Thursday, January 6, 2011

United Arab Emirates 0-0 Australia: Socceroos second-string fail to impress

United Arab Emirates 0-0 Australia


Australia drew 0-0 with the United Arab Emirates at the Al Ain Club ground in the UAE this morning (Australian time).

Australia were without Tim Cahill, Harry Kewell, Jason Culina, Brett Emerton and Mark Schwarzer for this final hit-out against the United Arab Emirates before the Asian Cup tournament starts in Qatar on Saturday.

Australia’s first game in Group C will be on Tuesday morning (Australian time) against India.

The only likely starters in the forthcoming tournament were the back-four of Luke Wilkshire, Lucas Neill, Sasa Ognenovski and David Carney.

Australia started well and had the better of the opening quarter of an hour before fading away and being under real pressure in the second half.

First-half chances to Bret Holman and Matt McKay were Australia’s only real chances of the opening half.

Australian coach, Holger Osieck, made two changes at half-time, replacing goalkeeper Brad Jones with Nathan Coe, and Luke Wilkshire with Jade North. He made three more in the 62nd minute, but all that did was upset the structure and rhythm of the team.

Very few of the Australians caught the eye and this will not be the line-up that faces India. The fringe players were given their chance, but apart from Jason Burns and Matt McKay, no-one staked a claim for selection when the real business starts.

The UAE made six substitutions during the course of the second half and should have scored several goals. Two shots went just wide, one was well saved by Coe, while another smashed against the post with Coe beaten.

The Australians did have two second-half chances that fell to McKay, but he was off target.

As always, Australia had a goalscoring problem. This must be rectified for the coming tournament and, hopefully, Cahill and Kewell will come up with the goods.


United Arab Emirates: Naser; Juma, Rahman, Wehaibi, Al Kamali, Natar, Khalil, Abbas, Jaber, Khater, Khamis

Booked: Rahman, Kamali

Australia: Jones (Coe 46) - Wilkshire North 46), Neill, Ognenovski, Carney - Valeri, Jedinak (Kilkenny 62), Burns, Holman (Oar 62) - McKay, McDonald (Kruse 62) (Subs not used: Spiranovic, McKain)

Booked: Wilkshire, Ognenovski

Ref: Ali Saban (Kuwait)


Anonymous said...

DONK said...

Burns was good and gained in confidence throughout. He has the tools and head to do well with more caps. Kilkenny was excellent too. He has good distribution, great positional sense and vision, always aware of his own whereabouts before receiving the ball. McKay showed great touch and involvement. Put these guys into our first team and they wouldn't look out of place. Great to see the evolvement of our socceroos. Kruse also showed glimpses and can be another to watch.

Anonymous said...

Disappointed in the Socceroo performance against UAE.

Neither of the full backs have the talents for a modern fullback.

Culina & Mackay both have those talents,fast,fit,direct,good at crossing & most important, NOT noted finishers as midfielders.

Wilkshire is a far better defensive midfielder than what was on show & with Emerton & Carney on either side with Kilkenny as back up there is a potential for creativity,balance, & finishing out of midfield.

Cahill in normal position,& Kewell,or Burns,or Mcdonald,or Kruse??

Anonymous said...

The distance between the Australian midfield line and the strikers was too great. The bowl shaped midfield employed by Osieck helped with width, but there was often no offensive target in a neat triangle to open a passing lane centrally in the attacking midfield area.

Under Verbeek, passing lanes were available more often in the attacking third. Even then this was a team weakness. Nevertheless, Verbeek's 4-2-3-1 provided an outlet behind the striker and it made the midfield more compact.

The attacking midfielder under Verbeek's 4-2-3-1, also disturbed build ups more effectively. The UAE controlled too much territory in their defensive half. This enabled them to maintain possession too easily. This has become a worrying pattern since Osieck took over.

Casual Observer

Anonymous said...

PUGS thought...

That ref was hopeless.. just kept blowing his whistle for nothing. I'm a fan of Barca and Arsenal and playing football and not being thugs but seriously... if you fell over... you got a free kick...

The Aussie players soon cottoned on to this fact and started hitting the turf (and it worked)

Why was the whistle blown for Neill's disallowed goal?? Anyone?

Yeah and Holman did go all 'throwback' on us and was more like the Lolman of days gone past than the Golman of more recent times.

Anonymous said...

Thoughts on the game.

Neil Kilkenny - Did nothing special and offers nothing new... so please shut up all these people moaning for him to get a game.

Mcdonald - Time is running out (India goals don't count as redemption)

Lucas Neill - Back to chipped long balls ala Asian Cup 2007

Headline should have read "UAE held by Socceroos"


Anonymous said...

Wasn't too impressed by the Socceroo performance. I have been a long term critic of Kilkenny but I think in the race between him, Jedinak and Valeri he was a clear winner.
What has happened to Carl Valeri? He was anonymous on the park.
It'll take some time to gel with the team, but its ok.
I dont think we play that well with two screeners. It reminded me of the Pim era where there is the defence and attack separated by a gap the size of the Nullabor plain. Also, Holger knew we would not be allowed to score a goal in his post match interview in reference to Lucas Neill's goal. What was that about? Maybe us being on a 'paying respect continuum' means that respect to Asian teams means we aren't allowed to actually beat them?


Anonymous said...

There was more distance between the lines in Osieck's side than before with Verbeek. Holman, in particular, was able to keep the lines in a more compact formation when he played as an attacking midfielder in Verbeek's game plan.

With Osieck persisting with two strikers trying to pressure the opposition in intensive squeezing in the same line, there is no Socceroo in the central gap between the forward line and the deep lying midfield screeners.

This space was exploited by the UAE. Moreover, it has also been exploited by most other opponents Australia has played against since Pim terminated his contract.

Unfortunately Osieck is a product of the old style German coaching regime. He is not one of the contemporaneous coaches manifesting in the new generation of Low et al. These guys are coaching products of an overhauled German system formed to provide players of the calibre of the current German national team.

Casual Observer

Anonymous said...

Its really getting embarrassing watching our Australian team these days!
The fact that we don't have anyone in Australia capable of replacing David Carney is a disgrace on those involved in our elite development system.
I'd naturalise Cassio ASAP as he is 5 times the footballer of Carney.
When are some people going to give up on Macca? He was and has been rubbish in the national team set-up from the day he put on a Socceroos shirt.
Kruse has speed and far superior technical ability and must be played before him alongside Harry Kewell.
How can the commentators single out Nathan Burns as super?
I can't remember any Australian player doing anything super.
There was not one player in the team that looked anywhere near the top of his game. Including Burns!
Thank god we have Cahill, Emerton, Culina and Kewell to come in.
Finally, Ognenovski starting before Spiranovic!! WHY??
How can expect our youngsters to do anything when big Sasa and co launch bombs at them for the majority of the game.
That's my opinion anyway.

Anonymous said...

One has to credit the UAE with holding such a compact shape in the middle of the pitch. It was very difficult for Australia to penetrate this space with the formation it played.

One also has to credit the calibre of opposition Australia plays in the Asian Confederation. No game, particularly away, is easy.

Alf Ramsey

Anonymous said...

DAVE said...

Cannot what anyone sees in Jedinak. His passing is atrocious. Valeri is decent. At least his passing hits the mark.

Osieck is hopeless... his set up is dour. Despite not being perfect, Pim had far more interplay in midfield. There is no creativity with Osieck. No imagination and simply no need for 2 screening midfielders. Especially against the UAE.

No disrespect to the UAE but these are the sorts of teams that we have to go away to and get a winning result against. Not just a result. A WIN!!

Because the other teams in past WCQ like Iran, Korea, Japan etc ... get wins in Dubai.

Anonymous said...

Calm down everyone! It was a friendly match, Holger used this to experiment with formations and personnel, we all know what to expect against Asian opposition by now and friendly results are irrelevant. They are used as an opportunity to build team togetherness, and always tend to be boring, dull, placid games. This match was no exception.


Anonymous said...

STRIKER reckons:
Wonder what Craig Foster will say about this performance as he seemed to believe that Osieck was a keen promoter of 'good football', but yet again, aside from the first 15 minutes this was another match where we just lumped it forward at every opportunity.

Anonymous said...

JORDAN opines:
Don't think the quality of the final delivery was as much of a problem as the source of the final delivery.

First 15 minutes, we pressed high, linked well in midfield and generally looked good. They got my hopes up. But after that, those good interchanges between guys like Burns and Holman turned into hoofballs from defence.

I'm pretty sure everybody understands that this was a second string side, and that a win probably wasn't going to happen, but the win is not what counts, it was the performance and it was dire.

The only guys I felt did anything positive were Burns, Valeri and Kilkenny along with the 2 goalkeepers. With Burns, surely he has to be the first man on Osieck's mind to bring off the bench.

Anonymous said...

kewell will fire us to victory