Monday, June 16, 2014

Socceroos - Cholos (Chile) Analysis World Cup 2014 Brasil

What If?, Coulda, Woulda and Shoulda

No these are not the names of four Arabic restaurants they are the burning questions that will surround the Socceroos after their 3-1 World Cup opening game loss to Chile in Cuiaba Brasil.

What If?, Shoulda, Woulda and Coulda are usually a luxury in life, moving forward is the mantra and to forget the past is what we're told to live a happy and healthy life. But for football countries like Australia it's almost the lifeblood of the game. 

The Iran game and the Italy game and now the Chile game can now join the illustrious company of Australian World Cup heartbreaks. It is definitely worth arguing that the Chile game has as many questions as the other two. 

This is due in parts to what happened before the Chile game and what happened during the loss to La Roja. Before the game there was a number of player retirements forced or other wise. The debate raged particularly from one of these "retirees" shot botherer Mark Schwarzer. The hero for the Socceroos on many occasions questioned whether sideline botherer Ange Postecoglu had picked the strongest squad. This point of view riled up many fans and even Postecoglu himself.

Also lets not forget the number of Socceroos that suffered injuries before the World Cup meant the team was short of key players and there was fear and trepidation that the youngsters would be overawed by the occasion.

The What Ifs?

  • What if Ryhs Williams. Robbie Kruse and Tom Rogic hadn't got injured before the World Cup? The Socceroos would have had much more experience and quality with this triumvirate if they were in Brasil. 
  • What if Harry Kewell and Mark Schwarzer hadn't retired. You wonder what kind of difference they would have made. 
  • What if the youngsters had more game time together rather than just two or three friendlies to get the team harmony and cohesion in place?
  • What if Tim Cahill wasn't offside for that would be equalising goal? 
  • What if Bresh's volley was an inch up and to the right, up and to the right?

The Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda's 

  • Mile Jedinak shoulda played better! In all the analysis after the game Robbie Slater is the only one that kept it real. The Jak was responsible for both opening goals. 
  • Tommy Oar coulda played better but it wasn't all his fault but I'll come back to that later.
  • Maty Ryan shoulda stayed on his line! Schwarzer woulda done better and the Socceroos coulda stayed at 0-0 for a bit longer.
  • Mathew "I played a brilliant farken game" Leckie shoulda used the shoot farken mentality when he surged down the right hand side and shot with his left foot instead of cutting in on his right. It coulda been one of the all time clashic World Cup goals!
  • Ange Postecoglu coulda and shoulda made better subs it woulda made a difference with 20 mins to go! Read below why.

Ange got it Wrong

Ange Postecoglu got his pre- World Cup wish. He wanted the Socceroos to be a team that the Australian sporting public would be excited by again. The game was a tense watch. The Aussies took the fight to Chile. Most fans before the game and after the first 20 mins thought an arse whipping was coming. But the team fought back, were brave and showed that true Aussie fighting spirit. Ange got his wish; The Socceroos are an exciting team to watch again. 

But alas for me that's not good enough. Ange Postecoglu got the last 20 mins wrong. The talk from Ange post match has been that the during the first 20 mins the team was overawed particularly the youngsters. He said that their inexperience showed and that the team was nervous and that''s why they copped two goals in the first 20 mins. 

But I disagree. It wasn't nerves it wasn't inexperience it was Alexis Sanchez quality and flair and poor defending by Mile Jedinak. Dirty Sanchez ripped the Socceroos apart  and I blame Mile Jedinak! For the first Chilito goal he was out jumped for the header that fell to Alexis Sanchez and for the second goal he was turned inside out like a ballroom dancer  by the Cholo Sanchez again. 

Perhaps blaming it all on Mile is unfair but he deserves some castigation. Sometimes that kind of quality is almost impossible to defend against.   A back heel before the first goal set up the cross down the right but Mile Jedinak was out jumped by a much smaller Chilito who headed the ball back to Sanchez who then performed keyhole surgery with that strike beating Spiranovich and Ryan at the near post. The second goal it was Sanchez skill again that caused the space to open and it was Jedinak who was beaten. Not the youngsters fault. 

But back to how Ange got it wrong. Lets harp back to 2006. Against both Japan and Croatia when the Socceroos needed goals there were literally four strikers on the pitch. The Socceroos are a crossing team. They don't do ticka tacka or triangles they look to go out wide and cross to targets in the box. One target in the box with the game on the line is not taking a risk. In my opinion Ange was too conservative. Why didn't Ange leave on Tommy Oar and bring on Taggart instead? Tim Cahill can't do everything by himself and in the end he couldn't. 

One target in the box for a crossing team is not enough!

Sure Josh Kennedy was injured but the lack of Strikers in the squad  pre theWord Cup was alarming and it was the Socceroos undoing as they tried valiantly to find that equalising goal. 

It would have been an interseting last 10 mins if someone like Tom Juric and  Adam Taggart joined Tim Cahill on the pitch as the Socceroos pushed for that equaliser.  Tommy Oar had an average game because he had no-one to cross to. 

Citing the the Ivory Coast as an example they too are a crossing team and once they brought on Didier Drogba they scored two goals in their comeback win against Japan. 

Hopefully Ange learns from this when the Socceroos play the Orange Botherers Holland. 

Tim Cahill Does it Again

I am tempted to call this blog "Head Farken Super Timmy Cahill". Some A Football Story readers would know that I went to High School with Tim Cahill. He was three years behind me and he always had a football with him as he walked the KNHS hallways. 

At the time of writing this blog Tim Cahill has scored more World Cup goals than Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo combined. I'm sure you football stat lovers already know Campsie's most famous Son's name is up there with Baggio, Klinsmann, Robben, Van Persie and Mattheus as one of the few footballers in the World who have scored at three consecutive World Cups. It's a wonderful talking point and this piece of knowledge must be taught in Australian schools with other notable Aussie achievements that have affected the World. Like ACDC, The Selfie and Top Shelfing.

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