'It was a bit of a shock!' - Eric recalls dream debut
Sat 21 February 2015, 09:05|Tottenham Hotspur
Eric Dier will never forget a sunny afternoon in East London on August 16, 2014 – and neither will the 3,000 Spurs fans present!
The youngster snapped up from Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon on July 31 was selected for his full Spurs and Premier League debut at Upton Park and what is always a fierce London derby against West Ham.
But Eric stepped up to the plate - spectacularly.
Not only did he switch from centre-half to right-back following Kyle Naughton’s red card, but he defended stoutly to help us to a clean sheet before, from nowhere, bombing forward from deep to latch onto Harry Kane’s pass, skip around Adrian in the West Ham goal and roll home the winner in the 93rd minute!
“This fixture brings back great memories,” smiled Eric, who has performed well of late back at centre-half alongside Jan Vertonghen.
“It was my official debut for the club, my Premier League debut and to score the winner late on made it a great day for me.
“I was just happy to play to be honest and to score on top of that, well, I never imagined it.”
His reaction said it all - time appeared to stand still for a moment before the players went mad in front of the Spurs fans! “I didn’t really know what to do to be honest!” he admitted. “I don’t score that many. It was a bit of a shock!”
Sunday’s return match in a 12 noon kick-off at the Lane sees the Hammers sitting eighth after an impressive campaign in the Premier League.
They’ve stuttered somewhat of late with only two wins in their last 10 but stats can be misleading - they’ve also lost just one of the last six in league action.
“West Ham have been really good this season and they’ve improved massively since we played them,” added Eric, who now has 22 appearances in all competitions to his name, including 12 starts in the Premier League.
“Full credit to them, they’ve kicked on and gone to another level. We know it will be a tough game.”