Word of the Week: Patience
By Vinnie Venezuela
Call me deluded, crazy and foolish, but I have decided that I don’t really care if the Socceroos fail to win the Asian Cup. I know we forked out big bucks for the party and, so far, the place is buzzing, but whether we blow out the candles and get sung to at the end of the night, for me, is neither here nor there.
Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t want us to win, it just means I can handle it if we don’t on the proviso that the national team continues to show development.
Our first game against Kuwait was extremely encouraging and while the score certainly flattered us, Matty Ryan pulled off some cracking saves to help us maintain our composure when the momentum was slowly swinging towards the opposition. Spiranovic and Sainsbury were also very solid and Jedinak was a star.
The first goal we copped is a sobering reminder that we are not the complete package and that rookie mistakes may well be our undoing. I say ‘we’ because there is only so much Ange can do when the game has started and he should not pay the price for those sorts of stuff ups. His and the team’s challenge remains to get the positioning and communication working how it needs to.
The most pleasing aspect to come from the game was the awareness that it was always going to take patience to defeat Kuwait. Despite the early and inconvenient goal (mind you it did spark us up a tad) Kuwait was defending in numbers, clogging up the dance floor. Thankfully, that didn’t stop Luongo dancing his way into the box and cutting it back to Super Tim who finished sweetly.
That move was a delight.
Luongo is certainly one to watch and his goal gave us a game changing buffer that forced Kuwait to re jig its strategy.
What was terrific about the Socceroos is that they remained composed and purposeful despite conceding first. Because of this, they were both compelling to watch and dangerous. To me, this is a very positive sign.
Then, when you factor in that Tommy Oar and Matt McKay did not get a run and that Luongo started in favour of Bresciano. That Burns and Juric came on and made an immediate impact. That the pace of Robbie Kruse, Matthew Leckie and James Troisi was causing chaos. And that Milligan was ready if Jedinak wasn’t going to be able to stay on the pitch after rolling his ankle, you realise that, suddenly, we have plenty of depth.
It is also worth noting that it wasn’t just Cahill scoring the goals.
Most pundits will argue that nothing short of a Socceroo semi final berth is acceptable and, though I tend to agree, the world will not end if we don’t get that far. Nor should Postecoglou’s tenure.
The vision for the Socceroos needs to be long term and Ange remains the right option win, lose or draw.
Success can be measured in many ways and, for me, getting the Socceroos to become a squad that can threaten and defeat the best teams in the world by playing positive football is the ultimate measure.
Sure, we’ve only played one game in the Asian Cup and the quality of our opposition will certainly increase, but the match against Kuwait demonstrated that we are developing both the patience and tenacity to win with flair.
Ange has clearly got the boys rising to the challenge and to me, that is progress.
The Four Diegos