Former England goalkeeping coach David Watson has claimed that he witnessed something from one Liverpool player against Arsenal on Sunday that he’d never seen previously.
It was an evening to forget for the Reds and for Virgil van Dijk, with the captain shipping some of the blame over a couple of the home side’s goals at the Emirates Stadium.
Speaking with Ben Foster and Mark Goldbridge on The Football Fill-In, the 50-year-old said of the Dutch centre-back: “If you look at the three goals Liverpool concede, and it’s probably never, ever in his career will you have said this, I think Van Dijk was responsible in all three of those goals.
“The first goal, he’s either got to go all the way in and engage, or drop off and the space is not there for [Kai] Havertz to get through on goal.”
On the second goal, Watson said of Van Dijk: “He should’ve just headed the ball. He lets it bounce. [Gabriel] Martinelli, fair play to him; it’s not a foul, just gives him a little nudge at the right time.
“It’s so hard for the goalie to second guess that Van Dijk’s going to let the ball bounce, and as soon as that ball bounces, you’re not quite sure.”
Unfortunately, Liverpool’s captain will know that he should’ve done much better for the first two Arsenal goals in particular, and some might argue that he possibly could’ve got back slightly quicker for Leandro Trossard’s late clincher too, although Watson didn’t actually address that in length despite his initial statement.
Like the team as a whole, it wasn’t a good day at the office for the 32-year-old, but such off-days have thankfully been a rarity throughout his excellent season so far, and we’ve every confidence that he’ll quickly be back to his imperious best.
You can view Watson’s comments below (from 6:16), via The Football Fill-In on YouTube: