Jamie Carragher was brutal in his assessment of Virgil van Dijk after Liverpool lost 1-0 to Swansea City in the Premier League.
It’s been a topsy-turvy three weeks for Liverpool. From signing van Dijk and having him score the winner in the FA Cup to Philippe Coutinho signing for Barcelona days later, to beating Manchester City 4-3 to losing 1-0 to Swansea.
As a Liverpool fan, I’m quite used to the emotional ups and downs and while I am not particularly surprised that Swansea were able to sneak a result at the Liberty Stadium, I am disappointed that the wider media have jumped on the lazy narrative bandwagon.
And, I’m equally disappointed that Jamie Carragher is also guilty of taking the easy route while analysing the game for Sky Sports on Monday Night Football.
“It’s poor from Virgil van Dijk. In some ways, he shouldn’t have gone for it,” Carragher said on Sky Sports.
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“It’s not really his header. Maybe he’s trying to do too much in some ways. You see van Dijk, he’s actually heading it down because it hasn’t come far enough for him really.
“This thing about van Dijk is going to come in and fix this problem, it is absolute nonsense. That one player comes in and fixes the whole problem, he’s not that good.
“If we were playing against towering defenders like Tony Adams and Jaap Stam and you were taking a set piece, you’d say ‘keep it away from him’ or take the man away. The idea that Van Dijk is going to head everything away is just a joke. It’s not happening.”
When van Dijk was challenging for the ball, he was obstructed by both Joe Gomez and Roberto Firmino. The two Liverpool players were ducking and got in van Dijk’s way who consequently headered the ball into Fernandez.
The irony of the whole scenario is that pundits and journalists are jumping at the opportunity to lambast Liverpool’s set-piece insecurities when it’s the first time in almost 14 games that Liverpool have conceded from a corner.
The last corner that the Reds conceded from was the equaliser in Spain when Sevilla brought the game back to 3-3 at the death. On top of that, it’s the first time in 18 games and 3 months that Liverpool have lost a game of football, which is a testament to how Jurgen Klopp has had his side playing since the 4-1 loss to Spurs.
Liverpool faced 51 corners between conceding an injury time equalizer at Sevilla and Swansea’s winner today without letting one in. two months ago. 13 and almost-a-half matches ago. but it’s still a huge problem the sky is falling.
— oh you beauty (but also known as nate) (@natefc) January 22, 2018
I agree with Carragher that van Dijk is not the immediate answer to all of Liverpool’s answers in defence but it’s disappointing for pundits to always see the negatives and fail to see the silver lining.