disappointing but I think it’s a funny crisis if you’re unbeaten in the league.
“The manager doesn’t need to say anything to us - as players we understand and know that on Wednesday we were nowhere near good enough.
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“Everyone knows that and when you play Arsenal away three days later it isn’t nice, but you have to move on from it, forget about it and go again.
“There isn’t time to sulk or cry over it. We know we weren’t good enough and it’s very disappointing - we worked so hard last year to be in the Champions League and our performances haven’t been good enough.
“We’re all disappointed about that but this is football and there’s no point dwelling on the past. We have just got to look forward now.”
Pochettino surprised Arsenal by changing his formation in the derby, playing with three central defenders and deploying Kyle Walker and Danny Rose as wing-backs.
“The first time we knew about it was Saturday,” said Dier. “We worked on it in training and we went there and played it. It was probably a good thing because we didn’t think too much about it and we just got on with it.
“The manager thought it was best to play this formation and I think it was a risk that shows our character and our attitude - we’re not afraid to do anything and try anything. We did that and I think it paid off.
“Sometimes it’s nice to freshen it up, do something different and try something new. We enjoyed it and I think it worked well.”
Tottenham went into the last international break on a high, having beaten Manchester City 2-0 at White Hart Lane, but the pause in domestic action halted their momentum, and the Lilywhites have not won since.
Spurs’ internationals are now departing again, denying them the chance to build on their encouraging result in the derby again.
But Dier said: “I’m just now looking forward to going away with England really. That’s the way it’s set up, there’s nothing you can do about it.
“Last time we beat City and then went away on an international break. The first game back is usually hard when the players come back at different times, but we have a lot of international players and we should be used to it by now.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs