Inverta-brat. The van Dijk conundrum and other fairy tales.

Of the millions of species in the world, 98% are invertebrates. Invertebrates don’t have a back bone. Common examples of this are Jellyfish, worms and over precious, multi-millionaire Premier League footballers.

It’s somewhat of a mystery to me, that someone as relaxed on the ball as van Dijk, someone as commanding in the air and with such physical presence can find themselves ‘not in the right frame of mind’ to play for their club in a pre-season friendly because their dream move to perennial also-rans Liverpool doesn’t seem to be going to plan. It beggars belief it really does.

Now let me be clear. I have zero issue with someone wanting to better themselves, and despite my tongue in cheap dig at the Scousers in my previous paragraph, they are back in the Champion’s League, and that is where a player of the Dutchman’s quality belongs. So yes, he may have his heart set on a move, but when you are highly paid to do a job that most would kill for, how about you do it in a professional manner? Just get on with it. Do your job, and do it for the club who is paying you until that club agrees a fee with somebody else.

Let’s not overlook that he has taken this stance before a game being played for the benefit of the victims of the Grenfell fire, I wonder what his team mate Ryan Bertrand makes of that? Dream move or not, this whole episode is not putting him in a very good light as far as being human is concerned. He seemed to be enjoying his trip to Disneyland Paris instead and I think Lucy put it best…

Southampton are trialling the new Anti-Liverpool head magnet this Summer…

I’m very much in the camp that believes he should be moved on now as soon as possible. If that is to Liverpool then so be it. If they meet the asking price then move him on, he’s a bad apple. His actions have shown he has zero respect for the fans who chant his name, and the club that gave him the platform to shine. Sadly, he’s a bad apple who is exceptionally good at football. If a deal could be done with any club other than Liverpool then that would be a nice bonus. Our new manager has a handle on it having told ‘the boy’ to train alone. Many would have us stand firm and stick him in the reserves and I understand their frustration, but that is an expensive asset to have hanging around stinking the place up in a permanent sulk. Besides, that money could be invested in the next van Dijk, and God knows we want to be able to go through all this again in a couple of Summers time.

The board are (yet again) in a shit situation regarding a key player, and while I can sympathise with their position, they have to take some of the responsibility themselves having given in in the past. I suggest they make clear decision one way or the other, can they get a final year a la Schneiderlin/Wanyama or cash in and invest the money in new players. Either way, it’s yet another Summer of distractions for Saints and poor Forster has already been caught out at Brentford after spotting a van Dijk lookalike in the crowd at the worst possible time….

Anyway, at least we have all the new incoming players to take our minds off van Strijk. Oh wait…

Personally I’m not of the opinion that we need wholesale changes, but one or two new players to freshen up the squad would be nice. I’m certainly not as desperate as some, and I have to have a little chuckle when I see the same people who were telling us that Puel wasn’t getting the best out of a talented squad now telling us that the squad is poor. Make your mind up lads and lasses.

This squad finished 8th last season with van Dijk and Austin missing for large chunks, and with Puel’s odd negative tactics and a terrible home record. If Pellegrino is the man we all hope him to be then we shouldn’t need an influx of new players to have a better season. Jan Bednarek has come in, in a position that actually we are stronger in than we ever realised given Stephen’s performances in the run in last season, and maybe we could do with another attacking midfielder? I’m not sure we need a lot else.

If van Dijk is sold then I would expect that money to be reinvested in the squad, the board must surely understand that, but if he doesn’t then I don’t think we are in bad shape.

Silly season sees us linked with all sorts, and when they sign for someone else try not forget that may never have really been interested and they may not have improved our squad. We aren’t going to sign the likes of Hernandez and Sigurdsson, it jut isn’t our way. If we sign anyone else this Summer it will likely be someone you’ve never heard of, and in two years time you will be bemoaning his impending big money move to another club…

Enjoy the rest of the window dear reader.

Keep the faith.


8 thoughts on “Inverta-brat. The van Dijk conundrum and other fairy tales.”

  1. Great article and absolutely spot on get rid of him asap for as much money, I wonder if the impending buyout and the amount that vvd is likely to be sold for is complicating the issue. I think that better concentration and effort during games, improved penalty taking and we should have no real problems this season. We March on.
    Vintage Saint

  2. I’m a believer in making VVD pay for his petulance by punishing him.
    Send him to Headmaster Les and give him a proper talking to… if he still disagrees then fine him (very heavily)
    What did we pay for him? £10M? He can watch and rot for that. Remember that Osvaldo fella? We lost more on him.
    So, great article as always but for once I really want Saints to stick to their word from the headmaster himself… Virgil will not be sold!

  3. Agree. Great article. I as so disappointed in his attitude, I really thought he was a man with integrity and expected him to stay another season. How wrong was I? I would cash in on him and like to see him to go anywhere but Liverpool. I suspect that we’ll keep him in the reserves for a few months as the club now has to walk the walk after talking the talk…

  4. Good article as ever. There is a sticking point for me though. It would be good to get out of this continual cycle of clubs tapping up our players up resulting in ‘player unhappiness’ or more than likely ‘agent led’ disruption. We could say that it’s just the state of the modern game but it seems to happen to Saints more than most. Certainly we are a soft touch for aggressive clubs like spurs and liverpool. For this reason alone, making a stance on VVD and the behaviour of our Scouse friends feels right. 6 months in the reserves would make a clear point to fans, players and pariah clubs. Unsettling a player will not lead to getting that player. Selling him on ‘later’ will still recoup a healthy profit for the disaffected Man Child if he continues to sulk.

  5. Having accepted Liverpools apology for “tapping up” we cannot now acquiesce to VVD’s demand to join them. It would be a PR disaster. To what extent have Liverpoool gotten into VVD’s earhole for him to say “no one but them”. Are you kidding me? The situation is bad for Saints but it’s potentially worse for VVD. Damage to his reputation and damage to his career in a World Cup year We can’t be the first ones to blink.

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