giovedì 10 luglio 2014
Argentina v Holland talking point
Louis Van Gaal’s aurea was diluted but not trashed by the 2-4 penalty loss against Argentina. One of the game’s talking points was the way Van Gaal utilized his subs. They didn’t paid off had Holland failed to score in 120 minutes of football. The Holland manager has been forced regarding substitutions. Defender Bruno Martins Indi earned a yellow card just before halftime and that lead Van Gaal to think it was worth to spend the first one sub. Holland’s head coach didn’t change team’s formation as he did against Mexico. Instead, Van Gaal went put on a wing-back, Daryl Janmaat, for Martins Indi. This resulted in a series of positions changes with Dirk Kuyt switching to the opposite flank to play as a left wing-back while Janmaat played on the right and Daley Blind moved at centre-back. Then, Nigel de Jong was forced to leave the game due to a groin injury and Van Gaal went for his second compelled sub. This time, he didn’t change anything as he opted to insert Jordy Clasie in the place of de Jong. Van Gaal’s thought on keeping a spare man in front of the backline was useful as Clasie closed all the channels preventing Argentina’s possible through balls toward Lionel Messi at the back of the midfield. The Feyenoord’s holding midfielder also continued de Jong’s job, taking care of Argentina’s No. 10. It was a Van Gaal’s trademark during this World Cup as Holland’s players was usual to play a man-to-man marking in the middle of the pitch. So Javier Mascherano was mainly tracked by Georginio Wijnaldum while Lucas Biglia was marked by Wesley Sneijder. This man-marking was so intense that Mascherano had sit deep, in the middle between his centre-backs, in the way to find some spaces. The third substitution came when Klaas-Jan Huntelaar took over for Robin Van Persie in extra time. Van Persie didn’t make any impact in the game. The centre forward’s performances have been quite poor after his initial display against Spain. True to be said, Van Persie didn’t receive a single, decent, pass throughout the latest two games. With all the three substitutes utilized before the 120 minutes were up, Van Gaal didn’t have the chance to replace starting netminder Jasper Cillessen with Tim Krul before the penalty shoot-out as he did against Costa Rica in the quarter-finals. Cillessen helped to shut out the Argentinians through the game but he didn’t come up with a single save during the penalties. "If I'd had the opportunity to substitute Jasper, I would have done it," Van Gaal honestly admitted. Van Gaal summarize the reasons behind his decision after the game: "I substituted Janmaat for Indi because Martins Indi already had a yellow card. I didn't want to take a risk with De Jong because he would be injured. I substituted Van Persie because he was exhausted," he said. Van Gaal was also questioned about the choice of centre-back Ron Vlaar as Holland’s first penalty taker. If Vlaar was Van Gaal's first pick or coach’s first choice declined to take their responsabilities remains unclear. That which is clear is the Argentina’s No. 1 Sergio Romero stopped both Vlaar and Sneijder, while Cillessen was just able to deflect Maxi Rodriguez’s penalty kick but not enough to avoid him to send the Albiceleste to this World Cup’s final.