Olyroos selections. What’s all the fuss about?

20 Have your say

    Nathan Burns. AAP Image/ Rob Hutchison

    The controversy surrounding the exclusion of Nathan Burns and Bruce Djite from the Olyroos squad for the Beijing Olympics is slowly simmering. So now we can finally concentrate on the football.

    For the last few weeks, Olyroo’s coach Graham Arnold has been battered from pillar to post over his decision to exclude the exciting youngsters. Despite the backlash, Arnold has stood firm. He needs to. The Australian media are quick to jump on those most vulnerable.

    Though history shows they tend to back off on those who stand tall.

    The decision to omit the former Adelaide duo was a good one.

    Burns and Djite are this country’s future stars. Should their current development continue, they could, one-day, lead the frontline for the Socceroos.

    However, despite the players having an abundance of potential, they both lack the consistency to perform in a massive, global tournament such as the Olympic Games.

    In Burns’ case, his move to AEK Athens should see his potential develop into a consistent, far superior player, than the inconsistent forward we see today.

    His form at U-23 level does not warrant selection, and the statistics show it: one goal in eleven appearances does not constitute selection in a knockout Olympic tournament.

    Former coach Aurelio Vidmar, who saw Burn’s development first-hand, agrees he needs to get more consistent. There have been occasions where Burns has been in brilliant form in some games, but in other games he has gone missing for long periods.

    Is this what the Olyroos need at the Olympics? It’s debatable.

    Following Adelaide’s AFC Champions League match versus Binh Duong, Vidmar said of Burns’ performance, “the three assists he made are the sort of things he is capable of. That (ten minute) show he gave that unlocked the game for us was brilliant. But he needs to do that at a more consistent level.”

    At such a young age, he is going to find this an issue.

    “That’s the problem you can have with young kids. And he’ll only get that (consistency) when he’s 23, 24 or 25.” Vidmar explained.

    Burn’s move to a European club should accelerate this maturing.

    At this point of his career, he is not developed enough to produce at Olympic level and the constant harassment and attention on his age will affect him and his mindset.

    Olyroo counterparts, Argentina, have followed a similar path to the Olyroos.

    Coach Sergio Batista’s decision to leave Mauro Zárate out of the National squad raised debate. His goals for Birmingham City in the EPL last season demonstrated the potential at his feet.

    However, goals in the EPL did not warrant selection.

    Indeed it was the exclusion of Anderlect and Argentinean rising star, Lucas Biglia, that caused most anxiety amongst fans and local media.

    Biglia’s omission came at the inclusion of Juan Román Riquelme, whose selection was brought on by a number of factors including how tournament football is regarded in Argentina.

    They want to win at all costs. Even at the expense of young prodigies.

    The Australian media have failed to understand the decision by Arnold to exclude Burns and Djite.

    However, there are circles within the football community who believe that in order for Australia progress, proven goalscorers should be selected amongst front forwards with potential

    Arnold made a tough decision, but a good one.

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    The Crowd Says (20)

    • July 26th 2008 @ 11:37am
      jimbo said | July 26th 2008 @ 11:37am | ! Report

      gonna have to disagree with you on this one and hypothesise a contra argument.

      Burns, Djite and Leijer have snuffed out any chance they had of playing for the Socceroos at the 2010 WC.

      They will sit on the bench or play in the reserves for the next season or two.

      The Socceroos forward line for the SA WC (if they make it) will comprise Mac, Jesus, Aloisi and Thompson and possibly Carle or Garcia.

      Burns and Djite will get a lot more money training in Europe but they will fade from the radar screen. They would have had more chance to continue their progress and team building with Pimbo and the Socceroos if they had stayed in Australia.

    • July 26th 2008 @ 3:21pm
      Midfielder said | July 26th 2008 @ 3:21pm | ! Report

      But would their game be any better for having played in Europe.

    • July 26th 2008 @ 6:39pm
      Koala Bear said | July 26th 2008 @ 6:39pm | ! Report

      my two learned associates above are very astute judges of football and on future Footballroos.. However, on this occasion I will lean to your line of thought and add, GA was a very good servant for the Footballroos as a player and always whore his heart on his sleeve; but at times, his decision making has baffled me, but on this occasion, I hope you are 100% right..


    • July 26th 2008 @ 6:50pm
      Midfielder said | July 26th 2008 @ 6:50pm | ! Report


      Ready for tomorrows flogging ……… you must catch the train down for the second round match.

    • July 26th 2008 @ 7:12pm
      Koala Bear said | July 26th 2008 @ 7:12pm | ! Report

      Ha Ha surly you jest… Our lads have been eating raw meat and he the “Special one MII” has said no prisoners will be taken tomorrow.. Norm has organised the CRSL LA cheer gals for the Wallabies tonight; should be a snort; a practice run for when we meet at the SFS … Poor Dave, it looks like another fruitless season installed for him… again .. 🙂


    • July 26th 2008 @ 10:05pm
      Midfielder said | July 26th 2008 @ 10:05pm | ! Report


      Raw meat for the Mariners to feast on.

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