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Has Van Dijk's Mind Been "Poisoned So Deeply" There Is No Way Back ?
Tuesday, 5th Sep 2017 10:35

The transfer window is shut, but the mouths of various pundits remain very wide open and Stan Collymore is the latest to offer his opinion and say that there is no way back at St Mary's for the player.

Saints fans wait with baited breath to see if Virgil Van Dijk bites the bullet and returns to training and then the first team, to keep them amused there is still an endless stream of pundits, many of them former Liverpool Legends like Stan Collymore.

Collymore is the latest to make claims and he is suggesting that the next step for Virgil Van Dijk will be to have a meeting with Saints to agree when he is going to move with January being the players preferred option.

But Collymore goes further and suggests that the rift between Van Dijk and the club is now so wide that perhaps playing for the team will be a step too far.

“Of the three [Van Dijk, Sanchez, Coutinho], I’d expect Van Dijk to have the toughest reception,” Collymore wrote in his Daily Mirror column.

“He looked as if he’d gone a bit ‘Big Time Charlie’ when he started posting moody pictures on private jets and I wouldn’t expect old-school pros like Steven Davis to accept that."

“The poison has perhaps been injected so deep into Van Dijk’s relationship with the Saints that, unlike Coutinho, I can’t see a way back in the long term.

“So don’t be surprised to hear of a meeting in the next few weeks designed to get him out of St Mary’s in January.

“Sometimes in football, that’s the only way to sort it once and for all.”

Perhaps the key phrase id "Poison injected so deep" this is interesting as it suggests that someone close to Van Dijk has been turning the player against the club, that it is more than just a player wanting away, but someone who seems more determined to do damage to Southampton Football Club than what is best for Virgil Van Dijk.

Certainly this saga has felt strange from the start, the way that a media campaign has been conducted with so many pundits like Collymore briefed to such a degree that they belived that a move for Van Dijk was not only certain but very close and that this has been the case since May before the transfer window even opened.

Even on deadline day there were those quite influential willing to claim that they thought the deal would be done !

Now when the likes of Jamie Carragher etc claim a deal is about to be done they are staking their reputations on the line, Carragher is trying to forge a career as a respected pundit, one who talks sense, working for Sky he is close to many in the game and is not like the likes of Collymore or Mick Quinn who make their living from "headlines" not particularly fact.

Most Saints fans have blamed Liverpool FC and it cannot be denied that they have played a big part, but is it them with this continuous briefing of the media ?

Collymore's claim that poison has been injected into Van Dijk doesn't point to Liverpool Football Club it points towards the players agent.

Certainly Rob Jansen of the Wasserman Group has reason to dislike Saints, this was the man who persuaded Ronald Koeman to leave St Mary's when previously he was happy to stay, so much so that Koeman dumped his former agent and appointed Jansen so Saints were faced with the fact that the man Everton had to help them appoint their manager was now the man representing Koeman, there was only going to be one outcome.

That left a sour taste in the mouth for Saints and there was no love lost between the club and Rob Jansen.

This had lead to some suggestions in some quarters that when Jansen and his Wasserman group signed Virgil Van Dijk last December they had one thing and one thing only on their minds, moving their new client from Saints and in doing so gain some sort of revenge for the Koeman issue where Saints forced Everton into a big pay out, money which of course could have gone elsewhere namely the new Everton manager and his agents.

This has seemingly lead to a summer where Virgil Van Dijk has been turned from what many close to Saints described as a level headed young man, to someone who was prepared to take perhaps the biggest stand in football since Jean Marc Bosman took on the footballing authorities in the mid 90's.

The dispute between Virgil Van Dijk and Southampton FC esculated this summer and the truth is that perhaps it did so because of third party influences on the player.

According to some media reports in the days before the transfer window shut, Van Dijk had sacked Jansen perhaps in a bid to get Saints to cave in as it became clear that this was now an issue between the Wasserman Group and Saints with Van Dijk and Liverpool merely pawns in the game.

Saints themselves claimed that Van Dijk had not sacked the Wasserman Group shortly after the reports appeared and you would have thought that they would have known who they should be dealing with, it was clearly just another piece of media briefing all designed to unsettle the player and put spin on what had become the dirtiest transfer saga perhaps in the history of the game.

But is Van Dijk's mind so poisoned against Saints that there is truly no way back ? that is now the big question and to be honest in the long term it is hard to see any happy ending at least for Southampton FC and their fans.

The player has been turned again his club and urged to take actions that were not only putting him near to a breach of his contract but are now on the verge of sculating further.

If Van Dijk does back down and return to the first team squad at St Mary's then it will be with gritted teeth because he has no choice and he will see it as short term.

That is not to say that he will not put in the effort, Luis Suarez is perhaps the nearest case study we have and he had his best season for Liverpool after a similar issue with them.

Perhaps Van Dijk has seen the error of his ways, perhaps he has realised that he has been used in this situation, that he has been badly advised, perhaps he even feels guilty of the way he has behaved towards a club that has treated him very well and he seemed perfectly happy at when he signed a six year contract in the summer of 2016.

Things all seemed to change when he signed with the Wasserman Group a few months later and the relationship between club and player would soon start to change although it is unclear as to when Saints themselves actually realised this and what was going on behind their backs, although they would have been well aware of what might be going to happen when he signed for the agency.

This saga is not over yet and there is still some way to go, but whether it will end with football supporters and Saints fans in particular having some faith restored in the game is yet to be seen and some would say highly unlikely as greed takes another step forward.


Photo: Action Images



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SalisburySaint added 10:49 - Sep 5
Cannot believe Saints would have included him in their 25 man squad untul January if they felt there was an issue

http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/premier-league-25-man-squads-1109512
1

SaintNick added 11:02 - Sep 5
Saints have to go through the motions, by naming him in the squad they are holding him to his contract, if they had not named him it might have had legal repercussions.

If he now rfuses to play they can impose sanctions including witholding wages etc, whereas if he had been frozen out they could not have done that.

Dont forget that a few weeks ago Saints stated they expected Van Dijk to return to first team training and hen he didnt, I have no doubt that Saints knew that when they made the statement, but they have to go through the motions and force his hand
4

helpineedsomebody added 11:06 - Sep 5
option 1 he plays
option 2 goes back home & picks tulips
option 3 he has no other option becouse he gamble & his employers hold all of the aces now
well done southampton football club
6

WanderingSaint added 11:22 - Sep 5
Really don't know why you put so much faith in ex Liverpool players comments. They are only ever a) just giving their opinion which they've just made up, or b) repeating another ex player's opinion which they made up themselves. Hardly any of them "know" anything. Something to write about I suppose.....
0

GeordieSaint added 11:33 - Sep 5
He will be fine, as soon as he heads that pig's bladder into the onion bag we will all love him again. Even if he doesn't play, which he will, saints have still won a long term victory.

I'm not sure Collymore is exactly a Liverpool legend, wasn't he a total flop for a British record signing?
1

SanMarco added 11:38 - Sep 5
VVD knew what he was doing when he CHOSE to move to Wasserman (before his injury by the way). The situation started to turn ugly for two reasons:
1. The forces pushing for the move were too arrogant and high-handed.
2. Saints' 'no' actually meant 'no'

It is naive to excuse VVD - he is one of the above 'forces'. Also, the obsession with the Liverpool pundits pays them a compliment they do not deserve. Virtually everything they have said over this has been wrong. Also any idea that a Sky pundit has to have credibility is a strange one. If Carragher wants to be a 'respected' pundit he needs to leave Sky - they are the main creators and recyclers of all the tabloid style dross and invention that pour over us all like diarrhoea...
1

SaintNick added 11:45 - Sep 5
I put no faith in ex liverpool players comments, but they have got their information from somewhere, if you think that they just "make up" the stories themseves then you are a little naive about how the media works.

With regard to this the likes of Carragher etc were being told by people close to either the players agent or LFC that a deal was imminent and would happen, yes the likes of Mick Quinn work for Talksport who specialise in shock headlines but Carragher at Sky Sports will have a lot better sources and know what is a good source or not, they belived that this deal would happen because they were being told Saints would cave in etc
0

SaintNick added 11:49 - Sep 5
I was using the words Liverpool Legends in an ironic style although Collymore in his two seasons with Liverpool played 58(6) times in the Premier League for them and scored 28 goals thats not exactly flopping, it did surprise me when i checked the stats though
1

saintsnutcase added 11:59 - Sep 5
Big time Charlie is an excellent description of VVD. He has a hell of a lot to learn from the way that Maya Yoshida conducts himself.
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aceofthebase added 12:28 - Sep 5
Any talk of January sales for VVD is out of the question, nothing will have been achieved by Saints tough stance. We should be aiming to get at least another two years playing from VVD unless it suits Saints to sell in a year or two.
6

SaintNick added 12:31 - Sep 5
The problem is actually getting him to play, Saints have done nothing wrong in this entire situation and have played it exactly the right way, now it is smack bang in his court, he either has to realise that his contract is legally binding or start to make it very messy
3

Jesus_02 added 12:56 - Sep 5
Things that I find interesting about this and don't seem to add up.

1) The club threatened to fine him 2weeks wages, then VVD theatened legal action on the basis that he hadnt refused to train it was the club that had demoted him to u23. I believe saints backed down here and stated that he was injured/unavaiable.

2) Saints had 2 excelent opertunities to name him in competative games that didnt really matter and they didnt take them... this would have forced VVDs hand and he would have either had to play for u23s or v Wolves or refused.

3) If Liverpool have apologised then they have accepted wrong doing. Why have did they not pursue this further. Potentialy they could even sue Liverpool or the Wasserman Group for loss of asset, after all they are pay 60k+ a week for a player they cannot use.

While its a very complex issue it seems evident that saints hold a beleif that the relationship with VVD can be restored, otherwise they would have been a lot more agressive with thier aproach. But then Les had a belief that we had Alderwiereld tied down or a 2m payout from Athletico and in the end we had neither.
2

ped added 13:07 - Sep 5
I wouldn't be surprised if VVD next move would be to withdraw himself from international selection, I don't think he cares about his club or country, the chance of them qualifying is very slim anyway. He will keep himself fit enough not discourage the northerners and try to get out in January. I have it from a reliable source that he doesn't care If he plays again as long as he gets to Liverpool he has been promised a huge payday from Nivea who want him to headline there new advertising campaign
-1

patred added 13:16 - Sep 5
my worry is that Wassermans think they can legally challenge Van Dijks contract. They may not have any case, but they may well have persuaded the player otherwise.
They actually have more lawyers on board than agents.
Anyone who has gone through a divorce will know these lawyers have no respect or regard for fairness. They can only see the potential of their fees at the end of the day, disregarding their client's career or future.
The club has done nothing wrong, it is the victim in this saga. However, they could still end up losers despite that.
0

Keesie66 added 13:39 - Sep 5
Up his price towards £90 million if he carries on refusing to play then to £91,92,93 etc.....
1

saintmark1976 added 13:48 - Sep 5
Who cares what Mr Collymore says or more likely has ghost written for him?

Big Time Charlie indeed. I'm reminded of kettles, pots and black etc Mr Collymore.
0

ChristchurchSaint added 14:05 - Sep 5
Collymore- might have been a reasonable footballer, otherwise has an unsavoury past, have a look on Wikipedia..............
0

GeordieSaint added 14:08 - Sep 5
Jesus, I think Saints did get that payment from Athletico for Toby, that meant they could sell him for the best part of twice what the fee would have been to saints.
1

ChannonFodder added 14:22 - Sep 5
@ChristchurchSaint He's certainly been dogged by controversy
1

kingslandstand1 added 14:35 - Sep 5
"Perhaps Van Dijk has seen the error of his ways, perhaps he has realised that he has been used in this situation, that he has been badly advised, perhaps he even feels guilty of the way he has behaved towards a club that has treated him very well and he seemed perfectly happy at when he signed a six year contract in the summer of 2016"

Or perhaps not!!
1

SanMarco added 16:17 - Sep 5
I am intrigued by talk that he or the agent could challenge the contract. If that even happened, let alone was successful, it would surely send football into absolute turmoil. "...has signed a five year contract' as we all know has many nuances but to say it meant nothing at all would surely mean chaos. If all players are free agents all of the time then good luck with teambuilding - and that would apply to the big boys too.

Perhaps VVD, Coutinho, Sanchez etc could put in a legal challenge to the transfer windows for good measure. They do after all infringe players rights to do whatever they like.
2

SkateHater added 16:20 - Sep 5
Agree with most of this aside from
"an issue between the Wasserman Group and Saints with Van Dijk and Liverpool merely pawns in the game."
Sounds suspiciously like you are saying that Van Dijk and Liverpool have been used, and are the victims in something they are not complicit in. Wasserman may have been, manipulating Vvd, but he and Liverpool Fc have been happy all along to treat Saints shabbily, with a complete lack of respect, and utter contempt. They have ensured there has been a steady stream of ex players briefing the media, and making sensationalist statements, designed to keep the pressure up on Saints to sell. We've even seen Steven Gerrard (a current Lfc employee) repeatedly interviewed on Tv about how he believes Vvd should move there. It's got to the point where if the Premier League had a shred of integrity, they'd sanction Liverpool for compromising the integrity of the competition. This is the same game the big clubs have played for years but now it's on steroids, to maintain the status quo, the biggest clubs pick off the talent from up and coming teams to protect the big club cartel, something that is supported and endorsed by the Premier league their willingness to effectively look the other way when it comes to these sort of underhand attempts, to undermine our club, Rob Jassen may be trying his best to screw Saints over, but considering he's had a long relationship with Liverpool Fc since at least the days he was Dirk Kuyt's agent, then he does so hand in hand with the appalling Red scum from Merseyside, also known as Liverpool Fc !!
3

BoondockSaint added 16:27 - Sep 5
If he refuses to play, surely the club can withhold pay and fine him?

Further: If he does play, but blatantly just goes through the motions, could the club sue him for not producing the quality of play he committed to in his contract? I know this is an "iffy" prospect, but it has been done a few times before. For example: Geffen sued Neil Young for not producing the proper marketable album that they contracted for. Yeah, that was in the music business, but isn't football now in the entertainment business and we need to produce quality product?

It would make VVD have to hire lawyers and run up legal fees-the Saints would not have to worry about paying them if they lost as these things never go to court. The Saints would just be making the point: "You and your agent want to screw with us, we will be more than happy to screw with you!"
3

underweststand added 16:37 - Sep 5
(Almost) Everyone is applauding Saints for their stance in refusing to bow to the big money clubs. .none of whom it appears, have made an official offer for him? him.? Maybe if someone had ..he would have gone and Saints would be £70 mill. the richer.

The fact remains he is our highest paid player, and wants to go and isn't "currently" up for team selection.(and rightly so IMHO). A lot of ground will need to be covered if we are to return to the VvD who happily signed a 5 year contract a year ago... and played so well up until his injury. IF ..he were to make a proper apology, and recant his decision, the fans might forgive him ..and greet his return to SMS with a standing ovation, but I think we all know that's highly unlikely. Whatever the club decides to do ..he can't now be sold until January next year - if then...and so we may never see him play in a Saints shirt again. Whateve the next step is anyone's guess. However, I think he will have a hard time convincing the rest of the squad, who train hard every week just to get a place on the bench, that like them...he really does have the club's best at heart.

0

aceofthebase added 17:06 - Sep 5
Apologies, you are having a laugh. He will either get on with it or he will not. I don't need an apology, I just want to see him back playing his heart out for Saints
2


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