“I’m not naive” – Virgil van Dijk admits his role in Liverpool’s poor start to season – Liverpool FC

With Liverpool’s defense struggling for some kind of consistency this season, Virgil van Dijk has admitted his role in the Reds’ poor start to the season.

Van Dijk, who has been widely regarded as the best defender in the world for much of his time at Liverpool, has completed every game at club level this season.

After an encouraging Community Shield win over Man City at the end of July, Jurgen Klopp’s side have made a disappointing start to their Premier League campaign, winning just two of their opening six matches.

Defense has been a constant problem for some time, with Liverpool only managing to keep two clean sheets so far this season and regularly falling behind in games.

Individually, Van Dijk’s performances have not lived up to what he has scored in recent years, and the Dutchman has now acknowledged the “mistakes” he has made so far this season.

NAPLES, ITALY - Wednesday, September 7, 2022: Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool during the UEFA Champions League Group A Matchday 1 match between SSC Napoli and Liverpool FC at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.  (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I know I could have done better at the beginning of the season. I am not naive about it. I know very well when I make mistakes,” he told reporters after the Netherlands’ win over Poland, quoted by The Athletic.

“I also know that I am one of the important players in the club and, of course, also here in the national team. I feel that responsibility.”

Van Dijk went on to explain how he feels an added weight of responsibility as one of the leading players in both club and country.

“Mentally it is a challenge. You feel a lot of pressure in your head,” she continued.

“A lot of people also forget that, it’s not easy to do that. We all try to give our best and if, in my case, you are one of the mainstays of the club, then you get the criticism you deserve.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 3, 2022: Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Liverpool FC, the 241st Merseyside Derby, at Goodison Park.  (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“You have to deal with it and that’s not always easy. But I did very well.”

After an embarrassing 4-1 loss to Napoli earlier this month, Klopp and his Liverpool players had some honest talks about his poor form.

However, Van Dijk has been buoyed by the unity shown amongst his team-mates.

“We talked well (with each other), especially in the week before the (Champions League) match against Ajax Amsterdam.

“It doesn’t mean it can’t happen again. But it is important, and I see it with the national team as well, that the focus is in the same direction. That is the basis of success.”

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