City stopper Krul puts club before country

Tim Krul made big saves in Norwich City's Premier League win over Brentford

Tim Krul made big saves in Norwich City's Premier League win over Brentford - Credit: Daniel Hambury/Focus Images Ltd

Tim Krul put club before country to focus on Norwich City’s Premier League plight. 

The experienced keeper produced two superb reaction stops in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Brentford but has not joined up with the Netherlands for World Cup qualifiers. 

Dutch boss Louis van Gaal, however, has now revealed Krul asked to be left out of the national squad for games against Montenegro and Norway.  

"He called me and explained what his situation is and what his preference is at the moment. I can only applaud that if a club is in trouble and a player then chooses his club and wants to have more peace of mind," said van Gaal, quoted on football site VoetbalPrimeur. "Krul would have simply been selected.  

“I have not written off Krul, because if we go to the World Cup, I will put a penalty specialist in the position of the goalkeepers." 

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The experienced stopper famously was brought on by van Gaal at the 2014 finals to save two spot kicks in a quarter-final shootout win over Costa Rica. 

The 33-year-old had been a regular in van Gaal's squads since the former Manchester United and Barcelona boss returned to the national set up.

Although Krul's last appearance for his country came in a friendly against Scotland in June prior to the delayed Euros, in which the Dutch exited at the round of 16. 

Freiburg's Mark Flekken replaced the Norwich keeper in van Gaal's latest selection. The Netherlands top Group G, two points clear of the Norwegians, with six wins and a draw from their opening eight matches in the race to qualify for Qatar next year.   

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Krul conceded seven at Chelsea last month and was then criticised for his role in Leeds United's winner in a 2-1 Premier League home defeat 

But Krul foiled Brentford’s Christian Norgaard with two brilliant reaction stops to earn this tribute from Daniel Farke on Saturday night, shortly before he was sacked

“Of course in the two previous games he was a little bit involved in the goals and he always wants to be perfect,” said the former City chief. “He wants to be a big leader in the dressing room.

"He wants to be a big leader on the pitch and sometimes you have the feeling with him he takes too much weight on his shoulders and he wants to carry the team alone more or less. He is so emotional about this team.  

“He knew that in maybe the last two games he was not there at his best but was so concentrated in the week and you saw the saves he made. That is what makes big players – to respond after a difficult time with such a quality performance.  

“It is a sign not only of quality but of a big character. We are all happy that we have him.”