Mauricio Pochettino believes Eric Dier’s impressive tackle on Sergio Ramos for England was born from the mentality he has enforced at Tottenham.
Dier clattered into the Spain defender early on in the Three Lions’ 3-2 Nations League win on Monday, setting the tone for a brilliant first-half performance which saw Gareth Southgate’s men forge a 3-0 half-time lead.
Footage of the Spurs midfielder’s tackle has been made into memes and GIFs and gone viral on the internet and it left Pochettino feeling proud of his player.
“The tackle was nice, eh?” he said. “The tackle was good. He touched the ball. He was aggressive.
“In England, it’s never a foul. Of course, in Europe it’s different but in England it’s never a foul. But to be brave like this…
“Look, Dier, a holding midfielder, was pressing Sergio Ramos in the penalty area and that is the mentality that – from day one – we tried to translate to the players.
“Of course, I feel proud about that. It’s a fantastic attitude, that always we need to keep pushing.”
Pochettino felt the tackle, which was given as a foul and earned Dier a yellow card, sent out a message that England were not scared of Spain.
“The signal that you send to your opponents is important,” he added.
“To say, ‘we are not scared of you. We come here and we want to beat you. Ok, we can play good or bad, or better or deserve (to win) in the end’, but always it’s about the attitude.
“You can’t win always but you are going to have the possibility to win with that attitude.
“With different attitudes, sure, the game was completely different and (you see) different results.
“Football is about attitude and then talent. With only talent you cannot beat any team. But talent with attitude is everything.”
Dier will be given the green light to produce similar when Tottenham visit West Ham on Saturday.
Pochettino’s side have won the last three Premier League games to record their joint-best start and are chasing a fifth-successive London derby win.
The game is expected to be more difficult than it might have been a few weeks ago as the Hammers have improved and Pochettino is taking nothing for granted.
He added: “The approach is like always – to try to go there and win. Of course West Ham are doing so well in the last few weeks.
“They drew against Chelsea and they beat Manchester United. They have improved a lot from the beginning.
“We’re going to face a team that’s in very good shape, with a fantastic manager. I admire a lot Manuel (Pellegrini) and I’m sure he’s going to do a fantastic job there.
“Of course it’s a derby, it’s a special game and that will be emotional for the fans, and that’s why the approach will be trying to win the game and trying to be better than them.
“West Ham are a very good team with very good players and it will be such a tough game.”