Sam Allardyce spoke to talkSPORT on Tuesday morning and uttered words which may still be giggled at in years to come.
The former England manager said: “The praise about Busquets must be stopped, it was never evident last night, he looked out of sorts. He’s no better or worse then Eric Dier, for me.
“Busquets is a sitting midfield player who breaks up play, intercepts, passes it very quickly and is intelligent. That’s what he is. He’s not much more than that, but he gets a lot of praise for it.
“Whereas Eric Dier does a similar job, but sometimes gets loads of criticism for it. He [Dier] has got the capability of being that.”
These comments have resulted in endless English language news articles poking fun, but it’s far more entertaining to see what the Catalan media make of the comparison between Tottenham and Barcelona midfielders.
Mundo Deportivo aren’t too happy about the situation and go with a Thursday headline saying: ‘The odious comparison with Sergio Busquets’
It’s pointed out that Allardyce is ‘an English coach without a team’ and ‘entertains himself’ talking about football.
They then let loose: ‘With all the respect for those who have sat on a bench, it does not seem that Dier is better than Busquets. They play in the same position and almost have the same height, but the characteristics are very different. Sergio has grown up with receiving and passing, in the occupation of spaces and in sublimation, with Guardiola, of the purest Barça DNA of control and speed of the ball.
‘Dier has not sucked in the magic potion and, therefore, his football is different when it comes to conceiving the creation of the game. England does not attack like Barça and, therefore, the functions of their midfielder are very different. Yes that in Tottenham, Pochettino tries to dominate the rivals through the ball but, in the end, it is about giving long passes so that Harry Kane and Dele Alli look for action. Dier is very good, Sergio is a unique crack.’
There’s the danger of this all turning into a hounding of Dier and following the Tottenham player around, so it’s right to point out the midfielder did have a very good game against Spain and was, even according to the Spanish media, better than Busquets if only for that one night.
The midfielder also doesn’t have a typical English football education. Moving to Portugal with his family as a child, Dier came through the famed Sporting academy before moving to Tottenham in 2014 at the age of 20.