A series of tough decisions that Ange Postecoglou will undoubtedly get wrong

Stuart Thomas Columnist

By Stuart Thomas, Stuart Thomas is a Roar Expert

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    When the itinerary and timeline was announced last week for the Socceroos trip to Honduras, many were surprised.

    Spending four full days in San Pedro Sula leading up to the match is apparently rife with danger. Local pundits have cited the past history of teams vacating the city to avoid the media circus that can erupt.

    To suggest the Honduran supporters can get a little worked up in the lead in to big matches is an understatement and distractions to the most important camp in the entire campaign are something that the Socceroos cannot afford.

    No doubt, the manager, the FFA and senior players would have been consulted and something of a collective agreement reached, however, Ange Postecoglou would have had significant impact upon the decision.

    If recent history is any guide, whichever way he chooses to prepare and how he sees best fit to steer the national team into this game, his decisions will be questioned, second guessed and perceived by many, as flat out wrong.

    Such is the fickle current relationship between the passionate supporter base of the Socceroos and the manager for whom trust and love has slowly waned over the last twelve months.

    Life can be very much about trust in relationships and getting the runs on the board. Those runs or credit subsequently excuse imperfection in future decisions or actions.

    Unfortunately for Postecoglou, the public feel that any credit has well and truly dried up and no matter what decisions he makes in the next fortnight, he should expect a barrage.

    He is no fool and will be prepared for what comes his way, however, being prepared is one thing, engaging in debate is another.

    And that has been a significant part of the backlash that has come his way in recent times.

    The concerns pertaining to selection, structure and preparation have been laid before him yet his willingness and ability to deal with the concerns in a calm and measured manner has been lacking.

    A series of decisions now face the manager leading into the away leg and the calls he makes must be entirely based on that game alone.

    I can’t see any logic in resting, nursing or saving anyone or anything for the home fixture.

    If Tim Cahill is in the manager’s plans for game one, he must play and play for as long as required.

    Potentially not able to play both matches, Postecoglou will face the music if Cahill’s absence in the second leg is costly. However he approaches the decision, it’s hard seeing him avoid intense second guessing and criticism.

    The fans wanted blood after watching Robbie Kruse battle on the left side with something of an ineffective left foot against Syria. In something of an irony, it was eventually a Kruse pass which set Cahill up for the decisive header.

    Robbie Kruse (right) of Australia. (AAP Image/Mark Dadswell)

    (AAP Image/Mark Dadswell)

    The Socceroos’ impotence down that side has been a concern throughout the campaign. Postecoglou has played Kruse more often than not and without Brad Smith, must decide whether to venture down that path again.

    Despite Kruse and Matthew Leckie playing well in their domestic leagues, their impact and returns against teams that the Socceroos should deal with more clinically, is still an issue.

    Leckie was better in Sydney against Syria and did work hard on the right, delivering the first goal to Cahill on a platter, however, therein lies the problem.

    That same name keeps cropping up and until statisticians are able to pen in Tomi Juric, James Troisi and Tom Rogic on the scoresheet more often, the team will be stuck in that grey space between the cameo performances that save our bacon and the scary prospect of life after Tim.

    Aaron Mooy’s start from the bench is Sydney sent social media into a spin and the unfortunate injury to Brad Smith stopped my device from exploding, as fans sought out a reason for our golden boy sitting comfortably in a tracksuit.

    How Postecoglou approaches the eleven and the role that Mooy plays within it will be crucial.

    In simple terms, the Socceroos looked in each other’s way at times and despite the Syrians defending gallantly and having considerable numbers behind the ball, they did push hard on the counter.

    As a result there were holes galore for the Aussies to exploit, yet once again the speed of ball movement was inadequate and the clunky nature of the attack moving forward just didn’t seem right.

    Personally, I see the Mooy, Rogic issue as the most significant one for the manager. To me it is those two men, both looking to possess and distribute who seem to be sharing something that each wants to make their own.

    Unfortunately for Postecoglou, whether he starts with one or both, he will be hounded for his poor choice.

    Despite the importance of that decision and the impossibility of pleasing us all with his selections, the defensive structure and the men selected to combat the Honduran attack will be highly contentious.

    Mark Milligan was a little unfortunate with his error in Sydney and that is football to some degree. There is no such thing as a perfect defence that remains impenetrable. However, the Socceroos have been leaky at the back, tense, nervous, slow at times and haven’t filled the hearts of supporters with confidence or certainty.

    Ange Postecoglou Football Australia Socceroos 2017

    (AAP Image/Matt Roberts)

    The ironic cheers of a back four taking to the pitch in San Pedro Sula would be hilarious to many and not something that Postecoglou would ever concede at this point. Potentially, persisting with his methods gives us the best chance of success.

    There were moments during the Confederations Cup where initial doubters of the more aggressive set-up, designed to construct a Socceroos defence that could compete with the best of the best, may have doubted their instincts.

    However, as the qualifying campaign has continued, their gut feeling has proven correct and the Socceroos have looked sloppy.

    It appears most likely that Trent Sainsbury, Milos Degenek and Matthew Jurman will be the men once more for the Australians, all good pros and giving everything for their country.

    Sadly, the manager could throw Stuart Thomas, Nick Kyrgios and Semi Radradra in there and probably cop the same amount of criticism.

    The Australians will face four torrid days of pressure in the build-up, the manager will sit for hours attempting to formulate a plan to bust open the Honduran defence and find the perfect eleven capable of completing the test.

    Oh, to be a fly on the wall as those decisions are made, the inner sanctum for these matches would be an extraordinary place to be.

    Being at the heart of the decision making process at a potentially historic moment for Australian football is a privilege.

    A privilege that the manager will experience again this week. Unfortunately, whatever direction he chooses or decisions he makes, they will be wrong.

    Stuart Thomas
    Stuart Thomas

    Stuart Thomas is a sports writer and educator who made the jump from Roar Guru to Expert in 2017. An ex-trainee professional golfer, his sporting passions are broad with particular interests in football, AFL and rugby league. His love of sport is only matched by his passion for gardening and self-sustainability. Follow him on Twitter @stuartthomas72.

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    The Crowd Says (102)

    • October 24th 2017 @ 5:00am
      Outofleftfield said | October 24th 2017 @ 5:00am | ! Report

      What if the decision to spend four days in San Pedro Sulla was forced upon Ange? Might it be this kind of “undermining” by FFA bean counters that has lead him to suggest these could be his last games in charge?

      On the face of it, it doesn’t make sense. If you’re willing to pay for a chartered flight – albeit now with FIFA’s help – surely it’s not a cash issue. It seems madness to ignore the testimony and practice of teams that have had to make this trip before.

      • Roar Guru

        October 24th 2017 @ 9:07am
        spruce moose said | October 24th 2017 @ 9:07am | ! Report

        “What if the decision to spend four days in San Pedro Sula was forced upon Ange? Might it be this kind of “undermining” by FFA bean counters that has lead him to suggest these could be his last games in charge?”

        I doubt that this is a significantly cheaper option to be honest – the security costs will be extraordinary and I’d argue (without any evidence mind you, just a hunch) would cost more that putting players on a direct flight from Miami.

        That said, I’m sure FFA consulted with DFAT and they are the ones who know more than us.

        • October 24th 2017 @ 10:18am
          Sydneysider said | October 24th 2017 @ 10:18am | ! Report

          Apparently the Hondurans are flying on a commercial flight, rather than a charter flight.

          Looks like we might have an advantage anyway, just got to survive the first leg match.

          • Roar Guru

            October 24th 2017 @ 10:43am
            spruce moose said | October 24th 2017 @ 10:43am | ! Report

            Yeah, I called that a couple of weeks ago. Honduras simply doesn’t have the access to a charter flight in the same way that Australia does. It helps when one of the key sponsors of the team is the national airline, and said airline has planes available to cover the distance. Honduras has neither.

            Australia should be back in Sydney at least a good 12 hours earlier than Honduras if my figures are right. Big if though.

            • October 24th 2017 @ 11:23am
              Sydneysider said | October 24th 2017 @ 11:23am | ! Report

              I can’t remember where I saw the post but it said that the Socceroos should arrive around 24 hours earlier than the Hondurans. Massive advantage.

              FIFA have also chipped in US$150,000 per nation in these intercontinental play-offs for travel, so even the Kiwis are getting some assistance but I don’t think they’ll be getting a charter flight.

              Lucky Qantas is one of our sponsors.

              • Roar Guru

                October 24th 2017 @ 12:04pm
                Mango Jack said | October 24th 2017 @ 12:04pm | ! Report

                Lucky it’s not Jetstar. They’d arrive in Phuket 2 days after the game.

              • Roar Guru

                October 24th 2017 @ 1:37pm
                spruce moose said | October 24th 2017 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

                I’ve heard AirNZ will have a plane at their disposal for a very discounted fee. Either way, the advantage is negligible. Peru to NZ is an easier jaunt that Honduras to Austalia.

              • October 25th 2017 @ 10:31am
                Redsback said | October 25th 2017 @ 10:31am | ! Report

                It can easily take over 24 hours. At a minimum, they have to switch in Santiago and Latam and Qantas fly more flights direct to Sydney (and now Melbourne) than those that stop in NZ. Alternatively, they will have to go backwards to Buenos Aires and fly with Air New Zealand. It doesn’t have daily direct flights. Last thing they would want to have to do is to fly Lima to Santiago to Sydney and back to New Zealand.

                I see that New Zealand is playing the game out of Wellington. This is an inspired move. Frankly, to take full advantage of having a charter flight, we should be playing the game out of Adelaide or Perth to make their flight over that much harder. How is it that New Zealand can see this – playing the game out of acity that is more difficult to get to – and Australia cannot?

              • October 26th 2017 @ 1:56pm
                Football-Lover said | October 26th 2017 @ 1:56pm | ! Report

                On the other side of the coin the Soccerroos are at a worst disadvantage because they have to do two 24 hour trips to Honduras’ one. We will have probably four disruptive/sleepless nights on top of a very physical and hard fought game. The Hondurans in return won’t experience this in Sydney.

                I love the suggestion of one of the contributors to stage our return leg in Perth. Just brilliant, to make it as hard as possible for the opposition. But regretfully the FFA,our decision makers are not football people,they have business souls thus preferred to chase the money thus scheduled this crucial game in Sydney. Sadly missing an opportunity to provide the Socceroos even an extra bit of support and the message this would have sent to the coach/team would have been priceless. And the message sent to all the supporters would have been “yes FFA has finally got it,and they are behaving like a seasoned football country”.

                The more I think about it the more I know the current leadership team at the FFA have to go……..they have to be replaced…even by the despised FIFA.

      • October 24th 2017 @ 4:40pm
        pauli said | October 24th 2017 @ 4:40pm | ! Report

        Guatemala and Belize aren’t that far away from SPS.

    • October 24th 2017 @ 7:03am
      RBBAnonymous said | October 24th 2017 @ 7:03am | ! Report

      Lessons of the past need to be revisited. I am sceptical that spending 4 hostile days in Pedro San Sula is a good decision. It’s quite baffling to tell you the truth.

      Brad Smith should be as far away from the national team as possible. I am not a fan. His touch is awful, his defensive positioning is questionable as are his crosses. Surely we can do better.

      I have no problem starting both Mooy and Rogic in the same team. They are arguably our two best players and they should be good enough to work out how to play with each other.

      The elephant in the room, back 3 vs back 4. We all know how stubborn Ange is, you can bet your bottom dollar that he will persist with a back 3. I am not a fan of this system and our best football has always come from a back 4, except against Chile who funnily enough play with the same formation.

      • October 24th 2017 @ 7:24am
        AGO74 said | October 24th 2017 @ 7:24am | ! Report

        Gersbach and behich have both shown themselves to be better than Smith. I think Smith could (emphasis on could) be a good player – he just needs to find a club where he can play more for them than he does for the Socceroos…..

        • October 24th 2017 @ 8:03am
          jamesb said | October 24th 2017 @ 8:03am | ! Report

          Gersbach and Behich would be my two left backs. If Smith was selected, I’d positioned him at left wing. He does have pace, but like many Australian player, he does have the touch of a elephant

      • Roar Guru

        October 24th 2017 @ 9:02am
        spruce moose said | October 24th 2017 @ 9:02am | ! Report

        I’m also highly questioning the decision to spend 4 days in San Pedro Sula – but if Australia were to lose the opening match, I would find it very difficult to use that decision as a determining factor for the loss. I think there would be another 20 reasons ahead of it that would be a greater factor.

        We just need to be realistic. Winning an away leg against any opposition is always a difficult task, especially if the away leg is the first leg. The primary objective should be getting the vital away goal.

        I think a 2-1 loss (or better of course) is something Australia can walk away from with a ‘mission accomplished’ tag.

        • October 25th 2017 @ 10:39am
          Redsback said | October 25th 2017 @ 10:39am | ! Report

          How do you feel if you go about 4 days without proper sleep plus having interrupted sleep and an international flight over.

          I have never been to Honduras, so I don’t want to make unreasonable comparisons, but Montevideo was a nightmare and it is in the top 5 most European cities in South America (with BA, Santiago, Rio and Sao Paulo). It’s quite civilised and it was a nightmare there. Giving the other guy a fair go is not.common in most parts of the world and this smacks of amateurism. They should be flying in the night before the game from Miami. If nothing else, it would breakdown the flights to Honduras (most of which will probably have to go via Miami anyway). They could stay in a proper 5 star hotel and no one would have a clue who they are. The decision is unfathomable.

    • October 24th 2017 @ 7:14am
      AGO74 said | October 24th 2017 @ 7:14am | ! Report

      The decision to spend 4 days in advance in Honduras seems to go against every skerrick of logic and knowledge that was learned from 2001 which was then successfully applied to the preparation in 2005. Miami is an easy 2 hour direct flight away from San Pedro sula…..

      We will be be playing 3 at the back against Honduras- it’s gone too far now to do otherwise. And I can’t imagine Ange doing anything else.

      Some of the things said in this article I agree with – others I don’t eg playing Cahill in 1st leg over there. I think Ange got that right against Syria. Juric played in 1st leg and was unlucky not to score. He has grown as this campaign has gone on scoring some goals as well (more than Cahill actually). Juric basically needs to be prepared to cop a beating in 1st leg in order to hold the ball up for teammates. He’s also scored more goals in this stage of qualifying than Cahill so he’s done fairly well by and large. Id almost be tempted to leave Cahill behind in sydney saving him from the arduous travel to and from Honduras alongside the suspended Milligan and Leckie.

      I also think he will throw in a wild card. He’s a gambler after all and I think this will come via the suspension of Milligan. It would not surprise me to see him pick a DM out of the A-League to play on 1st leg (eg Brillante). Whilst I’m not questioning the validity of trying out Brillante (or someone similar) for Socceroos I question doing it in such a big match. He gambled against Syria by throwing in rukavytsa when he had not played for 4 years, did not know the style and wouldn’t have known half the players. It’s Anges way.

      • Roar Guru

        October 24th 2017 @ 8:19am
        Griffo said | October 24th 2017 @ 8:19am | ! Report

        It just happened to be Cahill. He’s in the side to score. Anyone else would do the same if they take their chances and the ball lands in the back of the net. Cahill wouldn’t be chosen if he was past it.

        Agree also that Jurić has come into being a scoring outlet. Others have as well. I think it’s more that we don’t have as much a creative idea than it appears we should. We see glimpses but all to infrequent (first half vs Syria in Sydney with Mooy, Rogic et al).

        And the passing has become slow and too focussed on building up a patient attack, giving time for defences to reform. And we do play against some defensive tactics that helps their cause.

        Anyway I am also astounded at the choice of camp and build up. More psychology from Ange perhaps that you can throw your whole country against us, we’ll still going to win. Maybe the flights in from Miami were not that beneficial…

        • October 24th 2017 @ 8:36am
          Fadida said | October 24th 2017 @ 8:36am | ! Report

          I can imagine in the discussions around where they’d set up camp, plenty of advice recommending flying in on the day. All eyes turn to Ange, eyes down, “look mate, I, um, look, I have always done things my way and it’s worked pretty well for me, I’m not about to change now. Let’s fly in as early as we can, set up camp in the local mall, sleep in the most dangerous slums. Robbie and Smithy can guard the left. We go on the attack”

          • October 24th 2017 @ 8:47am
            punter said | October 24th 2017 @ 8:47am | ! Report

            Just like Ange, Fad, you are true to form as well!!!

          • October 24th 2017 @ 9:04am
            Caltex Ten & SBS support Australian Football said | October 24th 2017 @ 9:04am | ! Report

            Fad – Don’t be surprised if Matt Simon leads the attack..

            • October 24th 2017 @ 9:17am
              Fadida said | October 24th 2017 @ 9:17am | ! Report

              Even Ange has limits on his gambling!

              • October 24th 2017 @ 9:25am
                AGO74 said | October 24th 2017 @ 9:25am | ! Report

                I think his 90th minute header attempt against wanderers the other night when he somehow contrived to miss has officially ruled him out.

              • October 24th 2017 @ 11:23am
                Fadida said | October 24th 2017 @ 11:23am | ! Report

                Or ruled him in, given the selection policy

              • October 24th 2017 @ 9:27pm
                Angry Kossie said | October 24th 2017 @ 9:27pm | ! Report

                Fadida, you know that I’m no coaching expert, but I think Ange is at the game tonight looking at Clisby for Smith’s spot!

              • October 25th 2017 @ 4:42am
                Fadida said | October 25th 2017 @ 4:42am | ! Report

                Some would say it was like for like Angry Kossie!

      • October 25th 2017 @ 9:46am
        reuster75 said | October 25th 2017 @ 9:46am | ! Report

        FIFA won’t allow happened in Uruguay in 2001 to happen again. They are very strict about any hint of outside interface with a match including the build up. Any country where a Uruguay situation happened would face heavy sanctions. This is what Alex Tobin mentioned recently in an interview on the box to box radio show.

    • October 24th 2017 @ 8:12am
      Fadida said | October 24th 2017 @ 8:12am | ! Report

      A self contradicting article Stuart. You imply Ange will be vilified no matter that he does, but then go on to imply the attack is unbalanced and Cahill dependent, the midfield is”clunky”, the defence “sloppy” and filling no one with any confidence “leaky, tense, nervous and slow”!

      The above reasons, combined with poor performances and disappointing results are why Ange is getting criticism. He’s not damned if he does or doesn’t, but he is justifiably criticised for failing to recognise or address issues that have played the team for a long time. It is he who has designed the tactics and chosen the combination of players.

      • Roar Guru

        October 24th 2017 @ 8:41am
        Ben of Phnom Penh said | October 24th 2017 @ 8:41am | ! Report

        I would disagree, Fad. Ange may well be damned regardless of his selections as he isn’t articulating the logic with clarity when offered the opportunity. His only defence is a flawless Socceroos performance, something international football is loathe to provide.

        • October 24th 2017 @ 8:52am
          Fadida said | October 24th 2017 @ 8:52am | ! Report

          I’d argue flawless isn’t required Ben but some signs of cohesion and progression is. The players still look like they are playing together for the first time

          • October 24th 2017 @ 9:46am
            Roarfan said | October 24th 2017 @ 9:46am | ! Report

            Fad, A lot of them are playing together for the first time. We never see the same team twice.

      • Columnist

        October 24th 2017 @ 10:53am
        Stuart Thomas said | October 24th 2017 @ 10:53am | ! Report

        Fadida, I’m not suggesting Postecoglou hasn’t made any blunders or errors in selection, he may even admit to the odd one over the years. I was just trying to point out that the relationship between the manager and the football community appears to have arrived at a point where he probably can’t win either way.

        If we win leg one, we will be told we shouldn’t have been in this position in the first place. If we lose…..well, where do we start.

        • October 24th 2017 @ 11:31am
          Fadida said | October 24th 2017 @ 11:31am | ! Report

          Opinion has changed on Ange because results have been poor, performances inconsistent (although it could be argued they have been consistently underwhelming), selections curious to say the least. Then there is Ange’s demeanour and umbrage to the discourse he once encouraged. Some of the reasons for the results and performances are outlined by you above.

      • Roar Guru

        October 24th 2017 @ 3:22pm
        Kaks said | October 24th 2017 @ 3:22pm | ! Report

        Right on the money Fad.

        Ange has no one to blame but himself and his stubbornness.

    • October 24th 2017 @ 8:51am
      Nemesis said | October 24th 2017 @ 8:51am | ! Report

      Not content with being coaching experts, same people will now claim to be foreign affairs & security experts.

      Wonder how expert they are in their own jobs?

      • October 24th 2017 @ 9:09am
        AGO74 said | October 24th 2017 @ 9:09am | ! Report

        Don’t have to be a foreign affairs expert to know how things can go in that part of the world when it comes to security and over zealous fans.

        Look at 2001 vs 2005 Uruguay pre-game preparations. Just watch any Socceroo who played in both Montevideo games and listen to their views on the two different pre Montevideo camps.

        If ffa have something sorted in Honduras to avoid all the type of 2001 distractions then that’s great. But otherwise you will have to forgive the skepticism based on previous experiences…..

        • October 24th 2017 @ 9:15am
          Nemesis said | October 24th 2017 @ 9:15am | ! Report

          I’d say FFA will have access to better information about security issues, logistics issues & operational issues than anyone on this forum.

          • October 24th 2017 @ 9:54am
            northerner said | October 24th 2017 @ 9:54am | ! Report

            And I would say that DFAT has the best information of all. From their website:

            “The Socceroos will play a World Cup qualifying match in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on 10 November 2017. Due to a high risk of violent crime, reconsider your need to travel to the San Pedro Sula suburb of Chamelecon, the nearby towns Choloma and Cofradia, and the Department of Gracias a Dios. Exercise a high degree of caution in Honduras overall.”

            And further: “Violent crime, including murder, robbery, burglary, kidnapping, carjacking and sexual assault, is widespread in Honduras, often involving firearms.”

            Sounds charming. I hope the FFA does in fact know what it’s doing.

            • October 24th 2017 @ 10:14am
              Nemesis said | October 24th 2017 @ 10:14am | ! Report

              I might be wrong.

              But, I’d say FFA when they travel to North Korea, Yemen, Iran, Saudi Arabia … anywhere are deeply briefed & closely monitored & managed by DFAT … at a level well beyond website instructions given to tourists.

              From what I’ve been told, the National Team is accompanied by Federal Police security detail on many of these travels. They’re not going as tourists. They’re going as the National Football Team of Australia.

              • Roar Guru

                October 24th 2017 @ 10:49am
                spruce moose said | October 24th 2017 @ 10:49am | ! Report

                It’s a bit silly to be arguing the toss over this. Clearly no one would willingly send a group of people into harms way, and we have to trust and expect that the correct decision has been made by all manner of appropriate authorities (DFAT, AFP, the Honduran equivalents etc etc).

              • October 24th 2017 @ 12:10pm
                northerner said | October 24th 2017 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

                Nemesis: I’m not sure how any of what you’ve just said addresses my point, which is simply that the actual experts describe Honduras as a very high risk area of the world. You dismiss concerns being expressed here about the stay in San Pedro Sula because Roarers aren’t “experts” – but the experts have very similar concerns about the violence in the area.

                Yes, of course DFAT provides deep briefings to the FFA – but it is up to the FFA, not DFAT, to make the decisions, so let us hope they are good ones. An awful lot of rather large companies and a few governments have learned the hard way that assessing risk in Latin America (and many other places) is a difficult task, even for experts, and their staff have paid the price. Kidnappings, assaults, murders (and let us not forget that Honduras has the highest firearms homicide rate in the world). It’s not a question of willingly sending people into harm’s way: it’s a question of whether the risks have been adequately assessed. Given that Honduras is high risk, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask whether this was a good decision or not.

              • October 24th 2017 @ 12:41pm
                Nemesis said | October 24th 2017 @ 12:41pm | ! Report

                USA, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Mexico, Panama & Costa Rica have all managed to go to Honduras & play a football match & return home safely.

                Of course there are security concerns.

                Our youth teams in recent years have played in North Korea. In Yemen. In Syria.

                This is part of the pressures of playing world sport that others don’t understand.

              • October 24th 2017 @ 1:24pm
                northerner said | October 24th 2017 @ 1:24pm | ! Report

                Nemesis: you are now saying that only football fans can truly understand the pressures of teams having to play in difficult security situations. Yet a few paragraphs ago, you were arguing that football fans had no expertise in security issues and therefore nothing at all to contribute on the subject. Make up your mind.

              • October 24th 2017 @ 1:52pm
                Nemesis said | October 24th 2017 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

                “you are now saying that only football fans can truly understand the pressures of teams having to play in difficult security situations.”

                No. I’m saying only players & staff who are involved in global sports events understand the pressures of playing in difficult situations.

                You really are a FPITA.

                And, I’m saying, I’m sure the FFA & the Federal Government will do everything possible to ensure our players are safe when they’re representing Australia anywhere on this planet.

              • October 24th 2017 @ 7:11pm
                northerner said | October 24th 2017 @ 7:11pm | ! Report

                And I’m saying, you know nothing about security issues yourself so why do you think you’re qualified to tell other people to they’re not qualified to comment.? You have a habit of trying to shut down conversations on the grounds that those commenting don’t have the necessary expertise, and frankly, it’s an unattractive habit.

                People are allowed to have opinions, based on their own experience and a bit of research. Not everyone thinks the government or the authorities necessarily know best. And not everyone believes that, given the best advice available, the FFA or Pepsi or United Fruit or Rio Tinto will still make the right decision. I can think of quite a few examples to the contrary. Are we no longer allowed to question the powers that be? When did that happen?

              • October 24th 2017 @ 7:26pm
                Nemesis said | October 24th 2017 @ 7:26pm | ! Report

                ” Are we no longer allowed to question the powers that be? When did that happen?”

                Of course you can. So, why don’t you do that? Write a letter to the FFA &/or DFAT and ask them what measures are being taken to ensure the safety of the AUS National Team.

                Then, you can write an article using the facts obtained from your research & you can form an opinion, using those facts, about whether the measures being taken by FFA & DFAT are appropriate, or inappropriate.

                Right now you, I and everyone on this forum knows nothing about what security measures have been taken.

                No facts. Just hot air.

                But, I do know the FFA has organised trips for the Women’s team, Men’s team & youth teams (men & women) to countries that are considered high risk by DFAT including: Yemen, North Korea, Syria, Bangladesh, etc.

                And, I know the teams have returned home safely on all occasions.

                As Ange said the other night: I want discussions about football, but I won’t put up with lazy & ignorant opinions.

              • October 24th 2017 @ 8:06pm
                northerner said | October 24th 2017 @ 8:06pm | ! Report

                Actually, you’re right about one thing. “Everyone on this forum knows nothing about what security measures have been taken.” That includes you, pal. So I have no idea why you so confidently assert that everything is just fine. You don’t actually have a clue whether it’s fine or not. You’re just relying on authority. Me, not so much.

                Amazingly, in the world of democratic societies and free speech, one gets to question authority, not just by writing letters to the FFA or DFAT but by actually, you know, asking questions in a public forum. Do I know what advice DFAT gave to the FFA, no I don’t; do I know whether the FFA listened to DFAT, no, I don’t. And neither do you. Are these not valid questions, and if not, why not?

                Your opinion is that everything the FFA and Ange do are beyond the questioning of mere mortals who don’t run football associations or national teams. I regard that as the laziest option of all. My opinion is that everyone and everything should be up to scrutiny. It is also my opinion that websites like the Roar are designed for people to ask questions and raise issues. Otherwise, why not just rely on press releases from the FFA? Why bother at all with a comments site?

              • October 25th 2017 @ 10:57am
                Redsback said | October 25th 2017 @ 10:57am | ! Report

                The threats in the places you have listed are entirely different to that posed by football fanatics in South America. I don’t expect the Socceroos to be checking out the local markets there and to get kidnapped or shot. The bigger issue will be sleep depravation. How will the FFA and FIFA stop fireworks from being let off outside their hotel each night they are there between midnight and 6am. Do you expect the local police will stop them? They will probably take selfies lighting the fireworks themselves.

                What is worse is that the media have given them the blueprint of what to do. I’ve had a look and this game is in the news every day in Honduras. Including analysis of our opinions that the place is a tip.

    • Roar Rookie

      October 24th 2017 @ 8:56am
      The Phantom Commissioner said | October 24th 2017 @ 8:56am | ! Report

      Well on the bright side if the boys get hell in Honduras the second leg is over here and i’m sure Honduras can expect a lovely welcome also, as did Uruguay.

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