‘If they’re honest…’ – Ferdinand responds to Van Dijk’s ‘ex-footballers’ dig with Champions League reminder

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Rio Ferdinand wasn’t too sure about Virgil van Dijk’s post-match comments after the 2-1 Ajax win in which he hit out at the club’s critics following a difficult start to the season.

The Dutchman accused pundits of trying to ‘get us down’ while the Reds find themselves loitering outside the top four places having only won two of their opening six league games.

“If I thought it was wrong or personal then I’d get the hump,” the ex-Manchester United star said on BT Sport post-game, as quoted on talkSPORT.

“If it was deserved, I’ll hold my hands up and say. But listen, the performance in Naples, if they’re honest every single one of them will say ‘pfft, it was a bad day at the office and we deserved the criticism that we got’.

“But I think we reiterated on the night, we wasn’t saying they became a bad team overnight or bad players, it was a bad performance.”

The former Southampton centre-half has struggled for form, or rather to reach his uniquely remarkable levels this term.

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We’d expect the lessening of the number of injuries plaguing the squad of late to have a noticeable impact on performance on its own – one only need look as far as Thiago Alcantara’s return to the side for our latest Champions League win.

That being said, it’s clear in general that work still needs to be done on the training ground to work on deficiencies.

We simply can’t allow levels to drop so drastically, nor for fundamentals like the counter-press to suffer, when our No.6 isn’t available through injury or for rotational purposes.

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