Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Nearpost: Why Andrew Demetriou is un-Australian.

Con Stamacostas talks about the Nearpost's worst nightmare. Big Bad overpaid Mr D. Heart, Fury, Sydney FC, ACL and a Victory rant..from a Sydney fan. Socceroos' news and which returning Socceroo will be the first to Coach Australia?

or play right from your computer....


Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Nearpost appoint Socceroos Coach

Tonights Podcast is full of it.

More Socceroos Coaches than you could dream of and of course the joy of Muscat missing to everyone outside Melbourne, and why did theose Victory fans leave early...were they all heading to the airport to fly to Japan...dedicated best fans in the league bar none!

It's all here, name five Aussies who played for Hiroshima, name the previous five Aussie Coaches and Joe Gibbs....

where did Joe Gibb come from. The Aziz Behich of Sydney, although we'd seen Aziz on the bench and the field for Victory before the Melbourne game, but Joe Gibb...every Australian footballer still at school...on the field in the Grand Final, 44,000 people...oh and it's your debut..Wow. Just wished he'd taken a penalty!

or play right from your computer....


Nearpost choose the Socceroos next boss.

Choose from:
Best Aussie
Best candidate anywhere
Most realistic choice.

All tonight on the Nearpost radio and pod.
Plus the Grand Final wrap. Why the victory fans went home and of course Leckie is back in the ACL...tomorrow night.

AFL and NRL go to sleep after their Grand final, and rightly so, but football never stops I tell ya!

and in news just in Terry Henry says it's looking like: he's soon to be out of work
Ricky Herbert..he could do the Australian team as well as we're in Asia, NZ have note!
Or Ross Aloisi as it would get him off Fox Sports.

And Paddy Bordier says:

Frank Farina, John Barnes, Gary Marocchi, Iain Dowie, Alan Shearer

… are all managers I don't want for Australia.

There can be only one. Bernd Stange to manage the Socceroos

Seems neither of my co-hosts know anything about anyone outside of the UK and Frank Farina.

Gordon Strachan just quietly......


Sunday, 21 March 2010

Grand Final Marketing Dream

Now not sure the AFL or NRL get re-shown in Korea or even on the Korea news but what about the A-League?

We could have had Joe Gibbs or Mark Bridge take the final penalty or maybe a hero from North Queensland, Mitch Langarek save it.

Would have been big in Cairns the next day.

But Sydney always with an eye to the market, the future, sent in Korean Byun Sung-Hwan, and he duly scored and won the Grand Final.

So I reckon the A-League Grand Final with it's huge crowd has played out on Korean TV Stations all over the country this morning.

or maybe Koreans woke to news on Ben Cousins injuries or North Queensland Cowboys over Penrith Panthers footage instead.

In a week where Andrew Demitriou has raised the hackles once more of Aussie sports fans good to see football can go where the AFL can't, in a week where a Aussie Newspaper Editor told a journo he must ask a question about crowd violence ahead of the A-League game to the Coaches, and where news coverage of the game has been registered to minor pages and the last story in the week leading up to the final on many news and radio bulletins, I say take that Mr AFL and all the pathetic Sports Editors in the country who continue to bring bias into their news coverage; and yes that includes the ABC!


Aussie Sportsmanship: It's a walkout?????

Wow! Now I grew up on Celtic Rangers rivalry so my non-Celtic Rangers mates in England always hooted long and loud when at the annual Scottish Cup Final (they always play don't they or maybe it just seems that way,) when Celtic (or ahem...Rangers have won it) the Cup is presented to the Celtic captain.

As the camera pans the stadium there is never ANYONE and I mean anyone in the Rangers end watching our hooped hero lift the precious cup.

Now having travelled along way I always hung around no matter who won. I didn't have the hatred I guesss, never did.

So when Sydney FC were presented with the trophy last night it seemed to me that 40,000 Melbourne fans had walked, gone home.

Is this a sign of real hatred, Celtic Rangers style? Surely not.
Were the Vic's too tired after all that extra-time? Surely not AFL goes forever.

or is it a sign that fans aren't that fussed about the whole A-League thing still. A final sure but hanging around to watch the celebrations. Meh!

Does this happen in AFL, always the stadium seems full to the end of the tedious speeches and same same in NRL.

Aussie fans generally seem to stay, in my view. So I was stunned to see the Melbourne fans do the whole Celtic/Rangers thing.

Can anyone explain?


Friday, 19 March 2010

Aussies: Over the Hill

Oh my God, oh my God.

SBS have announced their World Cup Commentary and there is no place for Australia's best football commentator, Simon Hill.

He who, more than John Aloisi and Tim Cahill, took us through against Uruguay and the whole Kaisaslaturn thing.

David Basheer and Kevin Muscat re the dream team. Do they really have the articulation, humour and style to bring the game alive a la Simon Hill?

Aussie fan: This World Cup just won't be the same. I've got bad vibes already.

Aussie mums: We like Simon Hill.


Thursday, 18 March 2010

Scott McIntyre: Asia's one man show

SBS Commentator Scott McIntyre proposes that Asian Champions League is so important to Melbourne Victory in terms of prestige, and financial rewards that they should play a Youth team in the Grand Final in Melbourne on Saturday. Even I don't write such tripe, well okay sometimes but only once a week!

Scott, we're trying to promote the local game, and you and your mates at SBS could sometimes help a tad more.

I like your sentiment about Asia, I love the ACL, but this is the Grand Final, in Australia.

And I'd rather see a game with 50,000 screaming fans at an A-League match where local pride is on the line, than the Champions of Korea, Japan or China taking on Melbourne Victory with 7,000 passing by. No matter the quality of either game.

Not very SBS I guess, but football is more than just the quality of the game. How would I know? I've been watching Celtic thump Kilmarnock and occasionally Rangers in front of 60,000 for years. Quality, who cares!


Sydney to speed year?

Steve Corica retired, John Aloisi we want you...but maybe at $100,000...and Karol Kisel excellent finish to the season but at 33 you can go to. All the old men on the move and if Sydney can add pace to this years performance the Coach could see his team improve further.

Although with half a team on the way a faster team may not mean a better team. Depends clearly who comes in.

But I like it!

But of course who they get in, remains to be seen.

Nakamura has been rumoured and that would be a step up from Kisel wouldn't it, plus younger. But either way will be interesting to see how Vitaslav builds a new faster team.

Particularly given young guns like Chris Payne and Youth team leaders like Sam Munro don't seemed to be signed up in a rush.

Interesting times for re-building at Sydney FC. For the moment it's all about who's leaving, Colosimo, Clint Bolton, that makes half a team in my book.


Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Nearpost talks Grand Final

Grand Final Fever and salute to Adelaide United. Quiz Questions, PaddyTime, and all the Aussie football talk including that rumour and the next Sydney FC marquee?



Official: Canberra Governments make you fat (ter)

The nation's capital is full of Governments determined to keep their kids fat, maybe make them fatter!

Kids want to play sport, seems thousands want to play football, but the local sports ground planners say, "football is a winter code," and therefore you can only get a ground broadly speaking from April/May to September and make that the first week in September.

Time they stopped spending money on health promotions and actually let the kids play the sports they want when they want.

How many more years do Canberra kids have to put up with this tripe?

Football goes from March 1 to December 1 for our kids, includes pre-season, the season and development/summer competitions and it's about time our officials got it.

For every hundred kids on an oval playing football, running and working off obesity Australia they can let 20/30 kids play cricket, a few less play baseball etc etc. Nothing against any other sports but isn't it time the kids of Australia got a chance to play sport.

The ones they want, when they want?


Monday, 15 March 2010

Season 6: God bless the Jets.

Newcastle Jets have a plan, and it's taken SIX years. Fantastic to have a plan, but errrr it's Season 6 coming up.

You mean you seriously never ever thought of this, linking the juniors to our game. I'll get my coat.

I'm available for any dozy A-League Club for just a thousand dollars you can have a five page plan on how to connect your male dominated professional club, with the community, your junior base and yes the females who love and play the game. But you know all that, or so you think.

Even the Brumbies after ten or so years of local passion and coverage STILL give free season ticket to ANY registered junior player. Admittedly that ain't many but geez louise if our strength is the junior base...not Free-to-air, why did it take so long. Do all clubs do this or am I an idiot!

In a brand new initiative, families with children (Under 12) currently registered with a Northern NSW junior football club will be able to take advantage of the ‘My Club’ program, aimed to support those dedicated fans within the local football community. ‘My Club’ family memberships will begin from under $27 per game for 2 adults and 2 children (1 of which must be registered with a NNSW junior football club).

Country memberships designed specifically for supporters based 150km’s or further from EnergyAustralia Stadium will again be available, and non-ticketed memberships for those supporters unable to attend all of the Jets’ home matches throughout the 2010/11 season will go on sale from $29 per adult.


Sunday, 14 March 2010

Hand of Payne...cue the Big Blue

Wellington lost 4-2 to Sydney in the A-League semi final in front of 13,000 fans at the SFS.

As many have suspected Wellington's finals were played at home the last two weeks, and despite their equalizer to make it 1-1 and a dubious hand of payne goal for Sydney to ease back into the lead, the Nix were never in this.

In truth they were porous against Perth and the Jets in the final series but through penalties and eventually last week through Paul Ifill they edged through.

All season they've been dodgy away from Wellington and last night they lacked much attacking inventiveness and almost no defensive nous. Four goals tells it's own tactical debacle.

Sydney, hardly the World's greatest team, show enough organisation to make the team way better than it's part. Thank the Coach, but they still lack real excitement and goal power upfront. Although last night with an inspired substitution, well injury forced John Aloisi off for two goal hero Chris Payne, and a Nix defence that went walk about all night really, Sydney cruised it.

Chris Payne was left unmarked early, then had enough strength to get his shot away. He clearly lacks real pace but his goal was a worthy one and encouraging for another young Aussie striker. Too slow? Another Sydney trademark?

The second was a real Payne of a goal, turning the match in Sydney's favour.

But in the second half, Andrew Durrante who has played well all season got skinned too easy for Sydney's match winner by Alex Brosque, and although Mark Bridge tried to miss an open goal it went in and the game was won 4-1. Dadi scored late on for Wellington.

So the FFA get a big game in Melbourne, hope Ian Collins sorts his debacle of a pitch out, and of course the FFA and AFC don't have to worry about the Nix getting in to the ACL.

Will Sydney win in Melbourne?

I think not. No Corica and maybe no John Aloisi. That should be enough for Melbourne if Archie Thompson is back and he seems to be.

Let's hope no-one is sent-off to ruin this final, but if necessary the book comes out early and often.

Also Brosque will stir the old Muscat and that should be good to see.

These are the two best football teams in the League, it's just Sydney never excite this neutral in the final third. Lack of pace, lack of firepower and still they make the top two.

Still they have shown they can beat Melbourne home and away over the ninety, with or without Corica or Aloisi. And Melbourne aren't the tightest in the midfield and even the Central Coast thrashed them at home this year so anything is possible.

But can Sydney halt the balls from Carlos to Robbie Kruse and Archie Thompson? Not all night and the defensive pairing of Stephan Kellar and Simon Colosimo should be exposed for positional by-passing and pace as they have been recently in games against the Jets, Perth and Victory.

With the Melbourne crowd expected to sell-out the stadium it should be a hell of a party...for the winner.


Friday, 12 March 2010

"This is not Football"

For every Coach and Parent of any junior Australia team, including the futsal hoofers who smash the ball from end to end.

This is not football. It never was and watch the video to see FFA Technical Director Han Berger start to correct the "fault" in our junior players.


Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Nearpost Pod talks football

One of Australia's best football podcasts is here once more and there is so much football to talk about.

Socceroos, Matildas, A-League, Asian Champions League, Quiz and dedications what more could you want.


And yes we've got a new player...woo hoo!


Football (still) having to fight in Oz

No Free-To-Air football so little reason for news channels and newspapers to report football games and events.

Why else would the biggest sporting event on the weekend in one of our major cities, Sydney be ignored by the Daily Telegraph in the lead up to the game?

It still amazes me how many Rebecca Wilson's Peter FitzSimons and the like we have in the media, and why football still gets poor coverage.

Les Murray says.

In this respect the behaviour of the Sydney media, in particular the Murdoch press, was an utter disgrace.

On that Sunday the Sydney-Melbourne showdown was the biggest sporting event in Sydney by any measure. Yet on the day before the game the Daily Telegraph, Sydney’s biggest selling daily (I’m not sure why), gave less than a tenth of its sports space to the game, burying it, while it dedicated 60 per cent of its allotment to the NRL, which was not due to kick off for another week.

The sleazy, grubby and calculated media resistance to football, five years after Johnny Warren’s death, is alive and well.


Is Ernie Merrick good enough for Asia?

Even tonights opponent Sas Ognenovski says what all football fans know. We love the Victory style but can they play a 1-0 win in Asia, against class opposition.

Even with Kevin Muscat they have been pretty lame, even immature in a football sense. Attack at pace, hit Archie on the break. But do they have something more. Fine for the A-League...but in Asia.

Tonight we'll see if Ernie has what Aurelio Vidmar clearly has, tactical nous!

"I think Melbourne’s attacking instincts and open style might actually work against them," he told The World Game.

“They like to take a few risks and commit players forward and make the play and while that’s good to watch it carries with it the chance of getting caught out.

“Adelaide are totally different tactically, even at home they play on the counter and that’s how they got the better of Pohang (in their Group H opener), who are very good side. If they get a goal up, they know how to protect that goal.


Monday, 8 March 2010

Now Asia: Can Melbourne back up?

Melbourne play again tomorrow night, Tuesday, in the Asian Champions League and they must win. Simple as that.

On a high from the win against Sydney but few Aussie clubs, even clubs across the World have to play Sunday then Tuesday. Seongnam winners on matchday one are the visitors to Melbourne.

A loss for Melbourne and the Victory may see their campaign over, or almost, before it starts.

The AFC and FFA seem to have rocks in their heads as International dates, Finals dates and travel for the best in club football in Asia produce such a schedule for Melbourne.

Adelaide head to Shandong where anything but a defeat will cement the importance of that opening day win. And it will be interesting to see how the New United perform.

A win away and you'd have to think they'll sail through.

With Adelaide looking the goods, and Melbourne still to show in Asia another feast of football lights up the Australian midweek.

And Ross Aloisi doesn't live in Melbourne does he?


God bless the English 2010!

Club development has seen a huge boom in the last 2 years with new teams and new sections developing all the time. Competitive football opportunities are now available at 7-a-side and 11-a-side for any player aged 8 yrs and upwards!
Below is a current list of all girl’s football clubs in Birmingham:

On yer Brum. This is talking about the girls but geez louise...11-a-side for Under 8's.

What do the boys play? Two games a day at 8?

You'll never win the World Cup, again. Men or women!


Time to salute Australia's finest: Harry Kewell

There was a time Australia never made it to the World Cup. With Harry Kewell we got to two, it was so very nearly four.

If anyone ever doubted his contribution to Australian football, it's surely time to take a moment.

Often criticised for not playing enough, not doing enough for the Green and Gold, since his return to football from his Liverpool injuries he's hardly missed a game for Australia, across all the Asian nations.

Harry has taken us to two World Cups. But it could have been so much more.

The boy wonder scored in Tehran as a very young man, in front of 110,000 men in 1997 in the first leg of the World Cup Qualifier. He scored again in Melbourne. Two goals from a young man in massive games.

It wasn't enough. It should have been and Australia would have been at the World Cup in France. Pretty close weren't we.

And if we'd have made that one, the experience we would have gained, who would have been surprised if a Harry Kewell inspired Socceroos would have overturned Uruguay in 2001. Not me. We nearly did, the third goal only coming in Montevideo in the closing minutes.

A little more experience, a little more self-belief, self-confidence and we could have made that World Cup as well.

And of course, if Harry Kewell had played against Italy in 2006, ten man Italy, would we have won?

We'll never know.

As the sunsets on Australia's greatest footballers' international career we should enjoy and remember the journey.

South Africa will be Harry's finale? Or will it. Surely if Ryan Giggs can play centre-midfield for Manchester United at 35, Harry could remain in the Socceroos for the 2014 World Cup. Not as a winger but as a midfielder who can control, pass and audaciously split a defence. With younger runners around him, and the dearth of talent coming through Harry's light may shine a while yet.

Either way Harry Kewell has taken us to two World Cups, not without help, but his contribution to Australian football has been immense.


Sunday, 7 March 2010

Sssh don't shout Sydney's sleeping: I'fill up your goal, Archie!

Football, the football I love is about forwards, and skill.

Today Paul Ifill for Wellington Phoenix waltzed past our Aussie great hope Ben Kantarovski Newcastle Jets, not once not twice but maybe ten or more times in the game. Mostly with a drop of the shoulder and an explosion of pace.

In extra-time after much huffing and puffing Ifill scored. Jets go home. Game ended 3-1.

Poor Ben, he's only young and previously I've raved about him but he looked like he'd been supplied with something from the Newcastle rugby league team. How could he defend so badly, so often?

And of course the Phoenix won, in front of 33,000 nutters wearing bras and that was just the men!

Great stuff, great game with Tarek Elrich and Matt Thompson missing sitters for the Jets. This was anyone's game and the Jets were tremendous at times. Mr Abbas from Iraq I like. Pity, today, about Ben

And then to Melbourne or rather Sydney where one wee slip, early on or late on can stuff you. A dodgy free kick with five minutes of extra-time to go. Tired legs tired minds and an ageing Kevin Muscat pounced.

Alert, he played a twenty yard pass, just twenty yards, and Archie Thompson, rested and alert sped in and touch the ball home.

All that training, all those drills, and wise words. Puff, disappeared in that one lapse. How many Sydney players were sleeping? Not one, but the wall, the few covering Archie, almost half the team, maybe more.

Simple game football, so simple, but you must concentrate at all times.

2-2 (agg 4-3) to Melbourne so it's Grand Final in Melbourne, as always!

Can Sydney recover? Will the Nix get the Sydney New Zealanders out to support?

Finals football. Collossal battles!

Asia this week, the rise of Leckie continues, Victory must win at home, then Sydney Wellington. Doesn't stop does it!

Nearpost radio will be talking football Tuesday as ever 6.30pm streamed or poddied here later that night.....unless like Sydney we're dozing and we miss our bus.


Saturday, 6 March 2010

Matildas Magic Moments.

The DPR Koreans are nobs of the highest order. When the Matildas gained a penalty at the end of the first half, the Koreans walked to the sideline on masse and delayed the game for a further five or more. Each one starting with the Keeper should have been booked. Why weren't they?

Or the penalty be taken without a keeper. AFC should do them, but this was good practice for Australia as we may have to play them in the AFC third place play-off for the World Cup and it will be game on then...and all the Aussie games are live on ABC in May. Bravo!

A great bit of interplay between Kyah Simon, Kate Gill and Collette MaCallum saw Simon released (almost) in the final moment of the Matildas North Korea game. Simon had more than a bit to do.

She did it and scored a wonderful team and individual goal to defeat DPR Korea 3-2 and send the Aussies off to the World Cup qualifiers in May, a la the Asian Cup, in good spirits.

A new formation, 1-4-3-3 it looked to me anyway, and a new result, against Korea.

Korea were recently beaten 3-0 by Germany so they may not be the power they once were.

Last time we played them, for Olympic qualification we were soundly beaten, outclassed, even at home 2-0.

At times the Koreans did it nicely and they still have some dynamic players, but they are young, so young. This much younger Korea team seemed to struggle against the Aussies to control the ball, and game compared to previous Olympic qualifiers.

Australia it seems with Kylie Ledbrook, Claire Polkingthorne, Lauren Colthorpe, Elise Kellond-Knight perhaps offering an improved technical performance from the Matildas. Time will tell. But with Tameka Butt, Heather Garriock, Sally Shipard, and Kyah Simon adding much either in this game, or in future games that World Cup qualification spot does not seem out of reach for the Green and Gold.

Has the W-League improved the technical play of our plays. From this performance I'd say it has.

That said Korea with their 24/7 football system still have a technical edge and maybe they are keeping a few of the older stars up their sleeve. Who knows.

Lisa De Vanna was herself, Sarah Walsh played wide and wonderful early on, but the whole team seemed to struggle once their engines dropped.

Indeed Kate Gills poor challenge prior to the goal showed the importance of defending from the front. Particularly in a 1-4-3-3 system. Allowing the defender to drift passed her resulted eventually in Kim Carroll and Thea Slatyer being sorely exposed with further defensive errors. The Korean striker finished nicely but there were many many errors from the Matildas along the way.

Melissa Barbieri had a confident game, and this is good to see.

And it seemed to me that with an improved short passing performance from the Matildas players, Australia would have walked this game. How many times when we looked so good, so comfortable on the ball did we not make that simple pass? Hundreds.

We did pass well despite my latter comment and the final goal proved it.

We have the talent, the movement but can we improve our passing? If we can we'll qualify for the World Cup for sure.

Come on the Matildas!


Thursday, 4 March 2010

Get pumped for Wellington Phoenix

Terry Henry has been talking New Zealand football up all year and for those who want more go visit the best fan site in the country, make that both countries.

90,000 Mexicans packed into the Rose Bowl, LA, USA to watch New Zealand lose 2-0 to Mexico yesterday.

And after that experience the Wellington Phoenix contingent will come home to a sell-out 34,500 crowd in the Ring of Fire as they take on the Jets for a place in the A-League last three.

They even got a big screen for the those that missed out. What is going on over there!

Here's hoping we get another penalty shoot-out and a classic recall from Piney and Chotey
Football in New Zealand never looked, or sounded so good did it?


Kofi Danning: From Majura FC to Sydney FC

Kofi Danning Sydney FC and Young Socceroo started football in Australia in Canberra with Majura FC.

This interview appears as part of a series of podcasts on the Majura FC junior club website, or will do in coming days.

This is Kofi's date!

Download here


Kahlia Hogg, Canberra United. My football far.


Kahlia Hogg, daughter of former Socceroo Steve Hogg, started her football journey at my local club, Majura FC. Kahlia's only 16 but has already held down the centre midfield spot in W-League side Canberra United.

Her path from Majura Pee Wees, through Papua New Guinea, onto Chelsea FC and back to Canberra makes interesting listening for any young girl or parent involved in the game.


Majura FC setting the standard?

Is there a better junior sports newsletter in the country? I'd like to know. Please forward a link to any newsletter from any sport even the AFL, League etc


Serbia won 3-0, Is Vidic their weakness?

I know Germany lost to Argentina but Serbia defeated Algeria away from home...3-0! Scary.

At least we know the Man United's centre-back, Nemanja Vidic, is very vulnerable to being taken on at pace, see how many times he resorts to the last man foul, grab or pull-back and occasionally re:Liverpool, not Villa he gets sent off.

Do we have anyone to expose him?


Just Oarsome Australia

Toommy Oar, the 5th youngest Aussie to play for the Socceroos, was wonderful against Indonesia last night.

The Aussies did enough to win 1-0 but it could have been more, but of course forwards and finishing is not the Aussie forte at the moment.

Despite Jason Culina's many shots, Josh Kennedy's expected headers it took a defender, Mark Milligan to grab the winner. Though not without a heap of luck from the Indonesian keeper and static defence.

But it was Tommy Oar who dazzled. Early days, but with Oar and the more robust Matthew Leckie bursting through in the Asian Champions League, Nikita Rukavystya starting to spark overseas and Dario Vidosic strutting his stuff in the Bundesliga maybe we won't be doomed in the forward zone post South Africa.

Seeing an Australian player taking defenders on in an International game, aside from Harry and Emerton can't think of many if any who have been able to do it.

Long live Tommy Oar.


Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Nearpost talks Socceroos, ACL and Finals Fever

Lucy Zelic, Patrick Bordier and myself Eamonn Flanagan talk Socceroos, A-League, Wellington Phoenix, Sydney FC, Melbourne Victory, Asian Champions League, Pohang Steelers, Matildas.

If we lose should Pim go? Patrick says no! Eamonn and Lucy say Yes!
Is Matthew Leckie better than Tommy Oar? Patrick says no!
Who got the most assists, and goals in the A-League this year, Oar or Leckie...yep Patrick says no!

Will the Phoenix win Lucy says Yes!

Download the latest podcast


Go on win a free trip for Australia.

Over 25, want to be flown to the World Cup, luxurious accommodation? Then go to Budhouse

I entered because a very nice person asked me to, but really this is your chance to get to South Africa and have the time of your life. Australia needs you!


Monday, 1 March 2010

The great Aussie bluff and how we got to the World Cup!

Now we've become a true football nation it's time we stopped questioning Pim's tactics.

Mr Pim knows in the internet age everyone can read anything from anywhere.

So when Pim says with his Dutch straight face, (I think if you look closely you can see his smirk), that Australia plays 4-3-3 the Omani's and Indonesians set up for such a game.

But of course all we Aussies know we play 4-5-1 (don't get us started on 4-2-3-1) and this continually confuses the opposition.

Long live the bluff...or is that the bullshit!


Australia (Pim) abuses Asian opportunities.

The A-League boys are in the International spotlight once more as Australia takes on Indonesia on Wednesday in a "must not lose," game in the Asia Cup.

Australia were handed all their Christmas presents at once when they gained entry into Asia in 2006, but we seem to have become so used to football presents, like the modern kid we chuck the least interesting one away. And games for our local Socceroos seemed to be the Coach!

Australia now goes to the World Cup. Well for now anyway.

But what Asia should have given us, we've been in for four years now, is a clear and strong, technically and tactically (borrowed from a Crystal Palace midfielder) developed A-League Socceroo squad.

And after four years what do we have?

Do you know who will play in your National team on Wednesday. Can you name 95% of the team after two years of Mr Pim? Sure you can name the tactic, but not the team. Bet you can't.

Do you think Japanese, Chinese or Korean fans can name their national teams without their overseas based players. Bet they can! And I bet they've had heaps of camps, learning the system with or without their o/s players.

On Wednesday Pim's Hotpotch United take to the field once more:

Against Indonesia last year...Danny Allsopp and Archie Thompson lead the line..apparently hopeless said Mr Pim....but surely not their fault...when does the "fault" lie with the Coach? Mr Pim.

Against Kuwait in Canberra.
Socceroo Matt Simon, Daniel Mullen, Michael Zullo, Mitch Nichols, Matt McKay, and Tom Pondlejak were just a few who played in front of a record 20,032 Canberra men's football crowd. Have any since played for Australia? No, but it wasn't their fault was was Pim's

And in Kuwait City we saw Matt Kemp, Dean Heffernan and Mile Sterjovski gracing the fields and a number of overseas boys. Pim's team this time?

And on to Indonesia in Brisbane. Where we won't see Archie, Allsopp or Matt Simon. And Matty Kemp, Zullo, Nichols Heffernan and Pondlejak. None of these will play due to injury, travel or demotion. Funny how you playing in the A-League isn't good enough, but playing in America, England, China and Korea is also problematic for many of our players thus limiting the Coach's choice and rationale it would seem.

So where is the planning, from Mr Pim and the FFA?

Craig Foster said this week that you get a Socceroos cap after you've played just three games in the A-League. Tommy Oar, Matthew Leckie, Daniel Mullen, and Shannon Cole could all attest to this. But he failed to ask why is this so?

Where has been the strategy to gather the best 20 home-based Aussies for a Pim inspired coaching session, twice a year. As players are transferred to European powerhouses in Norway, Scotland, and Greece, Mr Pim merely needs to draft in the next best and get them accustomed to the "system" and perhaps more particularly their likely team-mates in any upcoming Asian Cup games, or friendlies. Who knows one day they may burst into Pim's real interest the World Cup squad.

And let's face it, the system isn't so amazing is it.

Pim is right to criticise the A-League if he wants to, but he's been here long enough to get the Socceroos who are A-League based playing in Asia to win.

And wouldn't it be great if we were so confident in our home-based players that beating Kuwait or Indonesia on home soil we could rely on the home-based Roos.

We'll beat Indonesia everyone says. But the point is I'm not as sure as I'd like to be, and this isn't because of our local talent, it's because of Pim's lack of planning.

Rising the standard of the Socceroos based A-League team/squad is as important a goal as rising the standard of the Socceroos World Cup squad. Doesn't anyone in the FFA realise this.

The FFA always tell us how important the Socceroos are to grow the game at home. Equally if the local Aussie Socceroo squad can beat most Asian teams this would negate some of the "Eurosnobs...or Man Utd fans" and indeed those un-Australian gleeful journalists who apparently love to see Australian fail at sport...or at least football. When will FitzSimons, Kent, Wilson and Rothfield die?..ok retire will do.

The priority to promote the local game and the home based Socceroos squad seems to be missing. And let's face it, as Arnie says, the Socceroos World Cup squad only play 6-8 games per year, so it's not like Pim has no time to get the local lads ready.

If Mr Pim comes out criticising our boys's time he got short shrift. He's the Coach. What's he done with this group, the Socceroos, in the last two years. No if's, no but's, it's Pim's fault!

Beyond Pim the FFA need to work to put support and pride around the guys who will in effect be the home-based Socceroos.