Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Socceroos: Where's our defence?

Matthew Spiranovic and Adam Federici are uncapped players named in the Socceroos Ghana Squad. Good news.

But with so many stars still playing in Europe, and others in need of a break before the four crucial World Cup qualifiers in June, it's no surprise that some uncapped guys are added.

And with Croatia trying to prise Matthew Spiranovic I'm sure he'll get some game time.

But the depth of the Socceroos defensive quality starts to look a little thin when Melbourne Victory's defender Roddy Vargas is named in the squad.

We thought it was bad when Stan Lazarides, Tony Popovic, Craig Moore and Tony Vidmar were retiring, but with injuries and players not playing at their clubs it is looking a whole lot worse now.

I'm not saying Roddy is not the next deserving defender in line, after Lucas Neill (rested), Paddy Kisnorbo (injured) Jade North (in squad) Adam Griffiths(shocking debut recently) Michael Beauchamp (Nurnburg) Michael Thwaites (Going backwards on a Norway bench) Mark Milligan (Olyroo) Scott Chipperfield (injured) David Carney (benched and can he defend anyway?) Nikolai Topor-Stanley (a centreback begged to play left-back), but it clearly shows the lack of proven defensive depth available in this area to Pim Verbeek.

With the situation above could Roddy yet get into a World Cup Squad!

Now, I'm a great supporter of the A-League and A-League players, but Roddy's lack of pace, and his technical levels, are well off International pace.

Could you imagine Roddy against Younis Mahmoud of Iraq.
Still nice for Roddy to have a look, can't imagine he'll get to play.

We may have 130 players overseas but there is not much proven depth, in defence, in attack or come to think of it in midfield.

Fozzie might not like it, but it could be a bit of Aussie spirit needed to get us through, if not the Ghana game, then certainly the Iraq one.

FFA Release:


Places in the squad for the upcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers will be on the line after Qantas Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek named his squad for the international friendly against Ghana to be played on 23 May at the Sydney Football Stadium, presented by FOXTEL.

With 'Super June' to feature four World Cup qualification matches, Verbeek has named some uncapped players in the team and some experienced names for the vital preparation match against the African powerhouse.

The Australian coach has made it clear an impressive performance will see the players given the chance to push for selection in the next qualifier against Iraq.

"We have always said that during the campaign to qualify for the World Cup we would need a large list of players," said Verbeek.

"This match will continue to build our depth and give us a chance to test some players out at the top level."

"Ghana are a very strong team and will provide us with the ideal match ahead of the game against Iraq the following week in Brisbane."

Matthew Spiranovic, Adam Federici and experienced Qantas Socceroos Mile Sterjovski and Michael Petkovic will take their places in their first camp since Verbeek took control while Nick Carle will do the same if his side Bristol City does not qualify for the final of the Premier League promotion playoffs in England. Bristol leads Crystal Palace 2-1 after the first leg of the playoff and an aggregate win would see Carle's team through to the final and a chance at the Premier League.

Verbeek also noted that four members of the Qantas under 23s who will be playing in the Intercontinental Cup in Malaysia would return to Australia and join the Qantas Socceroos squad after the first two matches of that tournament.

The match will be part of the double-header featuring the Australia women's team - The Matildas - up against Canada.

All of the Qantas Socceroos matches will be shown live and exclusive on FOX SPORTS.

Qantas Socceroos squad to play Ghana

Daniel Allsopp (Melbourne Victory), Michael Beauchamp (Nuremburg, Germany), Mark Bridge (Sydney FC), Jacob Burns (Unirea Valahorum, Romania), Nick Carle (Bristol City, England), David Carney (Sheffield United, England), Ante Covic (Newcastle Jets), Jason Culina (PSV Eindhoven, Netherlands), Adam Federici (Reading, England), Adam Griffiths (Newcastle Jets), Joel Griffiths (Avispa Fukuoka, Japan), James Holland (Newcastle Jets), Mile Jedinak (Central Coast Mariners), Harry Kewell (Liverpool, England), Jade North (Newcastle Jets), Michael Petkovic (Sivasspor, Turkey), Mark Schwarzer (Middlesbrough, England), Matthew Spiranovic (Nuremburg, Germany), Mile Sterjovski (Derby County, England), Nikolai Topor-Stanley (Perth Glory), James Troisi (Newcastle United, England), Carl Valeri (Grosseto, Italy), Rodrigo Vargas (Melbourne Victory)

Australia vs. Canada (women)
Australia vs. Ghana (men)
Friday 23rd May 2008
Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney
Kick Offs 5.15pm and 8.00pm
Gates Open 5pm

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