Sunday, 25 June 2017

Confeds Cup: Thoughts

In light of the results against Germany and Cameroon, and a recent article written by Craig Foster, it's true that the Confederations Cup is a great 'match-experience' opportunity for the Socceroos. If we are to measure ourselves against the very best, it makes sense that we treat the Confederations Cup (which is really just a series of tournament-style friendlies) somewhat seriously. However not too seriously - we don't want any injuries.

I thought the Roos played much better against Cameroon but should have still lost, at least on paper - look at Aboubakar's spurned chances.

I also thought the scoreline against Germany flattered us a bit given our performance in the first half.

This match against Chile tomorrow at 1am will be interesting because it will be a true yardstick of sorts - we played Chile in 2014 and lost 3-1.

Since we are very much transitioning our style of play it will be interesting to see how we will fare. If we can lose by the same margin or less - at least scoring one goal - while maintaining our aggressive tactics, I think that should be treated as a success.

To qualify for the next stage, the Roos need to win by a 2 goal margin - this looks incredibly unlikely.

It is important in all of this to not lose sight of formations and all that jazz. I think it is vital to be flexible. In any sport, one does not always attack. Champions and champion teams choose the right moment to attack - when the opponent is vulnerable. A solid defence is critical to this. That said, it is true that more aggressive teams tend to win. The balance is probably 60-40 Attack or 70-30 Attack.

The Socceroos are in an interesting and exciting spot. On one hand, it is admirable that we want to replicate the attacking styles of other teams. Of course following that style will mean we concede more goals because we are not used to it, especially while in transition. On the other hand, if we do not have the personnel to play that attacking style, we need to be pragmatic and adapt our tactics to our personnel.

If there is a suggestion that qualification for the World Cup should be sacrificed to change our style, I would say we have lost the plot. I think our style needs to be changed over time but not to the extent that we miss out on the most important event in the football calendar - for it is there that our worth as a footballing nation is measured.

Andre Lim

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