THE NOTEBOOK: Eric Dier STILL can't get into the Tottenham team

THE NOTEBOOK: Eric Dier STILL can’t get into the Tottenham team despite all the injuries, Jacob Ramsey could set his sights on Euro 2024 and Johan Lange wants a centre-back and a striker in the next two windows

  • Aston Villa took a smash and grab win from the Tottenham Hotspur stadium 
  • Eric Dier remains firmly on the fringes despite a raft of injuries suffered at Spurs
  • The curse of our game is abuse of referees, we are not doing enough to stop it. The punishments must be HARSH – It’s All Kicking Off

Aston Villa snatched a brillanat win away at Tottenham Hotspur to leapfrog their North London opponents into the top four for the first time since 2009. 

Unai Emery’s side were put under intense pressure in the first half as Spurs came out the blocks all guns blazing. 

Giovanni Lo Celso gave Ange Postecoglou’s side the lead with an excellent effort that deflected off Diego Carlos to beat Emiliano Martinez in goal.

However Villa struck back through Pau Torres as the Spaniard latched on to an incredible Douglas Luiz cross to head home the equalise before Ollie Watkins played an excellent one-two with Youri Tielemans before finishing smartly past Vicario. 

Mail Sport’s SAMI MOKBEL takes a look at some of things you may have missed. 

Ollie Watkins smashed home the winner for Aston Villa as they took all three points home

The England international is incredible form and has just bagged his seventh league goal of the season

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Eric Dier remains out in the cold 

Not that Eric Dier needed reminding, but if there was ever a hint from his manager that he has no future Tottenham then this was it.

Dier made his first start of the season in Spurs’ previous game against Wolves – a 2-1 defeat, after spending the opening months of the season on the bench or frozen out of match-day squads altogether.

He was back on the sidelines against Villa despite the fact Mickey van de Ven (injured) and Cristian Romero (suspended) were unavailable.

What’s more, he was benched for Emerson Royal – a full-back.

By all accounts, Dier hasn’t been a moments trouble behind the scenes despite his peripheral role – though sources at Spurs claim there was one rather frosty conversation between the defender and chairman Daniel Levy in the days leading up to the summer transfer deadline.

Ange Postecoglou is said to have been entirely honest with Dier over his position in his plans – a stance the former England star has appreciated.

But for as long Postecoglou is in charge, it is increasingly clear that Dier’s days at Tottenham are numbered.

However, with Dier’s contract expiring in the summer – raising the prospect of a lucrative free transfer ahead of next season – there are no guarantees Dier would even be open to leaving in January.

Eric Dier is clearly unfancied by Ange Postecoglou and has struggled badly for minutes

Jacob Ramsey’s England future 

If Jacob Ramsey’s season hadn’t been ruined by injury then it is very possible he’d have been a full England international by now.

Ramsey made his first appearance since September 30 here after recovering from the recurrence of a foot problem that originally ruled him out for 10 weeks over the summer and the start of the season.

The news arrives as a major boost to Aston Villa but also Ramsey, who now hopes to make a late run for Euro 2024.

Sources have told Mail Sport that Gareth Southgate was plotting to promote the England Under-21 international into one of his three previous senior parties since the start of the campaign.

There is just one more squad before Southgate names his final 23 for Germany, which may work against Ramsey. But he’s certainly on Southgate’s radar.

Jacob Ramsey’s return to football could give him a late chance at making England’s Euro squad

Johan Lange sets his sights on the next transfer windows

Tottenham technical director Johan Lange is wasting no time in piecing together his blueprint for the first transfer window under his stewardship.

The Danish administrator, who joined from yesterday’s opponents Aston Villa last month, spent the preceding week locked in recruitment planning meetings as he formulates a plan of action ahead of January.

Spurs are prioritising a centre-back and a striker in the next two windows, and last week’s discussions are understood to have centred around identifying targets and budgets for those positions.

Given how Spurs have coped without Van de Ven and Romero, the signing of a new defender would be money well spent.

Danish administrator Johan Lange joined from yesterday’s opponents Aston Villa last month

Terry Venables powers of persuasion

Never underestimate Terry Venables’ powers of persuasion. The legend’s former Tottenham team-mate Phil Beal regaled this fantastic story to an emotional crowd just hours after the news of Venables’ sad passing was confirmed.

‘Me and Terry went to watch Fulham play one day. We were a bit late and couldn’t find anywhere to park. But then Terry spots this tiny space.

‘He asked me if he could fit in the gap – I said it was too small. So he gets out of the car and starts knocking on some doors. One guy comes out and Terry asks him: “Is that your car?”. 

The guy replies: “Yes that’s mine. Why?”. Terry responds: “You wouldn’t mind moving it so I can fit my car in?”. He answers: “Yes, of course, no problem Terry!”. RIP Terry Venables.

 Spurs’ injury crisis

The injury problems are mounting for Spurs. With James Maddison and Van de Ven already missing until January at the absolute earliest, Postecoglou didn’t have the option to call upon midfielder Pape Matar Sarr due to a muscular problem picked up on international duty with Senegal. 

The sight of Rodrigo Bentancur, making his first start since February 11 after recovering from a long-term knee injury, limping off with a suspected ankle problem won’t have improved the Spurs manager’s mood. 

Pau Torres powers home a brilliant header from Douglas Luiz’s incredible freekick delivery 


It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify.

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