Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal made one of the most controversial and gutsy decisions in World Cup history last night.
With the Netherlands and Costa Rica deadlocked at 0-0 deep into extra time, the 62-year-old coach had his last roll of the dice – replacing Dutch number one Jasper Cillessen with Newcastle United’s Tim Krul.
The decision sparked an outcry on social networking site Twitter, with many feeling that it was deeply unfair on the Ajax shot-stopper who had a fairly solid game.
The controversial moment, however, turned out to be a piece of genius as the Magpies’ 6ft 4inch goalkeeper saved two of Costa Rica’s five penalties and sent his nation through to the World Cup semi-finals.
Van Gaal mentioned previously that his decisions will be the only ones that count, and so far it’s an attitude which has not only sent the Dutch through to the final four but left supporters of the Red Devils purring.
On making the decision, Van Gaal held nothing back as he told reporters who he felt the better man for the occasion was.
“We said nothing to Jasper because we didn’t want him to know before the game. But as I’ve explained, every keeper has specific qualities. Tim has a longer reach and a better track record with penalties than Cillessen,” he is quoted as saying by The Guardian.
It is these types of gutsy decisions which are needed to succeed at the highest level, and it is yet further proof that Van Gaal is the right man to lead United into their next era.