0Shares0000Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp hugs Liverpool’s Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk at the end of an FA Cup third round match against Everton at Anfield © AFP / Paul ELLISLIVERPOOL, United Kingdom, Jan 6 – Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes Virgil van Dijk will get even better after he scored the winning goal against Everton in a “fairytale” Merseyside derby debut.Van Dijk headed home six minutes from full-time to give Liverpool a 2-1 victory in their FA Cup third-round tie with the Toffees after Gylfi Sigurdsson had cancelled out James Milner’s opener from the penalty spot. The Dutchman became the most expensive defender in the world when he joined Liverpool from Southampton for £75 million ($102 million, 85 million euros) this month and Klopp could not be happier with his contribution in his first match for the Reds.“Fairytale in a world with not a lot of fairy tales anymore, so I think something like that is quite special,” said the Liverpool boss.“It was a difficult decision to make to be honest because, to be 100 percent honest, the first plan was not to start him but then Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan played a lot of games in the last few weeks, so I changed my mind .“It was a big fight, it was not brilliant football, it was not the most beauty — it was how cup games should be. It is not about who is the better side, who can do this or that. Things like this can happen sometimes, but it is pretty rare.”Van Dijk was a commanding presence at the heart of Liverpool’s defence, although Klopp thinks the centre-back has only given a glimpse of his qualities as he predicted the best is yet to come from the Netherlands international.“He showed a lot of things we want him to show in the future very often,” Klopp added.“Heading of course, football-wise his first touch was good, good under pressure and then around set pieces a proper threat,” he added, praising Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for his corner.“I think first of all we should help him just to be as good as he is already because that’s why we took him. You don’t pay that amount of money for a player and think ‘OK, we can get another 80 per cent’, but of course there is room for improvement.“But the first improvement will be to adapt really to the team, how we deal in different situations. But as I said, since he is in, we spoke more about it and we did it actually on the pitch.”Everton manager Sam Allardyce felt his side had done enough at Anfield to earn a replay after a battling display.“I’m very disappointed we’re not going back to Goodison and trying to get through to the next round,” he said.“We may have saved it late on and I think it was a brilliant effort from the players, even though we’re disappointed.“The performance deserved us to be able to take them back to our place, but that’s not to be.”0Shares0000(Visited 5 times, 1 visits today)
– Monica Harmon Los Angeles Think like Americans Your March 1 headline reads “Valley commuters score victory,” and Monday’s editorial is headlined “Victory for 405.” It sounds like a simple car-pool lane is a major accomplishment for mankind. Such braggadocio over a 10-mile traffic lane to serve 10 percent of commuters – and not to be completed for another six years – is absurd. This is America, the country that built the Panama Canal, Hoover Dam and the interstate freeway system and that sent man to the moon in about the same time to be taken to design and pour this pad of concrete. Let’s start thinking like Americans again and build it overnight for one-fourth the proposed cost and open it to all motorists alike. – Robert L. Rosebrock Brentwood Cardenas responds Re “`Fair’ politics” (Our Opinions, March 2): I represent Woodley Park and the many families surrounding the park who oppose having the four-day San Fernando Valley Fair in their backyards – and for good reason. Bottom line: While fair organizers were vying for the new Woodley Park location, they failed to mention to the community that alcohol would be served for four days straight, music would be playing until midnight, and the main traffic thoroughfares would be closed off. Not a good game plan in an area highly concentrated with families and children. Secondly, the fair board already has an existing contract with the city to host the event at Hansen Dam, a more appropriate location, this year as well as next year. In fact, the city put $70,000 into plumbing and electrical infrastructure there to accommodate the fair’s animals. We even waived fees and found additional parking for the event. Fair officials made the decision to leave. Maybe they thought making a buck was more important than considering community impacts. It shouldn’t only be about making money; it should be about how the San Fernando Valley Fair best serves the people of the San Fernando Valley. – Tony Cardenas Councilman, Los Angeles Thanks for nothing Re “`Fair’ politics” (Our Opinions, March 2): Your recent editorial supporting keeping the San Fernando Valley Fair in the Valley should have noted that the previous Hansen Dam site is actually located within Council District 7, whose seat is now vacant but possibly to be reclaimed by its former occupant, newly elected Assemblyman Richard Alarcón. Neither Alarcón nor Councilman Tony Cardenas did anything to retain the fair within the Valley. Quite the contrary, it was Cardenas’ political power play more than two months after the city signed the agreement to use Woodley Park that forced the fair to leave the Valley entirely. Thanks for nothing, guys. – Glenn Bailey Encino Anti-troop? There is proposed legislation to give troops proper equipment and training – for the first time during this war – that is being called anti-troop. How can this be? As the cousin of a man who led the first wave into Baghdad and survived a 14-month tour without proper body armor, I feel this has gone beyond all acceptable bounds. How can it be bad to give troops proper equipment and training? I can’t think of a single reason how this could be, and I am left baffled and horrified. We need to send a message to our politicians that this is unacceptable. – Alex Manugian Sherman Oaks Seems like a cop-out It would have been more realistic if President Bush had gone to the less-affluent parts of New Orleans that are still in shambles. Instead, he went to some rich person’s house that was rebuilt to talk about what has been accomplished. His remark that “if the rest of the city is having problems with the rebuilding, they should have the state contact the federal government” seemed a cop-out to me. – Donald Jolliff Van Nuys Needs a rewrite Re “Levine wants to put teeth in pet population control” (March 2): Lloyd Levine needs a new light bulb if he thinks his spay/neuter bill is going to reduce pet overpopulation while guaranteeing that any purebred dog or cat can remain intact. There is certainly no evidence that purebreds are healthier than mixed-breed pets, as verified by reports on puppy-mill puppies or by reviewing the genetic health defects rampant in purebred dog or cat bloodlines. This is nonsensical legislation, which proposes funding spay/neuter service for millions of dogs and cats statewide from $500 fines paid by lawbreakers who refuse – or perhaps can’t afford – to alter nonpapered pets within 30 days. Spaying and neutering pets, both mixed and purebreds, is a good thing. Levine needs to have the strength of his convictions, call it what it is, and write it so it works. – Denise A. Justin Los Angeles Marathons Re “New course a site to see” (March 5): I once lived in the San Fernando Valley, and as a former resident I was glad that the course of the marathon has begun a new era with the starting line moved to Universal City. I am also glad that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority had to use extra trains to bus the runners and walkers from downtown L.A. to Universal City. Boy, what a sight to see! On that same day, I competed in the fifth running of the Little Rock Marathon in Little Rock, Ark. Let’s hope that they are held next year with both events running on the same day. – John Huerta Warren, Ark. Marathon head start I must say it came as a shock to me when I found out that women get a 20-minute head start in the L.A. Marathon. I find this somewhat sexist in an age of gender equality. Is Los Angeles guilty of admitting that females are the physically weaker sex and need special considerations? Does Los Angeles follow this policy when hiring females in physically demanding jobs, such as jobs of firefighters and police officers? – Jeff Shirey Woodland Hills Palmdale airport Re “Flight plan is taking shape” (March 3): Finally, after a very long time, something is being done to utilize Palmdale Regional Airport. Even though it may have a modest beginning, the potential for growth is wonderful. Good luck. – Cliff Hall Chatsworth160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Re “Valley sites to house homeless” (March 6): I have a question for Mayor Villaraigosa: Are you not aware that those sites where you want to build housing for the homeless are in gang-infested areas? By building those housing units in those areas, you are putting the citizens in jeopardy – by putting them in the middle of drive-by shootings and other violent crimes. In my opinion, there is a lack of common sense in building these units in the area that the mayor has indicated before cleaning up the gang problem. – Mort Sherman Woodland Hills Financial disclosure Re “Officials soft-pedal cop threat” (March 3): Councilman Bernard Parks states, “It was put into place to instill public confidence that we have an honest police force.” Because of Parks’ poor leadership and lack of management skills, the Rampart corruption scandal occurred right under his nose when he was chief, and the consent decree was implemented. The Los Angeles Police Department also lost 1,000 officers during Parks’ tenure. Now our LAPD officers are dealing with the consequences of Parks’ failure, and our city is at risk to lose more than 600 LAPD anti-gang and narcotics officers if asked to disclose their financial records. I wonder how our politicians would be reacting if they were asked to disclose their financial records.