Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has seen plenty to concern him in recent times.
Following the manager’s excellent work at Southampton it appeared Spurs had hired a boss who could take them to the next level. But 11 games into their latest Premier League campaign Tottenham are 12th in the table with just four wins all season.
Fans of the club are voicing their concerns with alarming regularity and when you consider Pochettino’s habit of making half-time substitutions – which suggests he does not know his best side – and the questions over some players’ involvement or lack thereof, the former Argentina international would welcome any good news right now.
Well he may have found some, following the announcement that Eric Dier has opted not to join up with England’s under-21 side in favour of working himself into contention for a centre-back role at White Hart Lane.
Much has already been written about Dier’s decision, but the fact that a player is happy to ignore the possibility of international success in favour of his club responsibilities can only be a good thing for Spurs.
It would be easy for Dier to use the international break as an acceptable excuse to avoid the pressure surrounding his club for a few days; to take a break from it all and face Portugal and France with few demands on his shoulders. But instead Dier has decided to work hard under the watchful gaze of Pochettino in the hope of forcing his way into the starting XI more regularly.
It is a refreshing approach and reason enough for the Tottenham boss to smile, at least a little bit. In Dier he has a player who wants to show what he can do in the English top flight. Now he can only hope his teammates follow, well aware that the hard work is only just beginning.