Eric Dier has suggested Jose Mourinho is more “demanding” and “ruthless” with players on an individual basis and as a team than former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Spurs went top of the Premier League after beating Manchester City 2-0 on Saturday and Mourinho has been receiving praise this season for getting results out of his players – they are unbeaten in the league since an opening day defeat to Everton.
Dier was particularly impressive against City, and after the game he explained how Tottenham have changed under Mourinho.
“I don’t think teams enjoy playing us,” Dier said (via Football London). “I think we’re physical, I think we’re aggressive, I think we’re determined, we’ve got a good attitude and the manager has definitely brought an extra edge to that.
“He’s more demanding in certain areas and ruthless with you individually and as a team so he’s definitely increased that a bit as well.”
Dier also noted that Spurs have been undeserving of the “Spursy” tag often given to them, a result of their failure to win trophies despite being a top team in recent years.
He said: “That’s something that’s quite frustrating to be honest because I think, as I said before, there were seasons where we finished second in the league and people called it Spursy.
“We finished second. We just didn’t manage to win it and people were calling that Spursy. I don’t believe this team has had that tag for a long time.”
Dier has certainly improved since Mourinho took over, likely because he no longer has to switch positions between centre-back and midfield. Concentrating on being a defender seems to be helping his mid-career development.
He hasn’t been perfect, but like so many other Tottenham players this season he appears to be fully behind what Jose Mourinho is doing – and that’s bearing fruit.