Brazil Here We Come

June 19, 2013 at 8:20 am 1 comment

It was a great achievement for Pim Verbeek to get an ageing team to the World Cup Finals four years ago, which makes Holger Osciek’s achievement even more remarkable. Congratulations to him, the players and all of the team in the background.

Whether you like the coach’s tactics he achieved what he set out to do. It was never going to be easy this time around, as Captain Lucas Neill said the other nations are improving and Australia has a crop of developing international players, rather than established ones coming through.

The senior players stepped up last night when they were needed and that experience was what eventually saw Australia manage the victory they needed so badly. Osciek faced all sorts of criticism when he pulled off pin up Tim Cahill, but his move proved to be inspired with his replacement Josh Kennedy scoring the all important goal; a just reward for a man who has rarely grabbed the headlines but has always done well for his country.

One thing that appeared to help this group of players was spending three weeks together for the games against Japan, Jordan and Iraq. This time together appeared to galvanise them as a group and it showed on the park. The performances may not have been what many expected but they were effective and ultimately they achieved what they set out to do. Credit must go to all concerned for that.

The sad thing is when all of the celebrations die down Holger and his support crew will know that they have to strengthen this squad, and many who were on the bench last night will not be travelling to Brazil. As well as the defence played last night there are still question marks over the back four. Matt Mackay for one, despite his usual combative display is not a natural left back and against quality opposition he will be found out.

The good news is there are players who can come in if they play to their potential in the coming year, players like Trent Sainsbury, Rhys Williams, Shane Lowry, and Chris Herd to name a few. These players must play regular football in the coming year and be consistent. There is no doubt Holger Osciek and his assistants Robbie Hooker and Aurelio Vidmar will be following all Australian players playing around the world and hopefully have a reliable network of people keeping an eye on these players, as these will be the ones needed in Brazil in 2014. Unfortunately very few playing in the A-League will be capable of such a big step up, hence why they are still in the A-League.

It promises to be an exciting year ahead and we wish every player vying for a spot on the plane to Brazil the best season possible, as we once again congratulate all involved with the Socceroos and especially the coaching staff and leadership group for pulling them through.


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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. All White  |  June 20, 2013 at 11:54 am

    A great achievement to qualify but as you say the squad needs a serious overhaul before next year. Lucas Neill will go to Brazil as captain but one has to seriously ask how many games he will play. There is a reason no club wants him and the FFA have had to pay for him to play at Sydney FC, it is because he is too old and too slow. Just as there is a reason Harry Kewell has spent a year without a club. Let go of these players now before they embarrass us.

    If Kewell is selected after the performances of Oar and Zullo Australian football is in a very bad place.

    It will be interesting to see how Tim Cahill travels in the next year. One could see from the recent games that he is far from being the player he was at Everton. Once again you look at why they let him go. He is now playing in a league marginally better than the A-League in that the quality of its “Old Players” is better, and with time most players standards naturally drop from where they were. Cahill cannot possibly be our number one striker in Brazil. He must be used purely as an impact player.

    Interesting times ahead, great opportunities for many young players playing overseas.


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