Krul Or Sublime
England have suffered penalty shootout heartache and heartbreak countless times over the years, then again the Dutch have hardly had great success have they!
Before I carry on, see what I did with the headline there?
I was looking for a word to use in the negative sense as it were to mirror the positive and with the man involved at the heart of this piece 'Krul' seemed to fit, no pun intended, like a glove...
Holland, I think, had never before won a previous world cup game that had gone into extra time - so when their quarter final with Costa Rica went to penalties I think you would have had a fair few Dutch fans that would have been as anxious as England do at this stage.
In a bizarre, almost unheard of move, Holland manager Luis van Gaal made a last gasp substitution with the penalty shootout in mind by taking off the goalie that had played the entire world cup up to this stage in place of Newcastle's Tom Krul.
Talk about penalty specialist, clearly that is what van Gaal thought he was...
Krul saved a couple of penalties and Costa Rica's brave world cup effort was over and the Dutch advanced to the semi finals.
At the time I felt really sorry for Jasper Cillessen as it seemed, for me, to undermine him and tended to suggest that there was not the confidence in him to produce the goods in the penalty shootout.
That happened just moments after his save in extra time to keep Holland in the world cup!
In the cold light of day this was, I guess, the right call and as a manager van Gaal is paid to make such decisions - with it coming off he is a tactical genius with this 'sublime', I still think it was somewhat 'Krul' - I will be interested to see what impact it has on Cillessen in the semi though?
Something like 5 goalies were used by van Gaal in qualification I think, so he is not entirely sure in that area is he...
You would expect Krul to drop back down to the bench against Argentina, and on this occasion the risk paid off and the Dutch camp were united in that decision - I cannot see too many others following suit though, can you?
Then again perhaps someone having the bottle, nerve, arrogance - call it what you will - to do this for a first time, as I cannot recall this before, will start a trend for possible specialist shootout goalies coming on...
What did you make of it?
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