“van Gaal simply didn’t want to work with me, he treats players like interchangeable objects,” said Toni. “The coach wanted to make clear to us that he can drop any player, it was all the same to him because, as he said, he had the balls,” said Toni. “He demonstrated this literally (by dropping his trousers). I have never experienced anything like it, it was totally crazy. Luckily I didn’t see a lot, because I wasn’t in the front row.”
-Luca Toni, 2011
Louis van Gaal figuratively whipped his balls out on the biggest stage of the world, making out of left field substitution and it paid off brilliantly. It deserves special praise that go beyond 140 characters on Twitter, so it’s time to fire up the blog. Most of what you can read about the shootout is little more than “Krul rattled them.” He did, but how? By van Gaal–and Krul–giving his team some big advantages.
Marginal advantages can be the difference between winning and losing. Everybody loves an underdog but at the World Cup the best team almost always wins, in part because the have more than a few advantages over the weaker side.