Sunday, February 03, 2008


Pim and the Parochials - brief update

While the Fox crew have been taking their various digs at our new boss, the SBS mantra ("foreigners good, Aussies ba-a-a-ad") has been faithfully adhered to by all concerned, and most recently by, erm, guess who.

There's little there that we haven't read before (in fact, there's little in anything Foster writes these days that we haven't heard from him umpteen times before), but there's one particularly disingenuous slant to the piece. In previewing the task that lies ahead, Foster is in awe of the struggle facing Pim and his charges. Just feel the force of the premature apologia:

Not that the assignment isn't already complex enough.

First, with a new coach, an under-prepared squad jetting in two days before the game, and a Qatar team coming off the back of three high-level friendlies and with plenty of time to acclimatise, there is already a risk over the performance and outcome.

Second, with an away match next in China, reportedly at altitude and most likely in freezing conditions, followed by games against Asian champions Iraq in June, a poor result here would put immense pressure on the team to win in unfamiliar conditions away from home.

Just where were all these excuses-in-advance when Graham Arnold was in charge, Craig? I seem to recall that when a great many of these factors faced our previous national coach, it was all about tactics and man-management.

In keeping to the SBS line, Foster has, ironically, resorted to the convenient prior excuses that have been a stock-in-trade of the parochialists for so long.

Uhh maybe thats because Graham Arnold actually had heaps of time to work with a squad? Who have been playing the dutch system previously?

Its a valid excuse, stop your Fozzie bashing and open your eyes, getting A-league players who are completely foreign to this system (sadly), to play in such a way in such a limited time is a bloody hard task..
...Uhh maybe thats because Graham Arnold actually had heaps of time to work with a squad?...

For that game in Kuwait? Codswallop. He had them for two days beforehand, without an assistant.

Criticism's all very well, but you have to be consistent...and fair.

...Its a valid excuse, stop your Fozzie bashing and open your eyes, getting A-league players who are completely foreign to this system (sadly), to play in such a way in such a limited time is a bloody hard task...

You've completely missed the point of my post, but never mind.

I have no problem with the result yesterday, incidentally. A hastily patched-together national side will always find it difficult up against a settled club team of a similar standard.

Everyone knew that this qualification series was going to be tough, for a number of reasons. Ultimately, though, Verbeek has to be judged on his results, as Arnie was.

There will, of course, be crowds of people lining up to provide excuses for Verbeek that were not afforded to Arnold...and vice versa. That's one of the unfortunate things about Oz football: most of the mainstream pundits seem to be firmly in either the Cockerill/Slater or the Murray/Foster camp, and there isn't much in between.
okay you do not like Fossie's criticisms.

I don't know why given the players have backed him up.

Only one club attempts to play a passing game, Newcastle, so how can we expect the local lads to play the system.

As For Arnold. He obviously learnt buggerall from the Kuwait game.
Why he insisted on playing Harry for full games when he patently wasn't fit is beyond most of the players that were there for one.

I do know we will go a lot better with Ozzie Pim than Arnie.

Gee I hate backs hoofing the ball out from the back. It doesn't matter whether it is U/9s or A-league.
What sort of football coach would allow it?
Welcome back Mike, hope you're enjoying 'Miss the Point' Sunday. ;o)
...Welcome back Mike, hope you're enjoying 'Miss the Point' Sunday. ;o)...

It's a blast, I've really missed it (pardon the pun). Cheers tfo.
...Gee I hate backs hoofing the ball out from the back. It doesn't matter whether it is U/9s or A-league.
What sort of football coach would allow it?...

Checkout the 442 match commentary...

17' Moore diagonal long ball - again - just fails to find Aloisi.

32' Moore is asking for more movement in forward line as another long ball fails to find its mark.
I think I read where Pim came out after the break and laid out cones along the sideline at intervals and instructed the players to play by them..

Pim - " Ok, see these cones. Backs, you are not to pass past the first set. Got it! Mids, you are not to pass past the next set, got it!"
Seemed to work for the rest of the game.
It seems that all your pundits live in Sydney and your Foster obsession is part of some sort of internecine Sydney war.Please widen your horizon forget Arnold, as a coach as cultivated as he was player, ditto for Farina. From here in Melbourne I don't care who coaches as long as it isn't a Sydney coach ,talk about a haven of failure.
...It seems that all your pundits live in Sydney...

The thought crossed my mind when I made my last comment earlier today. But TBH, I'm on a few Australia-wide football forums, and the views that always excite the most interest are either those of the SBS crew or the Fox crew. It's rare that a piece by Michael Lynch or Peter Desira generates the same sort of heat, as far as I can see.
In this case I think Fozzie is right. His arguments whether the new coach was foreign or not are still valid and bashing him like this is rather unfortunate and sad. Am I missing something here? I think its some blogger with nothing original to post.
....Am I missing something here?...


But take heart, you're not alone.
I agree with Mike that the argument seems to become a Cockerill/Slater versus the Murray/Foster one.

However the question remains.

Are any Australian coaches good enough to get the Australian team to the World Cup?

If anything the main culprit here is the FFA and probably Frank Lowy.

Don't get me wrong. I think every football fan should construct a little altar of Lowy and worship it everyday.

He was instrumental in the resurgence of football in Australia that we see today.

However I do wonder whether he was behind the insistance that we get a 'supercoach' a la Hiddink.

Hiddink was a one off. The right person at the right time. He knew that he basically had to win some relativley 'easy' games with some Pacific Islands and then a home and away series with the South American team.

I wonder whether Hiddink would have accepted the job if he had to go through a complete Asian qualification process.

The idea that we had to have a 'high profile' coach meant that the Australian team was in practical Limbo for years, with poor Arnold doing his best, knowing that the FFA was not going to support him as the coach anyway.

Now we find ourselves under prepared. But it is not Verbeek, Arnold or any other coaches fault. I think it was the FFA fault.
Good points Guido.

FFA have stalled long enough to leave us underprepared. A TD (more active at coaching coaches in hybrid Dutch/Brazilian methodology) than Rob Baan has been to date, should have been appointed straight after the World Cup. It would also have ben useful for Pim, or someone similar, to have been appointed about the same time. The football fraternity could have been more conversant in Dutch methodology than we are now.

To not select a player because he is not familiar with a specific system, is a shame. The system should be adapted to fit the best players. I'm thinking of Nick Carle's surprising omission from some post World Cup Socceroo squads. The Dutch systemic obsession is healthy though on the whole, because the Dutch coaches are steeped in a healthy dose of strategy, tactics and thorough attention to detail prior to matches. This is antithetical to our current coaching scenario in this country. If it can be eventually implemented with a dose of Brazilian creativity, we will be on the way to a good thing.

All Australian players I've seen interviewed who've played the Dutch system, laud the approach. It would have been ideal if we'd had our players exposed to this from August after the World Cup, with a TD disseminating the methodology to elite coaches and downwards to community football. There could have been little change in game plan for the Australian A League players trying to gain selection in PIm's camps, if Lowy had appointed a TD with the right job description immediately after the World Cup. Arnold could have continued in his job as assistant coach, specialising in his prior knowledge of Australian players and the Australian football scenario in its entirety. We should have also kept Neeskens.

FFA have demonstrated a certain mismanagement of coaching issues since the World Cup. To treat Arnold like they did was disgraceful. It could have been a seamless coaching transition, but it wasn't. Lowy has done some good things, but his unassailable standing in the FFA organisation has created needless problems at times.

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