An angry Virgil van Dijk ordered Rio Ferdinand, Peter Crouch and the rest of the BT Sport pundits to back off after they interrupted the Liverpool defender’s pre-match warm-up exercise with Joe Gomez ahead of kick-off against Nottingham Forest. The Dutchman was practicing headers with his partner in the center of defence, but the space they were working in seemed to be limited by the position of the pundits, as they stood on the halfway line to watch the match.
Van Dijk soon made his presence known, waving his hands to order them back as it was apparently affecting their preparations for the contest.
Most of the BT Sport team, which also included Lynsey Hipgrave and Karen Carney, had their backs to the action, meaning they didn’t really know they were causing a minor infringement.
Ferdinand had just briefly greeted Van Dijk, but moments later caught the centre-back’s body language and told his colleagues to switch, sensing the £75m star’s frustration.
Van Dijk waved his arms again to drive the BT Sport team back and his facial expression suggested he wasn’t too pleased with the antics.
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However, the former Manchester United centre-back came under fire a bit earlier in the season when Van Dijk seemed to take offense at heavy criticism of Liverpool in the media following the 4-1 Champions League loss to Napoli.
Van Dijk said after Liverpool responded with a win over Ajax at Anfield: “We know last week was unacceptable, very bad and we tried to do well. This is a step in the right direction, don’t get carried away because we played “. so many matches. Now we have to focus on the national teams or the break and then continue.”
To which Ferdinand replied, after Jake Humphrey questioned him on the matter: “If I thought it was wrong or personal, then I’d be in trouble.
“If it was deserved, I’ll put my hands up and say. But listen, the performance in Naples, if they’re honest, everyone will say ‘pfft, it was a bad day at the office and we deserved it.’ the criticism we receive. But I think we reiterated on the night, we weren’t saying they became a bad team overnight or bad players, it was a bad performance.”
Liverpool travel to Nottingham Forest following back-to-back 1-0 wins at Anfield over Manchester City and West Ham.
Van Dijk has been a mainstay at the Reds’ back despite a disappointing start to the campaign that saw his own performances called into question.
Jurgen Klopp’s men did not have Darwin Núñez or Thiago Alcántara for the visit to the City Ground in a double blow for the Reds.
The Uruguayan has a tight hamstring, which he first felt in the midweek win over West Ham in which he scored the winner while Thiago missed out with an ear infection.
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