Tim Cahill must play against Honduras, end of discussion

David Lord Columnist

By David Lord, David Lord is a Roar Expert

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    Socceroos icon Tim Cahill made a stunning comment yesterday – “If I had played in Honduras, I would have contributed”.

    Cahill had rolled his ankle days before playing for Melbourne City when he tried to hurdle Sydney FC defender Jordy Buijs.

    Cahill was given no chance of playing the first leg of the last chance two-game play-off to qualify for the FIFA World Cup in Russia next year.

    But to think the 37-year-young Cahill, the best-performed Socceroo and the team’s most inspirational footballer could have been used, but wasn’t, is yet another strange decision by coach Ange Postecoglou.

    Even stranger when the Socceroos’ most successful goal-scorer with 50, well clear of the next best Damon Mori with 28, may well have scored – with every goal on the away leg all the more important thanks to the away goal rule. If scores are tied after tomorrow night, the team with more away goals goes through.

    After a nil-all draw, any goal would have been priceless.

    So Postecoglou has no option tomorrow night, Tim Cahill must start against Honduras – the Socceroos’ moment of truth has arrived.

    If Postecoglou fails to start Cahill, the coach is as good as out the exit door.

    Let’s face it, tomorrow night is the most important sporting event on the Australian calendar this week, by the length of the straight.

    Tim Cahill

    (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

    A galaxy of Australia’s best in other sports have been appearing on television wishing the team well, headed by Cooper Cronk, Steve Smith, Ellysee Perry, Craig Lowndes, and Michael Hooper.

    Let’s face it, the return Honduras clash is so important to the well-being of the round ball code in Australia.

    If they qualify for Russia, the FFA and Socceroos will earn $2 million, and even if they are eliminated after the Group stage, there’s another $10 million.

    If they lose in the quarters it’s worth $18 million. To finish fourth, $25 million, and to go all the way to becoming world champions they will collect a $50-million cheque.

    Nobody expects the Socceroos will go that far, but to even qualify for their fourth consecutive World Cup appearance will do wonders for the code in Australia.

    But to miss out will be damaging.

    Putting my cards on the table, I’m no fan of the Socceroos for playing boring football, with the exception of Tim Cahill.

    They should have qualified in regulation as the highest ranked country – Socceroos 43, Japan 44, Saudi Arabia 63, UAE 72, Iraq 80, and Thailand 138.

    Had the played to their standing, they would have avoided these tense play-off series,even though Syria’s ranked 77, and Honduras 69.

    But they didn’t play to their ranking, so both the players, and the coach, must share that mistake and that responsibility.

    Tim Cahill sad

    (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

    Tomorrow night they have their last chance to make amends by making passes count, and being positive.

    The latter is vital, and that’s where Tim Cahill means so much to the side.

    A Cahill header from an Aron Mooy cross will bring the house down, the roar will be heard all over Sydney.

    But while the attack is vital, the Socceroos’ defence must be Fort Knox-like – if Honduras score, Australia will need to win. No questions asked. A scoring draw sees Australia knocked out on the away goals rule.

    The clash will be the first of three this week, with the defending champion Kangaroos meeting Samoa in Darwin in a Rugby League World Cup quarter final, and the Wallabies will be at the home of rugby desperate to end a four-game losing streak to England.

    But tomorrow night is huge with the nation right behind you Socceroos, so lift your game and attitude to make us proud.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn?t get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world?s great sporting spectacles

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    The Crowd Says (85)

    • November 14th 2017 @ 9:13am
      Birdman said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:13am | ! Report

      “Let’s face it, tomorrow night is the most important sporting event on the Australian calendar THIS WEEK, by the length of the straight.”

      Embarrassing understatement David.

      • November 14th 2017 @ 9:27am
        chris said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:27am | ! Report

        David forgot to mention the Sheffield Shield match in (insert country town here)…
        Between that and the WCQ, they are the biggest sporting events this week.

      • Roar Rookie

        November 14th 2017 @ 4:30pm
        Grobbelaar said | November 14th 2017 @ 4:30pm | ! Report

        He’s right isn’t he? afterall, the Melbourne Cup was run 8 days ago

        • November 14th 2017 @ 5:18pm
          punter said | November 14th 2017 @ 5:18pm | ! Report

          Not really the Melbourne Cup was run in 1861.

    • November 14th 2017 @ 9:34am
      c said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:34am | ! Report

      tomorrow night is the most important sporting event on the Australian calendar this week

    • November 14th 2017 @ 9:42am
      Redondo said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:42am | ! Report

      I wish he’d tried to explain the away goals rule. Nevertheless, comedy gold!

    • November 14th 2017 @ 9:58am
      Realfootball said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:58am | ! Report

      Thanks for illuminating Cahill’s record, David.

      And his injury.

      And yes, we need to score goals and the defence needs to be solid.

      And if that’s a stunning comment from Cahill, you are very easily stunned.

      Just a thought: don’t write a piece for the football tab regurgitating common knowledge and the bleeding obvious as if it’s journalism.

    • November 14th 2017 @ 10:25am
      Worlds Biggest said | November 14th 2017 @ 10:25am | ! Report

      Lordy I was a bit surprised Cahill didn’t come off the bench in the last 15-20 minutes. Obviously he was carrying the injury but why fly him over and potentially aggravate the injury even more. Anyway let’s hope he gets meaningful game time tomorrow night.

      • November 14th 2017 @ 10:54am
        Waz said | November 14th 2017 @ 10:54am | ! Report

        Had we have been 1-0 down with 20 minutes to go you would likely have seen Cahill come in. At 0-0 and the Roos pressing for a goal there was no need to take the risk, the tie is won over 2 games not one.

        • November 14th 2017 @ 9:23pm
          Worlds Biggest said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:23pm | ! Report

          Waz you make valid points however Cahill is the only guy that can put it in the back of the net. An away goal would have been huge, give him 15-20 minutes to try and bag an all important away goal.

          Then you go into tomorrow night with a big advantage. If Honduras manage to jag a goal tomorrow night,we have to score at least two.

          Anyway good luck Socceroos !

      • Roar Guru

        November 14th 2017 @ 1:53pm
        Griffo said | November 14th 2017 @ 1:53pm | ! Report

        I wouldn’t underestimate Cahill’s leadership, experience, and inspiration to the team even with and injury, and not taking the field.

      • Roar Guru

        November 14th 2017 @ 4:03pm
        Mango Jack said | November 14th 2017 @ 4:03pm | ! Report

        Also to keep Honduras guessing.

    • November 14th 2017 @ 10:28am
      Gavin said | November 14th 2017 @ 10:28am | ! Report

      What a strange comment. Of course he would have contributed if he played; as all players on the pitch did. Some more positively than others.

      From early reports, I don’t think he is fit and I don’t think he will play any part on Wednesday, unless we are extremely desperate in the last 10 minutes, perhaps. He delivers crucially time and time again and I’m sure he’d risk further injury if required. I don’t see why they wouldn’t have kept him home and work around the clock on his rehab. Was he moving around okay while over there? I havent seen anything

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