Van Dijk takes swipe at Van Gaal over Netherlands tactics as ‘very strong opinion’ questioned

Virgil van Dijk, Jonas Wind Netherlands v Denmark March 2022

Virgil van Dijk has questioned the tactics from Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal following the nation’s 4-2 win over Denmark.

The Liverpool defender has established himself as one of the first names on the team sheet for both club and country. Indeed, he became the Netherlands captain in March 2018 shortly after his move to Anfield.

However, Van Dijk is only getting back to his best for the Netherlands after his serious knee injury last season.

What’s more, the nation are in another period of transition after Euro 2020, which Van Dijk missed. Frank de Boer stepped down as manager after the last-16 exit to the Czech Republic.

Van Gaal subsequently stepped into the dugout for his third spell as manager. He has taken charge of eight games in his latest stint, with the 4-2 win over Denmark maintaining an unbeaten run since he started.

Van Dijk played the full 90 minutes in the latest win, secured with goals from Steven Bergwijn, Nathan Ake and Memphis Depay.

Still, Van Dijk has insisted that he prefers a 4-3-3 system instead of Van Gaal’s 3-4-1-2 tactics.

“Until today we have been training hard, with lots of tactics and meetings,” the defender told Foot Mercato. “There are good times but also things to improve.

Who is better out of Liverpool v Man City?

Who is better out of Liverpool v Man City?

- Missing Description -

“We will analyse this. Of course, we are playing in a new system, different things are required of the players. But I think we showed a lot of good things.

“Do I like the system? Well, I’m still in favour of 4-3-3 but I’m not the national coach and the national coach has a very strong opinion about it.”

The Netherlands return to action on Tuesday in another friendly against Germany, which will prove another good test.

Further down the line, though, the next edition of the Nations League starts in June. Van Gaal’s side face Belgium, Wales and Poland in their group.

Van Dijk faces busy Liverpool run-in

Virgil van Dijk, Arsenal v Liverpool March 2022

For now though, the centre-back will look to get back to Liverpool fit and healthy for a packed end to the season with Liverpool.

Having won the Carabao Cup in February, the Reds are now chasing a quadruple.

Van Dijk will be at the heart of Jurgen Klopp’s team in matches in the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup.

Liverpool return to action against Watford at Anfield, where they can go to the top of the Premier League ahead of Manchester City before they play.