‘He makes noise but says nothing… he CREATES chaos’: Virgil van Dijk is slammed by Marco van Basten – and Ruud Gullit says he’s arrogant – as Liverpool’s star centre back faces scrutiny in Holland
- Marco van Basten has taken a swipe at Virgil van Dijk over his leadership skills
- The Dutch legend says he ‘says nothing’ and ‘creates chaos’ for the Netherlands
- Ruud Gullit also called Liverpool star ‘arrogant’ after a poor international break
Netherlands legend Marco van Basten has torn into Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk for ‘creating chaos’ for the team in their 4-0 thrashing by France – as he questioned his leadership abilities.
The Dutch captain had a game to forget in the heart of defence during Ronald Koeman’s first game back in charge of the team as Les Bleus ran riot in their Euro 2024 qualifier on Friday.
He fared better in their next game against lowly Gibraltar in a 3-0 win on Monday, but he did not escape the wrath of Van Basten, who believes he is not fit to wear the captain’s armband because he does not communicate enough.
‘He makes noise, but he doesn’t say anything,’ Van Basten told Ziggo Sport, via VI.
‘He is not clear. A good captain thinks aloud, makes it clear what is going on. He stays in between. He creates chaos. That leads to misunderstandings. That is what you, as a captain, must prevent.
Dutch legend Marco van Basten has torn into Virgil van Dijk’s leadership skills, claiming he ‘makes noise but doesn’t say anything’
Van Dijk and his Netherlands side were thrashed 4-0 by France on Friday and the Liverpool star came under fire for his display
‘In the dressing room he is good, football tactically and technically not. You need another gentleman on the field. This has nothing to do with that injury, this has to do with leadership. He makes noise, but he says nothing. That’s true. This is in you. This is wanting to win at all costs.’
His fellow pundit Ruud Gullit – also a Dutch legend – backed up Van Basten’s claims about Van Dijk, accusing the defender of arrogance and ‘playing safe’.
‘It’s walking backwards,’ he said. ‘In England they have already criticised him. He was selected for the world team of the year. He thinks he’s better than the rest.
‘We see things… Then I think, “you are captain, you have to solve this”. But he’s just commenting a little on what’s happening in front of him.
‘I don’t know if he’s doing it, but it doesn’t look like he’s speaking. He plays so safe. Come on now, you’re so big and good. It is a positive criticism that we give. Isn’t he the best? Then show it.’
Van Dijk was accused of ‘creating chaos’ for his team-mates and causing ‘misunderstandings’
Ruud Gullit agreed that van Dijk ‘plays so safe’ and even accused him of being arrogant
Van Basten played 58 times for the Netherlands, scoring 24 times, including an iconic, acrobatic goal against the Soviet Union in the 1988 European Championships, helping the team win the trophy.
Gullit, meanwhile, picked up 66 caps for the team, scoring 17 times and was captain of the same 1988 cup-winning side.
Van Dijk has been Netherlands skipper since 2018, when Koeman handed him the responsibility in his first spell in charge.
His tenure as captain has come amid a turbulent spell for the national team, who failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and only reached the last-16 of Euro 2020. They reached the quarter-finals of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
It comes amid a difficult season for Van Dijk with his club Liverpool amid a turbulent season that has seen them quickly fall away from title contention.
Van Basten and Gullit both helped the Netherland win the 1988 European Championships, with Gullit captaining the side
The 31-year-old – who joined Liverpool for £75million in 2018 – was once regarded as one of the world’s greatest centre-backs during the last few years when Liverpool competed at the top table by winning both the Premier League and Champions League.
But in the last year, Van Dijk’s quality has been questioned after watching mistakes slip into his game. He was heavily scrutinised for his lapse defending as Liverpool were thumped 5-2 by Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League knockout tie in Feburary.
Van Dijk also came under fire for being partly at fault for Philip Billing’s goal for Bournemouth before the international break when he failed to stop Dango Ouattara’s cross.
Pundit Rio Ferdinand suggested his poor form was not being helped by Liverpool’s inconsistency this season.
‘There are phases in your career when things don’t go to plan.
The Liverpool star has been scrutinised for poor form at his club too, with the defender guilty of some questionable defensive displays of late
‘(But) you look at great centre-halves like Vidic, Kompany, Campbell, Terry, Jaap Stam they don’t have a season off or big periods like eight to nine games off.
‘The form of the team plays a part though and it does have an impact and sometimes you’re as good as team around you.
‘He hasn’t had the team performing in the way that suits his style of play.’
Michael Owen agreed with that theory and claimed he was being left ‘exposed’ in one v ones.
‘When Liverpool are playing well you don’t have much to do (as a defender), they win the ball at the front.
‘The problem is they leave themselves exposed (at the moment) so it’s a difficult position to play in if your team isn’t functioning well.
‘It’s difficult at the moment because he’s getting exposed in one-vs-ones. If they are playing well you don’t even notice him and he just mops up everything.’
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