- Netherlands beaten by France 3-0
- Van Basten criticised Van Dijk's performance
- Liverpool defender responded to the remarks
WHAT HAPPENED? Although the Netherlands registered a comfortable 3-0 victory over Gibraltar in Euro 2024 qualifying on Monday, Dutch legend Van Basten was still not over the 4-0 loss to France three days earlier, and singled out Van Dijk for criticism. The Liverpool star's penchant for "making noise" instead of dishing out "clear" instructions to his team-mates has been a major source of frustration for Van Basten, who has expressed doubt over his ability to lead the national team.
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WHAT THEY SAID: "He makes noise, but he doesn't say anything. 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," he told Ziggo Sport.
"In the dressing room he is good, football tactically and technically not. You need another gentleman on the field. 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."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: When Van Dijk was asked to respond to Van Basten's comments after the Gibraltar game, he said to Ziggo Sport: “This is of no use to me. Everyone is allowed to have their own opinion these days. Did I set the bar unrealistically high? How is that possible? It was never perfect, consistent is the right word. We’ve had a lot of success with the team. Football players, they know that better than anyone, have high peaks and deep lows. It’s quite normal that you can’t always play consistently.
"That you have a phase as a club or player where you are looking for your level. People should not forget that. It is normal that people make mistakes, that it is part of football and that it is very human. Regardless of who gets a platform and is allowed to say what, so that things are made big. You know better than anyone when you are doing something right or not."
IN TWO PHOTOS:
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WHAT NEXT? Van Dijk will now shift his focus back to club matters at Liverpool and is expected to be in action when the Reds make a trip to the Etihad Stadium to take on Manchester City on April 1.