Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman urged to strip Virgil van Dijk of captaincy
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Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman has been told to remove Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk as the nation’s captain.
It has been a tough season for Van Dijk as Liverpool have struggled to maintain any sort of good form so far in the 22/23 campaign.
Van Dijk, who came second in the Ballon d’Or rankings in 2019 has come under intense criticism for his performances this season.
After Netherlands’ 4-0 humbling by France, Van Dijk was branded as a ‘first class wimp’ by former FC Twente and Feyenoord manager Gertjan Verbeek, who also told Koeman to pick a new captain.
Whilst working as a pundit for Omrop Fryslan, Verbeek said: “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 match, Van Dijk himself questioned whether the defeat by France 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”
Netherlands did bounce back with a 3-0 victory over Gibraltar on Monday night, with Van Dijk playing the full 90 minutes.
The 31-year-old will now be switching his focus back to Liverpool as they take on Manchester City on Saturday afternoon in the Premier League.
Featured Image Credit: PA
Topics: Liverpool, Virgil Van Dijk, Netherlands, Ronald Koeman, Football