12 Feb 2018 08:11:28
Supersalah, i saw you ask if i was a fan of Virgil, but it's on like banter page 3 or something by now.

To answer your question, I'm in limbo at the moment.

My opinion is that he is a better version of Matip. He is quicker, stronger, better in the air, and just as good on the ball.

However he still has a penchant for grappling with people, he is only marginally faster at getting back into position, and he also shirks responsibilities constantly. Though at least he communicates and orders his team mates to deal with it. Matip just leaves it and says nothing!

All in all, it's not that i don't rate Virgil. I just think he was a poor choice to partner Matip. In games where we are under the cosh, like the West Brom game for example, i think they will fold and look at each other rather than themselves. Virgil was only a £30-40m player in my opinion, but Klopp wanted him and the board put their money were their mouth was and broke multiple transfer records.

Both Matip and Virgil need a strong partner who will just take responsibility and focus more on defending than on trying to play football though. A player such as Milan Skriniar, Stefan De Vrij, Kalidou Koulibaly, Jamaal Lascelles or Jonathon Tah would be ideal in my opinion.

I just don't see that we can get away with having two centre backs who both think they're midfielders, when the going gets tough. I think deep down Klopp knows it though which is why he played Lovren against Spurs. Lovren isn't good enough long term, but he's a proper centre back who just puts his foot through it and loves a physical battle. We've upgraded Matip with Virgil, now we need to upgrade on Lovren. I think Gomez might end up staying at right back as it allows us to morph into a back three mid-game, against stronger opposition. So we need a consistent warrior type centre back who can play on the right side of the pairing, as Virgil favours the left.

I rate Virgil as a ball playing centre back. He just needs a strong partner. He's only ever looked solid in his career alongside Jose Fonte who was an actual leader and didn't just point a lot and pass on responsibility.

1.) 12 Feb 2018
12 Feb 2018 08:22:08
I reckon Lascelles would be a good shout. Genuinely good defender and also a proper leader. Never see him go missing or shirk a challenge, certainly remember him having a go at his colleagues for not caring enough about the job they’re paid to do.

2.) 12 Feb 2018
12 Feb 2018 08:27:52
Exactly Mr Dennis. Leadership is dealing with a situation yourself and then telling your team mates off so they do it next time. Set an example for them to follow.

Virgil just points and shouts at a ball he is 5 yards from. You can't be taken seriously when telling others to take responsibility, if you don't do it yourself. He's a very composed player who is great on the ball and in the air, but he needs a better partner who takes responsibility.

3.) 12 Feb 2018
12 Feb 2018 08:45:32
Have you guys really turned on VVD already? Come on guys, he isn’t fully fit, has only played a few games and been with us a month.

Let’s get behind him. We kept a clean sheet yesterday, won the game yet people are still unhappy?!

4.) 12 Feb 2018
12 Feb 2018 08:55:57
Bit harsh MK - I think he’s been very good at taking responsibility so far, you can see already he takes ownership for anything coming into the box, he’s excellent with any long balls pumped up to their striker, and he’s not afraid to nick in front to regain possession avoiding the need to tackle much of the time, all the while dictating to his defence where they need to be.

5.) 12 Feb 2018
12 Feb 2018 08:57:07
I think van Dijk is a top defender, but he can't do it on his own, and I don't think that Matip is up to the job and Lovren is too inconsistent.

6.) 12 Feb 2018
12 Feb 2018 08:59:51
I don't think MK has turned on him kdfirst, just stating a few what I'd call facts. - Good post MK, I couldn't agree more.

7.) 12 Feb 2018
12 Feb 2018 08:59:52
Management has a variety of style and quite honestly eh don’t see anything wrong with VVD’s style. You cannot always do everything yourself, that’s micro managing. On the football pitch communication is vita and u TIL VVD came in I don’t honk I ever saw any of our defenders talk. Even yetserday VVD was directing and egging then on when we looked a little sheepish. I will not pretend he’s perfect or will save us ever conceding. A goal but he wants to fight for this shirt, he’s the best we’ve had in a while and he’s got the balls to shoulder the responsibility. I think long term he’ll have been a great signing.

8.) 12 Feb 2018
12 Feb 2018 09:00:57
Wha school of leadership did you attend mk? ‘ telling your team mates off’ lol.

9.) 12 Feb 2018
12 Feb 2018 09:30:02
MK, Are you Jimmy Hill in disguise? Jumpers for goalposts and all that? I personally think that in the short time VVD has been at the club he is progressing. We look so much more robust. Have a look at the stats for the Spurs game. How many shots on goal did one of the leagues most attacking teams have? I think your well off the mark. I can see huge improvement in how many chances the opposition are being limited to and it will get better too.

10.) 12 Feb 2018
12 Feb 2018 09:36:14
Far too early to judge him. He needs a good preseason under his belt.
If I had to judge him though I would say even though he’s not fit and not settled he’s already probably our best defender and will only get better.

11.) 12 Feb 2018
12 Feb 2018 09:45:43
I was a club captain for 5 years Swishcleaner. At a low level, sure, but i would never tell somebody to do something i didn't do myself. It's common sense. If your manager asked you to do 3 hours unpaid over time because the business was struggling, and then he left on time, is that good leadership? Of course it isn't. Virgil needs to take charge and then talk to his team mates about what they should do better, for the good of the team. If he is prepared to let us concede a goal he could stop just to prove a point, Klopp needs to have some serious words.

I've not turned on Virgil at all. I said all this before he signed, as did plenty of others. All I've stated is that he has a few flaws, and that Matip is not the right player to compliment him. How is that turning on him? There are some real snowflakes on the internet! I think Van Dijk could be fantastic alongside a proper leader, and warrior type centre back. But not alongside Matip who has the same flaws, or Lovren who lacks consistency.

Virgil is a very good ball playing centre back. He is not going to fix our defensive issues over night though on his own.

It is not "micro managing" to just clear a ball that you are stood right next to, and then tell your partner they need to be dealing with it in future. That is called taking charge of a situation and leading by example. Carragher would never have left some of the balls Virgil is leaving. He'd put it into safety and then tell the keeper he should be coming to collect it. You have to take responsibility to show others that they have to, and for the good of the team more importantly. If we concede a goal because Van Dijk refused to clear it as he was having another "not my job" moment, I'd be furious.

If explaining constructively where a player can improve is now considered "turning on" a player, we might as well shut this site down. I like Virgil, but all I've said is that he would not have been my pick, he was over priced, and he needs a more defensive minded partner than Matip to bring out the best in him. People are in denial if they think Matip and Virgil are a good enough partnership to win league titles. They do not compliment each other well, at all.

12.) 12 Feb 2018
12 Feb 2018 09:58:16
Whether people rate VVD or not, the work on our defense is not yet done imo. VVD needs a long term partner (not Matip coz he is just a lazy poor version of VVD) for next season. Lovren will do for now but Klopp should know we need a consistent CB who can partner VVD without the need for rotation. Manolas, De Vrij would be great.

13.) 12 Feb 2018
12 Feb 2018 10:16:58
My opinion of van dijk.
He was piss poor in Mary poppins. (fake cockney accent) . Great in chitty chitty bang bang. Who wouldn't enjoy a flying car. and his pinnacle was in diagnosis murder. Which is still shown now and again on the BBC. Overall a nice fella.

14.) 12 Feb 2018
12 Feb 2018 10:31:37
MK. You would not get anyone to do anything you not prepared to do yourself? Well let's wait and see when your heavily pregnant and see if you are prepared to travel some distance by car without soiling your trollies Lol.

15.) 12 Feb 2018
12 Feb 2018 10:36:50
I agree Indian Buzzer. De Vrij would be a perfect partner for him in my opinion.

Just to add, people seem to have missed the original thread this was in response to. I did say that i thought Virgil played well yesterday. His calm and composed performance in the second half was a big reason why Saints didn't trouble us. We had Milner, Arnold, Can and Robertson just playing hoof ball for the last 15 minutes, but Virgil, Matip, Gini and Lallana all got the ball down and tried to play. They were the 4 stand out players in the second half and their composure helped to see out the victory!

I'm not anti-Virgil at all. All I've said in essence is that he needs a partner who compliments him better than Matip and is more consistent than Lovren.

Anybody who thinks Van Dijk has no flaws should probably watch the West Brom, Swansea or Spurs game again. All of which he was heavily involved in goals conceded. He is a good player and he is notably improving, but he needs more quality alongside him to bring out the best in him. Alongside Fonte, Virgil looked world class. Put a leader next to him in our defence, and we should see that Van Dijk again.

16.) 12 Feb 2018
12 Feb 2018 10:40:56
I think you’re massively underrating his performance in poppins roller. He owned that chimney sweep song.

17.) 12 Feb 2018
12 Feb 2018 10:48:31
Roller you really are "The Comic", to remember all this stuff you must have had "A night in the Museum".

18.) 12 Feb 2018
12 Feb 2018 11:32:11
Well said MK. Its not the quality of a single CB in your first team that matters. Its how well the group of defenders compliment each other. Right now the best fit for VVD as a CB partner is Lovren who is a proper defender unlike Matip. BUt we all know LOvren's flaws hence the need to upgrade that position. I want to see another leader character in that defense to guide our younger fullbacks in Gomez and TAA and who will compliment VVD's style. VVD is a ball player with immense physical and athletic abilities. Now let's go for a proper old fashioned CB who likes commanding the defense and will be the last man which will allow VVD to step out of defense and push the opposition backwards. Manolas and De Vrij striker me as the best options but Gimenez would be ideal.

19.) 12 Feb 2018
12 Feb 2018 11:59:29
Sorry MK, when I read your reply, I couldn't help but to think what if the words were in different tenses? You turn on him? He turns you on?

Sorry. It's a bad joke. I know. I just couldn't help it. Sorry.

20.) 12 Feb 2018
12 Feb 2018 13:19:16
Spot on, IB. Matip was poor yesterday if that can even be possible in a game like that where we were under little pressure last night. Lovren is a proper defender with way more ability than Matip. Lovren does not hide in games and is committed to a fight esp. vs a physical striker which is why he can't be bullied by them except vs Kane in Wembley where well, everyone was poor. VVD was not my choice as well BUT is way better than Matip in every area. He just needs to be more aggressive and committed in his game cos he is too laid back for a CB. Lovs/ VVd for me, at the moment.

21.) 12 Feb 2018
12 Feb 2018 15:32:15
Perssonally I think VVD is excellent. He has shown only glimpses of what he is capable of. MK u say that VVD is not a suitable partner for Matip. It’s the other way around although give them a chance to get some understanding going!

U refer back to the West Brom game but it was clearly Moreno’s fault for all 3 goals in that game. West Brom knew Moreno would leave a huge gap and exploited it time and time again. VVD was in the right position for each goal, he was let down by the idiot that is Moreno.

In my opinion VVD has been commanding and made a huge difference. we were unlucky against spurs, wonder goal and a dubious pen, Swansea had 2 shots. bar them results and the Moreno and Mignolet disaster show we are improving at the back. It’s midfield that needs more attention I think.

Would like to add that Karius has done well over the past few games. Still putting us under pressure with some silly passes but his kicking is much better than Mignolet and he gets out and closes attackers down. Hopefully he can continue to improve.

Finally! Please Klopp leave Moreno
And Mignolet in Liverpool this week!

22.) 12 Feb 2018
12 Feb 2018 15:38:51
I think there are lots of types of leaders and knowing what our players will respond best to isn't easy as they've never really had any! It's important that we dump any thoughts of a van djik shaped messiah quickly, or else the wave of inevitable disappointment that will follow will make his position in our team untenable. We will see what is he and what he will become as time moves on (tbh I think MK may be slightly coloured by some of his more prominent positive and negative soton performances than reflecting on what he's done for us so far), and there can be little doubt that we would benefit from another top class CB to start replacing a couple of our current set and improve/ diversity our options and leadership back there, whatever Van Djik turns into. For now though, we can just enjoy that we have a more capable defender in all the basic skill sets required for the job than we had 2 months ago. Together with a more stable goalkeeper, our entire defense looks steadier and far less prone to panic. Good things - if they evolve into great things then awesome but if not, ce la vie and at least they are good things.

23.) 12 Feb 2018
12 Feb 2018 15:39:32
I have to disagree with that MK.
VVD brings a calmness at the back that we didn’t have before. Yes we can pick at his faults but every player in the world has faults they are only human beings.
For me he’s very much like a Kompany type of player and leader. Big, strong, quick and gets his point across to his defenders without having to scream at them.
He will no doubt improve in his time with us too.

24.) 12 Feb 2018
12 Feb 2018 15:46:43
Thanks for your reply MK, I understand where you are coming from. I don't think mk has turned on Vvd it is the high fee that has upset fans.

For me, I don't think we have seen the best of him yet. I was one of the lads who voted for lovren as player of the month back in 2017, and I think he looks a better player at rcb rather than lbc. I'm not a massive matip fan, he is too lazy for me. Vvd seems to have settled really quickly, it's easy to forget that he has only been with us a few weeks.

When I watch Liverpool something just feels different now defencively. I reckon he will steer us toward top 4 and 1/ 4 final+ in ucl. Where I take your point about laziness, Vvd is quicker off the mark than matip. There was a late offside shout yesterday (they had like 3 players offside) and it was Vvd who reacted first, in fact he had moved into position to make a challenge before anyone else had even noticed. I like him but it will be the big games that he is ultimately judged on.

25.) 12 Feb 2018
12 Feb 2018 16:14:29
Van Dijk is head and shoulders above anything we have had for a fair few seasons, he stands out a mile from our current crop, he is a next level defender and it shows, if we had another cb on his level and a keeper of the same quality we would be a real title contender.

26.) 12 Feb 2018
12 Feb 2018 16:49:55
Agreed, Supersalah. There was also a time where Tadic got free on the left with acres of space to measure a good cross. Just watch Matip literally jug towards him instead of breaking his neck to get into position to at least affect the cross and even if you don't, at least act like you are trying to get there.

Matip just jugged over and the cross came in, a header from Ward Prowse and Karius makes the save. Sorry, Matip is no longer possible. It is Lovren for me. Had Klavan not been left footed, it would be Klavan b4 Matip.