No simple answers for routed Internationals

first_imgJERSEY CITY, N.J. – Sitting on the far side of the dais and surrounded by an International team that just endured a four-day drubbing at the Presidents Cup, Ernie Els struggled for answers. Brought in as an assistant captain and seen by many, including current captain Nick Price, as the probable skipper for the 2019 event in Australia, he will likely be tasked with turning around a trend that only grew more lopsided this week in the shadow of Lady Liberty. “The future of the cup is important. We want to have it as competitive as we can,” Els said. “So we have to go back to the drawing board.” It’s a common goal, one shared by the other 16 men sitting at the podium who at times seemed helpless in the face of an American juggernaut that won 19-11 and nearly clinched the biennial matches a full day in advance. The International team’s overall record now drops to 1-10-1, and 21 years will have passed since their lone victory the next time the cup is up for grabs at Royal Melbourne. In all likelihood, it’s also a goal shared by many PGA Tour executives. This event, after all, is the Tour’s property, created as a complement to the PGA of America-run Ryder Cup. Blowouts like the one seen this week do little to alter the perception that this event pales in comparison to the high-octane spectacle played in the even-numbered years. But while the goal is shared by several parties, creating productive change for the International squad is easier said than done. Consider the uphill battle Price faced simply to get the total points trimmed from 34 to 30. It took nearly two years of lobbying to Tour officials before the change was administered for the 2015 matches, leading to a narrow American victory. It appeared to be a step in the right direction for an event desperate to create any hint of a truly back-and-forth rivalry. Presidents Cup: Articles, video and photos Presidents Cup: Match-by-match scoring But this week at Liberty National, the cup could have been contested across three points or 30, and the outcome likely wouldn’t have wavered. The Americans were the better team, playing the better golf, from the first man on the roster to the 12th. “I think we went up against one of the best teams that’s been put forward,” said Adam Scott, who has now been on eight squads without tasting team victory. “I think we have to do even more before we play again in two years.” What’s more daunting for the likes of Els, Price, Scott and others is the fact that this U.S. team likely won’t slow down anytime soon. The youthful nucleus of Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed and Rickie Fowler have decades ahead of them and should only gain more experience and poise in the intervening years. The International core, by comparison, is only getting older. Scott will be 39 for the matches at Royal Melbourne while veterans like Charl Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman will all be on the wrong side of 35. Reflecting on his third straight loss as captain, Price went back to familiar refrains: shortening the available points, putting lineups in secretly rather than allowing captains to plot one matchup at a time. “We play these team events every second year, and the U.S. team plays every year. So they are a little bit more, I don’t want to say prepared, but they kind of – there’s not as big surprises on their team,” Price said. “I think to put pairings together with a very diverse group as we have, is our challenge.” Unfortunately for Price, or whoever takes the earpiece from him, that challenge likely won’t get any easier in the coming years. The language barriers in play, especially with Hideki Matsuyama who struggled this week despite being the top-ranked player on his team, won’t disappear overnight. The depth issues aren’t going away, either. While all 12 on this year’s team are PGA Tour regulars, captain’s pick contenders like Hideto Tanihara and Yuta Ikeda play most of their golf elsewhere, making it difficult to rely on any qualification system beyond the Official World Golf Rankings. While the Americans have promising prospects on the horizon like Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele and Ollie Schniederjans, the International cupboard seems much more sparse in comparison. It’s unlikely that any of the players ranked in the top 100 left off this year’s squad – a diverse group that includes guys like Haotong Li, Byeong-Hun An and Dylan Frittelli – would have done much to slow down the American onslaught. “That’s the hardest task for us, new guys in and out every two years with less and less experience in this kind of format is hard,” Scott said. “We struggled in the team aspect of the matches this week. But we also played maybe the most on-form United States team that I can remember.” Team golf tends to be a cyclical venture, and after the competition closed many compared the current International struggles to those faced by U.S. Ryder Cup teams earlier this century. But there is no infrastructure in place to create an International task force, nor could they easily identify one singular factor that might unite a diverse contingent in the face of an opponent that seems only to be growing stronger. As a result, a table full of players and assistants sat next to Price and talked about the need for change and reform, the ethereal desire to make this thing competitive after yet another lopsided loss. But they also struggled to pinpoint the concrete factors that might spark formative change. At one point, Els was again asked what could be done to turn around the fate of the Internationals. But before he could answer, Scott cut him off. “Win,” Scott said. Perhaps it is that simple. But the Internationals won’t get another crack at the cup for two more years, and right now they certainly seem further from victory than they appeared to be when they first boarded a ferry for Liberty National.last_img read more

Honduran immigrant arrested, separated from family died of ‘suicide in custody’: Officials

first_imgStarr County Sheriff’s Office(GRANJENO, Texas) — Texas officials are investigating the death of a Honduran man last month in an apparent suicide – after he was separated from his family following his arrest for crossing illegally into the United States. Marco Antonio Munoz, 39, was apprehended in Texas by U.S. Border Patrol agents on May 11, and transferred to a Rio Grande Valley processing center.While being processed “he became disruptive and combative so for his safety and the safety of others, he was transferred to Starr County, Texas jail,” said a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) spokesperson.He was brought to the jail on the night of May 12 and the next morning he was found unresponsive in a padded cell. The Starr County Sheriff incident report called his death a “suicide in custody.” On the morning before he died, county jail staff said they made contact with Munoz “at least three times” and had observed him in the corner of the cell “praying mostly,” according to the report.The Washington Post reported over the weekend that Munoz crossed the Rio Grande with his wife and 3-year-old son on May 12 near the town of Granjeno, Texas. A government official confirmed he was apprehended with his family.A Border Patrol agent told The Washington Post that Munoz “lost it” when he was told that he would be separated from his family.At the beginning of May, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Department of Justice (DOJ) would prosecute every border crosser that entered the U.S. illegally – a shift from previous practice that allowed for discretion on prosecutions.During the announcement, Sessions warned parents who attempt to bring children with them across the border.“If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child will be separated from you as required by law. If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border,” he said.At least 700 families have been separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border since October, the Trump administration has confirmed.As of last week, just under 11,200 minors were in the care of the federal government with 600 open beds and 855 open reserve beds.“For the past 12 to 18 months, we’re seeing something we have never seen before,” Ruben Garcia, who runs an immigration shelter El Paso, Texas, told ABC News. “As I like to say, it’s like enforcement on steroids with the things that are being done here on the border.”Last week, Sessions defended the policy in an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.“We believe every person that enters the country illegally like that should be prosecuted.” Attorney General Sessions said. “If people don’t want to be separated from their children, they should not bring them with them. We’ve got to get this message out. You’re not given immunity.”Ur Jaddou, Director of DHS Watch, a project of the immigration group America’s Voice, said that in addition to the “reckless disregard for the devastating consequences of its policy to children and parents, the death of Mr. Munoz and the lack of disclosure shows a stunning disregard for transparency and accountability.”Congress requires that CBP report the death of any individual in CBP custody within 24 hours, including relevant details regarding the circumstances of the fatality.“Transparency is essential so that the public, Congress, and the federal government can make informed decisions on policy, especially those that strike at the family and result in loss of human life,” added Jaddou in a statement.The Texas Rangers – state criminal investigators – are currently the lead investigative agency into Mr. Munoz’s death, which is still under investigation.Treatment of those in the care of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is governed by the Standards on Transport, Escort, Detention, and Search (TEDS), which was implemented by the agency in October 2015.A spokesperson for CBP said that “takes every loss of life very seriously and has initiated an internal review to ensure these policies were followed.”CBP declined to provide additional comment on the death or the lag in reporting to Congress – citing an ongoing investigation. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Nederland Police calls, arrests for the week of Dec. 25

first_imgCriminal mischief was reported in the 1100 block of North 20th Information was reported in the 2500 block of Avenue E. Next Up Tuesday, Dec. 26: A complaint was made about indecency with a child in the 2700 block of Avenue N. An arrest was made on another agency’s warrant in the 200 block of 200 North Memorial Highway. An injury to a child was reported in the 700 block of North Ninth Street. Friday, Dec. 29: A theft was reported in the 1700 block of Avenue E. A theft was reported in the 2200 block of Avenue G. Burglary of a habitation was reported in the 600 block of South Ninth Street. A terroristic threat was reported in the 2800 block of Memphis. Burglary of a vehicle was reported in the 600 block of Boston. An arrest was made on another agency’s warrant in the 2600 block of Nederland Avenue. A complainant reported aggravated assault-family violence in the 100 block of North 10th Recovered stolen property was reported in the 2300 block of Avenue H. A theft was reported in the 3000 block of Highway 365. Criminal mischief was reported in the 2600 block of Nederland Avenue. An assault-family violence report was made in the 900 block of Shaw. An arrest was made of a subject for public intoxication in the 100 block of North Twin City Highway. Thursday, Dec.28: A burglary of a building was reported in the 3700 block of South Highway 365.center_img A missing person report was made in the 8100 block of Ford. Sunday, Dec. 31: A subject was taken into custody on a mental commitment in the 400 block of Hardy. The Nederland Police Department reported the following activity for the week of Dec. 25:Monday, Dec. 25: A complaint was made about a dangerous dog at large in the 3000 block of Nashville. Two people were arrested on another agency’s warrant in the 3700 block of Nederland Avenue. Saturday, Dec. 30: An arrest was made on another agency’s warrant in the 1500 block of South Twin City Highway. A death from natural causes was reported in the 1000 block of Avenue B. An aggravated robbery was reported in the 800 block of South 13th Criminal trespass was reported in the 600 block of South Third Street. A forgery report was made in the 2600 block of Nederland Avenue. A burglary of a vehicle and burglary of a habitation was reported in the 1300 block of Kent. A theft was reported in the 200 block of 32nd Wednesday, Dec. 25: A terroristic threat was reported in the 2300 block of Avenue H. An arrest was made on a subject for tamper/fabricate with physical evidence with intent to impair in the 1300 block of Boston Avenue. An arrest was made on Nederland warrants in the 900 block of South 23rd Criminal mischief was reported in the 2600 block of North Highway 69.last_img read more

Champlain Housing Trust purchases property from UVM

first_imgVermont Business Magazine The Champlain Housing Trust announced today that it has purchased the Ethan Allen Apartments in Essex from the University of Vermont. The property, with 31 apartments in 11 buildings, was sold for $3.9 million. “We are excited to acquire this property, and appreciate UVM’s desire to work with us to eventually create more affordable homeownership opportunity,” said Michael Monte, chief operating and financial officer for Champlain Housing Trust (CHT).The organization will offer existing tenants an opportunity to sign a new lease in June. Eventually, 19 of the 31 apartments will slowly be converted to affordable homeownership through CHT’s shared equity program.The remaining twelve apartments will remain for rent, and will provide future flexibility for CHT to address affordable housing needs for people in need.”Champlain Housing Trust have been ideal partners to work with on the sale of Ethan Allen Apartments,” said Annie Stevens, Vice Provost for Student Affairs at UVM. “We know that Champlain Housing Trust will be excellent stewards of this property and that they are committed to providing a smooth transition for the student residents and their families as well as assistance for their ongoing affordable housing needs.”CHT is receiving financing for the purchase through Community Housing Capital, a national Community Development Financial Institution which serves as a direct lender to members of the NeighborWorks America network, like CHT. Most recently, Community Housing Capital financed a similar rental-to-homeownership initiative of CHT’s in Burlington’s south end. The university is also financing a portion of the sale.The Champlain Housing Trust, founded in 1984, is the largest community land trust in the country. Throughout Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle counties, CHT manages 2,200 apartments, stewards 565 owner-occupied homes in its signature shared-equity program, offers homebuyer education and financial fitness counseling, provides services to five housing cooperatives, and offers affordable energy efficiency and rehab loans. For more information, visit www.getahome.org(link is external).last_img read more

R&S Introduces High-Performance Electronic Intelligence Receiver with Radar Detection Technology

first_imgRohde & Schwarz has launched the R&S WPU2000 wideband processing unit, a high-performance electronic intelligence (ELINT) receiver that incorporates cutting-edge radar detection technology. Following the success of the R&S WPU500, the newly introduced solution increases its real-time bandwidth to 2 GHz. This newly developed wideband processing unit will be the new core of radar signal collection and analysis systems from Rohde & Schwarz. Its excellent RF performance along with its great signal processing power make the R&S WPU2000 truly outstanding in the ELINT market.The R&S WPU2000 covers a broad frequency range (20 MHz to 18 GHz optionally extendable down to 8 kHz or up to 40 GHz). Its 2 GHz real-time bandwidth allows interception and analysis of the most complex wideband signals emitted by state-of-the-art frequency agile radar systems. The R&S WPU2000 can cope with any radar environment and intercepts even weak signals of low-power radars, due to its excellent sensitivity and high dynamic range. Its high detection range allows ELINT operators to remain in secure standoff positions without the need to approach an emitting target. With its high spectral scan speed of up to 2500 GHz per second, this newly launched wideband processing unit is perfectly equipped to detect and process all types of low probability of intercept (LPI) radars.Integrated into ELINT systems, R&S WPU2000 delivers required information about intercepted radar emissions, including continuous raw I/Q data and measured pulse parameters. This information is vital for the characterization of radar signals and the subsequent identification of their emitters. R&S WPU2000 enhances situational awareness and supports platform protection in theaters of operations.Bosco Novak, Executive Vice President, Monitoring and Network Testing at Rohde & Schwarz stated that one of the core components of their ELINT systems is the new R&S WPU2000 multi-channel processor, which collects, processes, and analyses modern low power, LPI radar signals. These include wideband, multi-RF, high duty cycle radar emissions, such as those that are produced by an active electronically scanned array (AESA). The fast scan speed of R&S WPU2000 contributes to a high probability of intercept (POI).The ELINT receiver is able to resolve and process even complex scenarios featuring modern radar signals, including wideband, multi-channel and high-duty-cycle radar emissions.last_img read more

Angry Arsenal fans reveal how Vertonghen was able to make last minute block

first_img Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions 2 1) clear offside, let alone the fact that it wasn’t a pen even if not offside!2) that’s why Vertonghen was able to make a block on the follow up!3) Yellow card for Rose! and red for Torreira!how can all of this happen in one game? no wonder #Poch is not a fan of #VAR #TOTARS pic.twitter.com/tplKzhyTl0— Abolfazl M (@Abolfazl77) March 2, 2019 The north London derby produced a topsy-turvy end when Hugo Lloris saved Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s stoppage time penalty.There was more drama to follow in the seconds afterwards when Arsenal attempted to score in the follow up, however, Jan Vertonghen got himself between Aubameyang and a certain goal to ensure the score remained 1-1. The Arsenal striker couldn’t believe it, while Vertonghen’s team-mates celebrate However, while Tottenham fans were happy with the point – earned by Harry Kane’s earlier penalty – Arsenal players used Twitter to criticise referee Anthony Taylor.They feel Vertonghen broke the rules by encroaching into the box and as Aubameyang missed, the spot kick should have been retaken. REVEALED Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card The players other than the kicker and goalkeeper must be:At least 9.15 m (10 yds) from the penalty markBehind the penalty markInside the field of playOutside the penalty area Kane Penalty – Offside Auba penalty – Wrong decision Vertonghen follow up – Penalty should have been retaken.Point is, VAR is needed.— Nic (@One_Two_Pass) March 2, 2019 Vertonghen’s position before the penalty was taken. Then he was the one making the block on the rebound.Anthony Taylor may as well have not turned up today. pic.twitter.com/pXgEo81NPv— Dan Critchlow (@afcDW) March 2, 2019 RANKED huge blow REVEALED LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? 2 Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ BEST OF MONEY Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade Pretty obvious how Vertonghen was able to make his ‘incredible block’😂😂 pic.twitter.com/eU55PtDdWY— Frankie Hobbs (@Frankie_Hobbs) March 2, 2019 REPLY Lol so that’s how Vertonghen got in quick enough to block the rebound pic.twitter.com/wdOWQxXp9Z— Carl (@MajesticMesut) March 2, 2019 Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move ADVICE shining no dice Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars Vertonghen was first on the scene to ensure Aubameyang could not score the rebound FA RULES ON PENALTIES Was Vertonghen wanting to take the penalty? No wonder why he managed to make a great tackle from the cut back.Poor officials. #TOTARS pic.twitter.com/IcU4bdKqJT— Just A Crab (@BenCrabb95) March 2, 2019last_img read more

UFC president calls Jon Jones ‘biggest waste of talent ever’

first_imgJon Jones reacts after knocking out Daniel Cormier during UFC 214 in Anaheim, California, Saturday July, 29, 2017.  (Hans Gutknecht /Los Angeles Daily News via AP)Disgraced mixed martial artist Jon Jones has been given plenty of chances by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), but his latest conundrum seems to be the final straw.After a string of run-ins with the law, the two-time UFC light heavyweight champion returned to glory last July, knocking out Daniel Cormier in UFC 214.ADVERTISEMENT Argentine bishop appears at court hearing on abuse charges Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH LATEST STORIES Cone apologizes to Black for handshake snub No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors Trump to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims “Whatever happens [with his suspension], happens. Believe me, I’m not mentally or emotionally invested in that anymore.” Khristian Ibarrola /raSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img “The guy is so talented and gifted, God knows what he’d be doing right now if he had never got in trouble. He could possibly be the heavyweight champion and have the defense record that couldn’t be broken. The list goes on and on of what could’ve been with Jon Jones.”Aside from being practically undefeated—with his lone loss coming from a disqualification—Jones holds the prestige as the youngest fighter to hold UFC gold.His reign included eight-title defenses, but he’s also been stripped of the title on three separate occasions—another UFC record.Jones is currently awaiting a hearing at the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) regarding his latest drug failure, which could earn him a possible four-year suspension.Regardless of Jones’ verdict, White made it clear that he won’t be losing sleep over it anytime soon.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Winter storm threatens to scramble Thanksgiving travel plans Less than a month later, his win was overturned and he got stripped of the title after testing positive for Turinabol, a banned anabolic steroid.READ: UFC champ Jon Jones flagged for another failed doping testFEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingSpeaking during an interview on The TSN MMA Show, UFC President Dana White couldn’t help but express his disappointment with the promotion’s former poster boy.[It would be the biggest waste of talent] ever. Ever, in all of sports,” the UFC boss described Jones, as relayed by MMA Fighting. View commentslast_img read more

All-Sports Roundup: Cowgirl Tennis Cruises to Sweet 16

first_imgThe Cowboys are upset by No. 25 Illinois. #okstate ends the season at 22-7. pic.twitter.com/lN44qvWboV— OSU Cowboy Tennis (@CowboyTennis) May 13, 2017“I feel bad for our guys right now,” Udwadia said. “They need to keep their heads up though because we had a tremendous season. I’m definitely proud of their effort all year and I’m tremendously proud of our seniors for everything they’ve done for this program. I’m looking forward to our guys returning next season and getting the process going again.”Cowgirl SoftballAn impressive run through the Big 12 Tournament fell just shy for the Cowgirl softball team as they fell to their Bedlam rivals in the finals 2-0. Even with four Bedlam losses in six days, the Cowgirls (35-23) will have their heads held high entering postseason play.“It’s obviously not the way we wanted this one to end,” head coach Kenny Gajewski said. “I think the most important thing for us is getting in more of the meaningful games at the end. This should give us a little bit of boost for postseason but it hurts. It’s hard to think about that right now.”Gainesville Regional:Florida vs. Florida A&MFIU vs. Oklahoma State pic.twitter.com/Jp2oAOglsB— NCAA Softball (@NCAAsoftball) May 15, 2017The ladies however earned an NCAA Tournament bid and will be placed in the Gainsville Regional to face Florida International in Round 1. If the ladies win, they will most likely come face to face with the No. 1 team in the land, Florida. The game against Florida International will take place Friday May 19th at 11AM on ESPNU. Welcome back to another week highlighting Oklahoma State sports outside of football and basketball. In this week’s coverage, the OSU tennis teams hosted the opening Regional rounds for the NCAA Tournament and the Cowgirl softball team made it to the Big 12 Tournament title game.Women’s TennisA focused and determined Cowgirl Tennis team arrived at the Michael and Anne Greenwood Tennis Center prepared for the postseason journey that lies ahead. With sweeps of UMKC and No. 19 Arkansas, the ladies are that much closer to returning to their final destination.In front of loads of fans including new Cowboy Hoops Coach Mike Boynton, the No. 9 Cowgirls completed an unblemished home record and opportunity for more starting May 19th in Athens, Georgia.Ain’t it sweet? Athens, here we come! #okstate pic.twitter.com/gu7xGnMOIH— OSU Women’s Tennis (@CowgirlTennis) May 14, 2017The Cowgirls will face No. 8 Georgia Tech in the Sweet 16 in Athens, Georgia on May 19th at 7pm. Coach Chris Young is looking forward to facing the ACC Champions next.“It’s going to be a great battle with them,” Young said. “We played against them three years ago when a lot of these girls who are seniors now were sophomores. We have a lot of girls that have had matchups with them this fall too. Georgia Tech is having an unbelievable season. They won the ACC, they’re well-coached and playing an hour from home, kind of like we did last year. It will be a good test for us.”The 2017 NCAA Women’s bracket can be viewed here.Men’s TennisA tremendous season for the No. 10 Cowboys ended Saturday in Round 2 as they fell to No. 25 Illinois 4-3 in an absolute heartbreaker.After going down 3-0, the Illini proceeded to win four consecutive singles matches to edge the Cowboys who were playing in front of their home fans. The loss also ended the collegiate careers of four Cowboy seniors who have been absolutely paramount in the success and chemistry of recent Cowboy squads.A solemn but hopeful Coach Udwadia spoke to reporters after the game. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Van Dijk: I had to step up after £75m mega deal

first_imgLiverpool Van Dijk: I had to ‘step up’ after £75m transfer to Liverpool Chris Burton 16:26 1/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Virgil van Dijk Liverpool Liverpool Premier League The Netherlands international is the most expensive defender in history, and he is aware of the pressure and expectation such a price tag brings Virgil van Dijk admits he has had to “step up” after seeing Liverpool invest a record-breaking £75 million worth of faith in his ability.Having seen a switch to Anfield mooted for some time, the Netherlands international finally found his way to the exits at Southampton during the winter transfer window.A deal was agreed prior to January, with Jurgen Klopp having moved quickly and decisively to land a player many acknowledged was required to help plug defensive leaks at Liverpool. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp The Reds had to make Van Dijk the most expensive defender in history in order to bring the 26-year-old’s services on board, and he is fully aware of the pressure and expectation on him.”I am getting used to how we play,” Van Dijk told BBC Sport.”The intensity of our game is a lot higher than what I was used to.””Every day here is tough. We work very hard, run a lot and there is a big difference. I needed to step up my game, especially in the beginning. “Van Dijk was pleased to see a protracted transfer saga brought to a close at the turn of the year, although he maintains that the uncertainty surrounding his future – first sparked when Liverpool were accused of making an illegal approach in the summer of 2017 – proved to be no distraction.He added: “People don’t know what really happened.”I kept my head down and kept playing. I was out for eight months and was just happy to play again.”I just switched on again after the transfer window in the summer. I didn’t think about anything until I got a phone call from the Southampton board.”Van Dijk KloppOnce that call came, Van Dijk was never in any doubt that Anfield was the right place for him, with there a desire on his part to help bring the good times back to Liverpool.”I came here to achieve everything possible,” added the commanding centre-half.”I made the choice to come here base on everything. I love the fans, the atmosphere in the stadium and at away games. The quality we have in our team is unbelievable. I am proud and happy to be here.”Klopp is very good and an amazing guy as well. A lot of the attributes he has makes us achieve good things in the future.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more