Postecogolu must be gone for the World Cup

Ben Scotti Roar Rookie

By Ben Scotti, Ben Scotti is a Roar Rookie

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    After Australia’s unconvincing 2-1 victory over Syria on Tuesday, Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou is set to announce that he will step down after the final qualifier against Honduras in November, regardless of the result.

    While the timing does seem odd, as Australia may well have qualified for Russia, supporters of the Socceroos should not ‘look a gift horse in the mouth’. Postecoglou has done a wonderful job since taking over the role in 2013, with qualifying for the 2014 World Cup and winning the 2015 Asian Cup the highlights.

    However, his stubbornness in regards to tactics and selections have drastically hindered the Socceroos’ performances throughout this qualifying campaign. The Socceroos went from champions of Asia to not even gaining direct qualification (top four).

    Why is this? Ange Postecoglou.

    When he took over the team I was excited. Postecoglou introduced the passing style of play that he had done quite successfully at Melbourne Victory and it paid dividends. Australia performed admirably in the World Cup and dominated Asia and it looked like the beginnings of a golden age for this country’s football program.

    What happened next was a lack of willingness to adjust to changing circumstances. The quality of players available to the Socceroos is not on the level of countries like Germany or Spain, who have perfected passing football. Therefore, when teams in Asia worked out what Australia’s tactics were it was quite easy to counter.

    The opposition would sit deep, let Australia pass around the back four and slowly try and transition into some form of attack. When Australia eventually slipped up, the opposition launched counterattacks. That’s how Iraq and Thailand were able to get draws against us and how Japan defeated us 2-0.

    Similarly, over the course of qualification, the Socceroos have had to play on some questionable pitches. When the ground is uneven passing won’t work, yet Postecoglou has refused to adjust his philosophy and do what needs to be done – play the long ball.

    Tim Cahill

    (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

    It’s not the prettiest style of play and by no means should Australia go into every game planning on hoisting in crosses. But the Socceroos need a coach who allows the players more freedom, the freedom to whip a long ball to Tim Cahill or Tomi Juric, the freedom to run at the opposition rather than play it back to the centre-backs, the freedom to adjust to the game as it progresses.

    I was very critical of Robbie Kruse in the game against Syria, however when Nikita Rukavytsya was brought on he too continuously played balls back to the defence rather than play a ball into the box. It was clear that Ange has hammered into the players that they should never launch ‘hit and hope’ balls into the box but rather take their time and find the right ball.

    Once again, there is nothing wrong with this when appropriate, but when we needed a goal before extra-time, the players were still tapping around at the back. That is exactly the time to put Juric and Cahill in the box and make the Syrians defend in the box.

    If Australia do defeat Honduras in the final qualifier, there is more than enough time for a new coach to come in and familiarise himself with the players. Postecoglou had previously said he will leave the coaching role at the end of this World Cup campaign anyway, so why let him take our national team into the biggest tournament in football?

    Postecoglou has nothing to lose, so it’s extremely likely he will stick to his unrealistic philosophy that was exposed by the likes of Thailand and Iraq, and which will be ripped to shreds by teams such as France, Argentina and other top sides.

    The nail in the coffin for me was Postecoglou’s decision to drop Aaron Mooy, the man who has starred throughout the qualifiers and is probably our best player. While Australia were favourites going into Tuesday’s game, it was by no means a dead rubber and by dropping Mooy to the bench he was disrespecting Syria and the player himself.

    Mooy is an essential cog in the Socceroos and while Mark Milligan did have a genuinely impressive qualifying campaign, he is not of the same quality and this was exposed in the lead-up to Syria’s goal on Tuesday.

    Whoever leads the Socceroos into the World Cup (again, should we get there) has to be someone willing to trust his players and be prepared to pay ugly football to get a result. This man is not Ange Postecoglou.

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    The Crowd Says (5)

    • October 13th 2017 @ 1:22pm
      Cool N Cold said | October 13th 2017 @ 1:22pm | ! Report

      Rubbish and opportunistic comment.

      People keep critizing him on having 3 only at the back and not starting Mooy and not listening to Sainsbery.

      Okay, let’s see what the formations we had long time ago. Referring to the match Australia vs Uruguay in youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tm4L40vte7s), the starting lineup of Australia was a 3-3-3-1 formation. You can see this at 5:04 of the video.

      To my memory socceroos played 3 at the back in the match vs Iran in 1997 also.

      So, 3 at the back or 3-2-4-1 or 3-4-4 is just controversial.

      However, the blame is that why sudden change to 3 at the back at the mid of the tournament. So, is it really that critical to change the formation at the mid of the tournament? The answer is the result. It is because Australia drew Thailand. However, if result is the ultimate end, the qualification process is still alive.

      Some people are calling for Ange sacking now.

      One of the reasons is that Mooy not being a starter but a bencher. In this regard, this is absolutely ridiculous. Remember Kewell was ON the bench and substituted in by Guss to replace the big ears (in the do or die match Australia vs Uruguay, 2005)? Ridiculous!

      How old is Mooy in 2005? 15! The commentators’ saying of this Guss’ arrangement is a master stroke. Remember?

      In a game that may need extra time to settle, a main player is conserving energy on the bench is not very unusual. This bench sitter may become a stun substitute later.

      Also, when Brad Smith was injured, Ange replace him not with a defender but a mid-field attacker, Mooy. Why is this? It is up to people’s interpretation. However, it can be pre-planned.

      Also, some allege that the first goal lost to Syria in Sydney would not eventuate should there be a 4-defenders lining up (attacking Ange’s 3 at the back tactic). Is this saying reasonable? Yes, 3 at the back is controversial. However, the number of defenders at the very back depends on where the ball is at a certain time. For a simple exaggerated example, during corner kicks there would not be 4 defenders lining horizontally at the back. So, when Mark Miligan made a wrong pass, there were enough defenders at the back. If you watch the re-play, there were only 2 Syria attacking players against 4 to 5 socceroos players. That loss of the first goal to Syria has nothing to do with the 3 at the back formation. Also, it does not mean to blame Mark Miligan. Milligan is a good and versatile player. It is not necessarily that a good player will not make mistakes. We all make mistakes sometimes. The most disastrous mistake that we have seen recently is made by the USA defender in the match vs Tabasco Trinidad. This USA fullback failed to clear a ball from a cross (without any pressure) but chipped into his own goal. Concluding these sayings here, Ange’s 3 at the back is controversial but the goal conceded in the match vs Syria in Sydney has nothing to do with 3 at the back. It was just a bit of unluckiness.

      What is Ange’s job content? Firstly, rejuvenate the national team. Secondly, qualify the Russia World Cup. Has he rejuvenated the national team? Has he failed the qualification yet?

      The many so called experts in the Australia soccer circle are ignorant or pretending to be ignorant with a conspiratorial hidden agenda?

      Some just us the opportunity to build their career.

      • Roar Rookie

        October 14th 2017 @ 1:39pm
        Ben Scotti said | October 14th 2017 @ 1:39pm | ! Report

        You certainly make some good points, however, in particular, I would argue that at the time of Smith’s (pre-planned?) injury we were already 1-0 down so it wasn’t so much a Kewell like plan but rather a more attacking response to going 1-0 down at home to Syria

    • Roar Pro

      October 13th 2017 @ 4:53pm
      albatross said | October 13th 2017 @ 4:53pm | ! Report

      Well at least us Aussies are in a far better place than, for starters, the Dutch, the US, the Welsh, the Scot who are all nursing yet another qualification disappointment.

      They could be joined by the likes of the Italians, the Swiss, the Swedes, the Greeks and Australia.

      All these teams would have started off on the journey with a reasonable expectation of qualifying but like us there’s another hurdle. There are no guarantees.

      • October 13th 2017 @ 6:40pm
        fabian gulino said | October 13th 2017 @ 6:40pm | ! Report

        I agree with this comment,holland,usa,scotland, at least we are nearly there thats what counts.

      • Roar Rookie

        October 14th 2017 @ 1:41pm
        Ben Scotti said | October 14th 2017 @ 1:41pm | ! Report

        This I agree with too, we are lucky to still be in the hunt. I am simply disappointed that we couldn’t seal immediate qualification and that in Asia I believe we really should be.

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