Jamie Carragher outlines how Liverpool FC have coped without Virgil van Dijk
Jamie Carragher praises Liverpool FC for their performances in the absence of Virgil van Dijk
Jamie Carragher has hailed the “outstanding job” that Liverpool FC have done replacing Virgil van Dijk.
The Netherlands international looks set to be sidelined for the rest of the Premier League campaign after Van Dijk suffered a serious knee injury in a 2-2 draw with Everton in the Merseyside derby back in October.
Liverpool FC will also be without Joe Gomez for the rest of the 2020-21 Premier League campaign after the England international succumbed to a knee problem during a training session with Gareth Southgate’s squad.
The Reds have managed to remain unbeaten in all competitions since Van Dijk’s injury to keep their prospects of retaining the Premier League title alive in spite of their injury crisis at the back.
Jurgen Klopp has been forced to call upon Nathaniel Phillips, Rhys Williams and Neco Williams at different moments in the Premier League campaign.
Fabinho recovered from a hamstring injury to partner Joel Matip in Liverpool FC’s 3-0 victory over Leicester City at Anfield on Sunday night.
Sky Sports pundit Carragher praised the Reds for coping without their defensive leader.
“It’s an outstanding job from the players who have actually come in,” Carragher told Monday Night Football on Sky Sports.
The former Reds defender noted that the Liverpool FC backline has shifted their approach in recent weeks.
“When we talk about Van Dijk, let’s not forget he’s been part of a back four for the last couple of years that have had the best defensive record in the league, and I’m sure that would’ve been the case this season with him,” Carragher continued.
“But there was no doubt Liverpool had huge problems at the start of the season. They conceded three at home against Leeds and then there was obviously the game against Aston Villa.
“We have spoken a lot on Monday Night Football about Liverpool’s line and it’s difficult at times to criticise a team that have a great defensive record and have been so successful.
“There were times when I’d look at the line and think ‘run back’. Certainly, in the Aston Villa game, where obviously Liverpool got it massively wrong.
“At times it was not so much about how high the line was, it was just the fact that I always felt that Liverpool’s defenders needed to be in a position to actually run back. ‘Just run back and match the run. We’re in a decent line, okay they have beat the press and have time on the ball, let’s just give ourselves two or three yards. That’s all it was.”
Carragher was quick to praise the emergence of new leaders in the Liverpool FC team in Van Dijk’s absence.
“When you have that huge figure you look to in a certain position, and he’s out, it’s up to others to step in,” Carragher added.
“Sometimes it is not just one player, it can be three or four at one time. What we are seeing now is that there is maybe a lot more leadership from other people.”
Liverpool FC will take on Serie A side Atalanta in the Champions League on Wednesday night before the Reds make the trip to Brighton on Saturday afternoon.