Yet another loss for the Socceroos. And as per usual the voices against the coach are growing louder.
This is something that Postecoglou knows very well. He has been quoted saying “every win buys you extra seconds while every loss wipes off minutes.” And there has been quite a few minutes lost under his stewardship.
I always stated that I know very little about football, apart from enjoying watching it. But I did noticed that in the second half not only Japan put up the tempo, but something happened that was putting our midfield that I thought did well in the first half. In fact I tweeted this literally a few seconds before the first Japanese goal:
This gave me kudos on twitter (but also that I jinxed it) But it was a contributor to the Melbourne Victory Forum, Socceroo_06 to perhaps point out what happened:
“Whilst the striker and cohesion in defense are known issues, what is more worrying is the inability of our coach to react to the changing landscape of a game over 90mins.
When Aguierre brought on Konno to play alongside Hasebe in central midfield in order to stop us playing through the middle and allow Kagawa to press higher up the pitch, Ange should have reacted to this by changing formation and bringing on fresh legs. What I mean buy that is Ange should have changed his tactics to play a more counter-attacking style since Japan had most of the ball with a 3-5-2 formation.
Use the full width of the pitch instead of playing centrally and try to exploit the high line that Japan employed in the second half.
Instead with stuck with the same 4-3-3 formation and were outnumbered in midfield.”
This has raised issues of whether Postecoglou has the stuff to be a successful international coach. So what are the arguments for me?
We don’t have the ‘cattle’
I agree with argument. Perhaps we don’t have the players and a coach can’t perform miracles with what he has available?
I have espoused this theory on twitter but Rob disagrees:
Of course I thought that it was an interesting point
Then Bay7Militia chipped in:
The main argument that I see touted around is that Postecoglou has a proven track record at Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory. However in both cases it wasn’t an instant success. It took time to implement his vision. The question is, will he be able to do this in a national team where players come from all over the world and have limited time to gel?
Did ‘Old Soccer’ NSL produced better Socceroos?
Again this is something that I can only based my opinion on observation. Cahill started at Sydney Olympic. Culina at Melbourne Knights then Sydney United. Grella and Bresciano at Carlton. Was there something in those teams that developed players in a way that the A-League teams can’t? This was mentioned by another player which was a product of that old NSL system, Mark Viduka at Santo Sam and Ed.
So what Han Berger has been doing in the past few years? Is his work too early to come to fruition?
I must admit that I stopped reading the comments in facebook when an article appears about the National Team. Inevitably there are the cultural cringing one who espouse a ‘overseas coach’ as the answer because no Australian coach is good enough to compete in the international stage. I find them a bit inane.
This may be true for the few top coaches in the world. Of course we had one in Guss Hiddink, and the combination of one of the best teams Australia produced and his coaching enabled us to go in the knock out phase in 2007. But since then have overseas coaches really been that good? Verbeek thought of us so inferior that dissed the national competition and adopted an negative style of play. The fact that the A-League is not at the same level as top European leagues is not exactly a revelation. But as a national coach he should not have said it. Then we had Holger that kept the same trusted players not only not giving upcoming talent the chance to play but creating a sense of entitlement amongst the older players.
In my opinion, you either get a top notch international coach (which will cost a mint) or a mediocre international one which I think we had with Verbeek and Holger. If that is the case then we are better off with an Australian coach which at least has the future of the game at heart. Something that Ange certainly has, but not so sure for Verbeek or Holger, which I think just came to do a job.
The problem that I saw is that the national coaches were given two tasks. To qualify for the World Cup and to develop a team and new talent. I think that these two coaches (especially Holger) found these two tasks mutually exclusive. So they went for safety with trusted experienced players.
In fact coming back to the first point, many commentators state that one of the reasons why Postecoglou is doing so badly is because he is trying to fix the inertia of the past few years, and it will take time to create a cohesive national team.
International football is probably one of the most competitive team sports in the world. Being the ‘World Game’ means that there are lots of nations with lots of great players and it is not easy to compete.
Personally I’d give Postecoglou the Asia Cup and see what he can do there. Then as we approach the qualifications for the World Cup in Russia in 2018 the FFA will have to assess the situation dispassionately. But especially with the long term interests of Australian football in the forefront of their minds.