Virgil van Dijk accepts criticism 'is right' after 'up and down season' with Liverpool
- Van Dijk accepts criticism
- He has been inconsistent this season
- Liverpool take on Tottenham on Sunday
WHAT HAPPENED? The Dutch captain has been inconsistent with his performance and is one of several key Liverpool players whose form has dipped this season, which has affected the performance of the club.
Van Dijk accepted all the criticism hurled at him and claimed that due to the high standards he has set as a player, a sudden dip in form is bound to garner attention.
WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to The Times, the defender said, "No one is immune to criticism. If someone said that, they are lying. But when the criticism is there and you know it is right, the only thing you can do is keep your head down and focus on improving.
"I know my performance has been going like the team has been going — up and down. I know I’m one of the players who is looked at, that I set a high standard over the last five years that it’s normal to be criticised.
"The only thing I can do is block the noise out and focus on how I deal with certain situations to be better. "Over the past five years, excluding the year of my injury [the 2020-21 season, when he played only seven games before being ruled out for the remainder with cruciate damage], I’ve been playing every three or four days to such a consistent level. I’m trying to get back to that — and I will get back to it. I’m not worried about that."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The Netherlands international also had injury concerns this season. He was out for nearly six weeks earlier this year due to a hamstring injury. The Reds are currently seventh on the league table and are seven points behind fourth-placed Manchester United.
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WHAT NEXT FOR VIRGIL VAN DIJK? The defender will be next seen in action on Sunday when Liverpool face Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League.