Tottenham Hotspur star Eric Dier on the differences between English and Portuguese youth development

Tottenham WHL

The 21-year old has been a revelation for Spurs this season.

Tottenham Hotspur defender Eric Dier has given an insight into the differences between youth development in Portugal and England and stated his preference for the former, in an interview with the Guardian.

Dier joined Sporting Lisbon’s famous academy at an early age and went on to progress steadily through the ranks.

He was sent to Everton on loan in January 2011 in a bid to expose him to a more physically demanding environment, and the change of setting has given him a unique insight into the mentality behind developing youngsters in both countries.

“It’s a very relaxed approach at Sporting in terms of football,” said Dier.

“They pride themselves on bringing you up as a polite and respectful person. They would never get angry with you if you missed a pass but they would do if you were disrespectful to someone. There was no shouting. I hear a lot that that is the case in England.

“A good player for them was someone who could understand when they made a mistake and correct it for themselves. When I first came to England to play, I saw coaches having a go at players when they made mistakes and then they would literally be talking them through the game.

“In Portugal, the coach would sit on the bench and not say a word. We’d just play. It was a matter of us making mistakes and learning from them by ourselves. You understand the game a lot better that way. For me, the sign of a bad player is someone who makes the same mistake twice,” he added.

The 21-year old’s footballing education has clearly held him in good stead to adapt to Mauricio Pochettino’s demands this season.

Central midfield was something of an issue for Spurs going into the season but Dier’s emergence has provided the naturally defensive mindset that had previously been missing there.

Spurs look a far more solid and balanced team with the young star in the heart of midfield and letter of thanks to the Sporting academy staff regarding one of their finest products may just be in order.

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