Cole slams Van Dijk for ‘reaction’ in Liverpool defeat – ‘Don’t want that from your captain’

Will Ford
Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk during a match

Joe Cole wasn’t impressed with Virgil van Dijk’s ‘reaction’ to Bournemouth’s winner against Liverpool on Saturday, after Dango Ouattara “strolled past him”.

Liverpool were way short of their best against bottom side Bournemouth, who claimed a huge win over Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Fresh from their 7-0 thumping of Manchester United, Liverpool struggled to create chances and far too open at the back at the Vitality Stadium.

And Van Dijk was at fault for Philip Billings’ first-half winner, allowing Ouattara to breeze past him on the edge of the box to set up his teammate.

Van Dijk appeared to give up his chase of the Bournemouth man, before throwing his arms up in the air in frustration when the ball hit the back of the net.

Cole wasn’t impressed with Van Dijk’s defending and reaction, insisting he would expect more of the captain.

He told BT Sport: “It’s a simple pass over top. Now he gets back in, now he needs to switch on, he should be in business. When have we ever seen Van Dijk just let someone stroll past him in that situation. [He] switches off,” said the pundit.

“Look at the reaction. You don’t want that for your captain.”

Speaking post-match, Klopp admitted Bournemouth’s goal “should probably have been defendable”.

“We cannot go through it completely, pass the ball, don’t cover the space,” Klopp said.

“I don’t know 100% anymore how the positioning was, I need to watch it back.

“In the end, a ball comes from the outside into the inside and probably it should be defendable as well but I have to watch it back.”

Peter Crouch and Steve McManaman were equally as scathing with their analysis of the goal when speaking at half-time.

“It was disappointing,’ Crouch told BT Sport.

“Van Dijk seems to give up, Trent Alexander-Arnold switches off and it’s too, too easy for Bournemouth’

McManaman added: “All the bad habits have come back, they are really lethargic. This high line they keep doing, gambling to play offside… they have been terrible, really, really poor and they have to liven up.”