Monday, August 18, 2008

Olyroos vs Ivory Coast + Olympics Wrap Up

Australia started with a lot more enterprise than previous games and this was by far our most entertaining to watch.  We really looked to take it to the Ivory Coast but once again just didn't have that edge in the final third.  The Rukavytsya risk didn't pay off.  He is just way too inexperienced and raw.

Ivory Coast sat deep in defense probably giving us more respect than we deserved.  A draw was good enough to see them go through so I suppose it may have been warranted to take less risks in committing players forward.  This could however been our advantage if we had anyone that could take a chance.

Australia have had the same problem not only in this match but throughout the tournament and it just highlights the class difference in the players on show.  That is our first touch.  Every time the ball comes to us in even open space our players have heavy touches which puts them immediately under pressure.  Argentina especially impressed me in tight, nonexistent spaces in and around the box they were still able to touch the ball with close control to exactly where they wanted it.  Both our anticipation and actual technical ability to do this were very evidently lacking.

Good things to come out of the tournament were definitely Spiranovic, Carney and Federici.  Honorable mentions have to also go to Musialik who I cannot wait to see pull on the sky blue shirt for Sydney and Celeski who was often our spark in attack.  I feel for Milligan who playing in his less preferred midfield role was quite poor.  This was meant to be where he was noticed and picked up by a big club.

Arnold wanted to be judged on results and the way the players he picked played.  We can now say that the criticism of his squad selections and coaching ability were justified.  Seeing Hyphen come on as a late substitute after we went 1-0 down was his final clutch for straws.  They however slipped through his hands along with hopefully his time surrounding our national team.

But our players all handled the heat right?...


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