Ahead of the north London derby this weekend, Tottenham Hotspur’s Eric Dier has risked the wrath of the Spurs supporters after his words in support of Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta.
With the Lilywhites sitting proudly atop the Premier League table and the Gunners way down in 14th and having scored less than half of the goals that Jose Mourinho’s side have, Dier’s words might sound a little hollow to many.
However, he was certainly effusive in his praise of the Spaniard.
“They’re going through a bit of a difficult period but in these games it doesn’t really matter, who is where in the table is irrelevant,” he said to Sky Sports, cited by Metro.
“We know how much of a difficult game it’s going to be, how much the game means for us as players and for the fanbase and the club.
“The position in the table is irrelevant and I think it’s very early on in the season for both teams. It’s going to be a great game either way and one we’re really looking forward to.
“They’ve got a lot of quality in their team and I think they’ve got a very exciting young manager.
“I think he’s maybe the most – personally, obviously I’m not on the inside! – but from what I see, the most exciting young manager in Europe, for sure.”
Although Arsenal haven’t come close to hitting the heights yet this season, the north London derby certainly presents an opportunity for redemption of sorts.
Arteta’s position doesn’t appear to be under any immediate threat, but too many more reverses and poor performances won’t give him much room for manoeuvre.
Were he to mastermind a victory over Arsenal’s closest rivals, the Gunners need to use the result as a springboard to greater things in the remainder of the 2020/21 campaign.
Dier, meanwhile, might want to lay low for a bit.