Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Asian Cup: Here's how Australia can win despite the looming long dark night

As the dark cloud starts to shroud our National Team, it's sad to see us bloggers and media types desperate for chinks of sunshine. And it will remain ever so for years to come it seems!

Tommy Oar, Matthew Leckie, Dario Vidosic, Alex Brosque, Matthew Spiranovic, and now Matt McKay and Robbie Kruse.

Add in Nicky Carle, Simon Colosimo, Daniel Mullen - yes the list of next Socceroo world beater goes on and on.

In truth we ain't got a Viduka or Kewell - never mind a Cahill or Neill at his best. And it's time we all started to assess what that means for our National team, our game of football over the next 6 years or so.

Australia haven't won much this summer and winning the Asia Cup will be much harder than winning the Ashes!

But Australia can win the Asia Cup in many ways, despite the looming cloud; and here's a few:

1. If as expected we get to host the 2015 Asia Cup - Football and Australia will have a huge win. The ability for the country to connect on many many levels with India, China, Japan, Indonesia etc is mouth-watering for this Economics and Football teacher! Any Aussie team on home soil should be able to compete...surely!

2. Culturally we can continue to learn respect and build strong relationships with our Asia competitors. Something sadly amiss in 2007. But long-term the images of Aussies taking on India, for example, are worth gold across the cultures. And in the coming decades India will improve bringing passion and fans to many international venues.

Maybe lack of quality in our emerging Socceroos will lead to greater respect of others.

The Aussie cricket team have taken an aggressive attitude to teams from the sub-continent for many years - can football move the relationships forward?

3.And on the field. We may not win the tournament but seeing a squad evolve that can set us up for World Cup qualification is vital. More now than ever. Can Holger Osiek emerge with a squad and a plan for Brazil 2014?

After four games in charge I've seen nothing to give me hope. If you count long balls to Josh and Timmy as our best hope - bring back Pim!

For Holger the time is now. Messiah or muppet?

4. And to win the competition itself. Fools Gold?

Possibly. Are we really so good we could win, and if we did where would that leave our older stars in the years to come? Would we really bring in the newbies we so badly need?

I'll take a win, of course. But I suspect the gap between our fading golden generation and the next group of star players - well are the next group of star players actually born yet?

Despite legendary status given to the non-playing Tommy Oar already this blogger is not convinced he is Lionel Messi, maybe Ahmed Elrich - and that's the problem. If Tommy is our next best - what chance 2014 for Australia?

Who can push the cloud up?

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