Holger Osieck’s performance review: a pass, at best

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Dear Holger, just popping by to give you some feedback on your progress as manager of the Socceroos.

It is no secret that we are going through a very rocky relationship. There have been some ups, more downs, but right now we are probably somewhere in the middle.

When you led Australia to the final of the Asian Cup, things were looking cautiously optimistic, though the warning bells were ringing.

You were encouraged to stop relying on the stars of yesterday and try blood more youngsters in the national team setup.

This did not eventuate and it all nearly unravelled on you during these qualifiers.

Your ageing team looked tired and slow.

Yet after the 2-2 draw with Oman you still had the audacity to blame the youth.

“I must admit I had expected a lot more from some of the younger guys that I tried to promote and showed some good faith in… but, well, you can see. It’s different,” you said.

For the record, the only players under 25 that started that game were Holland (23) and Kruse (24).

For a while it looked possible that we would flop dramatically and fail to qualify.

Mind you, it’s still possible, but at least our destiny is in our hands.

Your conservative tactics had many frustrated. The players were resorting to hoofball, they seemed to ignore your instructions and there was little structure.

There were calls to replace you with a homegrown coach.

But then something clicked.

The point in Japan sparked some life into the team. The Jordan game ignited cautious optimism once again.

The signs are now starting to look a bit better.

It looks as though you have a settled line-up that is clicking.

You have looked to groom Oar for that left midfield role.

Kruse is beginning to flourish and Rogic has the potential to be our future creative outlet.

Regardless of injury or not, perhaps you have finally realised that Brosque is a liability.

Team morale is okay and the players still seem willing to play for you.

Yes, there are still things that need ironing out.

You haven’t really sorted out that left back spot (Lowry, perhaps?) and still lean heavily towards the oldies, but with recent games the mix of youth and experience has been promising.

Get through the Iraq game unscathed and you will have bought yourself some more time to sort the team out before Brazil.

Fail and your head is on the chopping block.

God knows how you will approach Brazil if we make it.

However, at this point I’m giving you a tentative pass. Do not get complacent.

And for God’s sake stop embarrassing yourself in the media by telling women to shut up in public.

Regards,

Concerned fan

Former Roarer, Jesse Fink, has released a new e-book, World Party, the story of the Socceroos' incredible run at the 2006 World Cup – 15 days every Australian football fan should never forget. Support a fellow Roarer and download a copy today.