"It's a myth..." - Rio Ferdinand hits back at Jamie Carragher over Nemanja Vidic claim
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Rio Ferdinand has hit back at Jamie Carragher after the Liverpool legend claimed Virgil van Dijk was better than Manchester United icon Nemanja Vidic.
Carragher caused a commotion on social media at the weekend by jumping to the defence of Van Dijk and claiming the Reds star is “far better than Nemanja Vidic.”
Van Dijk received criticism on social media for his role in Arsenal’s opener during Sunday’s topsy turvy 2-2 draw.
In an attempt to make a clearance, the Liverpool star accidentally sent the ball into the path of Arsenal attacker Gabriel Martinelli, who went on to score.
Several social media accounts posted about Van Dijk’s performance against the Gunners, with one suggesting the 31-year-old had suffered a “drop off” in levels that made previous comparisons with Premier League greats “[John] Terry, [Vincent] Kompany, Rio and Vidić” appear premature.
And on Monday morning Carragher took to Twitter to rebuke such criticism, insisting that Van Dijk is the “best centre-back in the league”.
Carragher wrote: “VVD is far better than Vidic, who was a top CB, but have you [forgotten] his performances against Torres? Rio & JT had poor seasons in their career like all players, VVD is having one now. No CB in the PL era has ever had VVD’s impact on a team.”
In a follow-up tweet, the Liverpool legend added: “Never mind the best CB in the league, he’s been the best player in the league along with KDB for four years before this one. We have never spoken about other CBs being the best player before, that shows the level he was at.”
Ferdinand hits back at Carragher’s Van Dijk claim
Carragher’s claim had been in reference to the torrid time Vidic had marking Torres when Liverpool won 4-1 at Old Trafford in March 2009.
However, Ferdinand insisted that Vidic did not always struggle when up against Torres, while he noted Van Dijk’s performances against United’s Marcus Rashford as a comparison.
“Liverpool’s defending… I don’t know what I’m seeing at the moment! I can’t get my head around it. Van Dijk has been the best defender in the world arguably for the last couple of years. He looks a shadow of himself,” Ferdinand said on his Vibe with FIVE YouTube show.
“He’s lost form, obviously. He said that in a [social media] post after the game that personally and collectively [Liverpool] have lost form, not playing the way they normally would. And that’s fine, that’s fair.
“Him, Trent [Alexander-Arnold] they’ve just got to get back to basics. The way you get out of a rut like that is to just get back to basics.
“I saw Jamie Carragher tweet something about Van Dijk being better than Vidic. I don’t know why, or why that was said or whatever.
“He mentioned [Fernando] Torres – I think Torres scored three goals in 15 games against Vidic. I think it’s a bit of a myth. I think he had a couple of dodgy moments in those games, and he got sent off a couple of times, but that’s kind of been amplified into saying he got tortured every time we played against Torres, which wasn’t the case.
“Three goals in 15 games. [Marcus] Rashford I think has got six in 13 games against Liverpool, does that mean he’s tortured Van Dijk and Van Dijk can’t handle him? Because that’s what you’re saying about [Vidic], if we’re using the same methodology that we’re using for Vidic with the way Rashford is scoring goals against Liverpool, just under one every two games he’s scoring against Liverpool. I don’t know.
“I don’t know why Vidic’s name was thrown in there. People are hammering Virgil van Dijk about his performances this season, he’s had a bit of an off-season – which he has, and I think he’d admit that.
“It’s mad. He’s prime time as well. The problem is he had a big injury, and that injury was one where people said, ‘Can he come back from that injury?’ Next season is going to be the telling one. He’s had this season to get himself fit, to get himself up to speed.”