WWC 2015 Opinion: Covic, Tiatto and Wade

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The Matildas’ incredible run has seen the entire nation become caught-up in Women’s World Cup excitement. With that in mind we figured it was time for us to go out and get some opinions from people who can actually kick a ball. We found three former Socceroos and harassed them until they spilled their expertise.

Image credit: Western Sydney Wanderers

Ante Covic

Former Western Sydney Wanderers and Socceroo goalkeeper responsible for Pluto no longer being considered a planet after NASA discovered that the mass was actually a ball he punched into outer-space.

What have you made of the Matildas so far?

“It’s been great to see them play some really good football particularly the first half against the US where they played some really attractive football despite the match not going their way. In the group they had they’ve done a fantastic job to progress and they’re doing everyone proud.”

Who has stood out for you so far?

“Lisa De Vanna as always has been important for the team but I’ve also been impressed with Sam Kerr especially after being elbowed in the face. She’s controlled the ball and showed a lot of maturity particularly in the last 10 minutes of the game against Sweden.”

What do the Matildas need to do to beat Brazil?

“They just need to play positive football like they have been doing. During the match against the US they were very positive and played the more attractive looking football and if they can keep the ball at their feet and avoid playing long-balls they’ve got the players and ingredients to do something against Brazil.”

Can they win the World Cup?

“Why not? Obviously it’s a very hard competition but they really stood up in what was considered the Group of Death and they didn’t just do it by simply becoming a defensive unit and they played some really good football. It’s definitely in their own hands, they’ve got a lot of belief and if I bit of luck goes their way, why not?”

Paul Wade

Former captain and second most capped Socceroo in history who still uses pen and paper to map-out the Matildas’ line-up and formation throughout the match.

What have you made of the Matildas so far?

“They’ve played above and beyond the call of duty and seeing them deliver on a big stage like the World Cup you’ve got stand there and say ‘Wow, we’ve come a long way’.”

When do you think they’ve looked at their best?

“Sometimes you can just whack the ball into the 18-yard box and it just goes your way but their build-up play has been so attractive and their understanding of the bigger picture has been excellent. It’s more than just having a good first touch, you’ve got to have a good first touch with a reason and they’ll all looked like they knew exactly what they were doing.”

What do you think could be their undoing?

“The only thing that may cause them a problem is fatigue as they are working so hard in their matches. A lot of people thought that their defence wouldn’t be strong enough but they’ve been excellent so far and it’s really hard to pinpoint where it might go wrong. If they do get eliminated, by whoever it might be, they’ll have to be at their best to do it.”

So, they can go all the way then?

“There are so many good players out there like Lisa De Vanna and Elise Kellod-Knight in the midfield who have been superb. The reason they’re doing so well is that when they get the ball they don’t allow the other team to have it back. Sometimes they do try to do some difficult things when they just need to slow it down and play it around at the back and in the midfield, if they don’t give the ball away it’s going to have to be a very good that stops them.”

Danny Tiatto

Former Socceroo and English Premier League defender who played at Manchester City before it was cool, what more do you need than that?

How have the Matildas played so far?

“They’ve been playing really well and they’ve been matching it with the really big teams especially against Sweden and right now they’re looking really strong.”

Have you seen any vulnerability in them?

“Not really, they’ve been doing well all over the park so far. In their last match against Sweden they matched them for pace and skill and it was a very impressive performance. Obviously as they go deeper into the competition it’s going to become harder but if they can put a good shift like they have been doing in the group stages they should do quite well.”

Who’s been the standout so far in the competition?

“Lisa De Vanna as always has been pretty lively and created a lot for headaches for other teams but it’s really been the whole team overall that’s been playing quite well. They all know their jobs and they’re playing well as a unit as opposed to individually.”

What are they going to need to do to get a result against Brazil?

“They’re going to have one of the best games of their lives, Brazil are one of those teams that are always going to be a very tough opposition to play against and every player who takes to the field is going to have to do their job. It’s not an impossible task; they’ve displayed a lot of that Aussie determination and football is a funny game and results certainly can go your way if you work hard enough so I definitely wouldn’t count Australia out.”

Can they go all the way?

“I’d like to say yes as I’d love to see them take out the title but they just need to really take it one game at a time right now. It’s going to be difficult for them to go all the way as there are so many other good teams in the competition and it may just be out of their reach this time around but I’d love to see them win and it would be really good for football in this country.”

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