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A Tale of Sweat, Ignorance & Excuses

The Socceroos got their second taste of soccer, Asian Cup qualifier style. It would be unreasonable for anyone to imagine that the team could repeat the magnificent success of their World Cup campaign. Most of the big guns are playing for their clubs back in Europe. A full-time coach still has not been identified, let alone appointed. Given such haphazard atmosphere and preparation, I roundly applaud players like Mark Schwarzer and John Aloisi for making the journey to Kuwait.

From Aloisi’s comments in this article, it seems to have finally hit home that Asian soccer is not going to be the lackadaisical stroll in the park that the Australian public and many of the fringe players would have expected, especially after beating Japan in the World Cup. It is one thing to accept that your preparation was lacking and attitudes and processes need amending. However, it is a totally different matter to apportion blame for a poor performance to high temperatures, ground conditions and a lack of ambience as caretaker coach Graham Arnold has done:

"Look, some people will see this is a disaster. But I don't see it like that. The goal was to qualify for the Asian Cup, and we've done that. When you come to a stadium that's not full, the field's not the best, and it's stinking hot…”

These players are all professionals capable of and used to playing under different temperatures and ground conditions. Why is it that Australian teams from any sport (except cricket, that too only recently) always blame poor conditions when losing to an Asian team, in Asia? Football Australia would have known and agreed to the prevailing ground conditions before agreeing to play the match. If the conditions really were such an obstacle, they should not have agreed to play in the first place.

I can guarantee that Kuwait soccer has a bank balance far greater than Football Australia could call upon and that they would have put every last dirham into ensuring that conditions were up to international standards. It is about time Graham Arnold and all like him, started appreciating the fact that somebody has the knowledge and determination to grow a patch of green in the middle of a desert, so they can spread the excitement and glory generated by the game of football.

Time to take care of your own back yard first gentlemen.

Tags: The Match Referee

2 comments

Anonymous said...

Engima, you have to realise that a coach of Arnolds stature(which isn't very high at the moment), is not going ot go out and publicly blast his international stars in the media. Of course they should have won that game, I dont think any body will deny that, but Arnold was only trying to put a positive spin on things as best he could. Also I don't think its anything personal against Asian countrys maybe you should realise that the sporting world isn't against Asia.

The Ox said...

I think more emphasis needs to be put on the fact that we have already qualified for the Asian cup. While blaming the loss on such factors as an empty stadium and poor field conditions is pigheaded on Arnold's behalf, the loss really isn't that bad. As Aloisi implied, the Aussie's did come into the game thinking it would be a walk in the park and quite frankly, they had a more eager side serve it up to them. However, Australia's current side is missing the big guns and rightfully so; Australia has already qualified. What's the point of dragging such players as Kewell and Cahill away from their European clubs to play in a relatively non-important game?
Come Asian Cup time, the side will be full of such players and we will again see the form of the real Australian side.
Timmy Cahill... Cahill... CAHILL SCORES!!!

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