The Roar
The Roar


How I stopped worrying and learnt to love the Socceroos

Socceroos coach Holger Osieck (left) speaks with Tim Cahill. (AAP Image/Paul Miller)
8th September, 2013
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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.