If there is one thing that the Socceroos are good at, it is that they are much funnier and comical than the best of clowns.
Australia are a massive joke in football and this tournament has undressed all their flaws. This team was talked up as brave performers in the World Cup by the Australian public but any football fan with some interest would realise the hard reality of them being a mediocre side in all aspects, most profoundly in technical ability.
The writing was on the wall and their performances in this tournament was one where it was not worthy of defending their title.
Milos Degenek had a massive brain fade but the whole team is no less incompetent dishing out the usual formula of being clueless in possession and impotent on the attack, rinse and repeat. Its all too easy to insist that the Arab teams sat deep and were rigid defenders, yet the Socceroos played a huge part with sloppy touches and poor decision making in passes biding their opponents to set themselves up and hold their ground.
They had no answers to solid defences and it didn’t help that there was no one to look to for creativity in the absence of Tom Rogic.
Excuses that can be made about players like Aaron Mooy and Daniel Arzani not being available are a cop-out which detracts attention from the poor squad depth and quality, and whatever difference they would’ve made would be inconsequential. Mooy was nowhere to be seen at the World Cup and Arzani only has the support of World Cup bandwagoners pumping his tyres up.
Basically, they are all of the same rubbish ilk.
Graham Arnold has made some questionable decisions, but the blame can hardly be centred on him when these are the same clowns that played for Postecoglou. Not even Bert Van Marvijk with his experience of managing at a World Cup final could do much.
Arnold can only do well with the cattle he has got. The crop that were on the field last night were the same lot that barely scraped through to the World Cup.
Thirteen years on since their move to Asia from Oceania and qualifying for the World Cup in 32 years, what was thought that Australia could be a force in football at the time. Now, however, the nation is heading towards a steep decline to the bottom. Hardly a breeding ground to produce skilled players, the A-League offers nothing but crash bang football played by headless chickens.
As seen time and time again, the quality of the competition is badly exposed in the Asian Champions League, regularly exiting from the group stages on the back of embarrassing defeats.
The signs could not have been more apparent where the majority of our local players that become stars domestically and make a move to Europe end up being back home in Australia in no time. If anything, the bulk of the Socceroos can barely get a start for their own club.
The returns for the national team inevitably becomes scarce producing forgettable games in 2018 World Cup qualifiers against smaller nations such as Thailand and Syria. Had it not been for the wise heads of Tim Cahill Mile and Jedinak there would rightly be a post-mortem on Australia failure to qualify.
In retrospect, it probably would have been much better if we hadn’t qualified at all. Most, if not all, of the criticism then weighed on Postecoglou’s shoulders when it might have been the case that his tactics were too good for the players rather than him failing to manage. Since his sacking, the narrative has changed from under-performers to improving underdogs in the lead up to and post World Cup.
Any deficiencies that plagued the playing squad have completely subsided as long as they are in a World Cup with a new coach. The opinion of the Australian sporting public is one of false hope and utter delusion and the footballing body have relished it and have become comfortable in their complacency.
A big misconception surrounding the footballing circles is that AFL, rugby league and cricket have some sort of hegemony over the sport talent poo,l yet football remains the number one most participated in sport in the country and it’s most likely that rates will climb up and up.
Yet for all their participation dominance across the nation, the glaring issue is that talented and skilful players come few and far in between. Much of the media barrage that was wrongly concentrated towards Postecoglou could have been directed towards the way in which footballers are developed from a young age such as focusing on ball work or physicality, the philosophy of the coaches and the pathways towards higher levels of training.
Unfortunately, Australians seem to have a strange mentality that physicality means everything in sport. It is regarded that midgets who become rising stars for being infinitely skilled and carry more game smarts will never make it to the top level simply because he is a midget.
As a consequence, the bulk of Australian football players are a product of this mind-numbing school of thought that still remains instilled in youth development.
This is in contrast to the methods which almost every football playing nation uses, utilised greatly by fellow Asian rivals and European teams where ball work always comes first and foremost for kids. Australia has a completely upside down mentality which can leave them only further behind the rest of the world.
South Korea were also a disappointment in the competition, but at least they’ve got a quality national team with rising stars and a domestic league providing talented individuals adding a boost for the long run. Australia has neither of those, but the slight positive out of this game is that this performance might just bell the cat for issues that deeper beyond the coach and selection of players.
Otherwise, qualifying for 2022 might be a bridge too far now that Cahill and Jedinak are no longer there to babysit them.