MX23RW : Friday, October 19 12:01:18

Ronald Koeman critical of 'laid-back' Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk

Koeman critical of 'laid-back' Van Dijk
© Reuters
Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman criticises Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk for being "too laid back" in matches.

Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman has claimed that Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk "has to improve" for both club and country.

Van Dijk has starred for the Merseyside giants since the start of 2018, but the Dutchman conceded what could have proven to be a crucial spot kick in Sunday's Premier League fixture against Manchester City.

Riyad Mahrez missed the resulting penalty, but the incident has only led to Koeman suggesting that the 27-year-old is "too laid back".

Koeman is quoted by The Mirror as saying: "I know him so well – and that means I know where all his little faults are. Virgil has to improve. Not a lot, but sometimes he is a little too laid back. That needs to change.

"There are moments as a defender when you should be no more than three feet away from the striker you are marking. 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."

Liverpool possess the joint-best defence in the Premier League this season with just three goals being conceded in eight matches.

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Virgil van Dijk fouls Leroy Sane in Liverpool's goalless Premier League draw with Manchester City on October 7, 2018
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Van Dijk relieved after late Mahrez pen miss
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City86202131820
2Chelsea86201851320
3Liverpool86201531220
4Arsenal86021910918
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs8602157818
6Bournemouth85121612416
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves843196315
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd84131314-113
9Watford84131112-113
10Leicester CityLeicester84041412212
11Everton83321312112
12Burnley82241012-28
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton8224913-48
14Crystal Palace821559-47
15West Ham UnitedWest Ham8215813-57
16Southampton8125614-85
17Fulham8125921-125
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield8035417-133
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle8026613-72
20Cardiff CityCardiff8026417-132

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