Tim Cahill must play against Honduras, end of discussion

David Lord Columnist

By David Lord, David Lord is a Roar Expert

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    Socceroos icon Tim Cahill made a stunning comment yesterday – “If I had played in Honduras, I would have contributed”.

    Cahill had rolled his ankle days before playing for Melbourne City when he tried to hurdle Sydney FC defender Jordy Buijs.

    Cahill was given no chance of playing the first leg of the last chance two-game play-off to qualify for the FIFA World Cup in Russia next year.

    But to think the 37-year-young Cahill, the best-performed Socceroo and the team’s most inspirational footballer could have been used, but wasn’t, is yet another strange decision by coach Ange Postecoglou.

    Even stranger when the Socceroos’ most successful goal-scorer with 50, well clear of the next best Damon Mori with 28, may well have scored – with every goal on the away leg all the more important thanks to the away goal rule. If scores are tied after tomorrow night, the team with more away goals goes through.

    After a nil-all draw, any goal would have been priceless.

    So Postecoglou has no option tomorrow night, Tim Cahill must start against Honduras – the Socceroos’ moment of truth has arrived.

    If Postecoglou fails to start Cahill, the coach is as good as out the exit door.

    Let’s face it, tomorrow night is the most important sporting event on the Australian calendar this week, by the length of the straight.

    Tim Cahill

    (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

    A galaxy of Australia’s best in other sports have been appearing on television wishing the team well, headed by Cooper Cronk, Steve Smith, Ellysee Perry, Craig Lowndes, and Michael Hooper.

    Let’s face it, the return Honduras clash is so important to the well-being of the round ball code in Australia.

    If they qualify for Russia, the FFA and Socceroos will earn $2 million, and even if they are eliminated after the Group stage, there’s another $10 million.

    If they lose in the quarters it’s worth $18 million. To finish fourth, $25 million, and to go all the way to becoming world champions they will collect a $50-million cheque.

    Nobody expects the Socceroos will go that far, but to even qualify for their fourth consecutive World Cup appearance will do wonders for the code in Australia.

    But to miss out will be damaging.

    Putting my cards on the table, I’m no fan of the Socceroos for playing boring football, with the exception of Tim Cahill.

    They should have qualified in regulation as the highest ranked country – Socceroos 43, Japan 44, Saudi Arabia 63, UAE 72, Iraq 80, and Thailand 138.

    Had the played to their standing, they would have avoided these tense play-off series,even though Syria’s ranked 77, and Honduras 69.

    But they didn’t play to their ranking, so both the players, and the coach, must share that mistake and that responsibility.

    Tim Cahill sad

    (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

    Tomorrow night they have their last chance to make amends by making passes count, and being positive.

    The latter is vital, and that’s where Tim Cahill means so much to the side.

    A Cahill header from an Aron Mooy cross will bring the house down, the roar will be heard all over Sydney.

    But while the attack is vital, the Socceroos’ defence must be Fort Knox-like – if Honduras score, Australia will need to win. No questions asked. A scoring draw sees Australia knocked out on the away goals rule.

    The clash will be the first of three this week, with the defending champion Kangaroos meeting Samoa in Darwin in a Rugby League World Cup quarter final, and the Wallabies will be at the home of rugby desperate to end a four-game losing streak to England.

    But tomorrow night is huge with the nation right behind you Socceroos, so lift your game and attitude to make us proud.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn’t get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world’s great sporting spectacles

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    The Crowd Says (85)

    • November 14th 2017 @ 7:12am
      bob said | November 14th 2017 @ 7:12am | ! Report

      Is this a joke?

      • November 14th 2017 @ 7:51am
        punter said | November 14th 2017 @ 7:51am | ! Report

        I hope so, otherwise it’s a sign of a desperate man who was once a journalist.

    • November 14th 2017 @ 8:23am
      Fadida said | November 14th 2017 @ 8:23am | ! Report

      There won’t be a worse article all week, perhaps all month.

      Where to start?
      – it wasn’t a strange decision not to start Cahill. He was unfit AND was always going to be on the bench regardless. His old legs could never play a significant part in both legs, logic dictates the home leg would be his stage
      – away goals do not count as 2! How many times did this come up?
      – we don’t play “boring football”. We struggle to score, but that’s not the same thing. Not that you’d know David, having no idea about the game
      – comparing a World Cup qualifier to any of those other events is laughable.

      I’d suggest you stick to those sports you know

      • Columnist

        November 14th 2017 @ 3:40pm
        David Lord said | November 14th 2017 @ 3:40pm | ! Report

        Fadida, why did Tim Cahill say yesterday if he’d played in Honduras, he would have contributed? You don’t have to be a rocket scientist that he was saying, that at some stage, he was more likely to score than anyone else and the park, but he was denied the chance, and not for the first time.

        Your comment the Socceroos don’t play boring football, but just struggle to score, is laughable. What pray tell Fadida is the point of the game – score goals?

        The Socceroos were the highest ranked country in their group, yet they couldn’t automatically qualify. They were, and still are, the highest ranked in the play-offs, and it’s down the the last hurrah.

        If Cahill doesn’t start tomorrow night, the odds are the Socceroos won’t be in Russia.

        Whether you like it or not, Cahill is the heartbeat, and the inspiration, of the side – he must be on duty for 90 minutes, or for as long as his 37-year-old legs, and injured ankle last.

        Tomorrow night is as simple as that.

        Let’s have no passes to nobody.

        • Roar Guru

          November 14th 2017 @ 4:00pm
          Mango Jack said | November 14th 2017 @ 4:00pm | ! Report

          Fadida is right, David, the Socceroos do not play boring football at all. Last week was very typical of their recent games. They set up numerous chances but failed to convert them. Frustrating? Sure. Boring? No way.

        • November 14th 2017 @ 4:54pm
          Fadida said | November 14th 2017 @ 4:54pm | ! Report

          Nonsense David. The aim of the game is to score goals but a failure to do so doesn’t automatically make it “boring”. The aim of cricket is to take 20 wickets, but does that mean all draws are boring? Not necessarily. Typical comment from the most casual of casual football watchers. You don’t even understand the concept of the away goals rule so how can you possibly proclaim them “boring”? Frustrating, yes.

          Did you see the pitch in the first leg? (I quite frankly wouldn’t be surprised if you hadn’t – you’ve probably just jumped on the bandwagon this week). It was a chopped up paddock, not the surface you want a vulnerable ankle to play on.

          Don’t turn up to watch your one game a year and try and tell us who’s important, and what is simple. You have no idea. The worst type of band wagon jumper

        • November 14th 2017 @ 4:56pm
          Waz said | November 14th 2017 @ 4:56pm | ! Report

          David, goals do not make a game interesting. What makes the game interesting is the way it’s played. It’s why low scoring games, including 0-0’s, can be the best games.

          • Roar Rookie

            November 14th 2017 @ 5:02pm
            Grobbelaar said | November 14th 2017 @ 5:02pm | ! Report

            I’m amazed that non-football fans continue to believe that football is about scoring goals.

            Scoring goals is merely an occasional observable event in the game of football.

            Who can ever forget South Korea making it to 3rd position in the Asian Cup in 2007 without scoring a single goal in the sudden-death games.

            The manager that time? None other than our very own and celebrated Pim.

            • November 14th 2017 @ 5:16pm
              punter said | November 14th 2017 @ 5:16pm | ! Report

              Grobbelaar, I think you may be confused Pim was an assistant coach of a Korean side, this does not make him the national coach.

              • November 14th 2017 @ 9:29pm
                chris said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:29pm | ! Report

                Punter he wouldn’t have a clue. Grob likes games where you accumulate points as easily and as many as possible.

              • November 14th 2017 @ 11:22pm
                Evan Askew said | November 14th 2017 @ 11:22pm | ! Report

                I’m pretty sure Pim was coach of the South Korean team at the 2007 Asian cup. He was ass coach at the 2002’world cup.

              • November 15th 2017 @ 6:07am
                punter said | November 15th 2017 @ 6:07am | ! Report

                My apologies to the Grob, I mis-read the post thinking 2002.

              • Roar Rookie

                November 15th 2017 @ 7:57am
                Grobbelaar said | November 15th 2017 @ 7:57am | ! Report


                Well done Evan, you, above everyone else on this thread, have marked yourself out as someone who really does know his football.

                As to the pretenders and posers….

              • November 15th 2017 @ 8:27am
                punter said | November 15th 2017 @ 8:27am | ! Report

                We are all pretenders and posers, otherwise we’d be in Ange’s shoes.

            • November 14th 2017 @ 9:50pm
              potatojuice said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:50pm | ! Report

              Truly embarrassing stuff. Well done.

        • November 14th 2017 @ 5:13pm
          potatojuice said | November 14th 2017 @ 5:13pm | ! Report

          Here’s a cup of water David, now take your medications. It will stop the non sense coming out of your sorry mouth.

          • November 14th 2017 @ 5:43pm
            Sydneysider said | November 14th 2017 @ 5:43pm | ! Report

            David time to retire mate.

            It’s 2017 and you just aren’t in the game for global sports.

            GIve it up.

        • November 14th 2017 @ 8:28pm
          Haymother said | November 14th 2017 @ 8:28pm | ! Report

          If you think football is boring because goals are not scored, then you just don’t like football. Which is fine. But your comments are embarrassing. The Roos played an exciting attacking brand of football in the first leg, and the failure to score was zero to do with tactics and all the failure of the strikers. Football is a low scoring game, it’s hard to get a goal, plenty of teams have sublime players and yet sometimes don’t score. Argentina don’t always score even with one of the best of all time on the park with them. And Cahill can say what he likes. It would have been idiotic to put him on half done. If he was on the end of one of those balls in front of Juric, sure they may have gone in, but he needed to have the legs to be in position to get there. Who knows if he’d have lasted 20 minutes. And could he do the rest of the work around the park that Juric did holding the ball? Really am uninformed comment David.

        • November 14th 2017 @ 10:39pm
          Targa said | November 14th 2017 @ 10:39pm | ! Report

          They are ranked no 43. Peru are ranked 10

    • November 14th 2017 @ 8:45am
      Waz said | November 14th 2017 @ 8:45am | ! Report

      Tim Cahill should NOT be playing.

      He needs to sit on the bench behind a big glass panel with the words “in case of emergency break glass” boldly written across it!

      • November 14th 2017 @ 12:50pm
        Melange said | November 14th 2017 @ 12:50pm | ! Report

        love it Waz!

      • Roar Guru

        November 14th 2017 @ 1:39pm
        Griffo said | November 14th 2017 @ 1:39pm | ! Report

        Haha Waz, I can picture it now:

        Simon Hill: Ange has just pointed to Cahill, who uses his head to break the glass! My word! There isn’t even a scratch on him!

        Harps: Well that is what you expect from the legend of Australian football. A true mythical figure. Nothing is going to break the melon of King Timmy!

        Hill: That melon is sorely needed as the Socceroos look for inspiration to break the 0-0 deadlock…

        Geez tomorrow night can’t come soon enough! 😈

        • November 14th 2017 @ 1:42pm
          Waz said | November 14th 2017 @ 1:42pm | ! Report


      • November 14th 2017 @ 3:17pm
        Rolly said | November 14th 2017 @ 3:17pm | ! Report

        Best comment of the year goes to wazza
        Love it .

    • November 14th 2017 @ 8:58am
      Kenny said | November 14th 2017 @ 8:58am | ! Report

      Smells of desperation is this what it’s come to ,what we have no one else that can score goals .Tim is not our future.why don’t we call up Mark Bresciano if he can help us out . if Ange had a starting eleven from day dot we would not be in this mess. We may have found a prolific scorer by now .in stead this is the sorry state of football in this country .FFA and the state federations have failed our sport.

      • November 14th 2017 @ 9:09am
        Fadida said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:09am | ! Report

        How are FFA to blame for us not having a prolific scorer or walking a WC tightrope?

    • Roar Rookie

      November 14th 2017 @ 9:03am
      Grobbelaar said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:03am | ! Report

      Cahill will start in his usual position these days, and that’s off the bench.

      It will be nil-all at 60 min, and that will be the cue for Cahill to come on, who will still have to play 60 min.

    • November 14th 2017 @ 9:03am
      Nemesis said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:03am | ! Report

      A football illiterate offering advice to Ange Postecoglou.

      This is to be expected from Australian sport media – know nothings, who wannabe something.

      Amazing how people who don’t like SOKKAH & don’t watch SOKKAH still want to be involved & write 500 word articles about SOKKAH.

      I guarantee, there will not be a single Football columnist writing a word about Australia’s chances in: The Ashes, RLWC, RUWC … or AFL whatever they’re doing to pretend they’re part of international sport.

      • Roar Guru

        November 14th 2017 @ 12:34pm
        spruce moose said | November 14th 2017 @ 12:34pm | ! Report

        Ease up…he writes this type of dribble across all tabs now.

        His football (il)literacy is irrelevant in this case.

      • November 14th 2017 @ 12:38pm
        Deir-ba-zor said | November 14th 2017 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

        It really is astounding how much you are blind to the fact people can disagree with you and still be football fans Nemesis.

        • November 14th 2017 @ 1:05pm
          Nemesis said | November 14th 2017 @ 1:05pm | ! Report

          I’d say the majority of football community on this website disagree with me on the majority of topics.

          Doesn’t bother me at all.

          At ALeague club level, or opining about any issues affecting development, coaching, administration, fan behaviour, etc. etc. every informed member of the football community makes valuable contributions.

          But, I have nothing but contempt & ridicule for people, who give opinions from outside the football community.

          • November 14th 2017 @ 1:39pm
            Deir-ba-zor said | November 14th 2017 @ 1:39pm | ! Report

            As if you have any idea who is in of the football community and who is out of it

            • November 14th 2017 @ 3:20pm
              chris said | November 14th 2017 @ 3:20pm | ! Report

              Im guessing you are one of the ones that are out.

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