Well the draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup is now over and if ever Australia wanted to test themselves against the best of the best then we have a sensational draw. Many would say our Group could not have been worse, how on earth are we likely to win a game, let alone progress to the round of 16? Last World Cup’s finalists Spain, the Netherlands as well as Chile who are the team on everyone’s radar as being something quite special at the moment. If we were to progress to the next round our reward be most likely a game against Brazil. Whoa, talk about a test of resolution and character!
I am of the mindset that this is exactly what the doctor ordered for Australian football as we need a wake-up call to find what is missing in the development of our players and national team. We appear to have fallen behind in the development of our game in this country in comparison to the rest of the world. I see Japan now as a far superior team to what it was in 2006 with players technical improvement clear to see. The players from our ‘golden age’ are now approaching their ‘golden years’ as far as top flight football is concerned and can no longer be turned to. The youngsters we have coming through the ranks are off the pace in relation to the rest of the world, recent results for our youth sides at international level attest to this. We need to find a solution to improve the technical ability of our players as this is where we will be shown up big-time at the World Cup.
I have no doubt Australia will do us proud at the World Cup, I believe with Ange Postecoglou at the helm we will see the absolute best of what Australia has to offer, irrespective of the results. We will be determined, never give up and certainly be difficult for any side who thinks we will be a walkover and don’t give us any respect. Unfortunately since 2006 the world knows what Australia is capable of so I don’t think any of the other countries will be doing that this time around. I expect to see games that will be a little hard to watch if you are Australian, with the opposition teams we play having massive chunks of possession and when Australia win back the ball, being forced into turnovers before getting into any rhythm.
Hopefully, irrespective of what happens at next year’s World Cup, I do hope our governing body FFA addresses our technical development issues and finds what we are missing In order to get Australia into a position to compete at a technical level with the rest of the world. Australia as a nation are always a tough opponent for anyone, irrespective of the sport, it is in our DNA. However as a lightweight taking on a heavyweight in any sport the odds of success are skewed against us, irrespective of our application and determination. Improve technically and with the Australian spirit we would become a very dangerous country to play and hopefully see more celebration for Australia in the greatest game in the world.
Until next time….