Pickford off the hook
The Reds’ 29-year-old colossus was ruled out for a significant time after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in his knee and the length of time that he will spend on the sidelines was not officially confirmed.
This comes after Van Dijk limped off injured during his side’s 2-2 draw against the Toffees at Goodison Park when the England goalkeeper went in hard on the Dutchman, with no action taken by referee Michael Oliver or VAR.
Should Jordan Pickford have been sent off?
After the FA carried out a further investigation, they concluded that would not be taking any further action against Pickford as the challenge was spotted by Stockley Park official David Coote but was not deemed to be a red card offence. This left many Liverpool fans understandably gobsmacked, despite Coote being withdrawn from the upcoming weekend’s proceedings.
Whelan was also upset by the incident and told Football Insider that there must be issues with the game if an incident like that is not assessed correctly.
“It is ridiculous”, he said. “There is something seriously wrong going on upstairs for that to not be looked at. That cannot be right.
“It is a disgusting challenge. There is no way he should have been on the field. They had an opportunity to put things right after what was a horror challenge and they haven’t. That is something that you do not want to see.”
Whelan continued: “It was borderline grievous bodily harm. He is not in control of his body. It is reckless, dangerous and is endangering somebody else’s ability to play.”
With Liverpool taking on Ajax tonight in their first game without Van Dijk, it is concerning that the Reds have now been left significantly short in the defensive department.
The Times journalist Paul Joyce also reported yesterday that Joel Matip will not be travelling to Amsterdam, leaving just Joe Gomez as the club’s only established centre-back in the ranks. Fabinho will be expected to fill in with his versatile characteristics.
Having sold Dejan Lovren in the summer, maybe it would not have been a bad idea to bring in a replacement for the World Cup finalist. Nonetheless, the German tactician appears to have faith in his young defenders coming out of Melwood and could be in line to prove his doubters wrong once more.
Still, it will be a huge test for the Reds to challenge for the Premier League. With Alisson Becker also missing, it makes their life much tougher going forward.
Liverpool fans, do you agree with Noel Whelan? Should Jordan Pickford be punished? Join the discussion now by commenting below…
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