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Even Le Tissier Refutes Van Dijk's Twisted Truth
Friday, 22nd Feb 2019 10:29

When Saints fans read Virgil Van Dijk's account of his last few months at St Mary's they saw a version of a story far from the truth, so did Matthew Le Tissier.

When in an interview to the BBC Virgil Van Dijk claimed he gave his all for Saints in his final months at the club it was not what Saints fans were seeing and even Liverpool supporters who would have read the accounts at the time of a player who was refusing to play for the team, must have raised an eyebrow or two.

Since that period last season Saints fans have largely put it behind them and consigned it to history, but strangely Van Dijk himself has chosen to bring it up and perhaps with a feeling of guilt he can't put behind him himself has now tried to rewrite history to make him out as the good guy.

Speaking to the BBC Van Dijk said of his time at Saints.

“After the end of August [and the transfer window] I put my head down, played for Southampton and gave everything. "

“I was happy to play because I came back from an eight-month injury."

“When everything happened over the summer, people doubt you."

“For me, I really didn't care as I gave everything in games and training. When it was December and I got a call to say they got a deal done and I could talk to Liverpool, I was very happy.”

“I went to the Juventus v Real Madrid Champions League final in Cardiff in 2017 and a lot of Liverpool fans came to me and said I had to sign for them."

“It was a great gesture; they were nice and respectful.”

This is a sanitised version of events that no one in Southampton will recognise and Matt Le Tissier not only a man not slow to stand up for the club but also a man who knows what loyalty actually is was flabbergasted, tweeting

"Fully understand why he left but will never understand refusing to play for the club that pays you and then claim you gave everything for that club"

So how close is Van Dijk to actually telling the truth here ? well I think we know the answer to that.

Le Tiss is right we all understand why Van Dijk would want to go to Liverpool, tripling his not inconsequential salary at Saints plus the opportunity to play for a club that whether we like to admit it or not will challenge for honours each season is something than football players have aspired to since the first days of professionalism in the game in the 1800's, football fans accept that, what they can't accept these days is the badge kissing shallow behaviour of certain players.

Van Dijk claims that after the end of August he put his head down and played for Saints, what he fails to mention is what had gone on in the months before, his refusal to play in pre season nor for that matter the opening games of the Premier League season, it was not in fact the end of August that he returned to match action, but 16th September and Saints 6th League game of the season when he played the final 3 minutes after coming on as sub at Crystal Palace, so it would be a week later before he truly returned even being able to give his all let alone do it.

Van Dijk is right he had come back from an 8th month injury, one that he had received his not insubstantial wages from a contract he had been happy to sign only a couple of month's before Jamie Vardy's snidey foul on him that ended his season and effectively his Saints career.

Was it unreasonable for Saints to expect him to feel some loyalty to them and actually morally feel he owed them something other than behind the back treachery, Liverpool fans would do well to take note here a leopard does not change it's spots.

So did he give his all ? you won't find many down here who will back his story and probably not many in Liverpool who witnessed a sulky half hearted performance in a 3-0 defeat at Anfield, then a slightly better performance in an acting capacity as he sunk to his knees at the end of a game and remained knelt on the turf in some sort of gesture that if not aimed at engineering a move to Anfield was targeting an Oscar nomination for best portrayal of a sulky childish brat.

Overall most would say he was playing at half pace with even less commitment, he was still better than some in the team, but it was clear that he was trying to force the clubs hand as he had done in the summer after being caught red handed talking to Liverpool behind Saints backs.

He was clearly a disruptive influence and annoying the other members of the squad who were trying to win games of football for Southampton FC and where hampered by a so called team mate.

By mid December he was awful in a 4-1 home defeat to Leicester City and for the following match at Chelsea he was an unused sub and had been removed from training with the squad and his Southampton career was over, indeed he was pictured holding a Liverpool shirt even before the January window was open.

Perhaps he had put in a few half hearted performances during his final few months, perhaps there were actually glimpses of the player he was during that time, but as the January window loomed he was clearly back to his performances of the summer and trying to force the club to back down and let him go.

Sadly he didn't even have the decency to think of anyone bar Virgil Van Dijk during his last months at the club and worse still he was going behind the clubs back in the summer and it was clearly still happening right up to his eventual move.

Saints tried to do the right thing for themselves and keep a player who was pivotal in their plans, but Van Dijk showed us what a significant amount of players have become nowadays, those that say Saints sell players every time they get an offer were shown that this was not the case and just why it is so difficult to keep players.

But did Van Dijk have a lucky break ? clearly the reception he got at the Champions League final from " A lot of Liverpool supporters" according to him, seems to have been a factor in his move.

He would perhaps have been more likely to meet "A Lot of Newport County" supporters, would their great gestures have swayed him to demand that he move to the hallowed turf of Rodney Parade.

What "A lot of Liverpool supporters" were doing at that game is very strange, why would they have been at that game, a match where not only were tickets very very expensive but also very hard to get, where did he meet them ? in the pub ? on the bus ?

Sadly he leaves the most incredulous bit to last, he perhaps shows in his final sentences of how far he is willing to go to paint himself as the hero of the piece and not the villain, Liverpool fans can sniff a wrong un from a mile off and they surely will be uneasy at this latest uncalled for outburst, as Shakespeare once said "He doth protest too much"

If Liverpool don't win a trophy this season then they had better be wary, the Champions League Final is in Madrid this year, if Van Dijk goes to watch it there will be a lot of Real Madrid and Barcelona fans around on June 1st having read Van Dijk's interview they will fancy their chances of persuading him to sign !

Photo: Action Images

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RogerToye added 10:49 - Feb 22
VVD and Boufal behaviour has been the main reason I stopped going to games not paying their fat wages with the sort of don't want to play attitude. however, we seem to play our best with a good blend of experience and youth. waiting for those days again!

wessexman added 10:51 - Feb 22
WHY on earth would VvD rake this up after almost a year? Liverpool's behaviour during this unedifying saga was disgraceful but my abiding memory was that of their fans going into meltdown, foaming at the mouth when Barca tapped up Coutinho. As fat as I am concerned, VvD is just another mercenary littering our football. I look forward to the city of Liverpool collectively moving in with the Samaritans when meneer van Dijk deems Liverpool have served his purpose.

saintmark1976 added 12:59 - Feb 22
The board and management made yet another mistake (to add their many in recent time) by allowing VVD back into the team after injury. Contrary to Nick's then current constant negativity in regard to Yoshida he had just begun to form a decent partnership with Stephens.Had that partnership been allowed to flourish we would not have been in a relegation scrap last season nor this.

SonicBoom added 13:40 - Feb 22
St Mark the club could not win on this one. Fans were moaning saying we would flog him. We didn't. Then when he kicked off, they were moaning that we should have sold him.
The player let the club down simple as that.
As for Yoshida ans Stephens I can only assume this is a wind up? They consistently prove they are not PL quality so I don't know what you are watching.
Yes they are still here but what does that say?
Chris Rock once said "A man is only as faithful as his options" and that seems to sum up modern footballers perfectly. The more options they have the less loyal they are.

SaintNick added 13:46 - Feb 22
saintmark1976, I have not had constant negativity towards Yoshida or Stephens, all I have done is point out when errors are made, the fact that so many have been is why it may appear that I am biased against them.

Every time I make a comment against any player I try to point out why I made the comment, for instance at the time you quote in Nov/Dec 2017 I singled out Yoshida for failing to mark Sam Vokes for Burnley's winner at St Mary's and then again for letting Giroud run off him and get a free header for a last minute equaliser a month later, a mistake that cost us dearly although I did point outthat Yoshida had had a decent game up t that point.

I cant remember which one of them failed to markDepoitre for Huddersfield.

That was a case of 5 points dropped due to a failure to mark players in the space of 6 weeks it was going on before and it has never stopped since.

It it the boards fault that VVD behaved like he did ?

Yoshida and Stephens have been good servants to Saints there is a reason for that perhaps you would like to explain to me why you think that is and then I will give you mine

saintmark1976 added 18:17 - Feb 22
Sonic, it's not a wind up. I genuinely believe that if Yoshida and Stephens had been allowed to form a partnership then that would have been a better outcome for the club. After all, it's not as though the owners and management provided us with a better alternative is it? Vester and Hoedt haven't exactly set the Premiership alight have they?

At the risk of exposing my advancing years and possible lack of memory I have to be honest and say that I never heard of Chris Rock. Perhaps you would care to enlighten me please?

Nick, with great respect, the world and his wife have been telling you for months on this very site that for some reason best known to yourself you have a problem with Yoshida. Now, when Yoshida doesn't play your attention turns to Stephens. I suppose that its people's different opinions that make football so interesting so I suggest that we will just have to "agree to disagree" on this one?


cocklebreath added 00:47 - Feb 23
Bollox nick you have agendas, its fooking dull.

TimSaint added 14:08 - Feb 23
Despite Liverpool's written apology and publicly withdrawing their interest in VVD, not only did we allow them to buy him in the next window, we also worked on his match fitness for them - allowing him to half heartedly stroll around, not really giving a fvck, as he already knew he was leaving.

aceofthebase added 09:51 - Feb 24
VVD never looks flustered and so it is difficult to see if he is trying or not

SanMarco added 11:09 - Feb 24
Did he used to play for us? If he did I have forgotten - probably the best approach for all of us. I sense he is the type who will thrive on abuse and we could well need a surprise point against them.

underweststand added 15:29 - Feb 25
I agree the Interview did seem a bit out of place and an attempt to " rewrite history ".
Now VvD is getting the World's attention, he has to be seen as Liverpool's " good guy".

For me the real villian in the piece is Jamie Vardy who crunched Virgil's ankle in an off-the- ball tackle...clearly seen by millions on TV ... that would have been worth a red card and a long suspension... had the ref. seen it when it happened.
VvD 's subsequent "secret talks" with Liverpool and their blatantly unpunished attempt to "chat him up " would also have got a more severe response from the PL - had it not involved " that Liverpool club" - as a mere fine (to them) is little more than a fly swat.

AS for the Yoshida / Stephens partnership (forced on us by Fonte's untimely departure and VvD's injury)...despite all, Jack stepped up well from his previous L1 loan-outs and Maya Yoshida did a sterling job in coaching him along for the remainder of that season. Sadly those costly errors overhadowed the improvement achieved in the circumstances.

The subsequent rapid changes of managers led to a round of musical chairs where only Hoedt kept his place on a permanent basis, when "hindsight" might have argued that he was the main causes of the cumulative defence problem.

It's somewhat unfair to single out either Stephens or Yoshida, when both Hoedt and Cedric were also responsible for similar game-changing mistakes that cost us points.


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