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Danny Murphy tells Eric Dier to ‘suck it up’ after Tottenham defender complains about fan abuse

Eric Dier has been told to ‘get on with it’ by ex-England international Danny Murphy after the Tottenham defender voiced concerns about growing levels of abuse that footballers receive from fans.

Dier, who is back in the England squad after an 18-month absence, revealed that members of his family have stopped going to matches because supporter behaviour has got worse in recent years.

‘I had some family and friends at the Chelsea away game with Tottenham recently and they had problems and stuff,’ the 28-year-old admitted this week.

‘Not nice ones either. It is a huge, huge problem. It was verbal, not physical – but, like, bad stuff. I am not saying it is just Chelsea fans or Tottenham fans, it is football fans in general.

‘I never complain about this stuff and I don’t really mind. I am not dramatic about this and I don’t think anybody should be. It is really not that big a deal for me. If it is in the right way, I love that side of things.

‘But there are some things I find very strange. It is not nice. [Some of] my family would never go to an away game nowadays because of it. I feel too uncomfortable for them to go. This has been for years.

‘My mum has not been to an away game. She would love to, but I would be worried about it – and that’s crazy, isn’t it?’

Dier famously jumped in to the crowd at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in 2020 to confront a fan who was abusing his brother.

But Murphy believes that the defender needs to be more ‘resilient’ to deal with insults from the crowd and questioned whether Dier had actually received any ‘abuse’.

‘That’s life,’ Murphy said on talkSPORT. ‘I’ve been there, I’ve had it. My mum went to a couple of games, she didn’t like it, so she stopped going.

‘If you can’t put up with some verbals and some detrimental comments… you’re either resilient enough to deal with that and understand the situation you’re in, or you’re not. It’s part and parcel of going to a football match, People pay their money to do it.

‘And what is abuse? What are we talking about? There is a level of abuse nobody deserves to take, of course, so it depends. He is not very specific about what was said.

‘I think some people throw the word ‘abuse’ around. If someone is talking about how poor his performances are or how bad a footballer they think he is, and they say it with a swear word, is that abuse?

‘It’s not abuse, it’s an opinion, one that’s just stated poorly. I think there’s not enough resilience anymore. This is not anything new. When he says “these days”, these are not “these days”.

‘I have had it, my brother used to come and watch me, my dad, my mum. Some put up with it, sometimes my mates would share their opinion with someone else in the ground, but they don’t then come to me and put that pressure and burden on me. They just deal with it like grown ups.

‘Come on, you’re a big boy playing for your country! I know it’s not ideal that you feel like your family can’t go to every game if they feel a little bit offended, but that’s just the way it is. So suck it up and get on with it!

‘The same happened to me! I am him! My mum stopped going to games because she didn’t like it, so I said to her, “just don’t go”.’

Asked what Dier should tell his mother, Murphy said: ‘Go home to the nice big house I’ve bought you from playing.’

Doubling down on his belief that fan abuse is simply part of football, the former Liverpool midfielder added: ‘The level of abuse you get thrown out of a ground for is homophobia and racism, which is right – get them all out.

‘But if you’re just having an opinion on a player’s ability or their performances… it’s about perspective.

‘Do you know what I did? When my mum said, ‘People are giving you stick and I can’t listen to it’, do you know what I thought? ‘I’m going to play better’.

‘It’s really not that difficult. You can’t have your cake and eat it. It comes with being a footballer.’

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