Roberts defends Eric Dier, explains how Tottenham leave him exposed

White Hart Lane 6

Tottenham Hotspur legend Graham Roberts has defended under fire star Eric Dier.

Tottenham Hotspur legend Graham Roberts has defended under pressure youngster Eric Dier on talkSPORT and explained how Spurs often leave him exposed in the back four.

Dier has come in for some criticism for his performance last weekend against Manchester United, with Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini in particular causing him some problems.

“He’s young (Dier) and he’s got to learn. The thing about it is we defend and we defend too wide and we leave gaps, with two against two,” said Roberts.

“Surely the full-backs should tuck in a bit – our first port of call is for the full-backs to get forward instead of tucking in to help the two centre halves.”

Dier has made a good impact since he joined Tottenham last summer from Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon.

He’s forced his way into a central defensive partnership alongside Jan Vertonghen, ahead of two very good and experienced options in the form of Federico Fazio and Younes Kaboul.

He does have that injection of pace, which any defender needs but the performance against United showed that he does struggle to compete in some physical duels.

That’s something that he can develop in terms of hard work in the gym and by also working with manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Pochettino needs to try and help him in terms of his positioning, while also encouraging the team, as Roberts suggests, to help him out across the back four where possible.

He’s got a lot of promise and plenty of time ahead of him to become a refined centre back and it’s now important that he shows he’s learned from last weekend.

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