Orange Crush


As last night’s semi-final drew to the end of a goalless 120 minutes, all eyes were trained on Dutch manager Louis Van Gaal, to see what he would do to ensure the night ended as a triumphant orange Wednesday. Bringing on Tim Krul to face Costa Rica’s penalty shoot out has been heralded by many to be a stroke of strategic genius, as Krul went on to save two, thus clinching the match.
So it came as a surprise when Van Gaal’s choice for first penalty taker fell to the Aston Villa defender, Ron Vlaar. If this was the work of a mastermind, it certainly seemed eccentric, especially as Vlaar’s slow walk to the penalty spot did not exude much confidence. Alas, his shot was saved, as was another of the Dutch efforts sealing their fate.
After the match it has come to light that Vlaar was not Van Gaal’s first choice at all. Dutch courage seemed to be thin on the ground at the time, and two other unnamed players had refused before Vlaar offered to step up to the mark. In another cruel twist of fate, the Argentinian goalkeeper, Sergio Romero, had previously been coached by Van Gaal at Alkmaar. After the match, he took the time to thank Van Gaal for all he had taught him, as he had called upon those techniques to help him save the penalties that finally ended Holland’s hopes of victory.

3 Comments Add yours

    1. Sarah says:

      Thank you! It was a nightmare to knit – swearing must definitely occurred, but I got there in the end!

      Liked by 1 person

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