Thanks, Ange, but it’s time to say goodbye

David New Roar Rookie

By David New, David New is a Roar Rookie New author!

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    Often teams match the coach’s persona, and Ange Postecoglou’s demeanour in recent times has shown a coach who has lost his composure and is unable to get his team to play the way he wants them to.

    As a matter of course the FFA must remove Ange Postecoglou as Socceroos coach.

    The most significant issue is that he has made it about him. His tactics, coaching and selections have become a personal battle about him being ‘right’.

    Take the Aaron Mooy selection. If a coach did not think he was the right person, why send him on as a replacement? Mooy’s form against Syria proved Ange was right. The attacking midfielder looked out of sorts, showing poor touch and generally making Australia look out of kilter.

    Generally most teams take on the personality of their coach. This was plainly evident versus Syria. Ange’s personal angst infected the team’s psyche. Disjointed going forward, the players looked tortured by their coach’s indecision and subsequent anger in getting tactics and selection right.

    As a former NRL coach recently said, 90 per cent of your coaching is directed to ten per cent of your players.

    What has Ange done about our poor finishing? In two years no new strikers have come through. We end up with Timmy Cahill again saving our bacon. Honduras will double-team him and we will struggle up front.

    Struggling on the park, Australia looked like lamp posts. Only when the ball was moved at pace down the flanks did we look like scoring. This is symptomatic of a team struggling with tactics and structure.

    The players looked hamstrung. “Can we play the way Ange wants us to?” He seems to like individual players but can’t develop team synergy.

    Massimo Luongo was the most valuable player at the 2015 Asia Cup. He has gone backwards under Ange. Like the England rugby team at the last Rugby World Cup, a coach who can’t get his starting team right is doomed to failure. Pick and stick. Think Queensland Maroons. Pick Luongo as holding midfielder and build the team around him.

    The end of last night’s match was again emblematic of Ange-team persona issue. Ange was arguing with the Syrian coach, and he looked lost trying to find players to congratulate. One thinks he has lost the dressing room.

    There weren’t too many Socceroos rushing to hug their coach. He looked tortured sending Mooy on. Again, he can’t find his starting XI.

    This cannot end well, even if we do qualify. Graham Arnold, the FFA is on hold.

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    The Crowd Says (142)

    • October 12th 2017 @ 3:52am
      RBBAnonymous said | October 12th 2017 @ 3:52am | ! Report

      All I will say is that at times Ange is his own worst enemy. His comments after the Syria match are not helpful and merely serve as a distraction. If you really don’t want to go to the WC, then just announce it after our series with Honduras and be done with it.

      It’s amazing to see how negative and surly he has become especially as the pressure has ratcheted up. A pressure that he said in the past that he clearly welcomes, because he doesn’t feel the pressure, REALLY, because you sure look and sound like a man under pressure. It is totally understandable, it makes you human and you know what qualification means to people in the country who care about football. So get yourself together Ange and get us to the effin world cup. Don’t make this about you, not at this late stage.

      I don’t know where it went wrong because it started off so much promise. The whole country WAS behind you but you have clearly lost your way and you don’t even know it. I use to believe in “Ange we trust” and so did Ange himself, I am not sure I do anymore.

    • Roar Guru

      October 12th 2017 @ 4:46am
      NUFCMVFC said | October 12th 2017 @ 4:46am | ! Report

      Personally not fully sure if this is a case of the governance climate having a knock-on effect, and this goes back to previous campaign under Holger as well.

      I still recall we were on shaky ground and the FFA who have a habit of treating fans like trash just as they do with every stakeholder and wondering why the atmosphere and support is sub-standard in the stands. We managed to get over the line against Jordan in Melbourne etc but the signs have all been there for a while

      This is all a big contrast to the high level of enthusiasm around 2009/2010 when the Socceroos were drawing large enthusiastic crowds by members of football fraternity and jow public sports event-goer alike

      But for Ange though I will always be happy for him having coached at a WC and especially having won us the Asian Cup

      But there is a bit of an issue with applying “Plan B is to do PLan A better” which doesen’t suit cut-throat Cup football

      Secondly, especially given he was youth coach for a while – we haven’t quite brought the burgeoning talent through, there is raw talent but it is rather unrefined and Kruse, Mooy and Rogic aren’t quite the polished Professionals the 2001 and 2005/6 players were and it has taken an ageing World Class player to get us over the line

      True this does somewhat relate to their clubs and the advent of the A-League meaning it isn’t quite “do or die” in terms of making it at top level in Europe, but there were times we lacked imagination and variation, and we weren’t able to utilise dominant possession etc to take the next step and clinically put Syria to the sword

    • Roar Rookie

      October 12th 2017 @ 6:22am
      Stevo said | October 12th 2017 @ 6:22am | ! Report

      I’m having trouble with this article. As national team manager, Ange isn’t responsible for a player’s football development. The day to day development happens at the player’s club and it’s also up to the player to do everything humanly possible to get themselves playing at a higher level. Ange can provide encouragement, support and wise advice but he has no direct control over players except to indicate that if they are not playing regularly and up to a standard then they won’t be picked. Luongo going backwards has got nothing to do with Ange, zip, zero. And this would be one of the more frustrating thing for Ange, he misses club football. I get that and that’s where he wants to be.

      Good article here by Lynch

      • Roar Guru

        October 12th 2017 @ 10:24am
        Chris Kettlewell said | October 12th 2017 @ 10:24am | ! Report

        I had similar thoughts. But it’s also why national coaching is so different to club coaching. In club coaching you can work out the system you want to play and then recruit and develop players to fit that system. In national coaching you don’t have that luxury. You have whatever players are available for the country with whatever skills they’ve got. You don’t get the time to really work on developing them. So in national coaching it seems to come down more to development a system that can get the best out of the players you’ve got, rather than working out the system you want to play and then trying to fit players into that. You can work with your national body and say “this is where we want to get to, so we need to work at developing players who can play like this”, but until those players start coming through you need to play a system that can win games with the players you’ve got.

        It’s also why you can get some coaches who are great at club level but not good at international level. I believe you really need to work very differently in those two roles.

        • Roar Rookie

          October 12th 2017 @ 4:59pm
          Stevo said | October 12th 2017 @ 4:59pm | ! Report

          Completely agree with you re “But it’s also why national coaching is so different to club coaching.”

          At the national level you have to live with the players you have and find a system that suits them That’s the key. “You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”. I think this is what Pim Verbeek knew instinctively even if many of us thought he was selling the team short.

          • October 12th 2017 @ 5:13pm
            punter said | October 12th 2017 @ 5:13pm | ! Report

            Which is why the rest of the world moved on & why we stayed the same, Pim & Holger knew our limitations & played to the strength of the class of 06 & we never improved on that, while there was a revolution happening in Barcelona & the people realised that skill can beat physical ability, as long as you meet their physical ability.
            Suddenly Kante can run all day but still have the one touch of a top player, Ronaldo can be a physical specimen & nearly have the skills of Messi, the size & strength of Progba, but huge footballing ability to match.
            Now people wonder why our Socceroos, today’s Robbie Slater, run all day, Emerton, physical specimen & Cahill strength & heading ability, struggle to get a run in the top leagues around the world..

            • Roar Rookie

              October 12th 2017 @ 8:31pm
              Stevo said | October 12th 2017 @ 8:31pm | ! Report

              “while there was a revolution happening in Barcelona & the people realised that skill can beat physical ability, as long as you meet their physical ability.”

              My simple point is that we currently don’t have enough players of high skill – not anyone of the same calibre that you mention. We have what we have and we have to find a system that can exploit their abilities. No point latching onto a system of play that might suit top players if your trying to mold a team of Kruse’s and Smith’s. Or have I misread your comment?

              • October 12th 2017 @ 8:58pm
                Nemesis said | October 12th 2017 @ 8:58pm | ! Report

                Do you reckon Chile has players of high skill? How about Netherlands?

                Argentina has a bloke called Messi. They say he’s got a reasonable touch, ever seen him? They even have a bloke called Aguero – plays for your team in England – and another bloke DiMaria, another Dybala. All these lads apparently have a bit of skill. Score the occasional goal.

                But, prior to yesterday, in their last 4 matches, Argentina had scored only 1 goal… and that was an own goal.

                Not enough skill, maybe? Didn’t have the cattle?

              • Roar Rookie

                October 12th 2017 @ 9:26pm
                Stevo said | October 12th 2017 @ 9:26pm | ! Report

                Spurious comments Nem,. Argentina just won 3-1 against Ecuador. If you like I wouldn’t be much concerned about trading Kruse for Messi. I reckon we’d get a few goals out of him playing in the AFC.

    • October 12th 2017 @ 7:04am
      Michael said | October 12th 2017 @ 7:04am | ! Report

      This article raises some good points; but I believe there’s just been some simple tactical errors that shouldn’t be made at this level. Why not stick with the 4-3-3 formation that was working and have room to play 3 across central midfield (Rogic, Mooy and Milligan) rather than bringing in Rogic to replace arguably our best player). The fact that he brought Mooy on when the injury came in the left wingback position suggests a coach bereft of confidence in his ideas. Of course he’s going to cop criticism; that’s part and parcel of the job. Many an English coach has been mercilessly criticised by the media to take one example.

      Although we will be forever greatful to Postecoglu for taking us to the Asian Cup victory, he seems to have passed his use by date,

      • Roar Guru

        October 12th 2017 @ 10:28am
        Chris Kettlewell said | October 12th 2017 @ 10:28am | ! Report

        I think one of Ange’s downfalls has been that he’s stubborn and unwilling to admit that some criticism could be correct. He sees any criticism as unreasonable personal attacks. The fact that, since moving to the back 3, they haven’t kept a single clean sheet (I believe that’s right) should be a real red-flag that suggests that either the formation is simply a bad one for top level football, or that it’s a formation that requires better players than we have to pull it off. Either way, no matter how attacking you want to be, unless the Socceroos can become a hell of a lot more clinical up front and start scoring a lot more goals, they really need to tighten up their defense, because weakening the defense to throw more into attack isn’t resulting in lots of goals.

        • October 12th 2017 @ 12:47pm
          Fadida said | October 12th 2017 @ 12:47pm | ! Report

          You’re on the money there Chris. I’m amazed that Ange and those around him haven’t both recognised and addressed this

    • October 12th 2017 @ 8:04am
      stu said | October 12th 2017 @ 8:04am | ! Report

      I have held the belief for some time that he hit on something at the Roar with a level of success I don’t think he expected. He was placed on a pedestal which I don’t think he was comfortable with…….a clear example of which is his inability to have eye contact with his audience. So progress to his current role, yes the components he has been working with have been less and less inspiring, however going back to the Roar days he has maintained an inability since to change, because he simply does not have the ability to do so.
      I would go as far to say he is a round peg in a square hole.

      • Roar Guru

        October 12th 2017 @ 10:32am
        Chris Kettlewell said | October 12th 2017 @ 10:32am | ! Report

        And as I’ve mentioned in other comments also, club coaching is very different. You can bring in players who suit your system from all over the world and have lots of time with your players throughout the year to constantly work on them and get them able to work in your system. You can’t do that in a national team, you have a fixed set of players to work with, you need to find the best of them and then find a system to give those players the best chance of winning games. It’s no good saying we want to play the way Spain or Germany or anyone else plays if our players aren’t good enough to play that way. We need to play in a way that maximises our players skills and best masks the weaknesses. That’s how you get success as a national coach. Not deciding on a way of playing that you want to get to and playing that way regardless of results hoping that eventually the players will be up to it.

    • October 12th 2017 @ 8:15am
      chris said | October 12th 2017 @ 8:15am | ! Report

      Wow this article really throws up some serious questions.
      “Take the Aaron Mooy selection. If a coach did not think he was the right person, why send him on as a replacement? ”
      Is that a serious question?
      No one questioned Guus (not seriously anyway) when he had Kewell as a sub and started Popovic against Uruguay in 2005. Kewell came on after around 15 or so mins.
      Silly article.

      • October 12th 2017 @ 9:29am
        Lionheart said | October 12th 2017 @ 9:29am | ! Report

        30 minutes

      • October 12th 2017 @ 11:15am
        Realfootball said | October 12th 2017 @ 11:15am | ! Report

        Starting with Popovic not Kewell was a clever tactical move whereby Hiddink knew that Uruguay would go all out for an early away goal, then park the bus. Once that first half hour danger zone was over, and Australian team had settled into the game, he substituted K for Popovic. A very neat tactical shift. We scored not long afterwards.

        A very, very different situation with Mooy and AP.

        • October 12th 2017 @ 11:38am
          chris said | October 12th 2017 @ 11:38am | ! Report

          No doubt the tactical reasons are very different. Ange had a plan and that plan wasn’t able to be put into play because of an early injury. Hence go to plan B. (Which everyone is convinced he doesnt have one).
          Are you one of those people that think they know better than the coach?
          Its a serious question.

          • October 12th 2017 @ 12:52pm
            Fadida said | October 12th 2017 @ 12:52pm | ! Report

            Chris there was no plan B. He simply moved Kruse to wing back. It was plan A but with different people. Plan B would be knowing Syria needed to score, start conservatively and not concede on the counter. Keep the wingbacks home for the first 30 minutes. Let the game settle. As they chase the game then bring on the pace of Ruka and look to catch them on the counter (plan C). If they scored first then revert to Plan A, attacking and pushing high.

            Ange is totally inflexible and tactically naive

            • October 12th 2017 @ 2:48pm
              chris said | October 12th 2017 @ 2:48pm | ! Report

              Fad I agree we should have been tighter in the first 30mins or so. Square passes across the back while the opposition are hungry and fit etc should be avoided at all costs. Thats just fundamental and nothing to do with formations. Ange would have been just as upset as yoiu and I that such a careless pass was played so early on.

              • October 12th 2017 @ 3:18pm
                Fadida said | October 12th 2017 @ 3:18pm | ! Report

                Or you can keep the wing backs deeper at the start, given that the worst possible outcome was to concede early?

                There is no rule that says you can’t be flexible

              • October 12th 2017 @ 8:43pm
                chris said | October 12th 2017 @ 8:43pm | ! Report

                Fad the goal came from an error centrally. We had enough numbers there 3v2 if i remember right. I doubt even Leckie would have had the pace to recover and put a challenge in even if he was sitting back. But anyway, I dont think you and I will totally agree on this one.

              • October 12th 2017 @ 9:06pm
                Fadida said | October 12th 2017 @ 9:06pm | ! Report

                Don’t think Leckie would have had the pace? Have we two Leckie’s because the one I saw is lightning!

                The Syrian broke to the area a right fullback would be covering

              • October 12th 2017 @ 9:44pm
                Redondo said | October 12th 2017 @ 9:44pm | ! Report

                Chris – watch the replay. Degenek is over the halfway line when he passes to Milligan, who has 2 Syrians within range to close him down. Milligan’s only viable pass is to Rogic, who is also well-covered. Because everyone is so high up the pitch, when the Syrians break only Sainsbury is between 2 Syrians and the goal.

                Degenek’s square pass is as much at fault as Milligan’s. But Degenek is obviously playing to instructions and plays a short pass even though 4 Syrians have all his short passes covered.

                That’s a tactical thing – Ange’s fault. They knew he’d say ‘come and get us’ and he did and they were waiting for it and scored from the mistake.

              • October 12th 2017 @ 9:53pm
                Fadida said | October 12th 2017 @ 9:53pm | ! Report

                Exactly, “come and get us”, and they did, an away goal after 5 minutes

            • October 12th 2017 @ 5:48pm
              Alex said | October 12th 2017 @ 5:48pm | ! Report

              NOOOOOO>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Plan A should have been to know that Syria had to score or be eliminated and we should have begun conservatively but NOOOOOOOO the coach’s crazy formations and kamikaze tactics together with the bumbling of Milligan gifted them a free lifeline!


              No professional club will take the risk of employing this guy – it would be like playing “Russian Roulette” but with a cartridge in every chamber!

              • October 12th 2017 @ 6:19pm
                Redondo said | October 12th 2017 @ 6:19pm | ! Report

                Alex, despite the sticky keys you do raise an interesting point. Would anyone wish for Ange as their club’s manager after what we’ve seen over the last 12 months?

            • October 12th 2017 @ 7:42pm
              Lionheart said | October 12th 2017 @ 7:42pm | ! Report

              there was no plan B
              and you know this because …?

          • October 12th 2017 @ 3:35pm
            Realfootball said | October 12th 2017 @ 3:35pm | ! Report

            Serious answer: not sure why you asked that question. All I did was report what everyone knows happened with the Kewell substitution.

            • October 12th 2017 @ 4:06pm
              chris said | October 12th 2017 @ 4:06pm | ! Report

              Ok no problem. I take it that Ange knows more than you on whats best for the team.

        • October 12th 2017 @ 12:21pm
          punter said | October 12th 2017 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

          I think it was LionHeart, who said Mooy’s corners were poor, plus my feeling was Mooy was far more effective in 1st game. Could it be that he was tired from playing in the heat in Malaysia & Ange was keeping him fresh for later in game ala Kewell, as Syria was maybe also after an early goal, was this not a tactical move.

          • October 12th 2017 @ 12:52pm
            Redondo said | October 12th 2017 @ 12:52pm | ! Report

            If that was Ange’s plan then perhaps he should have let Mooy in on it. Instead he told him nothing and potentially trashed the relationship with him.

            Postecoglou’s mute macho attitude with players and press is really unpleasant. It’s no wonder there’s so much criticism.

            • October 12th 2017 @ 12:54pm
              Fadida said | October 12th 2017 @ 12:54pm | ! Report

              Awful man management and dreadful body language. Compare that to the way he took on Foster in that famous interview. Head up, chest out (thanks angryKossie)

              • October 12th 2017 @ 1:21pm
                Redondo said | October 12th 2017 @ 1:21pm | ! Report

                Absolutely – he claims not to be sensitive to pressure or criticism but he sure looks like he is.

                And so he should be…qualifying for the World Cup is important both financially and psychologically for football in this country (especially given the FFA’s current problems).

                There”s a lot at stake, and, even those who support Postecoglou are having trouble explaining what he’s doing – so he should expect lots of comment and criticism.

                A lot of the criticism is daft e.g. expecting the national coach to develop players. But, by not explaining or justifying anything he does, Postecoglou risks undoing the good he has done by letting the likes of Robbie Slater push their Neanderthal agenda.

              • October 12th 2017 @ 1:41pm
                punter said | October 12th 2017 @ 1:41pm | ! Report

                Redendo, I’m also not disagreeing with some of the criticism about him, I have had quite a few discussions with Fadida on this, we take different paths but get to similar conclusions.
                I too think the selections, the stubbornness of my way or highway, his game day management leaves me baffled. However, blaming Ange on many things that are out of his control & allowing the public to believe in your words ‘the likes of Robbie Slater push their Neanderthal agenda’, this is wrong.

            • October 12th 2017 @ 1:35pm
              punter said | October 12th 2017 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

              Don’t disagree there, but if stories from Arnold are to be believed, Guus didn’t tell Kewell too.

            • October 12th 2017 @ 7:45pm
              Lionheart said | October 12th 2017 @ 7:45pm | ! Report

              potentially trashed the relationship with him
              that was nothing more than a media beatup, Mooy has had to repeat, say it again, what he meant by his post game comment. There is no trashed relationship – players start on the bench often, for a wide range of reasons.

              • October 12th 2017 @ 9:22pm
                Redondo said | October 12th 2017 @ 9:22pm | ! Report

                One thing is clear, Postecoglou didn’t explain to Mooy why he wasn’t playing. I only said he risked trashing the relationship and I think that’s true given Mooy was one of the better performers in the previous game.

                A few words would have been easy e.g. ‘Mate – you were stuffed after the last game. I’ll bring you on late if need be to save the game…’

                Dropping and recalling players without explanation causes confusion and indecision – two words that well describe the team over the last 12 months.

              • October 12th 2017 @ 9:51pm
                Lionheart said | October 12th 2017 @ 9:51pm | ! Report

                confusion and indecision – two words that well describe the team over the last 12 months
                Certainly I have not heard a single player say that. But of course, pundits watching on TV can see and have an insight that even the players and coach don’t get.
                From what I’ve seen, players are often left on the bench without explanation. not least to motivate them. Listen to Cahill and a few of the players speak before you judge.

          • October 12th 2017 @ 7:47pm
            Lionheart said | October 12th 2017 @ 7:47pm | ! Report

            anybody who thinks Mooys corners and free kicks for the ‘roos have been good, please speak up. When have we last scored off a corner? with Cahill, it should be regularly.

        • October 12th 2017 @ 1:31pm
          Melange said | October 12th 2017 @ 1:31pm | ! Report

          Real – I think you’re re-writing history a bit. Kewell on the bench of course was strategic, but are you sure Hiddink planned to bring him on at that time, I think it had more to do with an elbow that Popa sent out that should have seen him get a red!

          It is interesting that Hiddink’s reign is brought up, he is often seen as a coaching genius that took us to incredible levels. But no-one ever suggests we rode some luck like they do with the current team.

          v Ura
          Popa getting a yellow that should have been a red
          Bresh scoring thanks to Kewell shanking a shot
          Planned to bring Kalac on for Schwarzer but didn’t realise he used up the subs

          v Japan
          Minutes after Cahill scores he scythes a Japanese player in the box, red-penalty not given

          v Croatia
          Picked Kalac instead of Schwarz
          Picked Kalac instead of Schwarz
          Picked Kalac instead of Schwarz
          Harry scored from offside

          v Italy
          We’re the unluckiest team in the world because of THAT dive. Doesn’t matter that we’d take that penalty any day of the week.
          Holding off on bringing on fresh legs till extra time
          Despite dominating attack not being able to score (similar to a lot of performances this campaign)

          I loved what that campaign and I loved what Hiddink did, but he has never copped the kind of criticism Ange gets. I think a lot of it comes down to personal relationships with local commentators who have their own agenda.

          Fox have launched on to this rumor as if they’re running a campaign to oust Ange. They’re job to comment football, not make demands of the national coach. I’ve had enough of Slater, Boz needs to think a lot more before he speaks and Kosmina OMG talk about letting the lunatics run the asylum!

          Fox never hammered Sermani for his selections at his final world cup, our defense was a shambles with backs who had no idea how to header. But always slaps on the back for Sermani, is that because
          he’s a good guy and isn’t prickly so we won’t pick on him
          no commentators have a personal agenda against him
          until now no-one really cared about the Matildas
          all of the above

          • October 12th 2017 @ 2:20pm
            Caltex TEN & SBS support Australian Football said | October 12th 2017 @ 2:20pm | ! Report

            ”I’ve had enough of Slater, Boz needs to think a lot more before he speaks and Kosmina OMG talk about letting the lunatics run the asylum!”

            Amen to that!

          • October 12th 2017 @ 2:27pm
            MatthewSkellett said | October 12th 2017 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

            On the money about Sermanni and his time with the Matildas – the Matildas looked amateur and downright sloppy with some of the easy goals they conceded – I criticised him on FB when he left to go back to the US – geez it was like I was touching the Holy Cow of Women’s Sport (along with the underwhelming contemporary Hockeroos ) lol – anyways yes Guus had some issues – like preferring Kalac over Schwarzer – that backfired bigtime .

          • October 12th 2017 @ 10:15pm
            Lionheart said | October 12th 2017 @ 10:15pm | ! Report

            Good comment Melange. Yes, you are quite correct, Popa was on a yellow and Hiddink feared a red so got Harry on quick as – there’s a good doco on that match with Arnie and Gus telling it as it was. And yes, they highlight the lucky goal by Bresch courtesy of Kewel miskick, and the plan to sub on Spider Kalac for Schwarzer (who was the hero of the pen shootout, would Kalac have saved those pens?).
            Talk about a hypocritical media, and a bandwagon full of “fans”.

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