FIFA World Cup 2014 – Monday 07 July 2014
The substitution by Dutch coach Louis van Gaal of goalkeeper Ajax’s Jasper Cillessen with Newcastle United’s Tim Krul for penalties was seen as a tactical master-stroke. The reasoning for the switch was that Krul had a better height and reach which could prove crucial in the penalty shoot-out. And of course as we know, the Dutch No: 2 became the hero as he saved two of the Costa Rican penalties.
What Krul was also doing prior to each spot-kick was to engage in a little cricket-style ‘sledging’ with the penalty takers. After the game BBC pundit Rio Ferdinand expressed the following opinion: “I like all that gamesmanship from Tim Krul. I like my goalkeeper to do that, to try to put them off, it puts a bit of edge to it. Man United fans will be buzzing and thinking ‘What a manager we have got’.”
For me it was all wrong. The referee should have made sure it was stopped after the first penalty. But then what did I expect from Ferdinand, a player who was a mainstay of a club who took the art of gamesmanship and intimidation to a new level through the actions of its squad and manager in the guise of Ferguson. So van Gaal’s appointment is endorsed by Ferdinand on the basis that the incoming manager condones his players doing anything to gain an advantage in games – well then Fergie’s legacy is safe.
And where is Ferdinand likely to end up next season? At QPR under Harry Redknapp. Need I say more…?