Monday 11 December 2017

Eric Dier angered by Ander Herrera's flying elbow and hints at revenge mission when Spurs meet United

Spain's Ander Herrera clashes with England's Eric Dier after the match last night
Spain's Ander Herrera clashes with England's Eric Dier after the match last night

Matt Law

Eric Dier accused “dirty” Ander Herrera of elbowing him in the face during England’s friendly draw with Spain before suggesting he will seek revenge when Tottenham Hotspur clash with Manchester United next month.

Midfielder Dier was angered by a flying elbow from United’s Herrera five minutes before the end of Tuesday night’s Wembley draw in which Spain staged a late fightback.

Goals from Adam Lallana and Jamie Vardy looked to have secured England an impressive win, but Iago Aspas and Isco struck in the dying stages to rob Gareth Southgate’s men of victory.

Dier, though, was more annoyed by the challenge of Herrera, who he confronted at the time of the incident.

“I think it’s pretty clear what he did and I can feel it on my cheek now,” said Dier. “So I know what he did and I don’t like that kind of stuff.

“I don’t mind people kicking each other at times and stuff, but that’s just dirty and not needed. I’ve made a pass and it was a long time afterwards and he’s elbowed me in the face and I just can’t see why. For me, it’s just ridiculous.”

Tottenham travel to United on December 11 and Dier made it clear he will be looking out for Herrera.

Asked whether he sought an apology from the United man, Dier said: “I don’t need him to apologise. I’ll see him soon…

“These things happen. But I don’t know why he did it, to be honest. That’s why I was angry. It was just strange and it’s not nice.”

Despite the fact England could not hang on for the win, Southgate was delighted by his side’s performance at Wembley and declared that he had “proved” himself during his four-game caretaker spell.

But, even though the FA plan to hand him the full-time job with Graeme Le Saux reportedly on the selection panel, Southgate remained coy over his own future.

“I've proved I can manage big matches, that I can tactically – with the help of my staff – prepare a team to play against a top side and give them a tough test,” said Southgate.

“I feel every situation I've been through, and many have been complex and potential powder kegs, we've coped with very well. I'm pleased with how we've coped with it all. More than that, we've built some important stability for the group of players and the team.

"I can handle big occasions. I know myself pretty well but until you are thrown into matches like last Friday (the World Cup qualifier against Scotland) under intense pressure and tactical challenges like today you never know how it is going to be.”

Asked why he wouldn’t go as far as publicly stating that he now wants the full-time job, Southgate replied: “Because I don't think that's the way people should do their business. I think it's right to speak privately about those matters. My whole focus has been on getting results for the team and the country, and I'm proud to have done that.”

Wayne Rooney missed the Spain game after being allowed to leave the England squad with an injury, although stories and pictures have emerged that allege he stayed up drinking with wedding guests at the Grove Hotel on Saturday night.

“Wayne was injured in the game on Friday, couldn't train Sunday, and that's it,” said Southgate.

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