Friday, 2 June 2006

This is what we like to hear

Reported in The Age today, a big amount of back massaging from FIFA World Player of the Year and Australian opponent, Ronaldinho which is what we all like to believe (that Australia has a chance at the World Cup). Naturally we are a very long shot but its nice to read anyway :

"Even though Australia looks a formidable team and they are our key group rivals, I have to admit that I'm fascinated by them from a purely personal point of view. Apart from appointing one of the top four or five coaches in the world, what Australia did when they signed Hiddink was drag world attention onto themselves.

Anyone with an interest in soccer understands that Hiddink is a magnificent achiever and someone whose names stand for perpetual success. So I think that focused people's attention, all around the world, on how Australia might do in qualifying.

Then if you take the drama and the romanticism of the win over Uruguay, it seems to me that Australia has become an easy team for the neutral [supporters] to support. Everyone I speak to seems to have a good word for Australia in a sporting sense and lots of decent judges have identified them as a team which could make a surprising impact in Germany.

"Generally, when the players follow their careers in a very wide geographical spread [like they do in Australia and Brazil], one of the most difficult things to achieve is that 'feeling' between them when they are called together in a squad.

Yet the evidence is that Hiddink has achieved a unified and winning mentality in his team.

That's impressive and it's a little dangerous, too.

He's in demand because he's a coach who achieves massive success, who has won the Champions League and who took Korea to the brink of the World Cup final four years ago.

I hope that when we play Australia, we can break this habit of his and defeat them but both before and after our game in Munich, I'll be watching Hiddink's team with interest to see how they do."

Full article here


lach said...

Did you see the friendly vs the Netherlands? I thought that the Aussies played pretty crap for the first half but the second was good.

GGBlog said...

In balance, I think the Australians did really well - even in the first half. Never before have they come up against such a strong team with something to play for (as outlined in an earlier post); the Dutch team pushed and pressured superbly and were unlucky frankly to not be more than 1 up. If there was any doubt that Schwarzer was our starting keeper (and I don't believe there was) then there will be absolutely no doubt after this match. His keeping was superb and was the main reason why we didn't concede more goals.
Obviously our defence has improved immeasurably under Hiddink and only appeared exposed because of the step up in opposition (they are ranked #3 in the world for a reason). The Australians to their credit took the match up to the Dutch and this showed in the second half I think. Both teams fatigued and this is possibly why the second half was not as frentic as the first. The many substituions by both teams interrupted the flow of the game also.
So, to Germany and Liectenstein early Thursday morning. The Aussies 2nd XI will get to have a run around while the starting team for Japan will get to rest up. We might see Harry have a go and Kalac in goal. Won't be quite the Netherlands I fancy but when we are about to gorge on all things football, is enough ever really enough?