Louis van Gaal has been hailed as a World Cup genius after deploying the tactics of Martin O’Neill in Holland’s penalty shootout win over Costa Rica.
The Holland manager has been congratulated for swapping Jasper Cillessen with Tim Krul just before the shootout but is now contending with a disgruntled first-choice stopper and a debate about gamesmanship.
Cillessen was not privy to the plans and has voiced his displeasure at being denied the chance to be his country’s hero, while Krul’s antics have sparked debate about the fairness of his antics.
The Newcastle stopper insists that he did nothing wrong when approaching Costa Rica’s penalty takers in a blatant attempt to unsettle them ahead of their crucial kicks.
“I don’t think I did anything wrong. I did nothing crazy. I didn’t shout in an aggressive manner,” he said.
“I told them I knew where they were going because I had analysed it. It worked.”
Ladbrokes has also priced a penalty shootout win for Holland in their semi-final with Argentina at 10/1 – but should Krul be allowed to keep up his antics?
Penalty shootout mind games are nothing new – just ask Jerzy Dudek and Bruce Grobbelaar – but has the Dutchman gone too far?
Unlike Dudek and Grobbelaar, Krul is coming off his line and getting in the face of his rivals in order to sow the seeds of doubt in their minds.
In a World Cup that has seen Luis Suarez banned for biting and Arjen Robben admit to diving Krul appears to have escaped the public backlash.
Obviously there is no place for biting opponents and diving is a scourge on the game that needs to be eradicated, but does either offence obtain quite the competitive advantage that Krul’s antics seemed to?
Have your say now.
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