Please have your resume, and passport, ready

-

For so long Australia has craved a successful football team which could be the basis for the overhaul of the game in this country. Now we have one. We have had one for about 7 years.

The 3-1 win over England in 2003, whilst meaningless as a result aside from bragging rights, did signal a change in Australian football. After the disappointment of missing out on the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan, that night in East London was the first step forward towards Germany 2006.

A poor showing at the Confederations Cup in 2005 cost Frank Farina his job, Guus Hiddink was appointed on a part time basis and the rest, as they say, is history.

So began Football Federation Australia’s love affair with everything Dutch. Dutch manager of the national team, Dutch assistants, Dutch youth coaches and technical directors. Whilst there is little questioning the pedigree of The Netherlands as a footballing nation, a couple of questions still linger as Pim Verbeek’s reign draws to a close.

The Dutch, whilst developing the concept of ‘total football’ and producing some of the most gifted players ever to pull on a boot (Cruyff, Van Basten, Seedorf, Bergkamp etc.), have never actually won a World Cup. So long criticised by certain television pundits in this country for their ‘route one’ style of football, England, with their sole World Cup triumph in 1966, are superior to The Netherlands if you judge success by trophies in the cabinet.

If we are in the results business, should we not then be flooding our youth ranks and national sides with British coaches?

Here’s a thought: The most successful club manager of all time is a Scot in Sir Alex Ferguson, arguably the best player of all time was Northern Irish in George Best, and the most successful coaches in the short history of the A-League have both been Scottish in Ernie Merrick and Lawrie McKinna…

So, if we’re not judging solely by results, then surely we must be looking to the Dutch influence because, unlike the ‘ugly’ football played by British teams, the ‘Oranje’ will have us playing, to quote former Chelsea manager (and candidate for the Socceroos job after the World Cup) Ruud Gullit, ‘sexy football’.

And yet, anyone who has seen the Socceroos play under Pim Verbeek will tell you, his legacy will be: play defensively, not really create anything, sit back and yet somehow get the result… Interesting.

Would this ‘style’ of football from our national team be tolerated by the anti-British parade among football circles in this country if Terry Venables was still the Socceroos manager?

buy fildena online buy fildena generic

I’m not so sure it would be.

To be fair to Verbeek, he does not have the Dutch squad to work with, but, having said that, these guys are no donkeys. Verbeek has long been adamant that he picks a style and formation, and then picks players to play it. This policy has cost us the goals of Scott McDonald and the flare of Australia’s only real ‘number 10’ in Nick Carle.

At club level, Scott McDonald plays alongside a tall striker (at Celtic it was Jan Venegoor of Hesselink) and scores for fun. Twice leading goal scorer in the Scottish Premier League, including goals against Manchester United and AC Milan in the Champions League, he is an old fashioned goal poacher and knows where to be and when to be there to capitalise on flick-on’s and knock downs from his strike partner.

In Josh Kennedy, Australia has the perfect big man for our short man, and in Nick Carle we have that bit of guile which can unlock a defence. And yet Pim stubbornly refuses to change his style to allow these guys to play.

buy tadalista online buy tadalista generic

Australia went into this World Cup with two major strengths, Mark Schwarzer in goal and Tim Cahill’s uncanny ability to find his way to the ball at set pieces. The much maligned Adidas ‘Jabulani’ ball and its unpredictability in flight threatens to take both of these away from us.

Will Pim have a plan ‘b’ capable of unlocking world class defences?

buy premarin online buy premarin generic

Unfortunately, in Carl Valeri and Brett Holman, I doubt it.

So then, looking beyond South Africa, who is the next man to lead the Socceroos? And how big a role will the emblem on his passport have in how much time he is given in the hot seat…

Enjoy this content? Support The Football Sack

Due in part to COVID and lack of current sponsorship we are at risk of not having the funds to continue running The Football Sack. If you enjoy our content and support our work in training talented young writers, please support us with a donation. If every reader contributed just $3, our funding would be covered for over ten years.

DONATE

Learn with us

Latest Articles

Love your football?
Subscribe to our weekly football wrap. During the season we'll send you all the week's football action straight to your inbox.
* indicates required