James Troisi hits back: Holger Osieck opinion ‘doesn’t matter’

James Troisi says Holger Osieck’s opinion doesn’t matter to him, shrugging off the former Socceroo boss’s criticism of him to star in Australia’s 2-2 draw with Germany on Thursday morning (AEDT) in Kaiserslautern.
Osieck claimed Troisi – Australia’s Asian Cup hero with the winning goal in the final on January 31 in Sydney – wasn’t good enough to be a starting XI player at international level.But the Zulte Waregem attacker showed just what quality he does have, scoring a superb header and producing a sensational all-round display as the Socceroos went close to shocking the world champions.

“Football is a matter of opinions. I didn’t play for two years [for the national team] so obviously I knew he didn’t like me for a reason,” Troisi told Fox Sports when asked about Osieck’s criticism.
“At this point in time his opinion doesn’t matter.
“I must be doing something right because I’m in the starting XI and I’m happy to be here every time.
“I want to give it my best and it’s amazing what us boys are doing at the moment.”
While Troisi was sublime, the Socceroos didn’t have a bad player as they gave as good as they got against last year’s World Cup-winners, drawing 2-2 in Kaiserslautern on Thursday morning (AEDT).

Troisi was part of a new-look front three alongside Mathew Leckie and Nathan Burns and the trio caused the German defence all sorts of problems.
“They definitely weren’t comfortable and we put them under a lot of pressure,” Troisi said.
“We had quite a few chances so we’d be quite disappointed tonight [we didn’t win]..
“Even against the world’s best we want to play our style of football. It’s quite taxing the way we play. We all have to work very hard but we reap the rewards at the end.
“Who would have thought 12 months ago we would more than give the world champions a run for their money. We’ve come a long way and it’s fantastic to see.”
Source : Football Federation Austraçlia Website

Holger Osieck: James ‘Troisi not a starting XI player’

Former Socceroo coach Holger Osieck says Asian Cup hero James Troisi isn’t a starting XI player for the Australian national team.

Speaking with the German FA website (http://www.dfb.de/en/start/) the Duisberg-born 66-year-old offered his assessment of the current Socceroos squad ahead of the two teams’ friendly on Thursday morning (AEDT time) in Kaiserslautern.

Troisi, one of the heroes of the recent Asian Cup success and a rising star at Belgian side Zulte Waragem, was one player Osieck had his doubts about.

“He scored the winning goal in extra time against South Korea in the final of the Asia Cup, although Tomi Juric deserves most of the credit for the goal following his solo-run.

“For me personally, Troisi is not starting XI material. I would go with Tommy Oar,” wrote Osieck.

As for the player who set up that famous goal for Troisi in Sydney, Wanderers’ ACL hero Tomi Juric, Osieck also expressed some doubt.

“A real old-school type central forward. He’s all, athletic and he throws himself about, but he lacks pace and agility. His current club is Western Sydney Wanderers and it remains to be seen if he can establish himself in modern international football.”

The former Canada coach also has concerns over defender Trent Sainsbury, one of the best players for Australia at the recent Asian Cup, and his ability to cut it at international level.

“Another young gun who moved up the ranks following the retirement of players like Lucas Neill and Saša Ognenovski. Is he capable of playing top level international football? We shall wait and see.”

However Osieck was more positive about Matt Leckie, a winger who was on the fringes of the national team during his time in charge.

“He [Leckie] has tremendous pace, is very athletic and will be essential for Australia when playing against a top side like Germany.”

Osieck, who was at the helm as Australia qualified for the Brazil World Cup in mid-2013, was fired by the FFA in late 2013 following two heavy losses to Brazil and France and fierce criticism over the national team’s regeneration.

He was however at the helm when Australia defeated Germany 2-1 four years ago in a friendly also in his homeland.

Osieck coached Australia from 2010 to 2013.

Socceroo Match Details

Germany v Australia

Fritz-Walter-Stadion, Kaiserslautern

Wednesday 25 March 2015

Kick-Off: 8:30pm (CET) (6:30am (AEDT), Thursday 26 March)

Tickets for the Germany v Socceroos match in Kaiserslautern are on sale now from www.dfb.de or https://tickets.dfb.de/online/index.php3?shopid=107&gotoperformance=1849

Match will be broadcast live and exclusive on Fox Sports.

Source : Football Federation Australia

Austrália pretende ficar no Espírito Santo antes da Copa, diz patrocinador da Tiva

Presidente do principal investidor da Desportiva, Márcio Almeida, afirma que se a seleção optar pelo Estado, vai treinar no Engenheiro Araripe

 

Restauração do Estádio Engenheiro Araripe, da Desportiva Ferroviária (Foto: Bruno Marques/Globoesporte.com)

Estádio Engenheiro Araripe, da Desportiva
Ferroviária (Foto: Bruno Marques)

Com os constantes atrasos nas obras de reconstrução do Kleber Andrade, o Estádio Engenheiro Araripe se transformou em opção para o Espírito Santo receber pelo menos uma seleção no período de preparação para a Copa do Mundo 2014. No início do mês de setembro, integrantes da Federação Australiana de Futebol (Football Federation Australia), incluindo o ex-técnico Holger Osieck, estiveram no Estado visitando a casa da Desportiva Ferroviária e gostaram do que viram.

Segundo o médico Márcio Almeida, presidente da Unimed Vitória, principal patrocinadora do clube grená, a Austrália está apenas dependendo do sorteio das chaves da Copa, que será realizado no dia 06 de dezembro, para confirmar que fica ou não no Espírito Santo.

– A Austrália tem se mostrado muito disposta em vir para o Espírito Santo. Já fez contato conosco, relatando a preferência de de treinar na Arena (Engenheiro Araripe). Agora eles estão na dependência apenas do sorteio dos Grupos para saber se vão jogar nas sedes próximas a Vitória – confirmou o presidente da Unimed Vitória, em entrevista ao programa Bola Dividida, da Rádio Gazeta AM.

Reestruturação do Engenheiro Araripe

Por meio da parceria firmada entre Unimed Vitória e do Banco Sicoob, a Desportiva Ferroviária vai receber cerca de R$ 400 mil anuais, para investir no Estádio Engenheiro Araripe. As obras de reforma começaram em fevereiro deste ano e até o momento contemplaram as arquibancadas, vestiários, banheiros, salas do departamento médico e musculação, além da instalação do placar eletrônico. O presidente da patrocinadora da Tiva revela que o gramado será trocado visando atender às exigências das seleções que estudam ficar no Espírito Santo.

– O ponto que eu sempre coloquei como problema no futebol do Espírito Santo é ter um lugar adequado para jogar. Estamos a cada dia melhorando mais a Arena. Agora vamos inaugurar o placar eletrônico que vai iluminar e deixar o estádio mais bonito. Tem também a questão do gramado, que já temos fechado a troca do mesmo. Inclusive para receber seleções que estão estudando vir para o Estado para fazer a preparação antes da Copa do Mundo. Com isso, esperamos que o torcedor volte a ir para o estádio com segurança, com bares e banheiros limpos. Estamos muito animados – declarou.

Instalação do sistema de irrigação automática no Engenheiro Araripe (Foto: Divulgação/Desportiva Ferroviária)Gramado do Araripe será trocado por um nos padrões da Fifa (Foto: Divulgação/Desportiva Ferroviária)

Socceroos after Holger Osieck: The key questions

October 14, 2013 – 11:18PM

Sebastian Hassett

Football reporter

 

First XI: Sebastian Hassett looks at the key questions surrounding the Socceroos.

FIRST XI

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A Brazil fan gets a kiss during the International Friendly match between England and Brazil at Maracana on June 2, 2013

Getting out of the group at Rio 2014 is a big ask, but not too big. Photo: Getty Images

1. Who is really in the running to replace Holger Osieck?

John Aloisi (C), is congratulated by teammates Harry Kewell (L) and Tim Cahill (R

The Socceroos can no longer rely on the golden generation.

Countless names are being thrown about, and the FFA is receiving expressions of interest from all over the world. However, they are likely to have narrowed the search to no more than six or seven candidates. Guus Hiddink is the FFA’s top choice but competition might be too fierce – he is wanted elsewhere and will command top dollar. Likewise, Marcelo Bielsa would require serious persuading. Roberto Di Matteo would be cheaper but has no international experience. Ange Postecoglou and Graham Arnold appear the best local chances. Tony Popovic also gets mentioned but is younger and therefore less likely. The days of Australia picking up a low-key journeyman, as they have done with Pim Verbeek and Osieck, appear gone.

2. Local or foreign coach?

If a local candidate is deemed the best available, then it should be a local. But if there is a clear candidate from overseas who is more capable, the FFA shouldn’t discriminate on the basis of their passport. It seems a local manager would be appointed with a view to long-term rejuvenation while a foreigner would be focused on short-term results.

Guus Hiddink

Guus Hiddink is in the mix for the coaching role. Photo: Getty Images

3. What are the benefits of a short-term manager?

A gun-for-hire, such as Hiddink, would provide the Socceroos with the X-factor they have so badly lacked in recent times. Not only would his presence on the sidelines embolden the players, but it would create a surge of public goodwill. That momentum could prove crucial in making Australia competitive in Brazil – and possibly competing for a spot in the second round. The FFA is also considering a handover option: hiring a foreigner in the short term, making a local his assistant (allowing the assistant to keep his A-League job) and then promoting the assistant after the World Cup in time for the 2015 Asian Cup.

4. What are the benefits of a long-term manager?

Matthew Spiranovic

Matthew Spiranovic could play an important role down the road. Photo: Anthony Johnson

Giving a manager a multi-year deal would allow him to rebuild the team from scratch, removing the old players and working the next generation into a highly competitive unit – one that could compete for honours at the 2015 Asian Cup on home soil and ensure a real shot at qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. However, it might mean seeing the team struggle at the 2014 World Cup, which could hurt football’s desire to compete with the big two codes.

5. Is the style of play important, or is it just about results?

Results are always the more important but, equally, Osieck failed to create a style of play that would allow the Socceroos to break down superior teams in attack while keeping them at bay in defence. In the end, the style was based less on technical qualities and more on mental qualities, such as “fighting spirit”. When it became clear that the “spirit” was exhausted after the embarrassment in Paris, it was obvious Osieck was out of ideas.

6. Do we have an unrealistic expectation of what the Socceroos can achieve?

Most probably. The hype around the A-League, qualifying for a third World Cup and the steady improvement around the game as a whole has underpinned increased expectation – especially among casual fans. Qualifying for Brazil 2014 was significant but that’s the minimum public expectation these days. The lack of players in Europe’s top leagues indicates the diminishing standard at the elite level when compared with the “golden generation” of 2001-2010.

7. If Lucas Neill is dumped as captain, who could step in?

There are several candidates but if a change in culture is required, the Socceroos could do a lot worse than Mark Bresciano. He doesn’t indulge in the arrogance that has infected the squad, and has never taken the national shirt for granted – or leveraged it for personal financial gain. He is respected by all, leads by example, is popular with the fans and open with the media. He showed real leadership in going on live television and apologising to the nation on Sunday night. He’s still an excellent footballer, too.

8. Are there any fringe players capable of making a real difference in 2014?

Matthew Spiranovic needs to get himself fit and ready with the Wanderers while Trent Sainsbury is doing his claims no harm. Shane Lowry deserves a look at left-back. Tomi Juric and Mitch Duke, who both scored on Saturday night, are worth monitoring. Ivan Franjic looked dazzling against Wellington – on the left, no less. Mathew Leckie and Nikita Rukavytsya shouldn’t be forgotten. Unfortunately, Eli Babalj is struggling for game time in Holland.

9. Is there any silver lining from the games against France and Brazil?

In a perverse way, yes. James Holland will never play at right-back again, and David Carney now knows how far off the pace he is. Bizarrely, goalkeeper Mitchell Langerak actually enhanced his claims. That Osieck has now gone will spell the end of players being picked on merit rather than familiarity. It should also help dissolve the overt dressing room power base of the older players.

10. Which A-League club would hurt most if their manager left?

Of the three local managers in contention for the job, it’s perhaps Tony Popovic’s departure that would prove the least disruptive – primarily because he has an excellent assistant at Western Sydney in Ante Milicic. Phil Moss and Kevin Muscat have learnt plenty from Arnold and Postecoglou respectively but you could virtually rule either club out of championship contention this season if their coach left. “Arnie” has worked miracles with no money in Gosford while the Victory job carries extreme expectation.

11. Can we make it out of the group stage in Rio?

It’s possible. Four points is what Australia picked up in 2006 and 2010, and that’s no pipe dream in 2014 if everything goes perfectly. Should a fighting win and a plucky draw be gained, the Socceroos will put themselves in the mix to progress. The new manager might just inspire the likes of Robbie Kruse, Tom Rogic, Rhys Williams, Mitch Langerak, Tommy Oar and James Holland to step up to the plate and play with nothing to lose. As unlikely as all that seems right now, the triumphant post-match shirts from that magical night in November 2005 said it all: “Never say never”.

The Sydney Morning Herald

How a double bagel got Holger Osieck rolled

October 14, 2013

Shane Brady

A tennis score of 6-0, 6-0 over the last two friendlies put Holger Osieck out in straight sets, but his axing was no knee-jerk decision. Here are the five games that sealed the German’s fate.

Warning bells: Jordan's victory in Amman showed all was not well with the Socceroos.

Warning bells: Jordan’s victory in Amman showed all was not well with the Socceroos. Photo: Reuters

1. Jordan 2 Australia 1 WC qualifier, September 11, 2012

Warning bells started to ring when the Socceroos fell to lowly Jordan in the heat of Amman. Jordan, ranked 62 places below Australia, went 2-0 up with route one football, and the Socceroos could only muster a late consolation goal through Archie Thompson.

2. Australia 2 Oman 2   WC qualifier, March 26, 2013

Reprieve: Josh Kennedy's late winner against Iraq secured World Cup qualification but masked serious deficiencies in the team.

Reprieve: Josh Kennedy’s late winner against Iraq secured World Cup qualification but masked serious deficiencies in the team. Photo: Getty Images

Dreams of Brazil looked in peril as Oman raced to a shock 2-0 lead in Sydney. Late goals by Tim Cahill and Brett Holman salvaged a draw. The wisdom of first-teamers flying further than the away side for this match had to be questioned after the poorest showing by the Socceroos on ”home” soil in recent memory.

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3. Australia 1 Iraq 0 WC qualifier,  June 18, 2013

A nation breathed a massive sigh of relief, and Holger Osieck looked a genius he threw Josh Kennedy on to head in a late winner against group whipping boys Iraq in Sydney. Yes, we were going to Brazil, and the grandstand finish was good theatre, but it should never have come to this.

4. Brazil 6 Australia 0 International friendly, September 7, 2013

Men v boys. Admittedly, this was not a full-strength Socceroos side – if we can still use that term – but this performance was so tactically and technically inept it might have done the Socceroos fringe candidates more harm than good. They spent 90minutes chasing shadows and barely strung two passes together.

5. France 6 Australia 0 International friendly, October 11, 2013

Brazil might have been a timely reality check but playing two world powers back to back smacked of masochism. The only positive was Mitch Langerak’s late heroics in goal, helping restrict Les Bleus  to single figures. A clean-out is overdue, starting with Lucas Neill,  but is there time to repair the damage?

The Sydney Morning Herald

Frank Lowy: ‘Rejuvenation’ of Socceroos the reason for firing Holger Osieck

October 12, 2013

Sebastian Hassett

Football reporter

 

Friday night in Paris was billed as Holger Osieck’s D-Day. Having promised his side would bring a renewed passion for the cause, the exact opposite would expedite his downfall.

Australia was slaughtered so comprehensively by France that the 6-0 scoreline perhaps flattered the visitors. If the loss the month before to Brazil by an identical margin was hideous, this was cataclysmic.

"The decision is based on the longer term issues of the rejuvenation of the Socceroos team and the preparations for the World Cup and the Asian Cup": FFA chairman Frank Lowy.

“The decision is based on the longer term issues of the rejuvenation of the Socceroos team and the preparations for the World Cup and the Asian Cup”: FFA chairman Frank Lowy. Photo: Getty Images

It wasn’t so surprising Osieck was sacked; more shocking was how the players would produce such a pitiful display with the manager’s job on the line, eight months out from the World Cup.

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Barely had David Gallop issued the dismissal than new candidates were being discussed but Fairfax Media understands between three and four foreign candidates were contacted after the Brazil match, including ex-Australian coach Guus Hiddink. Frenchman Gerard Houllier is also in the discussion frame.

With the sacking complete, the FFA will seek further talks with the three local coaches in contention: Central Coast’s Graham Arnold, Melbourne Victory’s Ange Postecoglou and Western Sydney’s Tony Popovic.

Fond memories: Former Socceroos coach Holger Osieck celebrates qualifying for the 2014 World Cup with Frank Lowy.

Fond memories: Former Socceroos coach Holger Osieck celebrates qualifying for the 2014 World Cup with Frank Lowy. Photo: Mark Kolbe

All three have an ambition to coach the Socceroos; Arnold was the first to make his desire public.

Though it was only a pair of friendlies that hurt the German so badly, so demoralising were the displays that the FFA was left with no choice. Gallop was given the order to sack Osieck when they arrived at the team hotel.

Frank Lowy, having hand-picked Osieck on the express recommendation of the great Franz Beckenbauer – Der Kaiser had Osieck as his assistant for the 1990 World Cup – did not mince words.

”The decision is based on the longer-term issues of the rejuvenation of the Socceroos team and the preparations for the World Cup and the Asian Cup,” the FFA chairman said. ”FFA has set a strategic objective of having a highly competitive team in Brazil and then handing over a team capable of winning the Asian Cup on home soil in January 2015.

”We have come to the conclusion that change is necessary to meet those objectives. I thank Holger for his contribution to Australian football and wish him well in his future endeavours.”

Ex-Socceroos were among the most vocal critics in the aftermath of the humiliating defeat.

Robbie Slater said the team was in the ”worst position we’ve ever been in” while Francis Awaritefe declared that France ”could have reached double figures”.

Craig Moore and Craig Foster expressed their ”sadness” that the Socceroos had been reduced to such a shambolic display.

After revealing that assistant coach Aurelio Vidmar would take charge of the match with Canada – to be played on Wednesday morning, Sydney time – Gallop announced a World Cup planning review would take place.

”I have given our new head of national performance, Luke Casserly, and the national technical director, Han Berger, the task of conducting a review of our World Cup planning,” Gallop said. ”The review will include all aspects of the technical and logistical preparations, national teams unit staffing and the appointment of a new head coach.”

Gallop said the decision to axe Osieck was made to give the Socceroos the best chance of tournament success.

”The World Cup kicks off in eight months and the Asian Cup is 15 months away,” he said. ”We are determined to make the most of the historical opportunities that these tournaments present.

”FFA will give the highest priority to these projects because the Socceroos are the standard bearers for Australia on the world stage.”

The players didn’t escape the wrath either, with under-fire skipper Lucas Neill in the sights of former Australian goalkeeper Mark Bosnich.

”I have known Lucas for a long time but I wouldn’t be a friend if I didn’t tell him the truth … he is a big part of the problem,” Bosnich said. ”He should retire.”

A major clear-out of the support staff around the Socceroos squad was expected to occur after the World Cup but the FFA may hasten the removal of those seen as too embedded with Osieck’s regime.

Arnold further outlined his case after the Mariners’ 1-1 draw with Western Sydney, saying he had gained huge experience from his time as an international assistant coach.

“I think I can openly say that I’ve had 10 years with the national team, two World Cups and around 300 games on the bench at national team level. I’ve obviously learned a lot,” he said.

“I do believe Australian coaches are now ready. Probably, criticism a few years ago was right … but [Australian] coaching, across the board, is now so much better.”

Popovic was much cagier about his prospects of succeeding Osieck.

“Let’s not even go there with that. Today is about our the Wanderers, and all I’ve done is focus on our game,” he said.

“I’m more than happy to speak about that game, but to be talking about the Socceroos [job], that hasn’t even crossed my mind.”

However, Popovic did admit that, like many other ex-Socceroos, the current situation was depressing.

“You do see the last two results, and as a former Socceroo, you want your national team to do well,” he said.

“I’ve been a part of it, I’ve been privileged to play for my country over 50 times and you cherish those moments. We’re going through a tough time at the moment but I’ve got faith that we’ll get it right.”

The Sydney Morning Herald

Socceroos coach Holger Osieck sacked after embarrassing 6-0 defeat to France in Paris

Saturday, 12 October 2013 10:30 AM

Holger Osieck's contract terminated

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has today announced that the contract of Holger Osieck as Head Coach of the Socceroos has been terminated.

The decision was taken after an internal review of the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign and the international matches played since, including the 6-0 defeat to Brazil on 6 September and the 6-0 defeat to France earlier today.

The FFA Chairman Frank Lowy AC said the long-term interests of Australian football were paramount in making the change.

“The decision is based on the longer term issues of the rejuvenation of the Socceroos team and the preparations for the World Cup and the Asian Cup,” said Lowy.

“FFA has set a strategic objective of having a highly competitive team in Brazil and then handing over a team capable of winning the Asian Cup on home soil in January 2015.

“We have come to the conclusion that change is necessary to meet those objectives.

“I thank Holger for his contribution to Australian football and wish him well in his future endeavours.”

FFA CEO David Gallop has announced that current Socceroo assistant coach Aurelio Vidmar will be in charge as caretaker Head Coach of the Socceroos for the match against Canada in London this Tuesday (6am Wednesday AEDT).

“I have given our new Head of National Performance Luke Casserly and the National Technical Director Han Berger the task of conducting a review of our World Cup planning,” said Gallop.

“The review will include all aspects of the technical and logistical preparations, national teams unit staffing and the appointment of a new Head Coach.

“The World Cup kicks off in eight months and the Asian Cup is 15 months away. We are determined to make the most of the historical opportunities that these tournaments present to Australian football.

“FFA will give the highest priority to these projects because the Socceroos are the standard bearers for Australia on the world stage. “

 

Football Federation Australia

France humiliate Socceroos 6-0 in Paris friendly to pile the pressure on manager Holger Osieck

AUSTRALIA were given another chastening lesson in football as France romped to a 6-0 victory at the Parc des Princes in an international friendly on Friday.

Just a month after also being hit for six by Brazil in Brasilia, Australia were given the runaround again as France proved their recent troubles in front of goal were a thing of the past.

If reports in the Australian press are to be believed, then German manager Holger Osieck will be sweating on his job when he wakes up on Saturday morning, despite guiding the Socceroos to the World Cup finals, two years after he took them to the Asian Cup final.

He insisted after the Brazilian debacle that his side were under-prepared as most of the players were in their pre-season or off-season, but he could have no such excuses for this tepid display.

FBL-WC2014-FRA-AUS-FRIENDLY

French forward Franck Ribery (C) shoots and scores during the friendly against Australia.

In truth, France were brilliant with Olivier Giroud, retaining his place ahead of Karim Benzema, bagging a brace while Franck Ribery scored a penalty and had a hand in five goals.

Even Benzema, on as a second half substitute, got in on the act, along with Newcastle United pair Yohan Cabaye and Mathieu Debuchy on a fine night for the hosts, who discovered that World Cup qualifying results elsewhere had guaranteed them a play-off place.

France had come out of the blocks on fire, showing they had lost none of swagger that saw them bang in four goals in the second half of their last match in Belarus.

A classic one-two between Patrice Evra and Giroud saw the Manchester United full-back get down the left flank and then pick out the Arsenal striker once again 12 yards out, only for debutant goalkeeper Mitch Langerak to make an instinctive stop, before skipper Lucas Neill flung himself in front of Ribery’s follow-up.

But that was as good as it got for Australia.

Giroud belied his size with some clever juggling outside the box before releasing Ribery down the left, the Bayern Munich flyer then teeing up Loic Remy for a header that went over the bar.

ncredibly, though, Portuguese referee Artur Ribeiro signalled for a penalty, adjudging David Carney to have handled in the box as he challenged Remy.

Australia’s players were incensed and television replays proved they had every right to be as Carney’s arm made no contact with the ball.

But Ribery was not feeling charitable and calmly slotted home the spot-kick on eight minutes. He was a constant menace down the left and just past the quarter hour he made a typically bustling run down the wing before picking out Giroud to justify his selection with a delicate chipped finish.

 

The third was a beautiful team goal but again Ribery was involved, slipping in Samir Nasri between the centre-back and full-back before the Manchester City midfielder found Giroud to slot home on 27 minutes.

And two minutes later Ribery played a square bgll across the box for the onrushing Cabaye to lash home.
Whatever Osieck said to his players at half-time, it didn’t work.

Within six minutes of the restart, Debuchy had rifled home a half-volley on his weaker left foot after a poor headed clearance and Benzema had converted at the near post from yet another Ribery cross.

It was Real Madrid striker Benzema’s first goal in a France shirt for 1,222 minutes, perhaps more of an indication of Australia’s defending than his own return to form.

Ribery went off just past the hour mark and with it so too did France’s main attacking threat, although Remy spurned two glorious chances to get his name on the scoresheet while Langerak made late saves to deny Nasri and Moussa Sissoko.

 

Herald Sun

Australia becoming the joke of the soccer world

October 12, 2013 – 11:16AM

Michael Lynch

SENIOR SPORTS REPORTER WITH THE AGE

The anger and disappointment has gone, to be replaced now by simple disdain, contempt and a measure of pity.

Australia is becoming a joke on the world soccer stage, shipping goals by the minute, its limitations brutally exposed as it flounders from one incompetent display to another when pitched against high class opposition.

Passing on directions: Australian coach Holger Osieck.

Passing on directions: Australian coach Holger Osieck. Photo: Getty Images

If this is the best Australia can manage, then soccer fans, and anyone with a passing interest in the performance of the country’s national teams, had better dig in for a long, dark period of despair.

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Yes, Holger Osieck, the now ex-coach, has to take a large share of the blame. He was the man in charge, he was handsomely paid, and he had to carry the can and has paid with his job.

But the players also have to put their hands up for two spineless performances that have damaged the reputation of the national team abroad and the status of soccer in Australia.

Aurelio Vidmar will take charge of the Socceroos for their friendly against Canada on Tuesday following the sacking of national team boss Holger Osieck in the the wake of the 6-0 humiliation in Paris.

FFA chief executive David Gallop travelled to the French capital and acted ruthlessly and swiftly after the heavy defeat early Saturday morning.

The heavy defeat comes barely a month after the capitulation by the same scoreline against Brazil.

FFA officials are seeking guidance from leading European coaches – believed to include Gérard Houllier – as to who should replace Osieck.

How many travel agents will be fielding calls cancelling tickets for the World Cup in Brazil on Monday morning as fans calculate the price of a journey to South America with the guarantee of disappointment when they get there.

Reaching the World Cup is a fine achievement, but in the sort of state Australia is in now they risk being an embarrassment to the fine sporting traditions of the nation. It’s not a rebuild that the Socceroos require. The edifice of the national team needs to be razed to the ground with a complete redesign and reconstruction commissioned as soon as possible.

If the first stage of finding a cure is to recognise that you are in fact ill, then any doubts over the diagnosis should have been completely dispelled by now following the 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Brazil in September and the destruction by a similar scoreline in Paris on Saturday morning.

We can rant and rave all we want, slag the coaching staff and howl into the early morning light as the humiliation unfolds on our television screens.

The simple fact is that Australia is too old, too slow and simply not good enough. And the country is no longer producing enough quality players to replenish the stocks at the required rate. The past two performances have exposed a team playing with little heart, fight or spirit _ qualities that, even when Australia was a battling, developing soccer nation, it could always rely on to at least make it competitive against high quality opposition.

The writing has been on the wall for a very long time. The only ”positive” that may come out of it is that the boosterism, which has been so prevalent in recent years, may finally now stop and the realisation that Australia is simply not that good may be admitted.

Australia struggled and only just made it to the World Cup through the Asian group, getting past what was basically Iraq’s under 20 team with a late goal in the final game to seal qualification in the dying moments of a two year campaign.

Holger Osieck authored his own demise with these two performances. The German can stiffly proclaim that he satisfied his contractual requirements by guiding the team to the World Cup, but that was not enough. He was also charged with rebuilding the squad, preparing it not just to be competitive in Brazil but also to host the Asian Cup six months later, in January 2015. Osieck’s concentration on qualification at the expense of everything else meant he stuck too long with the old guard of players.

A sense of entitlement and a culture of complacency has grown up within the establishment of the Australian team: one FFA official told me how concerned he was about a poor attitude and a sense of arrogance within the playing group more than a year ago when Australia lost a crucial World Cup qualifier in Amman against Jordan, and he believed that the problems were deep seated and major surgery would be needed to fix them.

Guus Hiddink made it clear in June 2006, when the Socceroos went down to Italy in the round of 16 in Germany, that a total rebuild would be necessary before the 2010 World Cup. He believed that even then many of his critical players were ageing and would need to be replaced if the team was to be competitive in South Africa.

Seven years later, far too many of those players who played such an heroic role in that campaign are still there when they should not be. Pim Verbeek, Osieck’s predecessor, should, to a lesser extent, have begun the process. Osieck should certainly have been working on the remake and remodel that Hiddink declared was so  necessary right from the beginning of his tenure. But he didn’t.

Sure, the players coming through might not look to have the talent of the golden generation, but if they had been brought through, given a chance and taught to play as a team then it is highly unlikely they would have capitulated in the manner the current Australian side is doing.

In the southern hemisphere June and July, when the World Cup will be staged, are the months when the weather closes in and darkness descends. On the evidence of the last two games, for soccer fans it will surely be a winter of discontent.

The Sydney Morning Herald