Have the Socceroos won back Australia’s heart?

Australia’s fine performance against world champions Germany has shown that the Socceroos are now putting in performances that will bring back the casual sports fan to love the Socceroos again.  Even with the Cricket World Cup coming to its conclusion, the Socceroos sent a huge ripple in the sporting community with their performance last week.

This reminds me of a conversation I had with a casual sports fan Simon at last years world cup in Brazil.  Simon was a Rugby League fanatic, but he loved most sports and came the World Cup due to its status as the biggest sporting event in the world.

Simon and I ended up sitting next to each other at all of Australia’s group games thanks to FIFA’s ticketing system, so we got to know each other over the three games.  While we were sitting amongst 300 Chilean supporters in the first game I asked Simon did he watch much football.  His answered that while he liked the game he really hasn’t watched the Socceroos much since their great performance in Germany 2006.  He felt the national team were not having a real crack and the conservative styles that coaches Verbeek and Osieck encouraged did not give incentive for supporters such as Simon to support the Socceroos.

Which shows how important the belief and attacking style Ange Postecoglou has brought is winning back the casual supporters such as Simon.  Looking back as good Verbeek was in getting us the South Africa 2010 and Osieck in nearly winning the Asia Cup in 2011.  I always had the belief not only both managers looked down on the standard of the A-League, but also on the players in the national team as well.  Classic example was the team picked for the opening game the Socceroos played in South Africa 2010.  A few of the players picked were past their prime and Verbeek did not give the players a belief they could get a result against the Germans.

The result last week clearly shows what happens when you have a coach with an attacking system, but importantly a belief that the players and supporters have brought into.

About Vaughan Menlove

Obsessed with Richmond, Luton Town, Melbourne Victory and Arsenal. The Dr had a soccer career hampered by the realisation he was crap, but could talk his way around the game. Co host of It's Not Called Soccer podcast


  1. Wayne Ball says

    Verbeek once famously said words to the effect of that “a training session for a 3rd division European club team is a tougher test of a player’s ability than an A League match.”

    He should have been summarily dismissed when he said that. How could FFA Administration appeal to the public to spend their hard earned to go and watch the A League when their head coach didn’t rate it as worthy as a training session?

    We now have a league that has produced an Asian Champions League winner, are the Asian Cup champions. The A League is now a competition which is being respected by many commentators around the football world.

    The coaching standard set by Postecoglou, Arnold and Popovic is a major reason for the dramatic improvement in the past 3 years. Still a long way to go.

  2. Dennis Gedling says

    The way we played and the style in which we won the Asian Cup definitely got the team back onside. The massive success of the tournament also helped. It seems it has now, thankfully, gone from ‘qualify for the World Cup by any means possible because if we don’t we die’ to taking some risks and developing our own way of doing things with the confidence this will mean we’ll qualify. Confidence is growing in the whole set up now locals are in senior coaching positions at high levels but there’s a long way to go.

  3. To see A-League players get called up into the national squad an make an impact – Juric, Spiranovic and Behich – as opposed to the perception that to be worthy of a Socceroo cap, one must be playing in Europe – has been an enormous boost to the A-League. To see that playing locally is a now another ‘pathway’ to the national squad perhaps shouldn’t be understated either.

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