ERIC DIER knows what disaster looks like for England.
At Euro 2016, he felt the chills of the shambolic loss to Iceland – one of the Three Lions’ deepest moments.
Then the Spurs star was redeemed as a key man in the run to the semifinals of the last World Cup.
But the versatile defender failed to form the squad that reached the nation’s first major final in 55 years at last summer’s European Championships.
So don’t tell him Gareth Southgate deserves the slurs he’s received for a dismal Nations League campaign this year.
Dier said: “It’s crazy talk and perception changes so quickly.
“You have to remember what England did before.
“He has guided England to a World Cup semi-final and a Euro final and we are talking about small margins changing the outcome of those results.
“The criticism is crazy after a small string of results considering how England have fared in these tournaments – and he’s been at the forefront of that.”
Dier is one of just seven survivors in Qatar from Roy Hodgson’s 23-man squad for Euro 2016.
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He said: “I was 21 then and it was a great experience for me but a very disappointing tournament for England so I learned a lot.
“The World Cup in Russia was a great release for us after the 2016 European Championship and things have been looking up ever since.
“People ask if I was upset that I didn’t go to the Euros and I say that obviously it was the right decision because they reached the final! You have to keep an eye on things.”
Dier broke England’s penalty shootout hoodoo four years ago in the round of 16 against Colombia (right).
But before an 18-month exile from the squad ended in September, his recall hopes appeared to be on the line.
Dier said: “I would be lying if I said I didn’t think it was possible. These thoughts go through your head.
“When I missed the European Championship it was one of the worst moments of my career.
“But I always say that if that’s one of the worst moments, I must have had a pretty good career. My club manager Antonio Conte said in the summer I just have to play better.
“I don’t think he said I played badly the season before – I think he just said I need to play better!
“Last season – especially since he arrived – I felt like it was some of the best football I’ve ever played and I feel like I’ve continued that this season.
“So I’m just grateful to be here now and very proud of myself for managing to fight my way back up.
“I’m also very grateful to the people who have supported me and helped me get back here, my family, the manager and all his coaching staff at the club.
“And also my team-mates at my club because it was special how they supported me to get back in and how happy they were when I made it.”
One of those Tottenham team-mates – and another survivor of England’s 2016 trough – is captain Harry Kane.
The talisman of the three lions not only has to carry the expectation of delivering goals, but is also increasingly appearing as a spokesman for topics outside of football.
Dier said: “I played with him pretty much my whole career. One of the great things about him is that he hasn’t really changed. He’s still the same.
“I mean that in the nicest way as he works extremely hard and is extremely humble.
“I think he has great values. He has been captain of England for some time and has a lot of experience in that role.
“The last couple of years have been the toughest for him, up until this tournament, but he’s handling it well.
“The goals speak for themselves. That’s because of him as a professional and his way of working.
“Generally speaking, if you see him up close, he’s just extremely consistent in his behavior and I think that translates into his consistency on the pitch.”
For decades, until Southgate’s appointment in 2016, the only consistent thing about England was underperformance.
No wonder Dier is so happy to be a part of the gang again.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6719007/england-world-cup-dier-southgate-criticism-crazy-iceland-2016/ England star Eric Dier calls Gareth Southgate’s criticism ‘insane’ as he recalls Euro 2016 disaster against Iceland