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    Virgil Van Dijk in action

    I truly hate it when football teams become over reliant on one particular player. To me it does not exemplify what it means to be involved in a team sport when a club relies on one (or individual) player (s). It is a team game, nay a squad game. And although some players will inevitably be held in higher regard for the skill set, transfer fee and wage demands, this “the rise and fall of our club depends on…” just has to stop.

    Virgil Van Dijk is a perfect test case for this scenario. To be up front with you, big Virgil is one of my favourite all time players. He doesn’t play on a football field, he graces it. Have you ever seen him run? I haven’t. To me I only ever see him glide. His understanding of the game, his vision, his passing ability, his speed, his ability in the air all make him arguably the best central defender in the world today. He is a leader amongst his piers and deserves every bit of his recognition.

    Still though, one player a team does not make, and I firmly believe in this. Some of the reaction, or should I say over reaction to Van Dijk’s recent likely season ending injury both from Liverpool fans and the fans of their arch enemies has been an absolute joke. The doom and gloom from the fans in red has been depressing, while from the rivals you would think the only reason Liverpool exists as a club is down to the health of one Virgil Van Dijk.

    Grab a hold of reality people and get some perspective. Is he a super important player, yes. Will Liverpool miss his presence in the team, yes of course. Is Liverpool’s season over because of his injury? Absolutely not. Keeping in mind the money those at Anfield have spent to assemble the current squad, using Van Dijk and his absence as an excuse for any potential failures ahead, tend to be the mumbling’s of those super spoilt, money obsessed fickle fans that quite frankly football could do without.

    Virgil Van Dijk in action
    MADRID, SPAIN – JUNE 1, 2019: Virgil Van Dijk of Liverpool pictured during the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League Final between Tottenham Hotspur (England) and Liverpool FC (England) at Wanda Metropolitano.

    Knee jerk reactions by the usual lot who celebrate when their club is winning, piss moan and abscond when things go bad. Those who are more obsessed with celebrating another teams loss, than their own teams victory. It is just so bloody sad and not what the spirit of the game I love should be about.

    So back to Virgil shall we. Was his injury at the hands (or more accurately feet) of that horrendously distasteful attack, a disaster? For the player himself, no doubt. But for Liverpool football club? No it was not. And I will tell you why. No man is greater than any club and no team should ever be so dependently reliant on one man. Virgil is a fabulous player, but he is not without fault. This moment allows other players to take their moment. Players like Joel Matip, who to my reckoning, injuries aside, has been quite outstanding during his time at the club.

    Like Joe Gomez for example, who just a few years ago arrived at the club as a relative unknown only now to be one of England’s best central defenders or defenders in general for that matter. This pairing alone should provide us with a certain level of positivity, but when you throw Fabinho in, who on Wednesday against Ajax could have very easily been confused as one of the best central defenders going, there should be a strong case for optimism. So, disaster, no. Opportunity yes. An opportunity for the Liverpool squad to show exactly how far they have developed over recent years.

    Or perhaps we should just bring back Mamadou Sakho and Ragnar Klavan. 😉


    Article written by Liverpool fan and OzUncut Head Honcho, David Ozi Borg.

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