Wednesday, August 11, 2010


The Kaiser's Man

Holger Osieck it is, and all one can say is that there were plenty of worse choices for the Socceroo job.

Osieck does tick many of the boxes. He has certainly had a taste of both the football and the logistical problems in Asia, having guided the Urawa Red Diamonds to the Asian Champions League in 2007. His spell with Canada at the turn of the millennium was a qualified success. And perhaps most importantly of all, his period as youth supremo with Germany, though a long time in the past, coincided with a number of successful youth teams and the launching of the generation that won the 1990 World Cup (at which he was Franz Beckenbauer's assistant - more on that later).

Until we hear how much Osieck is being paid, it is difficult to say whether the FFA have gotten value for money. But in any event, the decision to sign Osieck to a long-term deal is a sensible one. The Asian Cup next year will be a trial period for a number of younger players, and it makes sense for the same man to guide those that have settled in through the rigours of World Cup qualification.

The biggest question mark over Osieck's appointment is surely the length of time he has been away from the dugout. Following his sacking at the hands of Urawa in 2008, he has spent his time in the comfortable, pressure-free environment of the FIFA Technical Study Group, a sort of mobile retirement home for coaches who are sick of the stress and criticism that comes with the territory. Having said that, TSG junketeers emerging from the cocoon are probably better suited to a national team job than a club one.

In an interesting sense, the appointment of Osieck could be seen as another subtle piece of politicking by the FFA in the long-running battle for 2022. Osieck is a close friend of Franz Beckenbauer, an influential member of the FIFA ExCo; Beckenbauer is a friend of Australia and has emitted plenty of positive noises about the 2022 World Cup bid. Osieck has apparently been appointed on Der Kaiser's recommendation; could it be that one of the motives behind the FFA's choice has been a chance to further butter up one of the key men in the race for 2022?

If so, smartly played.

Really if we win the World Cup bid.

Then his appointment has already paid itself off irrespective of the results of the Socceroos.

In any case, his CV is better then Pim Verbeek so I don't think we can really complain too much about the appointment.
I would rather see someone with success in tournaments then success everywhere else but a record of continuing to fail in tournaments. Despite Pim's great success with Australia he seemed to fall apart in preparation for the World Cup Finals itself. Let's hope we have a coach that can get the team better prepared for that and not choke in performing against their biggest opposition.

The only issue I have with this appointment is that he is German old school, seemingly part of that German old boys club that people should really stay away from and what Klinsmann pulled the German national team away from and who Jogi Loew is continuing to fight off... I might be wrong about all that, but that makes me worried. I cannot think of a much worse to say about a manager than "Was looked over for Berti Vogts".
Osieck is a proven winner. His track record shows this.

He took Canada to Gold Cup glory, which is something unheard of in a CONCACAF region.

He took Urawa to kings of Asia. Any suprise they are hardly noticed when he went? They've fallen off the radar. Good choice of coach in my opinion
I just have a question. Do you know what the FIFA Technical Study Group actually does and what their responsibility is?

You do seem to have a low opinion of that group and I'm wondering what insight you have about that job.
...You do seem to have a low opinion of that group and I'm wondering what insight you have about that job....

That's mainly because I've worked with them.

Now, admittedly, I may have met an unrepresentative sample, but the collection of unfailingly anodyne and useless comments on the tournaments they attend suggests otherwise. ;-)
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