Thursday, June 24, 2010

Too Little Too Late

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So in the end the Socceroos finish on the same amount of points as they did in 2006. Except then they were making their way to the Final 16. Now they are on their way out. Of course goal difference is the big factor. Now it was the four goal loss that blew them out of the water – this provided a huge mountain which they just couldn’t overcome.

It was a shame as Australia are a pretty good team and one that could have gone far in the tournament.

So where did it all go wrong for Australia? First of all, they were far too negative against Germany. Not only did they lose the game and not only did they get thumped but it was the manner in which they lost which was the most upsetting. Australia should have backed itself and that could have resulted in a far better outcome. Instead they meekly surrendered. Live betting hammered them in the opening game with no-one betting on them once the game began.

It didn’t help for Australia that they finished two games with 10 men. They only took one point from these two games. Against Ghana they could have won but it was hard with 10 men and hard without the suspended Tim Cahill. Australia did well to take four points from the final two games but like South Africa and Slovenia they will bow out.

The next assignment is for Australia to find a coach. It is alleged that the replacement will be one of the other 31 coaches at the World Cup. The successor to Pim Verbeek needs to be more aggressive and needs to have greater faith in the A-League. Verbeek was ok but he wasted opportunities. Now he heads to Morocco.

Four years ago, following the departure of Guus Hiddink, Australia went to the Asian Cup without a coach. Graham Arnold was the caretaker and Australia paid the penalty. Hopefully they learned that lesson. Australia are in a group containing South Korea, India and Bahrain. Obviously South Korea will be tricky but Australia should have no problem taking maximum points from the other two games. It isn’t an easy tournament and hopefully the new coach will have the reins to steer some of the next generation through.

The thing about tournaments is that you never know what is going to happen next. You can recreate what you had and when they are four years apart they are even more previous.

Darren Albert writes for this blog. He also writes about online betting.

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