Former Bayern Munich star suggests Netherlands manager’s ego damaged their bid to win a first World Cup following their semi-final shoot-out loss to Argentina
Mehmet Scholl has launched a scathing attack on Louis van Gaal following Netherlands’ exit from the World Cup, insisting the squad were “tactically overloaded”.
Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder saw their penalties saved by Sergio Romero in the 4-2 shootout loss to Argentina on Wednesday, as Oranje crashed out at the semi-final stage.
The 43-year-old Scholl, who worked under the new Manchester United manager at Bayern Munich, has hinted Van Gaal’s ego hindered Netherlands’ tilt at the World Cup and the squad ultimately suffered because of him.
“Van Gaal wanted to prove that he didn’t just get to eat the football cake but the very biggest football cake,” he said, as quoted by Bild.
“Then the ‘god of football’ or the Argentinians [in this case] come and say: ‘No wait, you stay here’.
“Changing the goalkeeper [for the penalty shootout win over Costa Rica] was an absurd decision that showed a coach, and he is a great coach, wanting to land a major coup. It came back as a boomerang [in the defeat to Argentina].
“They lost their style of play during the tournament. They were tactically overloaded and the whole time they were afraid to play the ball up front.”
Van Gaal replaced Jasper Cillessen with Tim Krul in the final seconds of extra-time in the quarter-finals, with the Newcastle United goalkeeper saving two penalties to clinch a shoot-out victory.
However, having made all three substitutions against Argentina, the young keeper remained on the field and failed to keep out any of the Albiceleste’s spot-kicks.
Netherlands end their World Cup campaign on Saturday in the third place play-off against Brazil.