Van Dijk deployed as striker in Netherlands game
Bilino Polje Stadium, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina – October 11, 2020 Netherlands’ Virgil van Dijk reacts [REUTERS/Dado Ruvic]

Frank de Boer’s stuttering start to life as Holland boss continued with a 0-0 draw vs Bosnia.

The former Crystal Palace boss lost his first game in charge, with Raul Jimenez’s penalty handing Mexico a 1-0 friendly win in midweek.

And in his first competitive match, the Dutch could only manage a stalemate in the Nations League fixture.

On a frustrating evening in Zenica. De Boer made the unusual decision to throw Van Dijk up-front for the closing minutes.

Man City defender, Nathan Ake, was brought on with four minutes remaining, signalling the chance for the Liverpool talisman to move forward.

It didn’t work as De Boer watched Ryan Babel miss a gilt-edged chance before the full-time whistle.

De Boer endured a miserable time managing time in the Premier League, losing all four of his games, without scoring a goal.

Van Dijk deployed as striker in Netherlands game
Bilino Polje Stadium, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina – October 11, 2020 Netherlands’ Virgil van Dijk in action with Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Sead Kolasinac [REUTERS/Dado Ruvic]

Van Dijk meanwhile, has come in for criticism for the first time in his stay in English football. Jurgen Klopp’s champions have looked shaky defensively and after conceded a staggering seven times against Aston Villa ast time out, more of the blame is being pointed in his direction.

Arsenal legend Sol Campbell has accused the 29-year-old of complacency and questioned how good he would be in a different era.

He told the Athletic : “I know Van Dijk struggled in the Villa game, but he stands out these days because he’s head and shoulders above everyone else, which makes me wonder if that is hampering him at the same time.

“He’s the complete player in that position and has made it look easy, but maybe he’s not been challenged enough and then, like a cricketer being done by a slower ball, he’s come unstuck.

“If you’ve not been worrying about forwards troubling you, sometimes you drop your guard a fraction. It’s a natural human thing.

“Maybe that’s seeped in a bit at Liverpool in general. I’m sure Jurgen Klopp will recognise that and get them back on track.

“It would be interesting to see if Van Dijk would have stood out had he been playing in our time when there were lots of great centre-halves: me, John Terry, Tony Adams, Martin Keown, Jamie Carragher, Kolo Toure, Jaap Stam.”

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here