No excuses, that was technically terrible

Jimme Jamestown Roar Rookie

By Jimme Jamestown, Jimme Jamestown is a Roar Rookie

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    Since the embarrassing 4-0 defeat our Socceroos suffered at the hands of Germany, media outlets have been quick to share their uneducated opinions about the game we call football… or soccer.

    Picking on Pim Verbeek, yelling at assistant referees and making excuses for tiny Tim’s red card is avoiding the real issue. Australian footballers need to stop complaining, and start to play for each other on the world stage.

    Much to my disappointment, the Australia versus Germany clash was one of the most painful games to sit through so far in this World Cup. I had high hopes for our team, but I maintained a realistic approach to our first game. I never anticipated a win, however I did expect effort.

    After the first goal and subsequent sending off, which I did not agree with, it was clear that the Australian players had not only given up, but had also begun to blame someone else for their misfortune.

    Some fundamental points that people are forgetting is that if the referee deemed Cahill’s tackle serious foul play, he was entitled to send him off. The referee was poorly positioned, and so I think this did not help our cause, but sometimes things don’t go your way. Cahill did make obvious contact, very late and from behind.

    The second issue is that players have learnt different systems over their careers, and should be able to adjust better than they did in that game to the 4-4-2 formation. I can agree that the first game is not the best time to trial a new lineup, but fundamental mistakes are the ultimate reason for the loss, not only the coaching. As some people have been saying, if those first couple of chances for Australia went in the back of the net, then Verbeek would have been hailed a hero.

    An early strike by English Premier League player Richard Garcia was directly at the keeper, where another team’s striker would surely have slotted it home. Here you can’t blame the coach since the opportunity was created, the player just couldn’t finish on the day. I do think Josh Kennedy could have been a useful target, but even he had struggled to show anything in lead up matches, so you can’t blame Verbeek for trying something different.

    The defensive line, hallmarked by Lucas Neill and currently unlisted club player Craig Moore, struggled to mark men or hold any line across the flat four, persistently leaving German strikers alone for shots on goal. Difficult to work as one when Australian players are spread around various leagues and countries, they wouldn’t know each others game like the best teams in the Cup. The timing of the German runs was impeccable, and exposed the space in behind our defense; this tactic was the most noticeably flawed by Verbeek.

    It’s unlucky the Garcia shot was weak, and also that the deflected header came to nothing, but at the end of the day, Australians were lucky Germany didn’t put away a hat-trick more easy goals to make second place impossible. Hopefully we can man up, play for each other and bring a more focused, dedicated performance against Ghana later this week to gain momentum for the remainder of the tournament.