Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk put up a solid display to inspire the Netherlands to a 2-0 victory over Poland in the UEFA Nations League yesterday (September 22). Following the game, the centre-back admitted that he hasn’t lived up to expectations at the club level this season.
It goes without saying that Virgil van Dijk and his Liverpool colleagues have been far from their best since the campaign kicked off this summer. They are currently eighth in the Premier League table, winning just two of their six games in the English top-flight so far.
Despite not being at the top of his game in recent weeks, the centre-back made the Netherlands squad for the international games this week. He made the opportunity count by helping his side to keep a clean sheet against Poland.
Speaking after the game, the defender was critical as he provided an honest assessment of his recent performances with Liverpool. He also opened up about the pressure he faces, being a leader at both club and national team levels.
Van Dijk said (via Voetbal International):
“I know I could do better in the beginning, I’m not naive about that, I know very well when I make mistakes. I also know that I am one of the important players at the club, and of course, also here at Orange, I feel that responsibility.”
“Mentally, that’s mainly a challenge. You get a lot on your roof. Many people forget that too, it is not easy to act that. We all try to show the best. In my case, if you are one of the mainstays at the club, then you get the criticism you deserve. You have to deal with that and that is not always easy, [but] I did a great job of that.”
What’s next for Virgil van Dijk and Liverpool?
The centre-back will continue with the Dutch national team for the remaining fixtures in the international break. He is expected to lead the Netherlands’ defense when they clash with Belgium in their final Nations League group stage game on Sunday (September 25).
Liverpool will return to Premier League action next weekend with a clash with Brighton & Hove Albion on October 1.