Monday, 23 June 2014

Memphis Depay is the heartbreak kid

In two appearances off the bench, Memphis Depay has proved to be the heartbreak kid of the World Cup. The young talent broke the hearts of the brave Australians with his winner when Netherlands beat the Socceroos 3-2, and just recently crushed Chile when he sealed a first place finish in Group B for the Dutch late on.

The recent victory against Chile was a match in which both the Netherlands and Chile fought to finish a top of group B. Both sides had casualties as Chile were missing tenacious midfielder Arturo Vidal and the Netherlands were missing Captain Robin Van Persie due to suspension.

The match proved to be an even affair, chances few and far between the two teams. The deadlock though was broken in the second half by substitute Leroy Fer who turned in a header from a corner played short that resulted in Daryl Janmaat delivering a killer cross. The Netherlands finished off Chile when substitute Depay, who applied the finish to Australia in the Dutch's last match, again proved to be the match winner. From a counter attack that begun in their box due to a Chile corner, Depay had the easy task of a tap in after Arjen Robben ran the ball to the byline and squared it to him.
Depay's goal has given the Dutch good momentum as they face a date with Mexico in the round of sixteen, with Miguel Herrera's men having beaten Croatia 3-1 to finish second to Brazil in group A.

Depay, who is just one of the hot talents that PSV Eindhoven has to offer, was usually deployed on the left wing for his club last season. Although having the natural qualities of a winger; pace, dribbling and finishing, Depay has been given a free role in his two appearances off the bench by Louis Van Gaal, and has thrived. Van Gaal rolled the dice by bringing him on against Australia in a crucial match for the Netherlands, but he was rewarded with the youngster's display, as he grabbed an assist and a goal. Depay, along with his goal, showed the exciting football he offers when in the Dutch shirt. Early after being brought on against Chile, he showed what he can do with faith from his coach, as he left Gary Medel in his dust with tricky stepovers, and tested Claudio Bravo with a long range effort that boasted confidence The resulting corner resulted in a goal, all because the youngster made some magic.

Depay's style echoes the famous words of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee". He can easily be graceful anonymous on the field, and then unleash something for the highlight reel and change the game.

Currently Depay is wanted by a host of Premier League clubs, and is reported with a reunion with Van Persie and Van Gaal in Manchester. At 20 years of age Depay, has not only proved lightning can strike twice by being decisive in his first two World Cup games, he has made Van Gaal's job harder in picking a starting eleven. This will boost his country's and his own performances, and showing he is worth believing in and the hype surrounding the talented youngster is justified.

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