Virgil van Dijk is really growing into his role as Liverpool’s leader both on and off the field.
Jordan Henderson is a good captain, but with the Englishman not likely to start every game once Fabinho and Naby Keita get up to scratch, the Dutchman will wear the armband on a regular basis.
The world-class centre-back has discussed our defeat to PSG on Wednesday evening and told fans to remember we’re actually a very good side and will bounce back, despite the disappointment.
“We don’t need to forget that we played Napoli, one of the best teams in Europe; PSG, one of the favourites to win the Champions League; and obviously the game in Belgrade was not good enough,” he said, reported in Football365.
“We don’t need to (think) we are a s*** team, basically. It can happen. But the frustrating thing is how we conceded the goals and then it’s always difficult to come back.
“I don’t know if there’s any explanation for that right now because I can’t think of one, otherwise we should have used it already.
“But now we need to look forward and the only option for us to qualify is to win against Napoli, no matter what.”
Interestingly, van Dijk also discussed PSG’s reprehensible antics during the game, in which they time-wasted, feigned injury, tried to get our players booked and dived theatrically.
The 27-year-old actually suggested that when faced with an opponent using such dirty tricks, Liverpool should be willing to use the dark arts ourselves.
“Sometimes they get hit and they will go down and sometimes I think it’s too easy and I’m getting so frustrated. It’s important to keep your head cool but…
“Every time we made a foul they all came to the ref trying to get us a yellow card. We should do the same at times and I think in the second half we did it better. It’s not the type of game that I like.
“We still respect them how they are as players because they’re world-class players, but it’s not really necessary at times.
“But they scored two goals, we lost and that’s it.”
Thankfully, we’re still in a good position to qualify – and can worry about our away form in Europe at some other point.
We’ve lost our last five away European matches, including the Champions League Final, which is obviously not good enough and needs to be corrected.
But a victory over Napoli at Anfield should be achievable if we come out fast and attack our Italian opponents.