Socceroos fixtures are a cause of much joy in Australia’s football calendar. Despite our differences, most Australians tend to unite as one big footballing family to cheer on our representatives. It is an occasion like none other, fans in a celebratory mood, hoping for the right result, a win!
But on Tuesday night, fans left a packed out ANZ Stadium in the worse possible mood, shattered. And I don’t blame them. Our performance against a lowly ranked Oman is simply indescribable. With just one win after five matches, only an optimist would say the Socceroos still have a chance of qualifying for the World Cup finals.
Social media went into meltdown, many calling for Holger Osieck to step down with #HolgerOut. Others wanted to see the legendary Guus Hiddink make a return to the Australian set up with #bringbackguus. Many were left speechless at the team selection, the seemingly lack of tactics used. I don’t think I’ve seen the football community so united before… tweeting with one goal in mind, to force FFA to reconsider Holger’s position.
I was able to get hold of a football personality, although she wasn’t born an Aussie, nevertheless she is just as passionate about Australian football as everyone else. And I believe her sentiments are echoed throughout this nation.
When asked about whether or not Holger Osieck is the right man to lead the Socceroos to next years showpiece event, she simply replied “Coach (Holger) is not up to the job. Never has been.”
She also believes that Australia should in fact turn their attentions to long-term success, that the FFA should start preparing and focus on doing well in the 2018 World Cup through changing their policies on youth development and grassroots football.
Whether or not you agree on that point is a different issue.
But all those above points mentioned are the consequences of poor planning on FFA’s part. Holger Osieck was never the ideal candidate to lead Australia in the long-term. I believe that decision was one made without much consultation. And his flaws were exposed on Tuesday night. There was a lot of pressure on the shoulders of Osieck coming into that World Cup Qualifier, and he evidently doesn’t have the capabilities of handling such situations.
Everyone talks about Pim Verbeek and that dreadful night when we got absolutely run over by Germany, a killer blow which ultimately cost us a place in the round of sixteen. Forget about that night, it’s long gone!
The team seemed to play without any tactics. And the first half was just awful.
Firstly the team selection was just ridiculous considering the circumstances. It was a must win match and we went into the game without our attacking spearheads and creative masterminds. The creative hub of the team was not to be seen. While Australia dominated much of the possession, we seemed incapable of breaking down Oman, who were more that happy to sit back and absorb the pressure that was placed on them. The passing was sloppy and I honestly believe if we had a man such as Bresciano orchestrating the play from the centre of the park, we would’ve gone into half time with a well deserved lead.
The only chances that we had in the first came from set pieces, and they were wasted. With poor aerial balls into the threat of our Tim Cahill, there was nothing we could do to crack open a well organised Oman defence, who were content in playing counter attacking football.
Our defence was comical to say the least. Without a true leader in Lucas Neill at the back, the defenders looked slow and constantly out of place. Their usually solid back line was shambolic, allowing Oman to attack those gaping holes. All in all their counter attack was too much to bare for our woeful defence and a Mile Jedinak own goal summed up how terrible we actually were that night.
After yet another disappointing display, all eyes were focused on our coach. His already damaged reputation was tarnished during that press conference. He played blame games, criticising our young players when Robbie Kruse and Tommy Oar were stand out performers in what was a mediocre looking team.
All eyes will now turn towards those World Cup Qualifiers in June. Scrutiny will follow Osieck and his troops. The manner with which they approach those matches will be under radar. In the meantime, I believe that it is vital for Osieck and co. to reflect on what a woeful performance that really was. They need to come up with an effective plan ASAP.
Follow me on Twitter: @CrowzarYGoogle+