The FFA should ignore the peanut gallery and continue to back Postecoglou

Mike Tuckerman Columnist

By , Mike Tuckerman is a Roar Expert

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    It is simply preposterous to suggest the Socceroos would be better off without Ange Postecoglou, since he is still so clearly the right man to get Australia to Russia in 2018.

    The calls for Postecoglou’s sacking are symptomatic of the modern-day mentality that we can’t go more than five seconds without receiving some form of gratification.

    If at first you don’t succeed, why try again? It’s easier to walk away when something gets hard.

    Never mind the planning, the preparations and the precautions that go into something like running a national team.

    Why bother to think of the consequences of any actions when it’s just as easy to leave a glib online comment and move on to the next topic of rage?

    Sack Postecoglou? Sure, why not! They should install Mal Meninga as his successor and then we can really start having some fun.

    But for those who think that it might not be the smartest idea to dismiss a coach who steered the Socceroos to a continental title less than two years earlier because he failed to guarantee automatic World Cup qualification by a margin of two goals, perhaps the topic deserves some further analysis.

    Do the Socceroos need a European coach to get us through to Russia? Maybe we should give Holger Osieck a call? Or how about Pim Verbeek? Weren’t these the sort of European coaches who were supposed to improve our fortunes?

    Or, having once been lucky enough to tempt Guus Hiddink on the shortest of short-term contracts, is this another one of those hypotheticals where critics conjure up improbable names – just like how every time Brisbane Roar plays a home game we’re told they should ‘move to Ballymore,’ or how Fox Sports are informed ad nauseam that ‘every A-League game should be on free-to-air TV’.

    Perhaps we should see if Jose Mourinho wants to swap Old Trafford for ANZ Stadium? Surely it couldn’t hurt to ask?

    Or if we decide to pull our heads out of the clouds and realise it’s worth inhabiting the real world, maybe we’d be better off taking stock of where the Socceroos are currently at.

    Ange Postecoglou Football Australia Socceroos 2017

    (AAP Image/Matt Roberts)

    There’s been plenty of talk of late about the FFA’s coffers starting to run dry. So won’t a money-spinning playoff against Syria – with another one potentially to follow – help replenish the finances?

    Weren’t we all complaining about the lack of drama in qualifying through Asia anyway? At least until Osieck’s strugglers needed an 83rd-minute winner from Josh Kennedy to seal a spot at Brazil in 2014.

    There’ll be 48 teams qualifying for the FIFA World Cup from 2026 as it is, so perhaps we should be thankful for the competitive tension the final round of qualifying has offered this time around.

    Postecoglou, meanwhile, has gone from the critically-lauded tactician who landed Australia an unprecedented Asian Cup title to just another expendable seat-warmer within the space of 18 months.

    It’s not his fault the Socceroos hit the woodwork countless times against Thailand. It wasn’t Ange who failed to clear the lines in Jeddah.

    But he makes for a convenient scapegoat in a society which nowadays prefers short-term results to the more laborious process of long-term cultural change.

    There’s nothing wrong with critics chastising Ange. It’s great to see former players care so much. After all, the national team belongs to the whole nation – not just the man in charge.

    But if the FFA cops its fair share of criticism, they should also be lauded for demonstrating some leadership and continuing to back Postecoglou as the man to lead the Socceroos to Russia.

    He’s earned that right – not just by winning an Asian Cup, but by being the only coach in our recent history to understand our sporting culture.

    Thus FFA should simply stay the course and ignore the commentary coming out of the peanut gallery.

    Myself included.

    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.