Whilst it was a good result for the Socceroos against Canada, I am not sure we can read too much into this result for the following reasons:
1. The players were always going to be fired up after Holger Osieck was sacked and the shellacking’s the media has served up to the them in the last few days.
2. Canada haven’t qualified for the World Cup so are they a worthy opponent? Would the Canadians have taken this game as seriously as the Socceroos given the events of the last few days?
3. Canada is nowhere near the calibre of football team that Brazil and France are. In hindsight, I consider Osieck shot himself in the foot opting to play friendlies against these two nations, especially considering: (a) Brazil never take friendlies easy, especially ones they play at home (their fans expect to win all the time!) and moreover, they don’t have to qualify for the World Cup as they are hosts and (b) France were shooting blanks up until last week so the Aussie game would have given them and their strikers, particularly Karim Benzema (who hadn’t scored for the French national team in over 1,000 minutes) some good shooting practice.
I still believe and moreover, am concerned that our national team is in danger of embarrassing itself next year. Luckily, we have eight months to try and steady the ship and get the broom out to clear some old wood. Lucas Neill and Brett Holman immediately come to mind – they could still be handy squad players, but not starting players in my opinion. The new regime should blood some youngsters like Rogic, Davidson, Lowry and Williams and take a serious look at the problem left back position. McKay is a midfielder and not an option whilst Carney is a shambles. Lowry and/or Davidson are good options.
Finally, the coach, whoever it is, can start to bring back the competitive spirit and self belief our players have been lacking in recent months.
As for the coach, it looks like it will be a local appointment and moreover, over a five year period. It appears the FFA has learned the lessons of the past and the new appointment will incorporate next year’s World Cup, the Asian Cup in 2015, qualification rounds for the 2018 World Cup and the 2018 World Cup, assuming we make it!.
The most likely candidates are Ange Postecoglou, Graham Arnold and Tony Popovic.
Poppa had a great year at the Wanderers last year, especially considering their limited budget and experience and it was in their first season! Nevertheless, I feel he is still a little too raw.
I don’t warm very well to Arnold, but in his defence he has done wonders at the Mariners considering their limited funds and constant sales. This has forced him to regularly re-invent the team.
I like Ange. When he joined the Roar they were a shambles – they allegedly had a culture unsuited to top level sport and a number of egos ruled the roost. He eradicated the culture and cleared out the dead wood in his first season, remembering he was appointed mid way through that season. He then won the minor premiership and Grand Final in his second season and the Grand Final in his third season. A fine effort! He then joined Victory and implemented his plan and did very well considering his ideas were quite foreign to the team. Victory are now favourites for this season’s A-League flag. I also like the style of play his teams adopt.
For me, it should be Ange but I wouldn’t lose sleep if Graham Arnold was appointed.