Monday, June 23, 2014

Holland Vs Chile 2 : 0 Group B / Have a Fun Flag Wig !

This was a virtuoso performance from Louis van Gaal – with what he produced on the pitch and the put-downs off it. Holland subdued the previously exuberant Chile to win Group B with a perfect three wins from three matches and then their coach held court.
He dismissed suggestions from Chile’s Jorge Sampaoli who claimed Holland were defensive and “did not even try to counter-attack” with “10 men behind the ball”; he talked about how his team were the “cleverest”; he railed against the standard of refereeing, hinting at an anti-Dutch conspiracy in previous matches, and he refused to bite when told that Manchester United are lucky to have him as their next manager.
“I think Manchester United has nothing whatsoever to do with this,” Van Gaal said. “If you look at my CV, you’ll see that I win a lot of matches. That’s not new.” No, it is not. And it is not new for him to remind anyone it is not new.
Neither is it new for Van Gaal to turn questions back on the questioner – so when one reporter had the temerity to ask why Holland had been defensive, he quickly snapped: “Could you give a definition of attacking football?” Van Gaal said. “That is my question to you.” Fair play to him, though, in engaging. To an extent.
It even became a little surreal. When man of the match – and a candidate for man of the tournament so far – Arjen Robben was asked about Van Gaal’s substitutes – two of his substitutes scored the goals – the forward responded: “Louis van Gaal has a golden willie.” Maybe he does have the Midas touch (although that might not be the right segue).
In any case this was one for the statisticians and pub quiz aficionados also. It was the first time in 18 years and 221 matches that Holland did not have a player with ‘Van’ in his name in their team as a result of the one-match suspension being served by their captain Robin van Persie. But Van Gaal was the ‘Van’ who mattered (along with Robben).

In Van Persie’s absence, Robben took the armband and took the game by the scruff of the neck. Even at 30 his pace is still searing. If anything he appears to getting quicker. He almost scored the goal of the tournament as, in the first half, he shrugged off Gonzalo Jara’s cynical attempts to bring him down on halfway and seared his way towards the Chilean goal, slaloming challenges before sliding a low shot narrowly wide.

Van Gaal argued against it but he certainly appeared to have set his team up to cede possession. In that first half they completed just 60 passes with Chile’s Gary Medel alone completing 62. While Van Gaal railed against the penalties the Dutch had awarded against them against Spain and Australia, this time it was Sampaoli who felt aggrieved.

Even so referee Bakary Gassama, from Gambia, was right in ignoring claims that Charles Aránguiz had been brought down inside the penalty area by Daley Blind, although the Dutch defender was rash and it could have been given. However, Dirk Kuyt was fortunate not to be punished for a nudge on the excellent Alexis Sánchez as he ran to meet a cross and then, late on, Stefan de Vrij escaped for an apparent handball on the goal-line.

Chile had to win the group and they certainly attempted to achieve that with Sampaoli withdrawing a defender and throwing on another striker which meant space opened up. Van Gaal – as all good coaches do – responded and it paid dividends.

On came Leroy Fer and the Norwich City midfielder powered in a header from close range after a corner was cut back to Daryl Janmaat to cross. That corner was earned by another substitute, the tricky, skilful Memphis Depay with a run and fierce shot that had been pushed over by goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.

As Chile frantically pressed, the Dutch struck again deep in injury time with a classic counter, Robben haring down the left, looking up and crossing for Depay to force the ball home.
Chile were beaten. For once the Chi-Chi-Chi could not Cha-Cha-Cha the way they have done during this World Cup.

Van Gaal called a different tune. “I want to score one goal more than the opponent,” he said dismissively. He got two.

by Telegraph UK /

No comments:

Post a Comment