The Pochettino decision that proved crucial v Arsenal; same again at Liverpool?

Pochettino

The Tottenham Hotspur boss got his back four spot on against the Gunners.

Mauricio Pochettino got so many decisions right during Saturday's north London derby that you'd miss Tuesday night's Liverpool game trying to list them all.

One decision the Spurs boss got spot on, however, has perhaps been received with less publicity than others, in light of the many star performances during the 2-1 conquest of fierce rivals Arsenal.

Harry Kane stole the headlines, Ryan Mason, Nabil Bentaleb and Danny Rose shared out some of the plaudits. But how much mention did Eric Dier get after Tottenham's memorable victory?

Granted, the Spurs star wasn't quite ignored in the aftermath of the Arsenal win. Dier's strong performance was acknowledged - one that added to a string of fine displays from him at centre-back this season.

But Pochettino's decision to pick the 21-year-old at the heart of his defence was, while straightforward, a vital one.

Had Federico Fazio started against the Gunners, Tottenham might not have been basking in the glory that came after their 2-1 win.

That's not to say Fazio is a bad defender - nor is it a suggestion that Dier is now Pochettino's first choice. The duo will rightly be rotated alongside Jan Vertonghen as Spurs juggle Premier League, European and Capital One Cup action between now and the end of the season.

Yet, up against the pace of the Arsenal front line, Fazio would have folded. The Argentine is a beast in the air but, up against the likes of Danny Welbeck, Mesut Ozil and more, Dier was the man for the job - and Pochettino acknowledged that.

The question now is whether the Tottenham boss opts for the same back line against Liverpool tomorrow night. Jordon Ibe, Raheem Sterling, Lazar Markovic (and potentially Daniel Sturridge) all have pace to burn.

Is Dier, with the 21-year-old's faster legs, the man to deal with Liverpool - or does Poch revert to Fazio?

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