Jamie Redknapp has urged Gareth Southgate to stick to his attacking instincts if Dele Alli misses Saturday’s game with Sweden.
The Spurs midfielder was brought on for his club team-mate in the last-16 tie with Colombia on Tuesday night, with nine minutes of normal time remaining and England leading 1-0.
Dier went on to net the winning spot-kick in the penalty shootout which sent England through to the quarter-finals after the tie finished 1-1 after extra-time.
He was preferred to Ruben Loftus-Cheek off the bench but the change to the Three Lions’ approach left Redknapp feeling England had helped Colombia wrestle back the initiative before their injury-time equaliser.
He told Sky Sports: “Gareth Southgate has been really good in this World Cup, the only backwards step was maybe bringing on Eric Dier. Once he came on, I felt we lost the initiative a little bit. We sat back. Jordan Henderson had been looking so good in that defensive midfield role but started to push on. We started to make a couple of defensive errors and getting a bit edgy.
“A substitution like that can say to the players that we’re going to hang onto what we’ve got, and I think that can create a little bit of negativity. In this day and age, it doesn’t seem to work that well.
“But I understand why Gareth did it, it’s the first thought at the time that you’ve got to defend and hang onto what you’ve got, but I thought besides that England were very composed.”
Ahead of a quarter-final against a Sweden side known for their defensive quality, Southgate, who earned 57 caps for England and was part of the squad which reached the semi-finals of Euro 96, said he would choose against replacing Alli with Dier again should the former be ruled out with injury on Saturday.
He said: “We are playing against a Sweden side that will sit back, so do you want to bring in an Eric Dier? I think you’d be better off putting an attacking midfield player. I thought Ruben Loftus-Cheek caused Tunisia a lot of problems when he came on with his power, and I think he’d give the Swedes a lot of problems.
“The other ones you look at, [if} Ashley Young [is] not fit you’ve got Fabien Delph or Danny Rose. With Vardy, it’s a shame because he’s a great impact sub. You’d want him to come off the bench, although you’ve got Rashford as well.”