Wijnaldum slams 'stupid' Pickford for his tackle on Van Dijk
‘I know it’s a derby but it was too much’: Georginio Wijnaldum slams Jordan Pickford for his ‘stupid’ tackle on Liverpool team-mate Virgil van Dijk that left Dutchman needing knee surgery
- Jordan Pickford’s horror tackle on Virgil Van Dijk injured the Liverpool star
- The Dutch centre back requires knee surgery following the Merseyside Derby
- Reds midfielder Georginioi Wijnaldum was critical of Pickford’s rash challenge
- Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp will be without Joel Matip for the clash against Ajax
Gini Wijnaldum has continued the fallout from the Merseyside derby by branding Everton’s approach as ‘unacceptable’.
Virgil van Dijk will miss the rest of the season following a challenge from Jordan Pickford that damaged his anterior cruciate ligament, while Thiago Alcantara is out of tonight’s Champions League opener against Ajax following a tackle that resulted in Richarlison being sent off.
Liverpool were flabbergasted that Everton’s goalkeeper did not receive retrospective punishment from The FA and Wijnaldum said: ‘The way Pickford went in was completely stupid in my opinion. I don’t believe he wanted to injure Virgil but the way he made the tackle he didn’t care about what happened after the tackle. It’s happened a lot in games against Everton.
Georginio Wijnaldum has sharply criticised Jordan Pickford’s tackle on Virgil van Dijk
Van Dijk was clattered by the Everton goalkeeper on Saturday and requires knee surgery
‘In my opinion they take it too far in the games we play against them. I know it’s a derby and sometimes it goes over the top but it was too much. It was not the only tackle like that. Richarlison on Thiago was also a nasty one. That’s what annoys me the most.
‘Accidents can always happen in football. You can be unlucky and injure someone but the way they were doing it was completely unacceptable. It makes it even harder when they don’t get punished, in this case Pickford.’
Wijnaldum’s attack was supported by manager Jurgen Klopp.
Reds manager Jurgen Klopp stated both challenges on his players were ‘difficult to accept’
‘A couple of days ago something happened which should not have happened in a football game,’ he said.
‘Both challenges were difficult to accept. It’s hard for us because Virgil is our boy. Usually, players try to play the ball but not in these two challenges.
‘In the last four years, we were the leader of the fair play table. We don’t get anything for that, it’s something people joke about. We were up there in both tables. You can play football without these kind of challenges.’
Van Dijk faces a number of months on the sidelines after sustaining the injury at the weekend
Centre back Joel Matip has been ruled out of the Champions League opener against Ajax
Meanwhile, Liverpool’s defensive problems have increased after Joel Matip was ruled out of their Champions League opener against Ajax in Amsterdam.
With Van Dijk facing several months on the sidelines with knee ligament damage, Klopp could ill afford to be without another central defender but after sustaining a knock in Saturday’s Merseyside derby the club are adopting a cautious approach with Matip.
The same can be said of midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who did also not travel with the squad after he too sustained a knee injury against Everton, while goalkeeper Alisson Becker (shoulder) is still absent.
Provisional squad: Adrian, Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Gomez, Robertson, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Milner, Salah, Firmino, Mane, Kelleher, N Williams, R Williams, Phillips, Tsimikas, Jones, Keita, Minamino, Jota, Origi.
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