Virgil van Dijk slams ‘unacceptable’ teammates after Merseyside Derby defeat

Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk has accused his side of failing to do the “bare minimum” in Wednesday night’s derby defeat to bitter local rivals Everton.

Virgil van Dijk glares at his teammates
Virgil van Dijk was critical of his teammates after a devastating few weeks – Photo by Icon Sport

The 2-0 defeat has all but ended Liverpool’s hopes of giving departing boss Jurgen Klopp the perfect send-off with a Premier League title.

Van Dijk’s assessment: Reds ‘don’t deserve to win the league'

The Dutchman’s frustration in his post-match interview was evident, both in his body language and his words. The skipper said his side “were lacking in so many moments”. 

They also played into the Toffees’ hands, saying, “They were having I don’t know how many set pieces… that could make a difference as it’s a strength of theirs.”

Liverpool gave away 13 free kicks on the night.

Liverpool could not contain Everton's aerial targets – Photo by Icon Sport

And the Reds struggled to deal with Everton’s aerial onslaught all game, winning only 44%.

Van Dijk went on to say, “We have to look in the mirror, and each and every one of us has to think like ‘Listen, you can’t accept this, you can’t accept the way we let our season end, if you play like we did, you don’t deserve to win the league”.

A new era begins: Another ending?

Klopp’s time at Anfield will draw to a close next month, with Wolves on 19 May set to be his farewell.

Arne Slot is the current favourite, with the Feyenoord manager reportedly in advanced talks with the club.

Virgil van Dijk
Jurgen Klopp has a close relationship with Virgil van Dijk – Photo by Icon Sport

Despite the potential Dutch connection, Vn Dijk has not yet committed his future to the Reds, and has just a year left on his contract.

Replacing such an icon of a manager as Klopp will be hard, and a rocky transition may be around the corner. 

In January, the 32-year-old said, “I'm very curious which direction that will go in, but when that will be announced, we will see our situation.”

Van Dijk is part of a trio of crucial Liverpool players with deals expiring next summer, along with Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

With expensive targets like Victor Gyokeres on the Reds' radar, they may seek to cash in one of the trio to avoid losing them for nothing.

William Evans is a football and politics fanatic. A first-class graduate of UEA's Broadcast and Digital Journalism MA course, he also achieved a first class degree in politics and media studies during his time at UEA.