Neil Humphreys: Jose Mourinho won't stand for Dier stuff
Spurs manager's hooking of the midfielder a sign of his ruthless streak
Tear off the purple Tottenham Hotspur pyjamas. Erase the rehearsed one-liners. Remove the plastic smile and welcome back the real Jose Mourinho.
The nice guy act lasted about a week, but the Dr Jekyll lark never fooled anyone. There's nowhere to hide for Spurs' miscreants now that Mr Hyde is back in the building.
A ruthless creator kills his babies in that exhausting search for perfection and those babies don't come more cherubic than Eric Dier.
The 25-year-old even retains his fresh-faced, precocious features so he didn't stand a chance in the Champions League yesterday morning (Singapore time). The defensive midfielder reached half an hour against Olympiakos.
Mourinho needed a public sacrifice, a proverbial head on a spike to dissuade others in the dressing room from taking the lazy walk to mediocrity.
Like Keyser Soze in The Usual Suspects, he showed these men of will what will really looks like. In the movie, Keyser shot his own children. In Tottenham's midfield, Mourinho shot the messenger.
Dier was expected to do the fetching and carrying against Olympiakos but, after 29 minutes, he hadn't done either. He had barely touched the ball. Spurs were 2-0 down and facing abject humiliation.
Mourinho hauled him off, a degrading substitution at the best of times and these were not the best of times. Dier practically sprinted to the dugout, leaving no one in any doubt of his injury-free status.
But the greater symbolism belonged to the new manager. This dire stuff that masqueraded as elite football under Mauricio Pochettino's trophy-less nearly men will no longer be tolerated in Mourinho's repressive world of fine margins.
Even ball boys are expected to go above and beyond for the cause. A quick throw from an enterprising ball boy set Tottenham on their way to an equaliser and earned a grateful hug from Mourinho.
After the game, he waxed lyrical about the kid's ability to read a game in real time as Mourinho once did, when he was an "intelligent" ball boy in Portugal.
Everything is about Mourinho, even when he claims otherwise.
The ball boy, Dele Alli's sudden resurgence and the early hooking of the hapless Dier, every aspect of the game serves the cult of Mourinho and his quest for absolute control.
The fact that Dier hadn't been Tottenham's worst player - he had considerable competition in that regard - was beside the point. His removal was a warning to others. No one is safe.
The days of Dier, Alli, Lucas Moura and Harry Winks coasting through contests for an avuncular coach are done.
At left-back, Danny Rose pulled off the rare feat of failing two auditions in one night, being at fault for both of Olympiakos' goals.
But his natural replacement, Ben Davies, was injured so Dier was plucked instead, like a farmer's first turkey in the run-up to Christmas.
Whether Dier deserved to be the initial sacrifice won't concern Mourinho as much as the smattering of boos around the ground when Spurs went 2-0 down.
Booing became commonplace at Old Trafford only at the very end of his torrid reign at Manchester United.
The Tottenham supporters are yet to sing Mourinho's name. He was once employed by the old enemy, twice, over at Stamford Bridge. There's still a sense of "wait and see" among the Spurs faithful. The relationship must be earned.
So the new manager needed to hear boos before half-time like he needed a two-goal deficit against average opposition.
Mourinho obviously gambled in replacing Dier with Christian Eriksen, who currently looks lonelier than Macaulay Culkin being left home alone.
But these are risk-free PR opportunities for the Machiavellian one. Dier's substitution and Eriksen's inevitable departure are excuses to engage in a little sabre-rattling.
Poor performances and sulking craftsmen were overly indulged under the previous management, but no more. Mourinho is taking a stand.
Even if these power plays fail, he can theatrically throw up his hands - as he did after Olympiakos' second goal - and remind his audience of the characterless club he inherited. He's just doing his best with the other guy's mess.
With a relatively easy home game against Bournemouth up next, Mourinho has the chance to win three on the spin while baring his teeth at the weak and vulnerable.
In fact, his calculated decision to seek out and hug the ball boy, in front of the cameras, exposed the real Mourinho.
He'll make time for anyone who helps him win, but has absolutely no patience for anyone who doesn't.