With Ange Postecoglu announcing his 30 man preliminary World Cup Squad today I’d thought I’d try and play guess the squad. But after writing down the list of players I thought who would make the 30 man squad it didn't seem like much of a guess at all. The player pool is small. Realistically there are about 20-30 players that are good enough to make the squad. Not enough players are getting regular game time in Europe while the ones that are playing regularly are not really playing at a high enough level or forgive the ageist remark some players are just too old.
The squads chosen for the Costa Rica and Ecuador game showed pretty much what Ange Postecolgu was thinking and the recent retirements of the often so called golden generation means that it’s not going to be a squad full of surprises. Or was it? Reports around Australian media suggest a fair bunch of A-League players will be picked. But with they make the final cut? I don't think so. In terms of picking the younger players I would've liked to have see the Wunderkind from Perth Daniel De Silva, and midfielder Jackson Irvine and a couple of A League youngsters taken along for experience if they aren't included in the final 23. But it wasn't to be.
Just a quick word on the squad. As expected Uber Coach to be Ange chose the squad most Socceroos botherers expected.
The Socceroos defence. Inexperienced and with only ONE player (Luke Wilkshire) with previous World Cup experience. And forgive me for being incorrect but I'm sure there isn't even World Cup qualifying experience in there either. Soon to be Real Madrid Number One (according to Graham Arnold anyway) Matt Ryan is going to be having daydreams about saving goals and nightmares about his inexperienced defence, but lets not dwell on the worry at least Lucas Neill is not the focus anymore. Curtis Good is still injured and there is no reserve Left Back. I would use Mark Milligan in defense with Mathew Spiranovic and make sure the other left sided players and right side players help with parking the bus when needed.
Mile Jedinak getting injured is a worry but perhaps Ange is playing mind games with the opposition and the Jak is just having a rest after a season of tackling and crunching tackles with Crystal Place because in terms of star players Mile is our new Harry Kewell. Without the goals and creativity but with the injuries leading up to the World Cup and is the closest thing the Socceroos have a Star player (besides Super Timmy of course). Tom Rogic had it lost it? Mmmmm can only do about 30 mins tops I reckon. NO speed no stamina but can dribble and is not shy about going forward.Tommy Oar more crosses and through balls yes please.
Will be tracking back and Timmy Cahill and Josh Keneddy will be hop hop hopping at those crosses.Robbie Kruse is a big loss. Sure Mathew Leckie and Ben Halloran are quick and powerful going forward. But will the Socceroos have enough ball for them to show what they can do?
The ball is round anything can happen, as Mr Cruyff used to say football is an easy game except when you play against Spain, Holland and Chile in your World Cup Group. (I know he never said that) All the talk and analysis will mean nothing. Can we fast forward till the Chile game already please? The Dutch can be their own downfall They might do a Les Blues and crack up. Spain might have too many siesta's and miss the Bus to the game thus forfeiting the three points to the Socceroos Chile might think they are playing Austria instead and told to make sure the guy with the mustache doesn't score.
Mark BIRIGHITTI (Newcastle Jets FC, AUSTRALIA)
Eugene GALEKOVIC (Adelaide United FC, AUSTRALIA)
Mitchell LANGERAK (B.V. Borussia 09 Dortmund, GERMANY)
Mat RYAN (Club Brugge KV, BELGIUM)
Jason DAVIDSON (SC Heracles Almelo, NETHERLANDS)
Ivan FRANJIC (Brisbane Roar FC, AUSTRALIA)
Curtis GOOD (Newcastle United, ENGLAND)
Ryan McGOWAN (Shandong Luneng Taishan FC, CHINA)
Matthew SPIRANOVIC (Western Sydney Wanderers FC, AUSTRALIA)
Alex WILKINSON (Jeonbuk Hyundai FC, KOREA REPUBLIC)
Luke WILKSHIRE (FK Dinamo Moscow, RUSSIA)
Bailey WRIGHT (Preston North End FC, ENGLAND)
Oliver BOZANIC (FC Luzern, SWITZERLAND)
Mark BRESCIANO (Al Gharafa, QATAR)
Joshua BRILLANTE (Newcastle Jets FC, AUSTRALIA)
James HOLLAND (FK Austria Vienna, AUSTRIA)
Mile JEDINAK (Crystal Palace FC, ENGLAND)
Massimo LUONGO (Swindon Town FC, ENGLAND)
Matthew McKAY (Brisbane ROAR FC, AUSTRALIA)
Mark MILLIGAN (Melbourne Victory FC, AUSTRALIA)
Tommy OAR (FC Utrecht, NETHERLANDS)
Tommy ROGIC (Melbourne Victory FC, AUSTRALIA)
Adam SAROTA (FC Utrecht, NETHERLANDS)
James TROISI (Melbourne Victory FC, AUSTRALIA)
Dario VIDOSIC (FC Sion, SWITZERLAND)
Tim CAHILL (New York Red Bulls, USA)
Ben HALLORAN (Fortuna Dusseldorf, GERMANY)
Josh KENNEDY (Nagoya Grampus 8, JAPAN)
Matthew LECKIE (FSV Frankfurt 1899, GERMANY)
Adam TAGGART (Newcastle Jets FC, AUSTRALIA)
Here is an interview I did with Bailey Wright for 442 website a couple of years back: http://afootballstory.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/generation-next-bailey-wright-interview.html