Honduras clash is our most important to date

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In a little over a decade football in Australia has undertaken a huge evolution in the domestic league and expectations of our international side.

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We’ve been here before. On the 16th of November 2005 the Socceroos lined-up in the second leg of an intercontinental play-off against Uruguay with the South-Americans holding a 1-0 lead from the first leg.

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The rest of course we all know too well. But just how different are our expectations for the Socceroos now compared to back then?

In 2005 the public completely rallied behind their Socceroos who had been the plucky underdogs for years after qualifying just once for the FIFA World Cup in 1974.

Since then however the Socceroos have moved to the Asian Football Confederation and have gone on to win the AFC Asian Cup in 2015 as well as qualifying for the 2010 and 2014 World Cups.

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Qualifying for the World Cup is now an expectation rather than a dream. A minimum requirement even.

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So this year’s failure to qualify from the group followed by two lacklustre performances against Syria has left many fans scratching their heads.

Coach Ange Postecoglou’s future at the helm of the Socceroos has been the source of much conjecture in the media with failure to qualify against Honduras almost surely sealing his fate.

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Fans are right to hold their national side to such a high standard and the fact is the Socceroos must qualify for every major tournament they can in order to further the sport in this country.

Not qualifying on Wednesday is a failure and there should be repercussions.

Postecoglou is a brilliant coach up there with, if not the best we’ve ever seen in this country, but his seemingly blind faith in a three at the back system that does not suit his squad must challenge even the most ardent of supporters.

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The FFA has already come under fire for the most anonymous launch to an A-League season in distant memory and the national team not going to Russia next year is the last thing they want to add to a mounting list of issues.

If we are to be taken seriously as a footballing nation we must be at the 2018 World Cup. Our expectations for the tournament are a thought for the future but everything now rides on one game.

So come Wednesday night get along to the game or invite everyone around to yours to support our Socceroos and get them over the line for what will be our most important game to date.

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Michael Cook
Michael Cook
Living and studying in Newcastle. Pretty obsessed with football. Newcastle Jets and Chelsea FC fan

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