How I stopped worrying and learnt to love the Socceroos

Joe Gorman Columnist

By Joe Gorman, Joe Gorman is a Roar Expert

 , , ,

24 Have your say

    Socceroos coach Holger Osieck (left) speaks with Tim Cahill. (AAP Image/Paul Miller)

    Related coverage

    The Memphis poet, Matt Cook, once drawled, “James Joyce? I’d rather throw dead batteries at cows than read him”. Watching the Socceroos yesterday morning, I was reminded of Cook’s slur on the Irish novelist.

    Give me a pack of leaky Duracell and a herd of cattle any day over watching Holger (or is that lolger?) Osieck’s tactics.

    Just to re-cap, Australia went down 6-0.

    This weekend wasn’t great, unless you are a right-wing Brazilian. There’s probably a few in Australia, although the South American immigrants I meet here have usually fled fascist dictatorships in their homeland, which gives them an understandable aversion to the right.

    Maybe I just make the wrong friends.

    The men and women Paul Keating once labelled “the spivs and the bushrangers” catapulted back into government after the Labor Party spend the last three years experimenting with cannibalism.

    I used to get shitty when the Coalition won elections, now I just get shitty at the whiny lefties complaining about them.

    Speaking of lefty friends, that’s one thing you can rely on come election day. They’ll promise you for weeks they’ll leave the country should a conservative government win office.

    Then, just when you’re hoping to see a status update about them booking flights to Syria, or Haiti, or Lesotho, they don’t leave, and proceed to annoy the piss out of you for the next three years.

    Back to the Socceroos. They were supposed to cheer me up a bit. Instead, they just confirmed everyone’s suspicions.

    They’re not very good, and Brazil are the business. And then we had to endure Ezequiel Trumper’s gloat-tweets for the rest of the day.

    Remember when the Socceroos played Brazil in 2006? When Vinnie Grella stalked around the midfield, kicking divots into (fat) Ronaldo every time he moved?

    When Scott Chipperfield wasn’t interested in swapping shirts with Roberto Carlos?

    The latter still makes me laugh more than Jay FC’s YouTube videos.

    But what to do? Those days are long gone. Long, long, long gone.

    Back then, I was still in high school trying to grow a beard so I could manufacture myself the Craig David look. Now, the hair sprouts from the shoulders, and the beard has to be trimmed daily.

    Most of us will content ourselves by tweeting to the world that Osieck should be sacked. We’ll use lots of experimental hashtags, but this time, they won’t be cryptic or have hidden meanings which we didn’t have the balls to say in a regular sentence.

    Some will call for the swift appointment of Ange Postecoglou or Tony Popovic. At this rate, a few of you will even have Graham Arnold or Frank Farina back.

    Anyone to get rid of Osieck. Not I. I say live in your mess, Osieck.

    A good friend of mine, who I’ve only met twice but who I talk to on my computer more than my human friends, commented that Postecoglou or Popovic becoming the Socceroos coach now would be akin to taking over the leadership of the Labor Party. A poisoned chalice. He’s got a point.

    Why inflict this team on two of our best coaches? Let’s not set their careers back by chucking them in too soon, like we did Farina and Arnold.

    Let Osieck cop the flak. Or, alternatively, let the players run the show in a revolutionary self-governing collective, ala Corinthians in the 1980s.

    What does it matter, really? Try as they might, this lot will never break any records.

    The main thing is, we’ve made the World Cup. I’m booking my tickets soon. I don’t mind if we’re a bit shit over there.

    We’d be better off being a bit more Scotland about the whole situation, and just be happy to make up the numbers. SBS man Philip Micallef wants us to have a ‘Socceroos song’.

    My suggestion is we just steal Scotland’s Del Amitri number from France ’98.

    Joe Gorman
    Joe Gorman

    Joe Gorman is a football journalist with a particular interest in sports history. After completing his thesis on football in Australia, Joe started with The Roar in October 2012. He tweets from @JoeGorman_89.

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (24)

    • September 9th 2013 @ 8:23am
      JAJI said | September 9th 2013 @ 8:23am | ! Report

      Good article Joe. I was at the Allianz Arena that day in June 2006 and the contrast between that performance and this weekends game couldnt be more different

      Back in 2006 arguably Brazil had a stronger squad – Dida in goal, Cafu and Lucio and Roberto Carlos at the back, and then the big 4 of Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Kaka and Adriano. They should have won the World Cup that year but got done over by Zizou in the quarters

      Yet we gave it to them and should have equalised in the second half when Harry Kewell had an open goal. The side that day was Schwarzer (who ironically was dropped after this game) Chippers Poppa Neil Moore Emerton Grella Sterjovski Culina Cahill and the V Bomber

      Harry, Bresciano and Aloisi other came off the bench

      Viduka has never been replaced unfortunately. He was the only one who had the ability to hold the ball no matter who was on him

      Another stark difference is Guus Hiddink not Holger Osiek was in charge. Then finally there are clubs our boys were playing for back then. In 2006 Boro, Basel, Blackburn, Newcastle, Crystal Palace, Parma, Everton, PSV, Boro, Basel and Blackburn

      In 2013 on the weekend – a bench role at Chelsea, a Chinese club I have never heard of, a Qatari Club I have never heard of whose comp hasnt started, a Japanese Club where our skipper has played once that I have never heard of, a left back who doesnt play left back and couldnt get a gig in Scotland and has now been released by a Chinese club I have never heard of and currently isnt playing, a UAE Club I have never heard of who isnt playing, another Qatari club whose comp hasnt started, Bayer Leverkeusen, Utrecht, Nagoya in Japan and finally Crystal Palace

      So its a combination of the cattle isnt there anymore and the next generation are too young and the manager who lets face it since the Asian Cup in 2011 struggled in qualifiers against Thailand twice, Oman twice, Iraq twice, Jordan once and has been thrashed in friendlies against anyone half decent including Denmark, Scotland, Romania and now Brazil

      What will Frank Lowy and David Gallop do? Remember the Confeds Cup in 2005 where Farina was thrashed 3 times with that golden squad I mentioned above. Hiddink came in and within a year we suddenly beat Uruguay, drew with Holland, lost narrowly to Brazil, beat Japan thrashed Bahrain, drew with Croatia to progress to the last 16 of the worlds biggest sporting event and then lose to Italy in the last minute

      I am hearing rumblings this morning that Osiek is on borrowed time. Who else is hearing this? France could be it?

      A Biesla with Okon assisting anyone?

      • September 9th 2013 @ 1:32pm
        Dog said | September 9th 2013 @ 1:32pm | ! Report


        And +1 to the article Joe. Best I’ve read for awhile. Thank you also for introducing me to Jay FC

        • Columnist

          September 9th 2013 @ 5:35pm
          Joe Gorman said | September 9th 2013 @ 5:35pm | ! Report

          he’s the greatest. Download some of his phone apps too

        • Roar Guru

          September 9th 2013 @ 8:12pm
          Cameron Kellett said | September 9th 2013 @ 8:12pm | ! Report

          I too second Dog’s comments. I had never come across any of these videos but enjoyed them all, well except for Zad’s. Once I heard Bieber I just had to stop!

    • Roar Guru

      September 9th 2013 @ 9:53am
      Kane Cassidy said | September 9th 2013 @ 9:53am | ! Report

      The difference between Joyce and Osieck is while it takes a lot of patience and hard work to understand both, no one feels enlightened when they finaly do understand what Osieck is doing, just an emptiness inside and more questions.

      • September 9th 2013 @ 11:54am
        fadida said | September 9th 2013 @ 11:54am | ! Report


      • Columnist

        September 9th 2013 @ 5:35pm
        Joe Gorman said | September 9th 2013 @ 5:35pm | ! Report

        zing! Good line

    • September 9th 2013 @ 9:55am
      mahonjt said | September 9th 2013 @ 9:55am | ! Report

      “Speaking of lefty friends, that’s one thing you can rely on come election day. They’ll promise you for weeks they’ll leave the country should a conservative government win office.” LOL – At three national election disasters now I have offered to help many friends pack their bags and get a visa, no one has taken me up on it.

      In terms of the football – cows and batteries indeed. Btu as Mehm would say, “what ara ya gunna do?”.

      ust the read I needed today after a hocking weekend, but my bags at lest are firmly under the bed. You cant love football and politics and just run every time you cop a rogering!

    • September 9th 2013 @ 3:31pm
      Brick Tamlin of the Pants Party said | September 9th 2013 @ 3:31pm | ! Report

      Joe I too am a good chance of going to Brazil if I can navigate my way around exorbitant hotel prices.Was also at the Allianz that day and must admit got a little caught up in the pre match activities and was a little tipsy by kick off,i will be getting absolutely sh!tfaced before kick off in Brazil next year watching this lot if there isn’t a huge turnaround in form.

      As for Zadkovich,im sure they all go in at training.

    • Roar Guru

      September 9th 2013 @ 7:03pm
      sheek said | September 9th 2013 @ 7:03pm | ! Report

      Thanks for that, Dr. Strangelove. 😉

    • September 9th 2013 @ 7:10pm
      Bela Guttman said | September 9th 2013 @ 7:10pm | ! Report

      I think that we should take a strategic decision to team build for the asian Cup, replace Holger with a tactician and organiser like the currently unemployed Bielsa, and give him a long term contract and vision to aim for.

      • Roar Guru

        September 9th 2013 @ 11:19pm
        Griffo said | September 9th 2013 @ 11:19pm | ! Report

        Yes for Bielsa, not simply just to coach, but the challenge of a role to bring the game forward at a national level for years to come.

        Appointing Hiddink is looking at our past to fix our present, but is ignoring our future.

        Kind of what Osieck is doing now, just not in the same class.

        • September 10th 2013 @ 11:14am
          Bela Guttman said | September 10th 2013 @ 11:14am | ! Report

          Bielsa for a few reasons, firstly the WC is in South America and having a South American coach gives us an opportunity to directly absorb what will be good about playing in that tournament with a helpful coaching interpreter (that is Bielsa himself interpreting the football for us). Secondly he understands and performs at a high level in those areas where we are deficient. Thirdly he’s a disruptive element (in a good way) that we can use to accelerate the changes needed. The forth one is personal, I love watching his teams play:)

          Hiddinck has too much to lose to take the job again

    , , ,