The Moot Point: #WhiteSocksIn

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Here at The Moot Point we have all the big issues covered. With a wealth of football knowledge and history under our belts, we enjoy touching on all parts of football life in Australia.

Last week when the Socceroos faced Japan in Saitama it was a wonderful occasion for football: spectators in the stand, atmosphere at the ground, a high quality game full of chances and a kick-off time that really suited our time zone here in Australia.

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Unfortunately the Socceroos were outplayed by the Blue Samurai but let’s leave the technical and tactical analysis of the game to greater minds who are way above our pay grade – suffice to say that Japan deserved to be leading by at least four goals in the first half alone!

However, the real analysis of the game needs to be centred on the attire. Yes, the attire of the Socceroos. The Socceroos have worn many outfits over the years and some have been truly shocking, but at least now we have the basic colours right – gold shirt with green shorts. Only a short time ago we had matching gold shorts which was a real no-no.

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Now we don’t pretend to be Giorgio Armani or anything but since when does a football shirt have a collar? And, worse, two buttons as in a polo shirt style. Look at Japan with their traditional round collar and then look at the Socceroos. A nice try by the stylists but let’s leave the collar and the polo shirt for changing into when the game is over, and existing the dressing rooms to get on the team bus.

The funny part about the green collar is that the very person who should have been wearing that polo shirt was on the side-lines: Graham Arnold. However, it was the coaching staff that were wearing the collarless shirts and looking every bit like the trainers who were about to run out when an injured player needed attention. Personally I believe the national team’s coaching staff should always be in a suit but, if too hot in this part of the world, a shirt and tie at least and of course a corporate shirt and tie provided by Football Australia.

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White socks in

On the subject of what the Socceroos should wear, and as a distinguishing feature from the Matildas, it surely has to be the socks. The white socks were part of the Socceroos until 1989 and then they briefly made an appearance again in 2014. It’s now time to bring them back permanently.

Over at Rugby Australia they have settled on a Wallabies gold jersey that is the same shade of gold as the 1991 World Cup winning team’s jersey and it’s a beautiful connection to their past. Of course we certainly don’t have to copy rugby union, but it should be noted that history is sometimes lost with us in football.

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The first Socceroos to ever represent Australia in a FIFA World Cup were the gallant part-timers in 1974 under the guidance of legendary coach Rale Rasic. Their story is something to behold and, if for no other reason, the white socks should be permanently worn in honour of that remarkable team. It would indeed be a lovely nod to our glorious and rich past.

The gold socks can rightly remain strongly-tied to the Matildas’ legacy as the most famous images of the women’s national team feature socks that match the jersey.

Smoking in Rome

There are some interesting characters in the world of football and Maurizio Sarri is definitely one of them. In the 2018/19 the chain-smoking Italian was the manager of Chelsea in the English Premier League. Recently in the Italian press he stated how he regretted his decision to leave Stamford Bridge after only a year and return to Italy, and controversially take up the post at Juventus.

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These days the former Napoli and Juventus mentor sits on the Lazio bench in Italy’s Serie A and this week he didn’t mince his words about some aspects of the modern game. It’s hard to argue with him but we’ll let you be the judge. Take it away Signor Sarri:

We are not looking at football as a sport but a show where you try to squeeze out money everywhere. Maybe I’m too old for all this.

Players of the Week

And, finally, on a real positive note three cheers to Tottenham Hotspur players, Eric Dier and Sergui Reguilon, who in last Sunday’s clash at St James’ Park against Newcastle United noticed that a spectator in the stands required urgent medical attention.

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Their quick thinking in the first half forced the referee to temporarily halt the match for about 20 minutes so that the spectator could be attended to. In a world of often self-absorbed athletes, this gesture surely deserves greater commendation. Bravo to both, you are definitely the players of the week.

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Joe Russo
Joe is a football supporter who accidentally fell into covering the great game. When he grew up it was called soccer but accepts the modern reality of football. After annoying editors, he was finally given the opportunity of contributing to the famous old paper Australian & British Soccer Weekly where he remained for 12 years. The rest as they say is history; Joe has featured on radio programs, websites, match day programs and Italian language publications covering the sport he loves. And, a quarter of a century later, he continues to chase the dream.

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