Former Premier League defender Damien Delaney has questioned the body language of one Liverpool defender when he’s out on the pitch.
Despite helping his nation to a 3-0 defeat over Greece last night Virgil van Dijk has been labelled as ‘casual’ and Delaney believes his actions have a negative affect on the rest of his team.
The 31-year-old, who has previously been labelled ‘fantastic’ by Jurgen Klopp (via Daily Mail), has been urged to get back to his previous level which seen him recognised as the world’s best defender by many.
“They’re in a period of change, the manager is there looking to implement certain ideas, when implementing change and playing the likes of France, Croatia and Italy you will get caught out badly,” Delaney told Virgin Media Sport (via The Boot Room). “They got a good win against Gibraltar, they need to win tonight and go on a run to finish strongly. I agree that there is a casualness and a lackadaisical feel. Absolutely, he is one (Van Dijk), the captain sets the tone and takes the lead. Other players will pick up on his energy and sometimes he is very casual and other players it rubs off on them, and the casualness seeps into the team. He needs to set the tone and the tempo, playing quick, strong, defending correctly and engaging players to stop shots getting in on goal.”
Our No. 4 played the full 90 minutes for the Netherlands last night with Cody Gakpo also in the starting XI and on the scoresheet.
There’s no doubt that van Dijk remains one of the best defenders in the world but injuries have certainly resulted in him losing some sharpness.
Strikers used to have absolutely no chance of getting past the former Southampton man but last season he was far from his best – as were many of Klopp’s players.
Before being sent off against Newcastle at the end of last month the Breda-born talent was looking good and today’s news of the defender’s further one game suspension is frustrating.
We don’t believe there should be too much concern about our skipper’s performances and look forward to welcoming him back into the side.