Monday, June 23, 2014

Socceroos - Pain For Spain (Preview) World Cup 2014

Hola Amigo's, Que pasa? 

Following the come down from Australia's greatest ever loss and arguably the Soccerooos greatest ever goal by Sir Tim Cahill Duke of the Left Foot Volley it's almost easy to forget that the Socceroos have one more game to go. Facing Spain was supposed to be the hardest game of the group and due to mitigating circumstances the Socceroos and their coaching and supporting entourage reckon they can beat the La Furia Roja! (that's the Red Fury for you monolinguals)

It's been a Tim Cahillathon following that unbelievable goal against the Clog Botherers. That World Cup moment has gone viral. And just like a New York Times Best Seller, an Oscar Winning Movie or a Hit TV Show, that goal has been translated into a multitude of languages.

Such has been the focus on that one moment, we've all forgotten ( this plebeian included. Hail Sir Tim Cahill Duke of the Left Foot Volley) that the Socceroos actually lost against Holland and have been knocked out of the World Cup. The last game against Spain could see the Red Fury come at the Socceroos as the Red Moderately Furious Fury or the Red Am I Not Bothered cause we won everything already and we haven't had a siesta in six years Fury. 

Overflowing Schooner vs Empty Pint

It's interesting to note the way the English press and Australian press have reacted to being knocked out of the World Cup. Both teams have lost their first two games and both teams have no chance to progress to the next round. Australia are seeing the Schooner as overflowing because the team played well above expectations and scored three goals including Sir Tim Cahill's goal of the tournament. England see the Pint as empty because it's the first time since 1958 they haven't qualified beyond the group stages.

Following the fallout from England's loss to Uruguay I read with some Schadenfreude David James Guardian article  and he sees the dead rubber game Old Blighty have to play against Costa Rica far differently to the way the Socceroos are approaching their dead rubber against Spain. Here are the lines I enjoyed the most:

"England’s last game, against Costa Rica, has got to be the worst game you can play in a World Cup. Ordinarily, you lose a game, and you go home. But to stay on and play for nothing? On the biggest stage in the world? That’s unheard of in English football. And it’s bound to be painful.

There is no pride left to salvage, no opportunity for points that might redeem the side.And whatever tactics Roy Hodgson employs, it will be a no-win situation for him. If the team put in a great performance with a change of personnel, everyone will question why he didn’t play them in the first place. If the team loses, the whole enterprise will be further consigned to failure on an epic scale. It is an impossible task"

Contrast that reaction to the way the Australian media and the way some former Socceroos have reacted and you find most are singing the sides praises.

Even though the players and coaches are disappointed to be heading home earlier than they would have liked Tim Cahill's goal has given the media and supporters something priceless for Australian football and it's future:

An Immortal World Cup moment. Arise Sir Tim Cahill, Duke of the Left Foot Volley

Because expectations were low it seems that moment alone by Sir Tim Cahill Duke of the Left Foot Volley is enough to satisfy the appetite of the Australian football fraternity.


Looking ahead to the Pain in Spain game the other Socceroos players must surely have been suffering some Tim Cahill fatigue. I think it's time for the focus to shift on to Generation Next and what plans Socceroos boss Ange Postecocglou (bout time I spelt that right) has to combat the sleeping dog that is Spain.

Some Spanish journo's are saying that the reason Spain has performed so poorly in Brazil 2014 is that the team is tired and not really bothered because they've been there and done that.  Why should we bother Amigos?. We've already won the Euro's and the World Cup. Plus who wants to practice and play the triangle in the school band all the time?

For many years the Socceroos focus was on players with individual brilliance and fantasy.Australia was lucky to be blessed with great players like Ned Zelic, Paul Okon, Harry Kewell and Mark Viduka. Now with GenNext perhaps the future is the style of play, the system and structure of the team and the focus on the sum of the parts rather than the individual. 

By the time the Socceroos play at the next World Cup (they have to qualify of course)  the Rob Baan and Hann Berger Dutch revolution will have taken hold. Small sided games, no results and the fluid 4-3-3 will have had almost ten years to take hold in the Aussie football landscape. Who know what the Socceroos will look like in another four years. 

Strong personalities like Paul Okon, Ned Zelic, Harry Kewell, Tim Cahil and Lucas Neill saw a lot of territorial pissings going in  Socceroos camps and World Cup campaigns over the years. It's now a perfect opportunity for GenNext to make there mark, which is why I hope Ange P goes fully sick with the youth for the Spain game.

Why not give Adam Taggart, Ben Halloran, Oliver Bozanic, Massimo Luongo and Bailey Wrght some game time? I also think Mitch Langerak should get a start. I don't think I could handle anymore Matty Ryan blunders.  

Who knows perhaps the GenNext Hispters can cause their own Immortal World Cup moment by beating World Champions Spain!

Vamos Socceroos farken Vamos!

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