A Night For The Support Acts To Take Centre Stage

A semi-final billed as Messi vs Robben was dominated by the likes of Ron Vlaar, Javier Mascherano and Sergio Romero. Germany will sleep soundly in their beds...

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big puma says...

Hey Storey, i will start saving yours and every other writer's articles that fawn endlessly over Van Gaal. Are you saying then that it's impossible for him to fail at United? Im sure he's a good manager but the obsequiousness have gone beyond the pale. All this ass kissing over the past few weeks of Van Gaal is making me dizzy. How old are you? Do you need a new hero that badly? I will remind you of this with his every failure during the season. If he does perfectly great if not--ohh i guess he's human after all.

Posted 7:33am 12th July 2014

ted, manchester (Manchester United) says...

Bobsy - van Gaal can't buy or genetically engineer better/more Dutch players. He can, however, buy more/better players at United. Not hard to work out, pumpkin.

Posted 4:30pm 10th July 2014

bobsy (Liverpool) says...

a lack of quality in depth - he'll be fine at united then...

Posted 1:58pm 10th July 2014

bobsy (Liverpool) says...

no, van gaal isn't being criticised for not changing his keeper he's being criticised for losing the game. He lost. Remember? or was your head still too far up his behind to notice?

Posted 1:53pm 10th July 2014

crookster (Manchester United) says...

@ Sichock - I would hardly call it a negative approach. He played the best side available to him. Every dog in the street knew that these two sides were likely to cancel each other out. Personnell wise it had dogfight written all over it. The sides who play the best football on the international front always tend to be the ones with the most partnerships in the 11s. Germany have Bayern link up with lamb, muller, kroos, schweiny, Spain have Barca link up with Anders, Xavi, Fabregas, Busquets etc... The Dutch have zero by way of that continuity. They are a scattered side with players largely unfamiliar with each other and no manager really has sufficient time to embed a playing ethos with a week of training here and there every year. The Dutch have overacheived in the past two world cups for my mind when you consider the team at their disposal. I would expect a drastically different style of play at Utd this year than what you have seen at this world cup from Holland regardless. Time will tell I suppose.

Posted 10:32am 10th July 2014

jeff beck says...

Andy Twonsend didn't need the benefit of hindsight when he questioned Vlaar being first up. On the concussion thing - there is a world of difference between a suspected concussion and being dazed. Mascherano was evidently fine to carry on, which is why he did. It's not the same as being knocked out, which I agree is much more serious. He was absolutely bloody brilliant, though. When he was at Liverpool i thought he was one of the best defensive midfielders in the world, and that performance last night was better than anything i ever saw in a red shirt.

Posted 10:25am 10th July 2014

ted, manchester (Manchester United) says...

sichock - did van Gaal p*ss on your cornflakes this morning? Crikey, get over yourself pal and cheer up.

No surprise at the predictable "genius" comments coming out already. So he gets criticism for changing his keeper for the penalties then gets criticised for not changing him? You can't have it both ways, either he was wrong first time or wrong second time - pick one. He had to play RvP - even a half fit van Persie is better than Huntelaar. That, by the way, is where the Netherlands charge was halted; a lack of quality in depth. That they didn't have any really strong options to replace either van Persie or de Jong was their undoing - the team just didn't have enough gas left in the tank. They gave it their best, it's just that on this occasion their best wasn't quite good enough.

Posted 9:49am 10th July 2014

zedsmith (Liverpool) says...

Holland certainly did better than expected before the tournament, although probably worse that expected after the second day of it. Except for the Spain game, where they could well have been out of if by the end of the first half, have they actually played football one would want to watch or been particularly great in any other game? Struggled past a very limited Australian side, made our eyes bleed vs chile, lucked out against Mexico, failed to score in 240 minutes against costa rica and Argentina. It's all good in a mourinho 'who cares if we are winning' way, but once you lose some level of honesty should kick in, and for the country who gave us total football, both 2010 and 2014 have been a bit depressing in many ways despite the relative success

Posted 8:57am 10th July 2014

dr soccer (Arsenal) says...

No mention about LVG's genius in shattering Cillessen's confidence last game, by essentially saying he was worthless at stopping penalties, and then leaving him looking down the barrel of Argentina's penalty takers? THAT lost them the game! Cillessen has never saved a penalty, seriously. RVP was again anonymous, but LVG played him nonetheless, I guess borrowing from Moyes' train of thought which you quoted in your last article.

Posted 4:10am 10th July 2014

masmaz (Arsenal) says...

Wait a second if LVG was a genius before he has to be the goat now. No?

Posted 3:36am 10th July 2014

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