By Wayne Veysey

28th Dec, 2016 | 9:33pm

This defender is not good enough: Three things we learned about Tottenham in win v Southampton

By Editor Wayne Veysey

Football Insider analyses three talking points from Tottenham’s 4-1 win against Southampton in the Premier League on Wednesday night.

Dier should be axed

What an odd season this has been for Eric Dier. After a brilliant 2015-16 campaign in which he was reinvented as a midfielder, he has reverted to type for much of this season. But it would be stretching credulity to state that the 22-year-old has slotted seamlessly back into the old routine at centre-back. Dier has looked nervous and indecisive in the position where he made his name, and that was the case once again at St Mary’s Stadium. With Toby Alderweireld sidelined with a virus, Dier partnered Jan Vertonghen and the Englishman was all over the place in the early exchanges. Alderweireld, who has been the finest centre-back in the Premier League in the last season-and-a-half, should walk straight back into the starting XI. Dier is an accident waiting to happen at centre-back and is not good enough in that position.

Alli is back to his best

Following a slow start to the campaign, Dele Alli is starting to look like the player who lit up 2015-16. The reigning PFA Young Player of the Year scored two well taken goals and won the penalty missed by Harry Kane as Spurs came from behind to claim a notable triumph. Alli has not only scored three goals in two matches but also lifted his tally to 26 major contributions to a Premier League goal in his 50th appearance in the competition. The 20-year-old playmaker has now scored 16 goals and supplied 10 assists in the top flight to provide further evidence that he is back to his best.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

Top four is best Spurs can hope for

This was a fine win for Maurico Pochettino’s side at the manager’s old stamping ground. Spurs were all over the place early on but were dominant once they had overcome the early pressure and gained a foothold in the match. However, a third consecutive win does not suddenly make Tottenham title challengers. Far from it. Tottenham have fallen short against their title rivals this season and there is little evidence to suggest they are genuine contenders for the crown. The Spurs squad does not appear strong enough to battle for anything other than a top-four place.

In other Tottenham news, this is the real reason why Toby Alderweireld was absent for the clash against Southampton.