eujin wrote:Hey nzfooty! Welcome back! I trust all is well with you.
No one in the article seems to be relating Australia's relative decline to their move from the OFC to AFC, although they seem to coincide reasonably well time-wise. A lot of the blame seems to go on Osieck for not developing younger players. One might argue that a relatively easier path to the World Cup allows the national coach to bleed more younger players than needing to rely on experience (we see this also in Europe), but he doesn't do this in the EAFF either, which you would've thought was an ideal opportunity.
Spot on about Osieck. He has missed his moment. He is very slow to out faith in young players even when to me it looks less risky to go with them rather than stick with players who are declining and moving to lesser leagues (from where they were in Europe) in West Asia.
Tommy Oar might finally be given a starting spot now that he has been voted as one of the top 10 players in the Dutch league. Instead of him we were playing Alex Brosque who was never that great (his time in the J league was his peak) and is now in West Asia.
Rhys Williams is admittedly out of form but he is captain at Middlesborough and didn't even get a spot in the squad.
I think the decline isn't related to joining Asia as surely that has been a positive on all levels. It has probably slowed the decline somewhat by allowing some players to get a higher level of football as a plus 1 visa spot that they wouldn't normally get.
The last generation of players came from the first big boom in player numbers (early 80's) which has been maintained but the last generation usually had the benefit of qualifying for a European passport through their parents or grandparents whereas for this generation they have to try and make it as a Visa player rather than an EU one. That is a huge difference because while I don't think the standard of Australian player has fallen they are now competing against South Americans, Africans and the rest of the developing football world (which has improved greatly) for limited spots.
The Korean and Japanese league at least provide a destination where an Australian passport is a benefit rather than a hindrance.
The K league hasn't really been that kind to Australian's though. It was the making of Sasa (and Cornthwaite) as a Socceroo but most seem to have gone backwards.
Devere seems to do okay when he is not injured.
People like Wilkinson, North, Mckay, Burns, Simon never seemed to get a fair go. And a few of them had strange falling outs with management.