Australia to struggle on world stage

MelanieDinjaski Roar Rookie

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    When will world football take Australia seriously? There’s a real struggle ahead for the Socceroos, and not just in this World Cup.

    The defeat to Germany was a nightmare. Four swift stabs to the chest deflated an entire nation. The roar (forgive the pun) of 35,000 fans belting out the anthem was nothing short of astounding, but it was not enough to get the Socceroos home or at least inspire a decent effort.

    Our defence was too slow, our team un-united, and key strikers were MIA. But what was most upsetting was that the outcome could have been different, had it not been for another lackluster referee making inexcusable errors against Australia.

    There was the penalties, the handball, and the send off of Tim Cahill.

    Referees make mistakes, sure, but perhaps there is something deeper here.

    Just take a look back at Germany 2006 and the match against Italy. There was the Socceroos – the underdogs and just second time qualifiers. And then there was Italy – football superstars and three time world champions. Sure they went on to make it four World Cup victories, but Australia had done a phenomenal job at keeping them at bay for 90 minutes. Then came the appalling decision to give a penalty to a dramatic Grosso dive which led to Totti slotting home the killer blow.

    If it was any other team playing Italy, it would not have been a penalty. It was just too outrageous to even conceive the thought of Australia possibly beating the Azzurri.

    Back in Durban, Mexican Dracula (referee Marco Rodriguez) made and missed some crucial decisions.

    Cahill’s weak sliding tackle may have been with two feet, but he was pulling out, and there certainly wasn’t enough malice in it to warrant a red card.

    The Kuzmanovic hand ball in the box, that gifted Ghana a win against Serbia, was almost identical to that seen in Durban by Germany’s Mertesacker. But despite the synchronised uproar of the Australian defence, the penalty was not given. That would have put Australia in a tantalising 2–1 position, and who knows what that could have sparked in an Australian team that lifts beyond all belief, when they’re still in it.

    In Germany 2006, there was a record-breaking 345 yellow cards and 28 red cards issued to players. Perhaps this is just the way football is heading. But in the last two World Cup appearances, two extremely dubious decisions against Australia, begins to tell a story.

    One cannot help but fear that it will be a while before Australia is taken seriously in the world of football. What will it take? Who knows. But it certainly leaves a tough road ahead for Australia’s Socceroos now and in the future.

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    The Crowd Says (9)

    • June 15th 2010 @ 2:52am
      tony yeboah said | June 15th 2010 @ 2:52am | ! Report

      No offence Melanie, but a are you serious with this article! Whilst i agree that Cahill’s card was perhaps only a yellow, and i yelled with all for a penalty with all for the handball, were you watching the same games. Mertesackers handball was a case of head to ball and is a 50/50 call, Kuzamonivic’s handball was reminiscent of the Tomas handball against Croatia with a trailing hand from a cross. And seriously, if there was a conspiracy against Australia in Germany in 2006, Cahill should have given away a penaly against Japan just seconds after scoring that goal, and Materazzi’s send off was equally as questionable as Cahill’s last night.

      Sometimes your luck is with you, a la Australia 2006, and sometimes it isn’t, such as last night, but that is the way of football. An Italian friend of mine said this morning, ‘those Australians go in hard with their tackles’. Do we have a person who reports to the manager on the referees. Rodriguez is notorious for sending people off. Cahill should never have put himself in that position! Whilst Australians continue to put in rough tackles like that, we are always going to suffer on the international stage. I personally thought that Lucas Neills knee in the back of Klose was worse and he didn’t even get a yellow card, so go figure.

      Make all the excuses you like, but Australia was just outplayed. We need to stop blaming referees!

      • Roar Guru

        June 15th 2010 @ 5:57pm
        Melanie Dinjaski said | June 15th 2010 @ 5:57pm | ! Report

        Thanks for your comment.

        I never claimed they were the better team, and I don’t deny that they were outplayed.

        However the article is about the other factors that affected the game, and putting it all into perspective. That’s all.

        And no offence, but does your friend also find himself falling to the ground upon receiving a high five? That’s all I’ll say about Italians…

        • June 15th 2010 @ 8:48pm
          hp said | June 15th 2010 @ 8:48pm | ! Report

          Acutally, a lot of neutral observers have said that the Mertesacker handball was a good call.

    • June 15th 2010 @ 10:08am
      whiskeymac said | June 15th 2010 @ 10:08am | ! Report

      yeah we struggled. badly. am going to try and be positive here. but its one game. last world cup serbia was smashed by argentina and they recovered to qualify for this one and do reasonably well (up until the NZ fridnly loss i guess). every now and then teams get a smash in the face (england v Germany in 2001? 5-0) – its how we respond to the result and come back that will define this WC campaign, not the first game no matter how traumatic and disasterous it was. So IMO just as the germans will move on and think only of the next game, so must we. if we sit around moping over losing to a brilliant team then we will struggle on the world stage.
      if we must lets write the obituary after the Serb and Ghanian games .

      Further on this positive note: We are one of the top teams in a confederation which we have a strong incentive to see do well.
      Japan beat Cameroon 1-0 and Korea beat Greece 2-0…. Asian football has done well (admittedly excpet us so far but that might change) and has already shown they are equal too and better than some here.

      So maybe another way too approach this is holisitically is to say if Asia continues to improve and asian teams continue to win, and considering we are now Asian, then Australia’s continued integration and involvement in Asian football is a good way for us to be taken more seriously o the world stage.

      • Roar Guru

        June 15th 2010 @ 5:58pm
        Melanie Dinjaski said | June 15th 2010 @ 5:58pm | ! Report

        Thanks for your input. You make some good points. Perhaps you’re right whiskeymac.

      • June 16th 2010 @ 12:46pm
        Towser said | June 16th 2010 @ 12:46pm | ! Report

        Good point about Asia. We are only one of 46 nations in the AFC. If overall nations within it improve,then by default( ie we wont want to be left behind) we improve.
        We are therefore not left like a shag on a rock as the lone ranger in pushing our football development.
        We have an ambitious confederation to live up to.

    • June 16th 2010 @ 12:32pm
      mahony said | June 16th 2010 @ 12:32pm | ! Report

      Mel – good argument. I am not at ‘wrist slashing’ point yet, but that is because I can see Australia as a developing football nation. Our stripes will come with a few more good results and world cups (not to mention hosting it) – patience is required because this game is on another logorythmic level in comparison with the other codes and cricket. Patienmce – patience – patience I say. While we are being patient lets ensure the A-League, junior development and the Socceroos get the resources and development they need.

      • Roar Guru

        June 16th 2010 @ 6:02pm
        Melanie Dinjaski said | June 16th 2010 @ 6:02pm | ! Report

        Haha thanks mahony

        I definitely agree with you.

        In ten years time, I have no doubt that the Socceroos will comprise of younger, faster, more skilled players than we have now.

    • June 20th 2010 @ 12:24am
      PoorLoser said | June 20th 2010 @ 12:24am | ! Report

      Kewell off…. must be a conspiracy. FIFA hates Australia.

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