England’s Eric Dier out of favour at Tottenham but he still feels his best years are ahead of him and is eyeing Euros


ERIC DIER may look out of favour at Tottenham, but he still feels his best years are ahead of him and has next summer’s Euros on his mind.

The 49-cap England defender is closing in on a decade at Spurs and is into the final year of his contract.

AlamyEric Dier playing for Spurs against Barcelona in pre-season[/caption]

Yet he was excluded from the squad completely by Ange Postecoglou for the first two games of the season against Brentford and Manchester United.

Some Spurs fans are adamant the 29-year-old is past his peak and have not been afraid to tell him bluntly on social media.

But Dier is in no doubt he can still go up a gear, having been inspired by two of his former Spurs team-mates.

The centre-back told SunSport: “I’m 29. I genuinely believe my best years are ahead of me. I don’t just believe, I know that. 

“If I look at two of my great friends in Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele, for me they had their best years in their early 30s when I was with them at Tottenham.

“I know my best years are coming, I’m excited for that. 

“I’m really enjoying working under the manager. Obviously it’s a very different style of play but that’s enjoyable physically and mentally to learn a different style of football.

“I’ve been extremely lucky to work with (Mauricio) Pochettino, (Jose) Mourinho, (Antonio) Conte and now Ange. Every single one of them, their style is different. The way they train is different, tactically they’re different. 

“For me and my football education, I’ve been extremely lucky.”

By his own admission, Dier had a mixed season last term.

He felt the first half, where he played his way back into the England squad and ended up going to the World Cup, was some of the best football he has ever played.

But the final six months were “very difficult” as Conte left in a huff, Cristian Stellini and then Ryan Mason took caretaker charge, and Dier himself struggled with a groin problem.

The former Sporting Lisbon man had surgery before the final game of the season to cure the issue and now feels “100 per cent”.

Dier is one of Spurs’ longest-serving players, having racked up 361 appearances for the club.

Yet one look at the fan comments on his social media accounts show how that longevity and loyalty count for little with some who feel he has outstayed his welcome.

The feedback on his Instagram and Twitter can be absolutely brutal.

Yet Dier said: “Many people might say they don’t care, I’m telling you I genuinely don’t care!

“I don’t read it. You have to tell me. (In Singapore on Spurs’ pre-season tour) we did an appearance with some kids and they asked how we deal with the pressure of social media and all that stuff.

“The answer for me is real simple. You don’t look at it and then it doesn’t exist in your mind.

“That’s what I do and then I don’t care. 

“The only people that I care about is what my family says about me, and what my manager and team-mates say about me. The rest of it I really couldn’t care less.

Dier on pre-season tour in Singapore doing artwork with some local children

“For the first six months of the season, people were saying X, Y and Z about me, the next six months they were saying something else. I don’t care.

“It’s football, man. It’s not something that bothers me at all.”

There had been suggestions Spurs were looking to extend Dier’s deal.

But with the defender out of the picture right now under Postecoglou, there is also a chance he is sold before the end of the transfer window if the club gets a suitable offer.

The plan for Dier, at least last month when on tour to Australia, Thailand and Singapore, was to stay put this term.

And he still harbours an ambition to make Gareth Southgate’s squad for the Euros next summer.

Dier, who watched Saturday’s win over United from the stands alongside great mate Dele Alli, added: “Of course, (the Euros) is definitely on my mind.

“But like I always say with England stuff and Tottenham stuff, whatever, in football who knows what’s going to happen. I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow.

“For me, it’s about controlling what you can control and that’s being fit and playing well.

“The rest is in your hands. But obviously I want to be there.”

Eric Dier was taking part in a batik art class with participants from Children’s Wishing Well, a local charity in Singapore that supports children from low income and disadvantaged backgrounds to provide them with opportunities to succeed in life and equip them with skills for the future.

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