Virgil van Dijk Showcases Leadership Skills in the Wake of Arsenal 3-1 Liverpool Match Review
Match Review

Virgil van Dijk Showcases Leadership Skills in the Wake of Arsenal 3-1 Liverpool

Virgil van Dijk Showcases Leadership Skills in the Wake of Arsenal 3-1 Liverpool

Gabriel Martinelli's goal to make it 2-1 to Arsenal on Sunday evening has been described as streetwise but from a Liverpool perspective, it was schoolboy defending.

A lot of fans online have placed the blame on Virgil van Dijk but if Alisson is going to come that far out of his goal, he needs to be making contact with the ball. The Brazilian is usually faultless but on this occasion, he lacked the assertiveness you want in such a crucial game.

That said, Martinelli does give van Dijk a little push that knocks him into Alisson, whose foot clips the Dutchman before he misses the ball. It was a very fortunate moment for Arsenal but on the balance of play, it was as deserved as Bukayo Saka's tap-in to make it 1-0.

Virgil van Dijk Displays Leadership Skills by Taking Accountability for the Goal

Captain van Dijk has stepped up despite the differing opinions to take responsibility for Martinelli's goal.

Speaking to Sky Sports, via, after full-time, the skipper said: “Eventually [it was] a very tough day, definitely. I think the 2-1 goal, I take full responsibility for that, but it’s a big turning point in the game.

“I should have done better, I should have made a better decision there. It hurts for me, and it hurts for the rest of the team. It was a big turning point in the game because I think especially after the break, we were so good.

“We had opportunities, we were dominant and I think the atmosphere started to become a little bit more nervous. Arsenal is a very good team and they will always try to stay in the game, but we were very dominant, especially in the second half.

“And then came the turning point. It’s my responsibility. I should just clear it, but I made the split-second wrong decision and unfortunately these things happen sometimes in football. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that it hurts.

“These things haven’t happened too many times in my career but it’s a tough one. I will recover from this because I will learn from things that don’t go well, but I will take the responsibility.

“I’m not looking for excuses. At the highest level, it’s a split-second decision that you make. I chose to let the ball bounce and put my body in between. Alisson touched me a little and that’s why he couldn’t clear it.

“Things happen, and I take full responsibility for this. I will try to make sure these things don’t happen.”

virgil van dijk liverpool premier league

With the massive shakeup in leadership at Anfield incoming after Jurgen Klopp's bombshell announcement, it's nice to see the club's second most important leader, their captain, stepping up to protect his teammate.

Make no mistake, Alisson doesn't need to be protected. He's a season veteran and no stranger to mistakes but it rarely affects him.

It's actually nice to know he's now got his annual clanger out of the way in February.

Van Dijk's Future is Critical to How Liverpool Respond to The End of the Jurgen Klopp Era

Jurgen Klopp is leaving Liverpool. The German revealed his decision to leave the club, which was revealed to the club in November, at the end of the season in a moving video published by LFC on all their official platforms.

harvey elliott jurgen klopp liverpool premier league

With the 56-year-old leaving the club to take a break from football, Liverpool are going to need their senior players to step up to ensure the transition goes smoothly.

We don't know yet who will replace Klopp but it's a mammoth task.

The likes of van Dijk are going to be key and it's good to see that the Dutchman is up for the task after quotes of his were taken out of context by the media last week.

In the wake of the Klopp news, van Dijk was asked if he sees himself at Anfield beyond his current contract which is set to expire at the end of the 2024/25 season on 30 June 2025.

The quotes that circulated were limited to his initial reply which was: "That's a big question. I don't know. Eighteen months left? That's correct. Good maths. I don't know."

But many outlets also failed to mention thathe went on to say that a lot will change at Liverpool (which is true) and that it's difficult to say what his stance will be until the new manager and new coaching staff is confirmed (which is also true).

He continued: "The club will have a big job on their hands, that is well known. To replace not only the manager but the whole staff and there are so many things that will change. I'm very curious which direction that will go in but when that will be announced we will see our situation. I can't say much about it.

“It will be the end of Jurgen Klopp's era and I am still part of it - that's why I don't like to talk about it. That is my main focus. We will see at the end of the season, hopefully we will have the success we all dream of and by then probably there will be more clarification about what the club wants for the future and then we will see.”

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