Stephen Warnock criticises Virgil van Dijk.
Stephen Warnock has claimed that Virgil van Dijk looks “tired,” while calling him out for a lack of desire and effort against Crystal Palace on Sunday.
After taking a 2-0 first half lead, with a Van Dijk header opening the scoring, it appeared that Liverpool would cruise to three points, but Palace got back into the game thanks to a goal from Odsonne Edouard.
“There’s no desire or effort.”
A late Fabinho penalty eventually sealed the points for the away side but it could have been different had Van Dijk’s mistakes been punished, according to former Reds full-back Warnock.
“Watch the speed in which he moves now,” Warnock said, while assessing a first half Palace attack during an appearance on Sky Sports News earlier this week.
“There’s no desire. There’s no effort from him, whatsoever to get back into a position to make sure that that stops.”
"How many times are you going to let this happen?"
Stephen Warnock talks through Liverpool's defensive errors against Crystal Palace and says Virgil van Dijk looks tired ? pic.twitter.com/pALZQOcbWT
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) January 24, 2022
Moving on to a later period of play, Warnock adds: “I feel terrible because he’s one of the best defenders in the world.”
At times during the game at Selhurst Park, Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker appeared frustrated with his defenders and this is something else that Warnock picked up on.
“Watch his response here,” the pundit says as the Brazilian stopper is seen to shrug his shoulders after making a save. “How many times are you going to let this happen, breaching the defence?
“Against a better team, a more clinical team, they’d have suffered. Crystal Palace should have gotten something out of this game.”
Is Virgil van Dijk tired?
If Van Dijk is tired or fatigued, as Warnock suggests, it would be understandable given that Dutchman has been thrown back into the team this season after recovering from the ACL injury he picked up against Everton in October 2020.
The centre-back has appeared 26 times in all competitions for Jurgen Klopp’s side this campaign and played the full 90 minutes four times in the space of 10 days between January 13th and January 23rd – Premier League meetings against Brentford and Palace as well as a two-legged Carabao Cup semi-final against Arsenal.
Top flight sides are now on a winter break before play resumes with an FA Cup weekend beginning on February 4th, so if Van Dijk does indeed need to recharge his batteries, now is the time to do it.