Eric Dier, who captained us three times last season in domestic cup competitions, was handed the England armband for the first time in the Three Lions’ friendlies against Germany and Brazil at Wembley and put in two mature displays as both games ended 0-0.
Christian Eriksen, meanwhile, scored a sparkling hat-trick to send Denmark to the World Cup. His treble was influential as the Danes came back from a goal down to eventually win 5-1 against Republic of Ireland in their play-off second leg in Dublin on Tuesday night, the first leg in Copenhagen having ended in a tense stalemate just days earlier.
Speaking to Spurs TV today (Thursday 16 November), Mauricio said the achievements of the pair reinforced the fact that we have so many ‘leaders’ in our squad.
“That is so important for us. We need to create leaders, not followers and it’s so important for them to feel that experience, to manage, be leaders and to be responsible,” he said. “The players are still young but they need to start to feel what it means to be a leader.
“Always to be a captain for your country is a very special thing and I’m happy for Eric. They had two big games like Germany and Brazil, his performance was very good and we all feel proud about his achievement.”
On Christian’s heroics, Mauricio added: “I’m very happy for him. He scored unbelievable goals, a hat-trick, and he is now in the next World Cup – a fantastic achievement for him and of course for Denmark. I’m very happy for him because he deserves to be in the World Cup next summer.”
We’ll have Mauricio’s thoughts on the north London derby here on tottenhamhotspur.com tomorrow (Friday).