Holland’s hero Tim Krul defends penalty kick antics

9 Comments

Mind games. Gamesmanship. Bad taste.

Whatever you want to call Tim Krul’s antics during the penalty kick shootout win over Costa Rica, it worked.

The Netherlands played out the full 90 minutes and extra time locked at 0-0 with Los Ticos and just before the PK shootout, Krul came on to replace ‘keeper Jasper Cillessen due to the Newcastle stopper having more height and a greater reach.

[ RELATED: Krul the hero, sends Dutch into semis ]

It turned out to be a genius move from Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal, who has since said he intended to do that all along, as Krul stopped two penalties and secured Holland’s spot in the final four for the second-straight tournament.

However, Krul has taken plenty of criticism for the way he approached the Costa Rican players before their penalties, plus the “banter” he threw their way and plenty of other off-putting tactics.

“I don’t think I did anything wrong,” Krul said. “I did nothing crazy. I didn’t shout in an aggressive manner. I told them I knew where they were going because I had analysed it. It worked.”

Krul was Bruce Grobbelaar-esque as he ran his mouth at the Costa Rican players, then walked up and down the goal line to delay their penalty takers. He then smashed the crossbar to make it shake and tried to intimidate the opposition penalty takers as much as he could. It worked. Perfectly.

It has also emerged that Cillessen did not know he was going to be replaced by Krul for the penalty shootout and although he was annoyed, the Dutch No. 1 was pleased it all worked out well in the end. As for Krul’s heroics, the six-foot-three ‘keeper is already preparing to play in the semifinal if penalty kicks come around against Argentina, as he pours over footage of the Argentine penalty takers in action.

It was one of the most bizarre tactical switches in World Cup history, but could we now see this happening more often?

AT THE HALF: Manchester derby scoreless after 45 minutes

Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Leave a comment

After 45 minutes, the final Manchester derby of the 2016-17 Premier League season — the one that’ll go a long, long way toward deciding which of the city’s sides will finish in the top-four — is scoreless, but not without incident.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE, HERE

The game’s best chances thus far fell Manchester City’s way, as Sergio Aguero missed a clear-cut chance after 10 minutes — Kevin De Bruyne whipped in the perfect ball to the back post, and Aguero put it wrong side of David De Gea‘s post.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Ander Herrera has, once again, be Manchester United’s danger man, combining well with Marcus Rashford and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, but Claudio Bravo made the one save he was forced into during the first half. One thing to keep an eye on during the final 45 minutes: Rashford picked up a knock very early on, and struggled to move around the field after that.

STREAM LIVE: The Manchester Derby

Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The third Manchester Derby of the season is the first away from Old Trafford, as Manchester United visits Manchester City (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday.

There’s much on the line, as the sides sit just two points apart in the race for the Top Four. Man City would leapfrog third-place Liverpool with a win, while United could join the Reds on 66 points with a match-in-hand.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE, HERE

Sergio Aguero starts for Man City, with Gabriel Jesus on the bench.

On the other side, it’ll be a physical middle-third guarded by Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick, and Marouane Fellaini. Wayne Rooney and Jesse Lingard start on the bench.

LINEUPS

Manchester City: Bravo, Zabaleta, Kompany (C), Otamendi, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, Sterling, De Bruyne, Sane, Aguero. Subs: Caballero, Sagna, Fernando, Navas, Clichy, Gabriel Jesus, A. Garcia

Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Blind, Darmian; Herrera, Carrick, Fellaini, Mkhitaryan; Rashford, Martial. Subs: Romero, Shaw, Fosu-Mensah, Tuanzebe, Young, Lingard, Rooney.

Ex-Liverpool CEO shares biting story of Suarez transfer

Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Ian Ayre’s got jokes.

The former Liverpool CEO lifted the lid on some transfer stories during a Merseyside lecture this week.

Of note, Ayre admitted that the club thought Dele Alli demanded too much given what he had produced when the Reds has the chance to sign him as a 16-year-old, and said that Liverpool could’ve landed Alexis Sanchez but the player wanted to live in London (“We couldn’t move the football club to London, unfortunately,” he quipped).

The best part relayed by Sky Sports had to do with Luis Suarez, and shows the relentless nature of the transfer market. Clearly Barcelona had interest in Suarez before the fiery striker bit Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup, because, well…

“I remember the sporting director of Barcelona calling me during that game, immediately as Suarez bit the player, and he said to me ‘my friend, he’s bitten somebody, how can this be the price?’ I said ‘he’d already bitten somebody when you first bid!'”

We’re sure there’s a certain amount of storytelling in there, but undoubtedly some truth.

Given Barca paid a reported $84 million for the striker, the asking price couldn’t have started that much higher.

Men in Blazers podcast: Chelsea tops Spurs, Top Four predictions

@MenInBlazers
Leave a comment
Rog and Davo return to discuss Chelsea’s FA Cup semifinal victory over Spurs, update their Top Four predictions (again), and dive into the depths of the relegation zone. Plus, the very important movement to change “Hudson Street” to “Ray Hudson Street.”

All of the MiB content — pods, videos and stories can be seen here, but to really stay in touch, follow, subscribe, click here:

Subscribe to the podcast OR to update your iTunes subscriptions ]

Click here for the RSS feed ]