Pim not happy with A-League mistakes

Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

New Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek has come out and said he is “concerned” with the amount of “mistakes” observed in the Hyundai A-League matches he has attended so far.  So is the A-League bunch good enough to take on Qatar on 6 February?  I think so, but they may need a little help.

By giving the A-League based players a chance to play a meaningful match of national importance you promote the game in Australia and give hope to those choosing to continue their careers at home.  As if playing for the Socceroos isn’t motivation enough but I bet that every player who trained in today’s camp in front of Verbeek gave everything they had to be selected and I bet they won’t let him down.

It would be beneficial for Verbeek to have options by calling up fringe overseas players for this important 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifier.  Players like David Carney (Sheffield United, English Championship), Carl Valeri (Grosseto, Italian Serie B) and of course Nicky Carle (now at Bristol City, English Championship).  I also think Lucas Neill should make himself available if he feels he is Socceroos captain material.  He could be the difference in defence for us with his experience in the Barclays Premier League.

Verbeek has a decent task ahead of him.  He arrived in Australia under much scrutiny, many preferring Frenchman, Philippe Troussier.  He was embarrassed upon arrival on Fox Sports’ weekly football program, Total Football by Robbie Slater and Simon Hill who unprofessionally welcomed the new coach by telling him and the national audience we could’ve done better.  As a true professional Verbeek kept his cool, although his body language was obviously suggesting he was uncomfortable, and continued with his plan.

Scrutiny is after all what he should expect but let’s give the guy a chance first before we shoot him down or start pointing fingers at FFA.  Verbeek, like his fellow countryman, Hiddink, will bring organisation and tactical guidance to the Socceroos, which in itself should be enough to beat a Qatar side playing away from home.  I wouldn’t be worried, except for one interesting fact.  Jorge Fossati, ex-Uruguay national coach, is now in charge of Qatar, he has even gone as far as naturalising three foreign players in time for the match.  The pain he felt in his heart and the expression left on his face after the Socceroos knocked-out Uruguay on that history-making night is enough to seek revenge or maybe leave with a point which will cast doubt over our campaign.

The kind of mistakes Verbeek has identified is both technical and game sense related.  Our local boys can’t change this in a month.  Needlessly kicking the ball out across all A-League teams seems to be the theme lately.  I’ve lost count how many times lived seen a full-back intend to pass the ball to a wide midfielder and kicked the ball out over the sideline because the pass was either to heavy or too long.  Silly mistakes and fundamentally – a lack of concentration.

Verbeek will no doubt go for a mixture of speed with the Olyroo players, like Ruben Zadkovich, and experience in defence with guys like Kevin Muscat and Craig Moore.  If we can play football, keep the ball and play on the crowd we should win.  We will make mistakes but it’s Verbeek’s job to rectify them and quickly.

Asia is not unfamiliar territory for Verbeek and I trust him to take this opportunity to make a name for himself and take us to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.  His Dutch methodology suggests that structure is on its way and together with National Technical Director, Rob Baan, mistakes at all levels of the game, from the grassroots to the A-League should see a decline.  It’s time for some action and I say, bring it on!

This will not be a quick process though – it will take some patience and trust.  The Socceroos will get the job done come 6 February, that I believe will do the game a world of good after the disastrous 2007 AFC Asian Cup.


Add Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: