MX23RW : Friday, December 14 01:31:51

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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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool1613303462842
2Manchester CityMan City1613214593641
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs16120430161436
4Chelsea16104233132034
5Arsenal16104235201534
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd167542826226
7Everton166642319424
8Bournemouth167272526-123
9Leicester CityLeicester166462120122
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves166461719-222
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham166372325-221
12Watford166372023-321
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton166371922-321
14Cardiff CityCardiff1642101530-1514
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle163491322-913
16Crystal Palace1633101323-1012
17Burnley1633101532-1712
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1624101027-1710
19Southampton161691330-179
20Fulham1623111640-249

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