The SportingJournal

Socceroos, we need to talk.

A World Cup year is well and truly upon us, and the days continue to fly by as football fans all around the world eagerly await the opening match in Sao Paulo. But after the Socceroos put on an almighty effort to fail in 2014 World Cup qualifying, stumbling across the line to earn a Brazilian berth displayed how much work truly needs to be done before Australia faces a group of death featuring Spain, Chile and Holland. Along with misfiring stars scattered across the world struggling to perform compared to their opposition, Ange Postecogolu has a lot to think about before he can confidently hand over his Brazil World Cup flight manifesto.

1. Lucas Neill

Neill’s comments after two 6-0 losses to Brazil and France about how younger players needed to show him that they wanted to wear the national shirt, caused controversy throughout football pundits and supporters alike. Neil created a divide between senior and junior players and without a new coach being commissioned, it created a toxic concoction for the struggling Socceroos. But it didn’t stop there, his outburst towards fans booing him during the friendly v Costa Rica, asking, ‘why the f*** are you booing?’ attributed to even louder calls that he should hand in his captains armband. It only gets worse for Neill who’s currently doesn’t have a club and hasn’t played a professional match since mid-November last year, things aren’t looking too good for Lucas Neill.

Ange needs to make a tough decision, to leave Lucas in the squad or to politely ask him to hand in the captains armband. With the latter looking more likely, Ange and the FFA need to address the elephant in the room.

2. Experience professionals or fresh juniors?

The golden age of Socceroos has well and truly come to an end. Mark Schwarzer being the latest victim, the decision is down to Postecogolu to decide between playing old legs he can rely-on or new, inexperienced faces who are the future of the Socceroos. A mistake that was made commonly by the previous managers before, was to constantly chose blooded veterans without putting a focus on new up-and-coming talent and it’s  come back to bite Australia in the butt. With a home Asian Cup just months away, the Socceroos are in a dire position that if not handled well, stud the growth of the team for years to come.  I know we’d rather support Australia in the World Cup playing the likes of McGowan, Rogic, Williams and Holland than the same old Socceroos line-up, especially looking to the future.

3. Team Culture

As Lucas Neill’s comments were analysed, it became clear that there was an us v them mentality between senior and junior Socceroos. Dissent in the dressing room has caused far too many issues for Australia on and off the field and it’s not just a new trend. Back in South Africa 4 years ago, senior players allegedly told the team to ignore then coach Pim Verbeek’s tactics for the opening game against Germany, describing them as ‘bulls**t’. Whether these remarks were true or just a media pump-up, god only knows, but the fact that there was enough push behind it to make front-page news, suggests that there’s something not right going on in the locker room. The Socceroos can’t afford to take a divided squad to Brazil, especially due to the nature of Group B.

 

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  • Dennis Sumaru

    What’s happening to WC built up ?.No international matches to boost the team,It seems like every thing left for last minute.

  • Dennis Sumaru

    Poor prep will be bad for future generation as they will lose interest.

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Oct

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