Highlights: Germany too good for Socceroos in Russia

By Ben McKay, Ben McKay is a Roar Guru

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    World champions Germany have given Australia a reminder of their place in football’s pecking order with a 3-2 win at the Confederations Cup.

    The Socceroos fought back from a decidedly dicey opening half when Tom Rogic scored another belter to cancel out Lars Stindl’s opener.

    Julian Draxler’s penalty and Leon Goretzka’s goal which came minutes either side of halftime sealed Australia’s fate, though Tomi Juric did scramble home a consolation goal.

    The best and worst of Ange Postecoglou’s side was on display in Sochi.

    The opening half-hour saw Australia on the ropes, with Stindl’s fifth-minute opener bringing fears of a belting.

    The 28-year-old found an acre of space to volley Julian Brandt’s cut-back past Mat Ryan and the inattentive back three.

    But Germany’s failure to cash in on early chances allowed Rogic to rifle home a 41st minute equaliser.

    The Canberran – clearly Australia’s best player – kept his composure to score at the second attempt from long range, after his first was blocked – to shock the 28,605 at the Olympic Stadium.

    Parity lasted all of three minutes.

    An out-of-sorts Massimo Luongo lunged at man-of-the-match Goretzka in the box and Draxler’s penalty ensured Germany went into the halftime break ahead once more.

    Two minutes after the break, a dazzling through-ball from Joshua Kimmich put Goretzka through to thrash past Ryan at close range.

    Then, an Australian lifeline.

    Another fine Rogic run drew a free-kick which Juric scrambled home when goalkeeper Bernd Leno fumbled.

    But there was to be no off-the-canvas third for Postecoglou’s side, which finished stronger but left themselves too much to do.

    The first-up loss makes it difficult to see Australia getting out of the group, with taxing matches against Cameroon and group leaders Chile to come.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (111)

    • June 20th 2017 @ 3:33am
      Fadida said | June 20th 2017 @ 3:33am | ! Report

      It was indeed Frank Farina all over again

      • June 20th 2017 @ 7:59am
        vin said | June 20th 2017 @ 7:59am | ! Report

        hahaha i like this one Farina,

        except Farina played Germany A , not the B team

        • June 21st 2017 @ 9:52pm
          Evan Askew said | June 21st 2017 @ 9:52pm | ! Report

          Fatima had the golden generation. Portability has a team that for the most part does not play at the same level.

          • June 21st 2017 @ 10:55pm
            vin said | June 21st 2017 @ 10:55pm | ! Report

            I wouldnt call it the golden generation mate, the job of the FFA was to continue to improve the playing stock that the NSL was introducing, something that has gone downhill every year since then.

            the reason we were so good at world youth cups reaching qtrs and semi’s was that the youth team australian players were all playing first grade NSL before the age of 20, you had 10 teams alone from Sydney and Melbourne. plenty of opportunity for youth. now there are 5 foreigner spots, what chance does a young player have

            Just ask someone with experience such as Mark Rudan

    • Roar Guru

      June 20th 2017 @ 3:53am
      Ben of Phnom Penh said | June 20th 2017 @ 3:53am | ! Report

      The back 3 leaves us terribly exposed and we still seem to play skinny despite the extra midfielder. The first goal really showed how unsettled we are in that formation. We haven’t nailed it down and towards the end our CB’s were exhausted. I can’t see us having the legs to maintain a back 3 throughout this tournament.

      We also seem to lack some confidence running the line. A couple of times there Behich pulled the ball up short and played back rather than take on the defender down the line and stretch the Germans who were disjointed at times.

      Some good work from Ryan and Rogic throughout that match.

      • June 20th 2017 @ 4:00am
        Fadida said | June 20th 2017 @ 4:00am | ! Report

        Agree totally Ben. We aren’t comfortable with a 3 and are exposed horribly out wide, but still look flimsy through the centre and a man light in midfield!

        We look like we’ll concede plenty of goals, which isn’t the way to approach games when you’re the underdog.

        I also thought we had huge gaps in front of the back 3. Every loss of possession seemed to trigger a terrifying counter attack

        • Roar Guru

          June 20th 2017 @ 4:08am
          Ben of Phnom Penh said | June 20th 2017 @ 4:08am | ! Report

          Jimmy Jeggo for Luongo may help fill some of the gap in front of the back 3, however it will do little to address the width issue.

      • June 20th 2017 @ 7:28am
        KJ said | June 20th 2017 @ 7:28am | ! Report

        Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I was under the impression that a back 3 actually provides more protection at the back than with a back 4 as with a back 4, 2 of the backs move up the wing leaving 2 permanent backs, whereas with a back 3, all 3 remain permanent backs and the 2 wingers support the defence.

        • Roar Guru

          June 20th 2017 @ 10:55am
          Ben of Phnom Penh said | June 20th 2017 @ 10:55am | ! Report

          Back 4 usually has a midfielder dropping back to cover for whichever fullback is bombing forward.

          • June 20th 2017 @ 11:59am
            Mark said | June 20th 2017 @ 11:59am | ! Report

            This is indeed how Real Madrid do it.

            They play with a back 4. When Marcelo and/or Carvajal push up the field, Casemiro drops back.

      • June 20th 2017 @ 8:07am
        KJ said | June 20th 2017 @ 8:07am | ! Report

        Wouldn’t a back 3 leave us with 3 permanent backs, however a back 4 only 2 permanent backs? Therefore, isn’t a back 3 better if we have a generally poor defence?

        • June 20th 2017 @ 10:55am
          Gavin said | June 20th 2017 @ 10:55am | ! Report

          3 – 4 – 3 is a very offensive formation. It leaves a lot of space out wide for opposition to counter attack if wing backs aren’t fulfilling their defensive duties. It also depends how you deploy the midfield. In a diamond formation, you’d have a holding midfielder to help cover the back 3 so they’re not over exposed. If the midfield aren’t getting back quick enough, a team who can move the ball quickly will rip it apart (ala Germany’s first goal).

          I do believe we are heading in the right direction, however I don’t think we have the end product in the final 3rd just yet. I’m more concerned with the effort we put in than the result at this tournament, however the World Cup; should we qualify, will be entirely results based.

        • June 20th 2017 @ 11:03am
          Mark said | June 20th 2017 @ 11:03am | ! Report

          No, with four defenders you would tell the two backs on the wings not to push up the field.

          • June 20th 2017 @ 12:43pm
            jupiter53 said | June 20th 2017 @ 12:43pm | ! Report

            Or you do what Sydney did in the last A League season.

            Either Grant or Zullo pushed all the way forward, and one of the holding midfielders dropped in between the central defenders, one of whom went wider onto the attacking fullback’s flank.

    • June 20th 2017 @ 4:54am
      antman said | June 20th 2017 @ 4:54am | ! Report

      Awful performance first half, all of our attack non existent because of our midfield. Mooy and Luongo could not cope with the high press. I think the back 3 will work if you have a player that is not having an off day. Germany gave us a master class in the first half, and it should of been 4-0 at one stage.

      My concerns are Wright, Behich (in transition like Smith) and of course Luongo that coughed the ball up way to much and is where we lost the first half, and Mooy was stretched.

      Leckie I think understands his positioning and I think he could be a key component. I also hate to say it but Jedinak was needed in midfield similiar to that traditional Grella bulldog type.

      Lets use these games as a lesson and move forward. Stop the bloody mistakes and cheap turnovers and lets look at Germany for ball possession as in their first half for inspiration (and this is the way to play out from the back).

      I hope that Ange was pissed off with that performance first half

      • June 20th 2017 @ 1:59pm
        pacman said | June 20th 2017 @ 1:59pm | ! Report

        In the post match interview Ange was honest enough to acknowledge that we were lucky to only be trailing 2-1 at half time. He also appeared to be unhappy about our first half performance.

    • Roar Rookie

      June 20th 2017 @ 6:57am
      Stevo said | June 20th 2017 @ 6:57am | ! Report

      Down the side of Wright and Behich was a disaster. Luongo was out of his depth. The bloke hasn’t taken the next step after his Asian Cup performance. Too many cheap turnovers that pile heaps of pressure on the team. How much encouragement do we want to give the opposition by failing to nail sometimes simply passes? Rogic can hold his head high and Ryan was good. I feel the team lacks conviction and confidence. Once we got touches on the ball and made some forays into the opposition areas it seemed to lift the lads.

      • June 20th 2017 @ 7:51am
        Chris said | June 20th 2017 @ 7:51am | ! Report

        Luongo has not played well for ages now and I think its time he was moved on. Simply not good enough.
        And Mooy is just too slow. Slow in taking on players, slow in tracking back, and slow at delivering passes.

        • June 20th 2017 @ 8:09am
          Steve said | June 20th 2017 @ 8:09am | ! Report

          I agree on Mooy. I just don’t see what apparently everyone else sees. Rogic far superior.

          • June 20th 2017 @ 8:15am
            James Jackson said | June 20th 2017 @ 8:15am | ! Report

            You mean potentially one of the players of the Championship? It’s more than just a few die-hard fans supporting him

            • June 20th 2017 @ 8:18am
              Fadida said | June 20th 2017 @ 8:18am | ! Report

              Mooy has consistently disappointed over the last 5-6 internationals. The current system certainly doesn’t suit him.

              Or anyone

              • June 20th 2017 @ 8:24am
                Chris said | June 20th 2017 @ 8:24am | ! Report

                Oh come on. What system would help someone who is just too slow? At this level he does not have the technique to make up for his lack of pace. They sweat on his first touch and he isn’t quick enough to protect the ball and look for another channel. He gave up possession time after time. He looked ok late on when Germany stopped pressing so high due to tiredness. I want him to succeed but he just isnt quick enough over the first 5 metres.

              • June 20th 2017 @ 8:28am
                AGO74 said | June 20th 2017 @ 8:28am | ! Report

                I agree that I don’t think Mooy had legs to play a high midfield role and it’s interesting he was much better in 2nd half playing at base of midfield.

                This is the same position he played and excelled at for Huddersfield. Play the guy in his best position Ange.

              • June 20th 2017 @ 8:30am
                Fadida said | June 20th 2017 @ 8:30am | ! Report

                Agree AG

              • June 20th 2017 @ 8:40am
                James Jackson said | June 20th 2017 @ 8:40am | ! Report

                Ange seems to have fallen into the issue of having no depth, so he is instead trying to play his best players, chemistry be damned.

              • June 20th 2017 @ 8:38am
                James Jackson said | June 20th 2017 @ 8:38am | ! Report

                Those are fair points, my contention is that he’s a great player that isn’t able to flourish in the current system.

                To be fair, in the past 3 games none of our midfielders have had the opportunity to turn in possession, we just keep telegraphing our movements and getting pressured off the ball. Rogic had a few nice moments thanks to his sublime touch, but only a few unfortunately.

              • June 20th 2017 @ 9:22am
                Steve said | June 20th 2017 @ 9:22am | ! Report

                I wouldn’t call him a great player – unless we have different definitions of great. Mooy was the best midfielder in a side who finished 5th in the Championship and the only club in the top 11 with a negative goal difference. The eye test confirms for me that he is not as special as people claim. Good yes, but overrated. Rogic is a class above, and I think it showed last night as he was the only one who didn’t look out of his depth.

      • Roar Rookie

        June 20th 2017 @ 9:16am
        Stevo said | June 20th 2017 @ 9:16am | ! Report

        Mooy was one of the best players in the English Championship last season. He is a very good, smart player with the ball at his feet and his best attribute is to be able to make passes to players who are making space and threading the ball through to open up play. Mooy is best when the rest of the cattle are on his wavelength.

        • June 20th 2017 @ 10:34am
          Qeastwood said | June 20th 2017 @ 10:34am | ! Report

          “Mooy was one of the best players in the English Championship last season.”

          So what? Sure, the championship is an exisiting and we’ll suppprted second division but being the best in that league doesn’t make you a great international footballer.

          Previous winners of the championship player of the year awards: Rickie Lambert, Matej Vydra, Danny Ings, Patrick Bamford and Andre Grey.

          And what the hell are you talking about when Mooy plays well when his team mates are on his wavelength… you can apply that to ANY PLAYER IN THE WORLD.

          • Roar Rookie

            June 20th 2017 @ 12:26pm
            Stevo said | June 20th 2017 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

            Seems like you interpreted my post to suit your view. Mooy’s effectiveness requires players to “see” the passes he’s wanting to make, the ones that split open defences. And I didn’t say that being a high level Championship players automatically rates you as “a great international player.” LOLz fair dinkum.

    • June 20th 2017 @ 7:46am
      Jack said | June 20th 2017 @ 7:46am | ! Report

      We have been pretty poor in last 12 months. Germany obviously worlds better then us however still concerns over our inability to hold the ball.
      Missed passes everywhere even from trolisi at the end.
      Simple passes as well. Back 3 is not working we have looked so disorganised in last 12 months

    • June 20th 2017 @ 7:56am
      Lionheart said | June 20th 2017 @ 7:56am | ! Report

      If they’re not good enough to play to the game-plan, change the game-plan.

      • June 20th 2017 @ 8:10am
        Fadida said | June 20th 2017 @ 8:10am | ! Report

        Exactly! Clearly, quite clearly the 3 doesn’t suit us at all. We look so disorganised defensively and vulnerable to attacks both wide and centrally. Ange no longer rates Spira of Wilko (despite them being in our top 3 CB’S), so the only reasonable choice is to change the system.

        But of course Ange won’t. Because he knows there is huge outcry, and he likes to go against opinion.

        • June 20th 2017 @ 8:15am
          Realist said | June 20th 2017 @ 8:15am | ! Report

          Last 3 games – 9 goals conceded and 4 goals scored. For a squad that has been together for the last couple of weeks and have played 3 games together, there is still very little cohesion and understanding between them.

          What is it that Einstein said about doing that same thing over and over and expecting different results?

          • June 20th 2017 @ 8:19am
            Fadida said | June 20th 2017 @ 8:19am | ! Report

            We await Fuss to join the conversation…..

            • June 20th 2017 @ 8:40am
              Realist said | June 20th 2017 @ 8:40am | ! Report

              He is preparing his defence right now:
              – we aren’t qualified to offer our opinion as we don’t coach internationally
              – if only Ange read this website
              – these games don’t mean much as preparing for game against Japan

              • June 20th 2017 @ 9:37am
                Steve said | June 20th 2017 @ 9:37am | ! Report

                Surely a reference to Jogi Loew praising Ange and saying it’s better than the 2010 version. Of course the German side we saw last night was not close to their A team, and sugar coating performances will only get us so far.

        • June 20th 2017 @ 12:21pm
          j,binnie said | June 20th 2017 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

          Fadida – What concerns me most is that players are being asked to fit a system of play, a system , 3 at the back, that has it’s origins in the game some 90 years ago, when Arsenal’s Chapman “lit the fuse”.
          Leckie is a classic example of the folly in trying to do this at high competition. The lad made his name as a fast,aggressive , right winger who .like wingers of old, had the capacity to go wide or cut in ,causing trouble to opponents.
          Now we are trying to hone his skills into being a back four player for at least half a game. What a waste of time and effort.
          From 1950 to 1954 a world class team ruled the world of football, playing a simple system that could probably be best described as 4-4-2. I refer of course to the Hungarian team that never lost a game in 4 years, their first loss coming in the World Cup final!!!!!!
          Why would this system better suit this Socceroo squad?. The Hungarians did not use wing backs they did however use two extremely fast ,fit wingers to carry the ball up the field at pace out wide, to where they had two world class strikers Puskas and Kocsis waiting for service from these sources or, from a playmaker, a master of the accurate pass,deep lying centre forward Hidegkuti ,who was in fact and ageing winger with a great football brain.
          Why mention this system?. This set-up would allow the Kruses and the Leckies to be used in a role of which they are quite capable and do away with this stupid idea of having a lone striker, who spends 90% of his time chasing a ball being moved between 3 or 4 players.
          It would also allow the much vaunted Aussie aggression to be utilised in the middle third, the area where the ball is actually contested for.
          With a bit of “go-forward” (an obvious change in thinking in last night’s second half) this 4-4-2 system could work for this squad and do away with the continued trying to fit players into a role for which they are not capable of delivering. Cheers jb.

          • June 20th 2017 @ 12:29pm
            Sydneysider said | June 20th 2017 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

            j.binnie – AGREED!!!

            4-4-2 is the best fit for the players we have.

          • June 20th 2017 @ 2:56pm
            Fadida said | June 20th 2017 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

            Our players just look more comfortable in a back 4 JB, more balanced. They are too many square pegs in round holes. I agree Leckie is blunted by the system and he’s not alone. The defence is fragile, the midfield renderers less effective, the striker very isolated. The players look confused, there are gaps were there shouldn’t be, in front of the 3 and on the flanks defensively.

            Ange’s earlier sides relied on triangles and interchanging of positions, width and overlaps, allowing players to find space, and for natural support. The current system seems to be adopted simply because it is “fashionable”. Why do I think that? We lack 3 top quality CB options (and for me Spiranovic and Wilkinson are 2 of our top 3 options but strangely overlooked), we lack a natural fit for the right wing back especially, and we lack a suitable lone striking option.

            We have an abundance of wide attacking options though, Leckie, Kruse (not that I’d pick him), Goodwin, Hrustic, Burns, all players used recently. Yet we don’t play with wide attackers.

            The move to a 3 just doesn’t make sense on any level

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