Friday, August 13, 2010

10 things I hate about the Socceroos

1) The problem of replacing the old farts
 The biggest question the Socceroos are facing besides figuring out who the hell the new coach is how the hell we are going to replace 10 years of European experience with a group of unfashionable bench players? 

The most talented part team which was the midfield is getting old. Tim Cahill, Brett Emerton, Jason Culina, Mark Bresciano, Vince Grella and Harry Kewell will be around 35 in time for Brazil 2014. For the last two World Cup cycles the Socceroos midfield has been the main strength. 

The tricky task of replacing those players will be no easy feat. There could be a real possibility that a lot of the 2010 World Cup squad will be playing World Cup qualifiers. The lack of depth in the Socceroos squad means we just don’t have the cattle for a clean out. We are going to need the so called “golden generation” for a few more years at least and forcing some of the players to retire could mean qualification for 2014 in Brazil could be in peril. Forget about Dad’s army, for the Socceroos Brail 2014 could be “Grandpa’s Army”

2) Playing in Europe means we don’t know if you are actually any good
Another problem with so many Aussies playing overseas is because we can’t see them week in and week out it is difficult to gauge how good they actually are. They leave these shores with potential to be good players but in recent years only a few youngsters seemed to have matured save for Nathan Burns and David Carney.  Pim’s mantra was that “Training in Europe is better than playing in the A League”.  A new one should be:

 “Being hidden in Europe is better than showing how crap you are in the A League.”

3) Just because Pim hated the A League does not mean he was wrong
The new coach has been announced and all of a sudden everyone is saying that the A League demands more respect, that the players should be given a chance. Let s not forget that Pim did give the A League players a chance and when he did they disappointed. It’s just that Pim made the mistake of being honest and saying what a lot of people know and thought out loud. Australians are not used to Dutch honesty. I would say there are only half a dozen A League players that should be looked at being picked for future Socceroos squads and wait to you get a taste of the” German backhander” it’s far worse than “Dutch courage”.

4) Not picking youth is wasted on the youth
 A change of the guard my Greek/Cypriot/ Australian hairy arse! The game against Slovenia was a great chance to give players like Tommy Oar, James Holland, Nathan Burns and Dario Vidosic more game time instead they stayed on the bench for most of the game while Richard Garcia started. Did anyone not learn anything from the Germany game?

5) Lucas Neil ass as big as J LO’s
Time to say goodbye Lucas that is all.

6) Hiddink’s success is a dark shadow
He came he saw he kicked some Uruguayan and Japanese arse. Even though he was only Socceroos boss for a few months Guus Hiddink is hero worshipped for what he did for Australian football and so he should be. Verbeek and new boss Hosiek must feel like they have to follow the Beatles after they just opened with Sergeant Peppers and Day in the Life.

7) The brand is better than the product
At the moment the Socceroos have what they call “positive brand equity”. But lose some more friendly games in the manner that they did against Slovenia and produce a poor showing at the Asian Cup in January and the Socceroos brand will get a bad reputation and the negative flow on affects to financial (TV money sponsorship), brand extensions (A League, Youth League and State League’s) and consumer base (band wagoners jumping off) could be terminal.

8) Ex –Socceroos Illuminati
With each Socceroo retirement another member joins the EX Socceroos Illuminati. After getting their heads on the box for ten years being an expert in running, jumping, kicking, tackling and shooting, they are now the experts in talking, shouting, joking and experting.
They will never criticize their own (think Kevin Muscat). and they hold unseen power and sway in the football community. Any ex sports star will tell you it’s a dramatic change; where once they were Heroes on the field now they are now perceived as Idiots off it.

What to do with a retired sports star? Should they get a job as an assistant youth coach or shave everyday and get a job in the media.  The gloss of your amazing playing career gets shined off by desperate ranting and raving about how in my day we had three jobs and a horse.

Lately the” Whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” mantra has been unravelling for the Socceroos.   During the past week while writing for the Terror both senior members of the Ex-Socceroos Illuminati Robbie Slater and Mark Bosnich have been leaking some secrets. According to Slater a senior Socceroo told Harry Kewell to f off. And according to Bosnich there was:“Talk of management being told to leave the dressing-room moments before the opening World Cup game”, and “Of people tip-toeing around certain players, fearful of their power and influence,”

All the juicy gossip is slowly starting to come out. I wonder what other dressing room shenanigans occurred in South Africa.

9) Holger Osieck, What Now?
The ubiquitous “They” love making big calls with one sentence cliché’s.
A well used one is: “A nation gets the leader it deserves.” After having a laid back Dutch coach who was more friends than ruler (Verbeek) with his players the Socceroos now get a German who has a history of being too bossy with his players. 

Fun time is over boys. I can’t wait for the next instalment of the long running Socceroos soap opera “Why doesn’t the coach pick me?” Starring Joel Griffiths and Eddy Bosnar.

Hiddink had the luxury of having Viduka, Kewell, Grella, Cahill, Neill and Moore at their physical peaks. Verbeek suffered from this group getting older and carrying injuries and losing speed. Osieck has a much harder job than Verbeek or Hiddink ever had.  It could be that the Socceroos deserve the German kind of man management but what about us fans? Do we really deserve the ex-coach of Canada? I reckon Sydney FC Viteslav Lavicka coach has a much better CV. But let’s give him a chance.

10) Vidmar and Van Egmand are a scary future.
The future is unwritten said the late Clash front man Joe Strummer. But for the Socceroos it’s Aurelio Vidmar and Gary Van Egmond. 

The future normally doesn’t scare me (except for global warming, peak oil use and the next Indiana Jones Movie)  but thinking of these two as the future Socceroos coaching team; I can’t promise that skid marks will not be somewhere in the future.


  1. where there is a new day dawning there is always hope. have some faith.

    this new coach sounds like he might bring some good development ideas into the country. and the major piece missing from the australian puzzle is the development from being a good 15yo player to becoming a professional player, and not getting sucked into the vortex of having to make a buck with a day job.

    we haven't truly had that option for very long, and still really don't. with the right development ideas, the youth to adult transition can be secured with talent, and from that a great team will be born.

    don't blame the coach or the team, it is the organisational structure of the sport that we need to improve, and from my eyes, it has been getting better of late - though there is still plenty of opportunity to grow and improve on.

    i know i am just an ever-optimist that can close my eyes at the right times. but it does helps during those horror moments.


  2. Hey Chesh,

    Cheers for the comment. I wish I was optimistic as you but I wasn't built that way. Hopefully the next two friendlies will see an improvement.