Manchester United Review
It’s easy to talk about a game after it’s all over, but this Brazilian team always looked like they were on the brink of a disaster. I expected them to lose to Chile, but they escaped by the skin of their teeth. Then I thought they will fall against the Colombians, but again they managed to scrape through, and then, finally, ‘that’ happened. They simply ran into the German wall and when they did, the wheels went flying, windshield shattered, the driver ran to hide and those who witnessed the horrible ordeal are left shaken and in tears.
When you miss a player like Neymar, you may only fail to score, but when you miss a player like Tiago Silva, you lose the game – as simple as that.
Holland and Argentina match was billed as a 50-50 game, and in the end both teams won! Although it is Argentina who go to the Maracana to face the mighty Germans, Holland can go home with their head held high having not been beaten in open play in the entire tournament despite being one of the very average teams in this world cup, on paper. Except for a couple of names, most of the first team players are from the lowly Dutch league, and one certain Ron Vlaar from Aston Villa, whom I never noticed in a Villa shirt before. Nobody thought they would get out of their group alive, but then, they kept punching above their weight, and the whole credit rests with Louis van Gaal, and van Gaal alone.
Alejandro Sabella, the Argentinian coach needed this victory more than LVG. He’s been roundly criticized by Argentinian media, fans, Maradona and even his own players for showing less attacking intent on the pitch and for some of his tactics, but it is his pragmatism that has taken Argentina this far into the competition.
At an individual level, it’s LVG who benefited a lot from this world cup. He has emphatically resurrected his image as a Legend, and he goes out undefeated because he has claimed it is he who taught the Argentina goalkeeper how to save a penalty when the keeper worked under him at AZ Alkmaar several years ago. That’s Louis van Gaal – a very modest gentleman!!