Van Dijk Pledges To Give His All For Saints ! Wednesday, 20th Sep 2017 09:46
According to Saints current Captain Steven Davis, Virgil Van Dijk has pledged to give his all for Saints whilst at the club. But that should not stop the crowd giving a hostile reception on Saturday, just not to Van Dijk.
Virgil Van Dijk has been slowly re integrated back into the first team picture by Mauricio Pellegrino, but many supporters remain sceptical about his commitment to the club, indeed at Crystal Palace on Saturday around half the travelling support gave him a frosty reception when he came on the pitch.
For those not there the Virgil Van Dijk song was belted out, but the words had changed slightly from last season and it was not complimentary, but the good thing about that was that it sounded more like a warm welcome than a frosty one and those listening on TV probably thought that he had been received well by the Saints fans.
But he overcame two big hurdles at Selhurst Park, firstly he was on the bench and back in the squad and secondly he got on the pitch and played his first minutes in a competitive game since January, the first steps into the fans accepting him back into the fold even if it turns out to be only temporary.
His performance for those 13 minutes was not great, he looked ruty and his timing was way out, he failed to win headers that last season he would have won with ease, but if anyone thought this was through a lack of effort then they were wrong, the people who truly know his commitment are his team mates and it seems they are all behind him on his return.
Steven Davis who has taken on the role of Captain of the team has confired this saying the Dutch defender is now fully focused on Saints.
"It’s been a smooth transition, a lot more has been of it in the media than there has been here, he is determined to give his all and fight for his place"
So it seems that the Saints squad is happy that Virgil Van Dijk is going to give 100% for the team and after all they are the people who know him best, the message is that the team do not want to be distracted from the job ahead on Saturday, the want to concentrate on beating the visitors on home soil for the first time in 14 years and only the second time at St Mary's
But Davis does want a hostile reception at St Mary's on Saturday, just not for Virgil Van Dijk, he wants one created for Manchester United to help the Saints squad to victory.
“Every game in the Premier League, whether it’s against one of the top six or any position in the league, it always has its difficulties. You need to be at your best."
“There’s such fine lines in the Premier League to get results and you just need to go out and get everything right on the day.”
By getting everything right Davis clearly means having the crowd on the teams side from the start and not on it's back or even on the back of individual players, it means having everyone supporting the team.
“It’s great if you can create that hostile atmosphere, It gives the home team such a backing as well, and really pushes them on."
“Not only when you’re winning or when you’re hanging on to the result but whenever you’re trying to get that energy from the crowd. You need that."
“It’s important, though, on both sides of the coin, that the players give the fans energy and on the other side the fans give the players energy and use that.”
The message from Steven Davis to the fans ahead of the United game is clear, St Mary's has had some magical games over the past 16 years where the crowd have got behind the team and created a great atmosphere, but it has also had it's toxic moments, luckily enough few of them have been in the past 8 years.
On Saturday the crowd need to forget Virgil Van Dijk as an individual and see him only as part of a squad trying to do a job, the squad are focused, they do not want distractions.
Personally I want three points from Saturday above all else, no individual is bigger than the club and we should not make that so by concentrating on giving Van Dijk abuse and taking the focus off the job in hand, there is a time and place for letting feelings know, Saturday between 3- 4.55pm is not it.
Any fans who want to boo him are the ones who need to grow up it doesnt help the team and what will his team mates who accept him back think of supporters who do that... Liverpool fans didnt boo countinhio and maybe thats why players want to play for fans like that. He is one the top defenders in the PL and our team is stronger with him he may well leave next summer but jeering him may drive him out in January. If you want that its a poor way to support our team holdinga grudge which harms morale and support..
Players are just employees, yes well paid employees but just employees. They didn't love the club before they joined, they all most certainly won't after they leave. While they are here the least you can expect is they''ll do their job to the best of their ability. Loving SFC is a bonus that few of them get.
I just expect him to act like a good professional while he's here, he hasn't for the last 4 months, so an apology would be nice but if he just shows why he's a world class player for however long he's still here for that's good enough for me.
Booing him seems pointless and self indulgent if it in anyway affects him or the rest of the team. I'm sure Pellegrini will handle this right, as he has done so far.
I want the story on MOTD about how we played against and hopefully beat MU not the reception VVD was given.
Westham used to boo Samassi Abou every time he scored and they liked him! 😉 But on a serious note when your men are prepped and going in to battle that is not the time to destabilise them! I am VVD's harshest critic after his antics but I'll be letting him know on Saturday that the support (personal chants and noise) that he got from Saints fans (at the end of his career) was better than any he got at Liverpool, Man City or Barca. If we want him back to his best, for the short period he's likely to play for us, then we need to get behind him and raise his confidence (and price). Even if he's on the bench I'd like to hear positive chants so that he's chomping at the bit to get on and show us how good he is. COYR.
Lets not kid ourselves here, he's back for 2 reasons only, 1. to secure a place for Holland. 2. to stay in the shop window ready for January/Summer move, will I sing for him, no chance, but niether will I boo him, he means nothing to me and honestly I am not that bothered if he plays or not, with Romeu and Lemina in front any of our defenders should be fine.
Interesting that the advice from many quarters is to let bygones be bygones and not show our feelings openly on what has gone on for the past few month. Why shouldn't we let VVD know what we think of him? I pay a shed load of money for the 'privilege" of supporting my team so I am not going to have anyone tell me not to express myself on how I feel about ANY member of my team. Ironically, I also think that a if VVD gets a bad reception, it could well spur him on to play even better. It seem to work with Robby Savage when he played us.
What Bigrob says, but rather with the caveat that I would rather be seeing a focussed VVD in the team. It's important to remember that if the team accept him back into the fold, then as fans we should do the same. We don't have to love him. He's shown how little he respects our fans and club. We pay him, he does a job (to the best of his ability). Simple. As SaintPaul correctly points out very few players will (sadly) genuinely love the club the way we all do, but there are ways to do things.
Landerwal, try flipping your argument on its head. If Man U fans spent the whole time booing Smalling I'd love it as an opposing fan and so would players like Shane Long who would totally go in for the kill. You'd feel that with that kind of distraction going on Man U weren't as focussed as they could be. There will be some that argue that booing players galvanises the rest of the team around them, but do you really want a rift developing between players and fans? I personally can't see that being healthy.
You are right about those two reasons, but lets not kid ourself that is not what most of our better players are here for, that is the nature of football today, the trick is to use it for our own ends, better a season or two out of Lovren, Alderweireld, Van Dijk than 4 seasons of Yoshida with respect to a loyal clubman
Mgprobert, I think the best compromise you can hope for there is that VVD is 100% committed to playing to the best of his ability. I could live that. There is always the remote possibility that VVD forms a good partnership with Hoedt, we turn our season around, go on a run in the league and do well in the FA Cup and at the same time Liverpool totally bomb in all competitions and the allure of the Merseyside lights is suddenly not so great. As VVD himselsaid "player careers are short" so on the basis that Liverpool couldn't offer CL this season or next, maybe he'd be more prepared to wait it out longer for his perfect next move. Just a thought.
If people want to boo him because they pay lots of money then that's obviously their choice but how for tits sake is that gonna help the team against a good man utd (assuming he plays)? He's going and he's not playing to further his Southampton career- we all know that. Encourage (or don't discourage) the greedy git to play well and his stock doesn't go down (maybe up) and who knows maybe Barcelona get into a bidding war next jan. Let's use him for the 3 months or so we have him and get him back to his best so we have a confident team in the top half of the table and then we get rid in January. No point booing the obvious.
Not just the defending to think about. He does score a few and we need that threat. Even if it frees up space for another player at set pieces. Just not sure this is the game for him to start. He will prove a distraction.
Unlike most, I count myself a true supporter who pays for a ticket and so can do whatever he pleases. This means I spend the game hurling abuse at Nathan Redmond, and boo the squad off the pitch. In the pub afterwards, I like to loudly explain to people why we’ll definitely be in a relegation fight this season. In between games I preach the gospel of our Lord and Saviour, PellMané, who was betrayed by Les Reed and sold for our sins.
Nicky for goodness sake leave it alone or you'll go blind.Yet another swipe at Maya when you are asking us to be loyal to all Saints players! What you don't seem to 'get' is that Yoshi is actually one of our most loyal players out there, have you ever heard him bitch or complain or ask for more money or threaten to leave for a CL club?
I bumped into him once in a restaurant in Ocean Village and a nicer chap you could never hope to meet. He'll be the one from this squad who stays behind to put the lights out.
The agent and Liverpool failed here (ask also how much ex liverpool players, Gerrard and the likes try to turn his head like they have done the others. Saints held fast VVD has turned whether reluctantly or not he is wanting to get stuck in lets get behind him. What will be impressive is if starts the next season with us and then before his Value drops give him that transfer he desires. Lovern and others are finding it is not all rose's can't see one saints player who has moved on (recently) doing the business apart from Lallana who served us over 8 years and he is injured of course there is Mane but he used us as a stepping stone. There either injured or unselectable. it is what it is and we do have some good replacements now lets hope it gels this season
I support Saints and want the best team we can muster on the pitch, (regardless whether they are home grown heros like Le Tiss or playing for big money moves), playing as well as possible. Does booing VVD help achive that?
I will happily sign the VVD song, both to help him play well and also to rub it into Liverpool that they failed.
So we don't react at all...even after he releases a statement that basically says his relationship with the fans is damaged beyond repair when all we'd done up to that point is love the guy. How very magnanimous of you all. You're obviously the majority so fair enough. But it at least explains why the atmosphere at SMS is so bad. Keep clapping politely and don't...feel....anything....