Japan were simply too good for the shocking Socceroos

Mike Tuckerman Columnist

By Mike Tuckerman, Mike Tuckerman is a Roar Expert

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    Every so often you have to put your hand up and admit you’ve been beaten by an opponent who was quicker, stronger and better in every department.

    There’s not much else to say about Japan’s 2-0 defeat of Australia at Saitama Stadium other than the simple fact that the Samurai Blue played the Socceroos off the park.

    There was not a single facet of the game in which the Socceroos looked more adept than their opponents – unless you count turning over possession – and the hosts came away deserved winners on the back of goals from Takuma Asano and a Yosuke Ideguchi screamer.

    That Japan controlled the game from start to finish should have alarm bells ringing among the Australians – who now need to beat Thailand in Melbourne on Tuesday, and hope Japan take points off Saudi Arabia to book a spot in Russia.

    And on the basis of last night’s performance, the Japanese will be in no mood to do Australia any favours.

    Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou put his hand up and took responsibility for the defeat, stating that he was responsible for both the team selection and performance.

    Ange Postecoglou Football Australia Socceroos 2017

    Trouble is, it’s becoming a familiar refrain.

    If the Socceroos are to genuinely challenge their international opponents with a 3-4-2-1 formation, they’ll need to start by figuring out how to pass the ball from one teammate to the next.

    The second returning Japan skipper Makoto Hasebe intercepted his first pass of the night, you could tell it was going to be a long one for the team in gold.

    And the experiment of playing Robbie Kruse at the point of attack was an abject failure.

    Kruse may have been expected to lead the line as part of a high press, but his lack of physical presence completely blunted the Australian attack.

    It meant the loss of Tomi Juric from the start was more keenly felt than may originally have been expected, especially when Mat Leckie or Brad Smith managed to get beyond a defender, only to cut the ball back to a waiting Japanese player.

    Live by the sword, die by the sword may as well be Postecoglou’s personal mantra – but the gamble of playing three at the back looks increasingly like becoming a millstone around his neck.

    By contrast, his counterpart Vahid Halilhodzic didn’t seem particularly fazed, and for all the talk in the Australian press about the Bosnian being under pressure, the much-traveled tactician seemed to have all the answers in front of a typically partisan Saitama Stadium crowd.

    The Japan fans fully deserved their celebrations – the Samurai Blue have now qualified for six World Cups in succession – and there’s a few things we could learn from their conduct in the stands.

    As much as was on the line in Saitama, the Japanese were to a person nothing less than gracious hosts – providing directions to Australian fans, taking photos with rival sets of supporters and conversing in English when there was no real reason to expect them to.

    If the perception across Asia is that Australians are arrogant – and it is – then perhaps it wouldn’t kill us to return the hospitality from time to time.

    Still, at the end of the day it’s just a game of football, and the point was rammed home by the untimely death of legendary journalist Mike Cockerill.

    I didn’t know Mike especially well, but at one point he was my editor when I wrote a column for Football Federation Australia – at which point he would ring me and conduct breathless conversations about Asian football over the phone.

    The first time I met him was a typical Cockerill moment. “Where were you during the NSL?” he demanded to know. “In high school,” I replied – an answer that elicited only the barest satisfaction.

    He was a legend of the game, a deserved member of the FFA Hall of Fame, and he will be sorely missed.

    Mike Tuckerman
    Mike Tuckerman

    Mike Tuckerman is a Sydney-born journalist and lifelong football fan. After lengthy stints watching the beautiful game in Germany and Japan, he settled in Brisbane, and has been a leading Roar football columnist from December 2008.

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    The Crowd Says (215)

    • September 1st 2017 @ 7:33am
      hogdriller said | September 1st 2017 @ 7:33am | ! Report

      “Japan simply too good for us” ? Don’t know about that Mike.
      Every time on the counter-attack, the Japanese pressured us knowing our players still aren’t comfortable with Ange’s ‘back-three’ system therefore pushing us into making mistakes.
      And what was with having Kruse as our lone striker up front? Seems Ange was the only one watching the game last night that couldn’t see the complete inept performance he was having in such a role.
      We had most of the possession but the Japanese had far more shots on goal (from memory).
      World cup qualifying was definitely not the time to try changing a National teams system of play, it may be ok for an EPL team or such who are with each other week in, week out but its harder for us to adapt to. If God hadn’t messed with our Championship winning style of play by going to a ‘back-three’ then we could beat Japan any day of the week.
      Ange needs to change, or he needs to be changed out, its that simple.
      Surprised he can get his ego thru the Stadium’s front door.

      • September 1st 2017 @ 7:43am
        Franko said | September 1st 2017 @ 7:43am | ! Report

        Ange’s insistence in playing out from the back EVERY SINGLE TIME is appropriate for U20’s or junior teams, not for the national side seeking world cup qualification. Far too much pressure on Sainsbury, Spiranovic, Milligan etc. to be the best passing players in the team which is not their skill set.

        • September 1st 2017 @ 9:26am
          Pauly said | September 1st 2017 @ 9:26am | ! Report

          Sometimes I wonder if Paartaluu had headed over the bar back in 2010 perhaps things might be different.

        • September 1st 2017 @ 9:59am
          AGO74 said | September 1st 2017 @ 9:59am | ! Report

          Yes I agree – mix it up. It is so predictable if you do it every single time.

      • September 1st 2017 @ 8:07am
        Fadida said | September 1st 2017 @ 8:07am | ! Report

        Agree

    • September 1st 2017 @ 7:37am
      Phil of Sydney said | September 1st 2017 @ 7:37am | ! Report

      Lots of goals needed in Melbourne against Thailand next week. McLaren, Juric and Cahill all need to see game time and more than last night. Kruse isn’t a striker and should be out wide if used.

      Brad Smith managed to get forward but seemed to be lacking in defense and I don’t mean just the first goal.

      Hopefully Mooy is fit for the game in Melbourne.

      Japan blunted the Australian attack and there were too few shots on goals or even corners. The corner count was 8 – 1 at one stage in the second half. The pressed high and kept doing so all match. The Australian’s kept trying to play out from the back and then put it long when they were being pinned down.

      I hope Japan beat the Saudi Arabia next week.

      • September 1st 2017 @ 9:32am
        Lionheart said | September 1st 2017 @ 9:32am | ! Report

        It’s a bit rich to call out Brad Smith and not the rest. Apart from Sainsbury and Milligan, I thought our defence was poor across the park. Smith’s playing a difficult position (defender, winger, striker?) and has only played one game this EPL season, what should we expect?

        • September 1st 2017 @ 12:07pm
          Kurt said | September 1st 2017 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

          Brad smith not to be selected

          • September 1st 2017 @ 2:47pm
            Lionheart said | September 1st 2017 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

            exactly, he shouldn’t have been there

    • September 1st 2017 @ 7:39am
      Franko said | September 1st 2017 @ 7:39am | ! Report

      Standard over-reaction here Mike.

      We were good for periods of the game but away from home, without a recognised no.9 and against quality opposition it was always going to be difficult.

      At half time it only looked like we needed a bit more from Troisi and Smith and we would have been solid all over. Luongo, Kruse, Leckie all looked good and the back three with Irvine looked fairly solid in the first half.

      Once Japan got their goal (from poor Smith defending) their tales were up and Ange was rolling the dice with an unfit Juric and Cahill.

      • September 1st 2017 @ 2:15pm
        Newie said | September 1st 2017 @ 2:15pm | ! Report

        Agree. So much passion here today! Great to see but maybe we’re overheating a little. The first half was “OK” considering the context and the location. We didn’t create enough chances but so easily could have been 1-nil up.
        Compared to many of our recent games, we didn’t stuff it up in the first 15 minutes (tick).

        But there are some really weird things that we did have control of, we can all agree. Robby Kruse up front, when you’ve got Cahill sitting on the bench? Huh? OK, so Juric was unfit, but Jamie McClaren might have offered a variation to allow Kruse on the field elsewhere. Why not Gersbach for Smith? We could all see that one coming…

        But a reality check – it’s not easy to qualify for a World Cup and we’re still only a minor player. I’m just glad we’re starting to expect Australia to consistently appear on the biggest stage.

        • September 1st 2017 @ 9:58pm
          Ruudolfson said | September 1st 2017 @ 9:58pm | ! Report

          How would you suppose to learn and get better without wanting to receive criticism? Without the hard questions asked we won’t improve as a football nation.

          • September 4th 2017 @ 10:09am
            Newie said | September 4th 2017 @ 10:09am | ! Report

            Yeah there should definitely should be appropriate and constructive criticism – Ange’s weird selections for example. What I was saying was that I think the superlatives about the “shocking” socceroos and some of the hand wringing is a little over the top. Fans now screaming about Postecoglu were probably overconfident about our ability to beat a very strong opponent in their home territory, and must have bought in completely to Ange’s indoctrination of belief. The team didn’t play terribly and 2-nil isn’t a shocking result. They were too predictable however, and team selections were weird. If I was a journo I’d be asking Ange to explain himself there.

    • September 1st 2017 @ 7:44am
      Waz said | September 1st 2017 @ 7:44am | ! Report

      It’s a headline that could have been written for many of the games in the recent past; the simple answer is we are not good enough and whether it’s the system, individual players or the fault of the coach is all debatable. But we are not good enough, that is the headline!

      • September 1st 2017 @ 8:28am
        j,binnie said | September 1st 2017 @ 8:28am | ! Report

        Waz – This game posed more questions than it did answers.I seldom agree wholeheartedly with the Fox commentators but in last night’s summation of the game they got pretty close to the truth.
        Here we were at a crucial time in the task of world cup qualification and I was forced to answer my wife (a RL fanatic) when she asked me “why do they continually pass the ball backwards,away from the Japanese goal”???
        I was stuck for an answer.
        That got me to thinking about the few “highlights ” of the game from an Australian point of view,and to start I went back to the recent performance against a world rated Chile. In that game we had Cahill on from the start,and there is little doubt he ran his legs off for the cause that night, but more importantly his “reputation” ensured that the Chile defenders could not ignore his presence..Last night, for some inexplicable reason, he was again reduced to bench duties and yet ,probably the Socceroos best 5 minutes in the game came about after he was introduced.
        The use of players in certain positions also raised queries,for the closest we came to scoring was when Leckie struck the post from what would be best described as the “old” inside left position,an area from where just recently he has scored goals both with his feet and his head. Do we play him there? no, we prefer to have him playing as a “wing back” where he spends at least half of his game time trying to defend.
        Now while on the subject of wing-backs ,in the modern game they are expected to get forward often and supply endless accurate crosses to the sole attacker and surely if that is accepted as “norm” it is essential that the aforesaid target man has the ability to challenge for these crosses and get headers at least on target.,can anyone ever remember Kruse scoring a goal with his head????.
        Last night he appeared to be the “go-to man” up front.
        I could go on but as I said the trio of experts pretty much covered all these points post game and added some more that have been noticeable in recent games.
        Was this the best eleven ,put on the field away from home,in front of 80,000 rabid fans to get the result that mattered. Many will question that selection,not only of personnel,but in the system chosen in which they were expected to perform. Cheers jb.

        • September 1st 2017 @ 8:51am
          chris said | September 1st 2017 @ 8:51am | ! Report

          jb agree with you regarding Tim. Why he didn’t start is a question only Ange can answer. There was a reason the Japanese cameras sought out and then lingered on Tim. Its because he scares the hell out of them and when he came on we looked the most likely to score. Why oh why would you have Kruse leading the line is beyond me. Time after time his instincts took over and made really good wide runs begging for an early ball. And time after time that ball never came so he was left to scrap with muscly central defenders and that was that.

          • September 1st 2017 @ 8:20pm
            LuckyEddie said | September 1st 2017 @ 8:20pm | ! Report

            The only thing Kruse has mastered after years in Europe is the ‘art’ of diving.

        • September 1st 2017 @ 10:00am
          Mark said | September 1st 2017 @ 10:00am | ! Report

          Rather, I think this game answered a lot of questions.

          We have had some very average performances in recent qualifiers, but the fact that we have been able to scrape out results has encouraged some people to bury their heads in the sand and say everything is alright.

          After last night’s game, there’s nowhere to hide for them. We were terrible and we got smashed. No-one can deny now that there are serious issues with both Ange and the players he is selecting.

          Say we end up in the playoffs following an unconvincing win over Thailand. If the FFA are absolutely serious about qualification, you have to wonder if Ange is the right man to get us through the playoffs.

        • September 1st 2017 @ 10:03am
          AGO74 said | September 1st 2017 @ 10:03am | ! Report

          Only reason I can think of for not starting Tim is that (a) he is underdone and (b) that in worst case scenario when you have to score goals to qualify on Tuesday he will (hopefully with good service) have a field day against Thais. This assumes that Ange starts him of course….which is not a given.

          • September 1st 2017 @ 12:50pm
            Matsu said | September 1st 2017 @ 12:50pm | ! Report

            Mike provided specific descriptions of the problem with the Australian press, and the self-inflicted damage it does, but it seems there are still a few people who failed to get the message.

            First of all, regarding Tim Cahill, a guy who should be given full credit for his energy and long career but who is clearly not young enough to be playing international football anymore: It is long past time for Socceroo fans to wake up and realise that the only Japanese players who are “afraid” of Australia are the imaginary ones that inhabit the minds of the Ozzie press. Japan plays matches against some of the “hardest” teams in the world, and generally acquits itself reasonably well. Do you **HONESTLY** believe that they are “afraid” of Australia’s size and power? Much less the size and power of a guy whose ability to really have an impact at the international level deserted him at least one World Cup cycle ago?

            Every time Australia plays Japan we get exactly the same refrain, and I can dig out specific newspaper articles to prove the point. If only you could peer inside the mind of the average Japanese fan and see the amazement they feel when they read — for the first time ever — that Vahid Halilhodzic’s job is in jeopardy. “Where did an Australian journalist dig up this scoop?” they may wonder. Those with a bit of experience, though, understand that it is simply another fantasy from the minds of an Ozzie journalist, as soon as the JFA releases a statement saying in no uncertain terms that this is untrue. The real question is why — after the JFA has debunked the notion — any “journalist” worthy of the name would continue to push the story? Those with a sense of humour as sordid as my own can only lough out loud when the Japanese press reports for the first time: “Halilhodzic’s job is on the line, according to Australian media, though the source of their information is unclear” (the original Japanese sounds even more sarcastic than the English version above).

            The simple truth is that the three-back system is the last of your problems. Perhaps if Ange had shifted to a 4-back system at kickoff, the game would have played out slightly differently. But anyone who actually took the time to read the JAPANESE press comments would know that Halil spent an entire month in Russia, scouting the Australian game plan, and had almost two months to work on a counter-strategy in the finest detail. Sure, the three-back system didnt work. But if Ange had shifted to four backs, Halilhodzic would have known it as soon as the lineup sheets were submitted, and told his players to revert to the strategy they use against a 4-4-2 or 4-5-1 (which they have obviously practiced, to prepare for the Saudi game).

            I dont want to sound like I view Roar readers as ignorant about football (I know that many are not). However, it should be clear to anyone who understands football strategy that the reason to play three backs is to put more bodies in midfield, thus making teams like Japan (who thrive on short exchanges in midfield) work harder to link up and create offense. Newsflash folks: Ange achieved exactly what he set out to do. Japan was FORCED to play a game that is not their real forte. They had to play direct balls into attack and abandon the mazy passing that they usually rely on.

            Halilhodzic deserves credit for designing a counterstrategy and the players deserve credit for implementing it, but if nobody else is going to to so, I have to stand up and be the one to congratulate Postecoglou. He forced the Samurai Blue to play a game that is NOT their real strength. Those slagging the three-back system should understand that if he went to four backs (and given Japan more space in midfield) then Japan simply would have gone back to their favoured game plan. The result would not have been any different.

            It is high time that the Australian press wake up to the fact that the “mind games” they try to play every time they have a key match will not work on Japan (and will bring low returns ANYWHERE in Asia). For one thing, none of the Japanese players reads the English language press, so if youre trying to “get in their heads”, youre wasting your time.

            More importantly, though, Australian journos always seem to get caught up in stories that focus on the opposition (“coach is getting fired”, “afraid of our power”, “My Marinos teammate fancies Australia” (obvious case of a teammate being polite, and nothing more) “Yoshida blew up at a press greet (who are you, Donald Trump? Yoshida did no such thing) etc etc etc. I get it — you are trying to generate tension and throw the opponent off its game. That might work when stoking an All-Blacks/Wallabies encounter (hmmm . . . on second thought…) but when the opponent is an Asian culture, all it does is make your entire country sound like a mob of boorish bogans who think their dicks wont fit in Asian condoms.

            Mike tried to offer you guys a reality check. Now Ive offered a far less polite and more detailed one.
            Either you can take it on board, or you can suffer the consequences the next time your delusions run head on into the brick wall of reality.

            • September 1st 2017 @ 1:55pm
              Stepto said | September 1st 2017 @ 1:55pm | ! Report

              Isn’t it strange then Ken, that the far more worldly-wise Japanese media, still believe Australia play long ball, direct, physical football? People in glass houses.

              Fact is, the Japanese media did speculate on Halilhodzic’s future, Degenek’s comments added fuel to the fire, and the coach then virtually implored the media to get behind his team at the pre-game press conference! Are they all lies too?

              • September 1st 2017 @ 2:03pm
                halilhodzic said | September 1st 2017 @ 2:03pm | ! Report

                At least Degenek will shut up now. Made himself look like an absolute melon!

                Japan were clearly 100% behind their manager looking at the way they played.

                Truth is absolutely zero of his team mates at Yokohama are anywhere close to making the national team haha

              • September 1st 2017 @ 2:15pm
                Stepto said | September 1st 2017 @ 2:15pm | ! Report

                Yes Halilhodzic, clearly (with the glorious benefit of hindsight, which is the gift the journalists writing the earlier stories didn’t have) they were. Or perhaps they just wanted to qualify for the World Cup, whatever they thought of the coach?

                The point here, is that Ken Matsushima (who is a Japanese journalist), is making a whole lot of assumptions here, without bothering to question his own nations performance in the same categories. He’s no better than the stereotypes he seeks to attribute to Australians.

              • September 1st 2017 @ 2:27pm
                halilhodzic said | September 1st 2017 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

                Unless you are the 23 Japanese players you know absolutely nothing about the attitude towards Halilhodzic.

                Degenek is not Japanese. Nor was he good enough to play.

                None of his Yokohama mates are close to playing for Japan.

                Maybe he should focus on his own performances.

                Some stupid fans here keep dismissing Asian opposition and making excuses (eg Thailands pitch was boggy).

                Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Japan didn’t have problems on the same pitch

              • September 1st 2017 @ 2:32pm
                Stepto said | September 1st 2017 @ 2:32pm | ! Report

                Totally missing the point halilhodzic.

                You don’t know the Japanese players either, yet you are making the same assumptions.

                Degenek may well have been an idiot, but what are the Australian press supposed to do? Not report it as a story? Remember, they are there to find stories, not please online trolls.

                Imagine if Shinji Ono had said some of his (then) Australian team-mates at Wanderers had wanted Japan to win against Australia a few years back. You reckon the Japanese media wouldn’t have reported that? Of course they would.

            • September 1st 2017 @ 1:57pm
              Albo said | September 1st 2017 @ 1:57pm | ! Report

              Yep ! The Japanese were so “afraid” of Australia, they left their 3 best players on the bench , rather saving them for those “easy beats”, Saudi Arabia ?

              • September 1st 2017 @ 2:25pm
                Matsu said | September 1st 2017 @ 2:25pm | ! Report

                Stepho, Ill make allowances for the fact that you do not know who I am. However, I think the point I made is pretty plain to anyone who bothers to look in a mirror once a year. The stories that the Aussie press published pre-game were ridiculous, and I did not wait until after the match to point this out. (Mike can back me up on this).

                If you need another illustration of the problem, look at what SBS has come up with just A DAY AFTER their previous chestthumping blather was blown out of the water:

                https://theworldgame.sbs.com.au/article/2017/09/01/weirdo-japan-coach-play-experimental-side-against-saudi-yoshida-hints

                The quotes in this article are absolutely fabricated. Thogh Yoshida did refer to Halilhodzic a “henjin”, this is typically taken as a compliment, meaning a “contrarian” or someone who always keeps people guessing. The translation of the term as “weirdo” is just the start of the insidious innuendo, which continues on and on, and concludes by taking Yoshida’s gracious (and very “Japanese”) postgame compliment as somehow proof that the Socceroos are really the best.

                Im about to throw up. Seriously.
                . . . and some people dont understand how you lot end up with a bad reputation in Asia.

            • September 1st 2017 @ 2:23pm
              Newie said | September 1st 2017 @ 2:23pm | ! Report

              Thanks for your interesting context on this game.

              • September 1st 2017 @ 2:35pm
                Stepto said | September 1st 2017 @ 2:35pm | ! Report

                If you don’t believe me with regards to this guy Ken, check out his comment on the article by Sebastian Hassett by clicking on his link above. Absolute nutter.

              • September 1st 2017 @ 2:41pm
                Matsu said | September 1st 2017 @ 2:41pm | ! Report

                Im glad to know that you think Im nuts to object publcly to an “article” containing fabricated quotes (yes, I can prove it) and baseless allegations that the Samurai Blue players are planning a revolt against their coach. This lets me know that you are exactly the sort of bogan that I initially presumed you to be, and I need pay you no further attention.

                Have a g’day.

              • September 1st 2017 @ 3:13pm
                Stepto said | September 1st 2017 @ 3:13pm | ! Report

                Today, Ken wrote this

                “If only you could peer inside the mind of the average Japanese fan and see the amazement they feel when they read — for the first time ever — that Vahid Halilhodzic’s job is in jeopardy.”

                And yet, here’s a direct quote from the same guy from his own article on Rising Sun News, following the Japan 1-1 Iraq game.

                “How could ANY competent coach have used Ideguchi and Kurata against Iraq after they were so clearly out of their depth against Syria???

                If any of the four players listed above get called up again in this WC cycle, Japan doesnt even deserve to GO to Russia, much less succeed at the World Cup. Halilhodzic Out.”

                And previously, on 7 June

                “There can be no excuses for such a pointless expulsion of intestinal gas. If Halilhodzic cant get a better performance out of his team than this, he needs to step down and let a competent coach take over.”

                Maybe the Aussie journo’s were reading his reports when they talked of pressure building on the coach?

              • September 1st 2017 @ 3:31pm
                Matsu said | September 1st 2017 @ 3:31pm | ! Report

                You flatter me, Stepho.

                Im not part of the “Domestic press”, and never have been.
                My views on Halilhodzic’s selections are well known. And anyone who thinks that they are “mainstream” does me a compliment that I simply do not deserve.

              • September 1st 2017 @ 4:53pm
                Stepto said | September 1st 2017 @ 4:53pm | ! Report

                Nice side-step Kenny. You could get a gig with the Cherry Blossoms with that sort of swerve.

                Perhaps you could translate this article from the “mainstream” press, particularly the bit regarding the discussions after the UAE loss at home?

                https://mainichi.jp/articles/20170901/spn/00m/050/012000c

            • September 1st 2017 @ 2:24pm
              chris said | September 1st 2017 @ 2:24pm | ! Report

              Matsu you sound like a charming piece of work. Comments about not fitting into Asian condoms – I mean seriously?
              Lets see how things pan out. Japan have made it and well done to them.
              We (Australia) still have work to do but all is not lost.
              What I do know is that Japan wont cause much of a ripple in Russia as per the norm.

              • September 1st 2017 @ 2:30pm
                Matsu said | September 1st 2017 @ 2:30pm | ! Report

                Chris.
                I take it you havent read any SBS articles recently.

                People who talk about how “big” they are should just close their mouths and accept it, when things dont go their way. To do otherwise is just to remove any doubts about how bad your delusions truly are.

              • September 1st 2017 @ 2:30pm
                halilhodzic said | September 1st 2017 @ 2:30pm | ! Report

                Great post Christopher you bellend

                No wonder this forum is dismal stuff

            • September 1st 2017 @ 2:42pm
              Nemesis said | September 1st 2017 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

              @Matsu

              You raise very valid points as a JPN fan. Your team deserves the credit. The fans should enjoy the win.

              But, we are Champions of Asia. Japan choked against UAE.

              And, last night was the 1st time Japan has got a win against Australia at WC qualifiers since we moved to Asia. 5 previous attempt (2 at home) and no wins before last night. Famously, the Japanese team gave up a 1-0 lead with 8 minutes to play at WC2006.

              So, yes, I say: Well done Japan. You played football that I would enjoy if it were my team.
              I also say: don’t tell us how to behave & we won’t tell you how to behave. We play a global game & different culture react differently in how they approach a sporting event.

              If you don’t like the Australian football media or football fan culture. No problem. The Australian football community doesn’t need to appeal to anyone other than the Australian football community.

              • September 1st 2017 @ 2:50pm
                Matsu said | September 1st 2017 @ 2:50pm | ! Report

                That is a reasonable comment.
                My suggestions were intended for those who *dislike* being viewed as the ugly misfit in Asia, due to their brash, outspoken and “highly enthusiastic” character. If you are not concerned at all with that image then by all means, there is no reason for you to change. I respect that attitude.

                Im just pointing out that some people would prefer to earn a less “unflattering” image, and offering some examples of why that image exists.

                BTW…

                “. . . gave up a 1-0 lead with 8 minutes to play”

                Some time you should ask Mike to tell you who predicted that exact scenario, and how many months in advance that person predicted it. And why. Maybe that will alter your perspective a bit.

              • September 2nd 2017 @ 11:07am
                Nemesis said | September 2nd 2017 @ 11:07am | ! Report

                “My suggestions were intended for those who *dislike* being viewed as the ugly misfit in Asia, due to their brash, outspoken and “highly enthusiastic” character.”

                Ha!

                There are many things that I find intolerable & some thing frankly abhorrent about football culture & life culture in various other Asian nations.

                The diving.
                The time-wasting.
                The corruption.
                The abuse of foreign labour.
                The homophobic laws.
                The stone age punishment in some legal systems.
                The misogyny.

                For every Aussie that you find offensive, I’m sure I can find at least 1 person from each other Asian nation that I find offensive.

            • September 1st 2017 @ 8:32pm
              AGO74 said | September 1st 2017 @ 8:32pm | ! Report

              You seem to have drawn a very long bow from some brief commentsof mine on Cahill. Where in there am I alluding to tim Cahill as having some sort of mystical powers over Japan? Where in my comments am I putting down Japan?

              Based on cahills last starting performance against Chile two months ago which was very good my points on him being underdone as the reason for him not starting are valid. We saw this same underdone problem with troisi who was very poor. Anyway thanks for your comment and hope you feel better for getting that off your chest.

            • September 2nd 2017 @ 11:27pm
              Lovic said | September 2nd 2017 @ 11:27pm | ! Report

              matsu, you went to so much effort yet still missed the point . Ange had a good idea, only this crop of players is generally the least technically apt since the late 1970s. The sport went broke for 10 years since the mid 1990s and disrupted a generation of player development. We just don’t have he skill level at the moment. Too many of our passes won’t stick. It’s that simple and very obvious .

        • September 1st 2017 @ 1:41pm
          Albo said | September 1st 2017 @ 1:41pm | ! Report

          “….can anyone ever remember Kruse scoring a goal with his head????.”

          Can anyone ever remember one of his 4 goals in 55 matches for Australia ???

          • Roar Rookie

            September 1st 2017 @ 1:54pm
            Grobbelaar said | September 1st 2017 @ 1:54pm | ! Report

            Well, now that you mention it….

    • September 1st 2017 @ 7:46am
      Monday QB said | September 1st 2017 @ 7:46am | ! Report

      Toys out of the cot, mike? Disappointing result but it was always going to be a tough game to get a result.

    • September 1st 2017 @ 7:55am
      AGO74 said | September 1st 2017 @ 7:55am | ! Report

      Japan were better and deserved to win. I don’t believe we were as abject as Mike describes. The 1st Japanese goal seemed to come out of nowhere and came after both teams had spells of pressure but with neither team really threatening to score. Again in the 2nd half it was relatively even – it was just a bad giveaway. That said you make mistakes you get punished at this level.

      We seem to be slowly slowly adjusting to 3 at the back – and with capable defenders like Trent, Milligan and spira at back you can arguably play it. I think they were arguably our best. Luongo started well but became more peripheral as the game wore on.

      Irvine is a good spoiler but doesn’t have the vision or passing game of some others

      Rogic unfortunately was peripheral at best.

      Kruse did well I thought in his defensive duties harrying the Japanese defenders though I agree from an attacking focal point it does not work for him up there. That’s not his fault though – that’s anges for picking him there out of position instead of say mclaren perhaps given concerns over durability of juric/Cahill.

      I’m also a little unsure about Mikess pot shot at Australians at the end re graciousness etc?? I’ve never encountered any sort of arrogance of anything like that from Socceroo supporters to opposition fans when they’ve visited our shores. Anyways that’s just my experience. And if we want to talk about arrogance how about the Saudi teams pathetic refusal to stand for a minutes silence before the Adelaide game.

      • September 1st 2017 @ 1:00pm
        Matsu said | September 1st 2017 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

        Never encountered arrogance among Australians?
        Boy I wish I was as lucky.

        Please read my comment above and reconsider your stance

        • September 1st 2017 @ 8:23pm
          AGO74 said | September 1st 2017 @ 8:23pm | ! Report

          All I’m seeing in your comments above is arrogance!

          • September 1st 2017 @ 10:59pm
            Pablo said | September 1st 2017 @ 10:59pm | ! Report

            AG074, as an outsider with no foot in either camp, I think when it comes to any sport there is a certain level of arrogance among Australian supporters. Maybe you guys are used to the sledging type of environment but to an outside who has made this country his home it can make it a lot harder to have an Australian side as a second team. Even a lot of Australians won’t support their country in a code that they themselves don’t follow. Look at the cricket team for example, they haven’t exactly endeared themselves to their own countrymen, so now just imagine what people from other countries might think of them.

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