Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk has been branded a “first class wimp” for his display in the Netherlands’ 4-0 defeat to France in Euro 2024 qualifier on Friday.
Van Dijk has come under criticism for some sluggish displays for Liverpool this season and that dip in form has also been on show for the national team.
Gertjan Verbeek, the former manager of FC Twente and Feyenoord, didn’t hold back while working as a pundit for Omrop Fryslan (via Sport Witness).
“I think Van Dijk is a first class wimp. I would immediately take away his captain’s armband.
“He has to mean a lot more as a captain. He has to put things down. It happens to him. At one point he lets Lutsharel Geertruida drown and then he stands there after the first goal, like: blablabla. Where was he then?”
After the game, Van Dijk pondered whether it was his “worst international match”.
He said: “If you are 2-0 down after seven minutes, it will be a hell of a job. It’s very bad how we start here. Then you’ll be chasing the facts all evening. We will definitely have to look at this. It is difficult to analyse so soon after the game, but after seven minutes it is already done.
“I don’t know if it’s the worst international match I’ve had. It sure is a big hit. We tried to recover after that bad start, but we didn’t succeed. We had way too many ball losses and were too weak in the duels. France punishes that immediately”
Koeman was frustrated by his side’s defensive errors and failure to deal with Kylian Mbappe effectively.
He said: “What hurts is that the first and fourth goals came from defensive errors, and, of course, it’s also down to the quality of Mbappe. We had identified that we had to be very careful about these plays, and we did not pay enough attention. France are a very strong team. They are complete, very physical, fast, especially in attack, and possess world-class players in all sectors. And we are not there yet.”