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Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Australia limp on in Asia - hands up who's young enough to play 6 games

Australia beat Bahrain 1-0 thanks to a Mile Jedinak strike but the real concern is the wounded soldiers, some limping, some suspended, some just ageing.

Did anyone really think Harry Kewell could play six games straight?

Well he's up to three, but he's showing signs of slowing. Meanwhile Brett Emerton pulled his Croatia 2006 World Cup trick, getting booked for nothing on the eve of our most important game in a while - watch Iraq or Iran just like Italy pour down the Aussie left next game.

Tim Cahill went off injured, Luke Wilkshire, David Carney, Jason Culina, and Brett Emerton could all miss the next game - that's half a team.

Matt McKay did okay at left back - but as expected he was and will be cruelly exposed as the games get tougher. Similarly Jade North - though he was better than McKay.

Mark Schwarzer saved the day as ever. Doesn't he always?

Mile Jedinak and Carl Valeri both played well in parts and that's the problem. Parts.

When Bahrain took control, the Aussie midfield took too long to grasp possession back. Jedinak continues to lose possession too quickly, hits it too long, too wild, on too many go occasions, and embarrasses himself by shouting his frustration every time he does it (he must get tired.) Is he really a man to win an Asian Cup?

Hard to see, but loving his power and goals. These are certainly encouraging performances from the Jedi and will hold us in goodstead for the next World Cup Qualifiers.

Australia had some purple patches, unfortunately so did Bahrain, and when Neil Kilkenny came on, the passing and ball control went up a notch.

However it was Bahrain, like Korea, and even occasionally India who were more inventive, technically adept in parts, who threatened the Aussie goal time and time again.

Enjoy the next game - it could be our last!

That said we've yet to concede, could be good enough to win, but will not dominate from here on in.

If we can't get any of the five above back you'd expect a possible defeat in the next game, but if it's Japan in the semi finals Australia will not have a hope.

Let's not cry injuries.

You are only ever as good as your squad, and most Aussie fans have known for a while we're relying on a few oldies. The next group are not ready...yet.

Mark Viduka anyone? or Matthew Leckie....pity the firebrand isn't here for a cameo.

1 comment:

Hamish said...

Thanks Eamonn. Good post.

I've missed all the games being a bit too busy to afford a late night out. And if I wasn't consciously following media I could be missing it all together. The media is switched off, and I guess the plethora of tragic natural disasters hasn't helped.