Football

Dutch Boss Ronald Koeman Points At Where Virgil Van Dijk Needs To Improve

Dutch Boss Ronald Koeman Points At Where Virgil Van Dijk Needs To Improve

Liverpool may have the best defensive record in the Premier League (along with Man City), but that hasn't stopped Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman from criticising Virgil Van Dijk's recent form.

The Dutch captain made a rare error on Sunday against Manchester City, needlessly fouling Leroy Sane in the box, giving Pep Guardiola's men the chance to win in the dying minutes.

Thankfully for the centre back Riyad Mahrez skied the resultant penalty into row z and Liverpool got away with a 0-0 draw.

Most Liverpool fans will have forgiven Van Dijk for the error in judgement, but his national team manager is not so quick to forget.

virgil van dijk liverpool

Koeman pointed to the 27-year-old's part in the Netherland's last internatinal outing, a 2-1 defeat to France in which Van Dijk was beaten to the ball by Olivier Giroud to give Les Bleus the win:

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I told Virgil within 30 seconds of the end of the game against France what I thought. I know him so well – and that means I know where all his little faults are.

The former Everton manager insisted that the defender still needs to improve, citing his laid back nature as one of his weak points:

Virgil has to improve. Not a lot. But sometimes he is a little too laid back. That needs to change. And, particularly in Van Dijk's case, because of the strength and power he has he is too laid back.

On Monday, when he arrived in our training camp in Zeist, he could see from the look on my face that I was thinking about the foul he made when Liverpool played Man City on Sunday. The tackle cost his team a penalty and Virgil realised that he had made the wrong decision.

We have had lots of conversations about defending. He knows how good he is, and with his pace and strength, but sometimes that makes him a little too laid back, because he can recover most situations.

Despite his slight criticism of his captain, Koeman stated that his little defensive blips will not affect his chances of making the Dutch team saying that  Van Dijk is still his 'main man'.

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Eoin Lyons