With the English Premier League season ending about a month ago and with the A-League not starting until October, it’s tough being a football fan in Australia. It’s an even TOUGHER task wanting to support our very own Socceroos but we have to accept the inevitable that the golden generation of Australian football is truly over.
The World Cup qualifying match against Oman last Friday demonstrates that the Socceroos need to pull their socks up if they want to qualify for Brazil 2014. Oman was fielding a fairly young and inexperience team and we had trouble matching their pace and technical skills. We went back to our old habit of pumping the ball up field and hoping someone does something with it.
Granted Carney pull a good save out of Oman’s goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi, who ply his trade with Wigan in England’s top league, the rest of the Socceroos team was struggling to find inspiration, running around like headless chooks trying to break down an organized Omani team.
Oman had two men marking Kewell from the moment the kick off whistle blew and with Kennedy and Cahill on the bench, our crosses into the box was never really going to be effective.
And the fact that our team was complaining that the 5pm kick off in Muscat was not favourable because the heat was too much for the Aussie players was just embarrassing. It wasn’t like the heat was just going to affect the Aussie players.
We were just not good enough.
I’m no genius when it comes to football but it was clear that we need some young blood in the Socceroos camp. Why call up Archie Thompson we have Melbourne Heart youngster Eli Babalj who recently secured a move from Heart to Serbian power house Red Star Belgrade, coached by former Barcelona and Real Madrid star, Robert Prosinecki?
It scares me knowing that our next opponents are the Japanese in Brisbane next Thursday. With mercurial superstars like Honda and Kagawa, who famously made the swap from Borussia Dortmund to my favourite team Manchester United recently, our defence is going to have a field day making sure those two don’t run rings around our players.
The mood in the Japanese must be buoyant after beating Jodarn 6-0. Hopefully, our old guards like Sasa Ognenovski, Lucas Neil and Mark Scharwzer could save us from embarrassment and we can score on the break and frustrate the Japanese.
Fingers crossed that results will go our way because if not, the AFL buffoons will have another weapon in their anti-football arsenal.