Monday, 1 March 2010

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.

1 comment:

john said...

The AFL is sticking $100m per year into making sure the A-League does not become the dominant code.

And next year 20-20 cricket - particularly in NSW and Qld is going to have a significant impact.