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05th Nov 2017

Eric Dier reveals details on the moment Jose Mourinho “was disrespectful’ to Pochettino”

"We were talking for a very long time"

Paul Moore

“It was a difficult week for me.”

Throughout the summer, Manchester United were frequently linked with England international Eric Dier but ultimately, Jose Mourinho signed Nemanja Matic from Chelsea.

Players have often moved from White Hart Lane to Old Trafford in the past – Michael Carrick and Dimitar Berbatov being two relatively recent examples – but given Tottenham’s superior Premier League form during the 2016/17 season, any transfer involving Dier was always going to be a contentious issue.

Simply put, Spurs would be unwilling to do business with a title rival. Understandably so. The tensions between both clubs were increased though when Mourinho was seen to be laughing and joking with Dier in the Old Trafford tunnel.

Mauricio Pochettino was seething after seeing his player chatting with the Manchester United manager.

In an interview with The Sunday Times,  Dier was asked about Pochettino’s account of the events in his most recent book.

The midfielder said:

“The book has come out now, so it has resurfaced, but for a long time, my relationship with the manager has been great. It’s always been very great. We were talking for a very long time. And all of that week, really, we were in constant dialogue. It was a difficult week for me. The manager’s point of view was [the friendliness with Mourinho] was disrespectful to him.”

Regarding the reasons why he was seen to be laughing and joking with the former Real Madrid and Inter Milan manager, Dier said that their shared familiarity with Portugal was a factor.

“Portuguese people are very proud and it’s a small country. It doesn’t have the economic power of a country such as England, so people like Mourinho, Ronaldo, they’re extremely proud of it. Growing up there I was within all that, you know? I didn’t want to be disrespectful to anyone. I completely understand where the manager was coming from but I believe I was stuck in the middle of something I couldn’t really affect.”

Prior to the recent meeting between Manchester United and Spurs, Mourinho hoped to put this issue to rest by saying:

“What I know is that every season during the summer, even before the summer, Mauricio calls me, I call Mauricio about my players – available, not available – so I don’t know why I should be [talking to Dier] in a football match, in the tunnel. Maybe it is to try to sell books, maybe his ghostwriter wants to make some money.”