So the squad list is out for the the Socceroos September games. Which mix of players will lead to a performance like Oz vs Japan, rather than Oz vs Scotland? With my belief that the team is more important than individuals, I can honestly say I don’t care who starts for the Socceroos. Hell, you can even partner Jedinak and Valeri in the middle (means the ball will be going straight from the backline to the wide mids or strikers – but at a stretch it works good enough , e.g. recent Oz vs Japan style).
What I AM curious to see is whether Olger can get his team playing smart, aggressive, physical, disciplined football with a compact shape. With a compact shape. Where the whole is more than the sum of the parts.
And those statements bout Chris Herd? Why say that in public?
Not even sure if Holger is in control of his own emotions, let alone in control of his team.
Harry Kewell doesn’t have a club. No space in the NT squad, fair enough.
Lucas Neill doesn’t have a club, but is the NT captain.
David Carney doesn’t play, and starts at LB.
Matt Spiranovic goes from Japan (where he isn’t playing), to Qatar (where he will play, probably) … and gets dropped from the squad.
Qatar, where Mark Bresciano and Sasha Og play. Who are in the starting NT.
One team, one set of rules. Ok, here I am dreaming again … You are not carrying injuries, have match fitness, are playing for your club semi-regularly at least, and will be played in your usual position. Then you can get into the NT squad …
Started watching Barca vs Madrid yesterday morning, but didn’t really end up watching it.
Yes, these are the two most talented teams in the world, with the two most talented attackers. BUT. They play each other so many times across a season. And it is has had an ill spirited and nasty feel at times.
They even play each other when they aren’t playing against each other. Each La Liga game they play against Spanish also rans is really a game against the other Big Club tm in Spain. A draw against an also ran is a loss in their competition to be the best Big Club tm in Spain. Oh, and to win La Liga as well. One of these two is going to win every game in the league soon, with an average of 4 goals against the also rans, and tough games against the other Big Club tm. And it won’t feel special at all.
When I started watching this game, I thought, “THIS is an argument in favour of a Euro superleague”. With some kind of promotion/relegation system of course, but squads like this shouldn’t be playing against mere mortal teams (or each other) so often.
At first I was gonna write “system” instead of “team”, but then I thought, why not team?
That is what we are seeing when we see a Spain succeed where a Brazil or Argentina fail. Its about the team, working together as a whole. The days of Roy dragging the Rovers to victory by sheer will may be over. Same for his Scouse cousin Steven Gerrard. The days of “put all your most talented attackers on the field and see what happens” being enough to win trophies may be over.
Yet we fans in Oz see a poor performance like Oz vs Scotland, and we hope a hero (or two or three) can be slotted into the team and improved team performance will follow. If the team was performing at its optimum level, then yes, replacing Player A with more talented Player B would lead to improvement. But if the team isn’t performing, then more talented Player B and their higher talent will probably be lost, swallowed by their teams overall lack of effectiveness/suckiness.
And our coach Holger seems to be a get the talent out on the field and see what happens guy. That Matt Spiro at left back experiment. The continuing Rhys Williams at RB experiment. Matt McKay tucking in on the left of midfield … aaargh. urrrrgh. mmmmm.
Or at least – blame the Spanish.
Our golden generation came through, got good solid jobs in Europe, and the current generation of young Australians … aren’t.
But I got to thinking (with the exceptions of Mr’s Kewell and Viduka), maybe even the golden generation members would have trouble getting a gig in Europe now. Because continental Europeans and South Americans are now playing in England. And thriving. Despite not being 6 foot tall, strong, fast, good in the tackle and in the air, and running around a lot.
This is a new England. One where Mikel Arteta and Luka Modric can thrive in central mid field.
We had / have some Unique Selling Points – being 6 foot tall, strong, fast, good in the tackle and in the air, and running around a lot. But now the Premier league is full of clubs that play “artistes” all over the park. What would a young Keane or Viera make of the modern Premiership?
It isn’t just a question of talent, it is also about type / attribute. And the modern game doesn’t need Aussie plodders. The only ones who will get ahead now are footballers.
I don’t get a lot out of Phil Micallef’s blogs, but I do think he is in tune with a lot of fans / commentators thinking.
And in his last piece, there was a theme “Golden generation getting too old, younger generation not good enough to push them out of the national team”
That is THE issue – in Mr Micallef’s eyes. And a lot of fans eyes too.
I don’t think that is the problem. The problem bzzing round my head is that the current team, old and slow as it is, doesn’t execute / follow the game plan they are given.
A team that doesn’t follow instructions. A team that can rev up for playing a “better” team, but has trouble playing “inferior” opposition. Are they really inferior if they beat you?
I don’t see a team that is playing to the best of their abilities and getting overwhelmed, I saw a team playing badly and getting overwhelmed.
Maybe I just like being contrary …
I don’t particularly like the group of players that gets put out on the park for the Socceroos.
Jedi – Valeri axis in central mid gives you nothing going forward. Rhys Williams, can fill in at fullback but clearly isn’t one. Neill and a more mobile partner in CD, maybe. Neill and Og and a high line? Impossible.
I don’t particularly like the formation that is used. A 4 – 4 – 2 with wide players who look to tuck in / come inside. Stretched out, not really staying deep and looking to counter, nor playing high and pressing.
But the thing I really didn’t like watching Aust vs Scot was seeing that group, in that formation, go out and not come anywhere near executing their game plan. A team, no matter how crude in talent, can go out and execute a game plan … do their jobs, be smart, be hard to beat.
The group that went out there and played so poorly all know each other, all know their roles, and have played better in other games.
Does not matter. He could not score in his next 10 games for the NT and I would be happy.
If Macca plays, AND he closes down the defenders when he is defending, AND he leads the line well, linking with the midfielders and creating space for others.
Its not about whether player X scores, its about the team. Does player X make the team better is more important. He could play poorly and score a tap in, or a lucky cracker. Hmmm.
What I want to see … rather than these international friendlies …
I’d rather see a Possibles vs Probables game. I reckon it would have a fair bit of sting to it. Guys trying to earn a spot. Guys trying to keep a spot.
Play it in London so all those Aussie ex-pats can kinda fill a stadium. Head to head, let em go at it. Would Australia fall apart without Lucas Neill? Is there a better choice than David Carney at LB? If the new guys were that crash hot, they’d be proving themselves in their club careers. For the most part, they aren’t. But what if a possible went out and outplayed their probable counterpart?
So Tahj Minniecon made a squad – WSW.
It seems so long ago he was at the Roar, running at defenders, being talked up. When he made the jump to GCU, there was also talk of him going to Norway … and it all seemed quite plausible. Here was someone with the ball at his feet, going places.
Except then he didn’t. How many other youngsters have stepped into the limelight since then? How much has the A-league landscape changed since then? A Matthew Leckie or Mustafa Amini gets to join a Bundesliga 1 team? Curtis Good signs up to Newcastle? (I think it is all for the best if we all just forget about Adrian Leijer and Fulham).