Australia v Argentina - The Aftermath
What is it with Australia always raising its game against quality opposition, and then scratching its arse against the likes of Oman and Thailand? That was a bloody good show, even if it was a 1-0 loss. Given that the team was missing some of the Olyroo boys (Burns, Djite, Milligan, Vukovic spring to mind) and some senior players (Chipperfield, Sterjovski, Emerton, Kewell, Aloisi, Cahill, Viduka) they did quite well, especially when you consider the limited ability of Graham Arnold as a coach at the international level.
Of course the current system (so called 4-3-3) leads to us lacking goalscoring threat but leaves us very organised and competitive in the middle of the park, and quite safe at the back (pity about rubbish defending at set pieces though). We were competent but were always going to lose that game. Our more 'quality' attacking players were after all missing (Kewell, Viduka, Aloisi). Even when you consider that Viduka and Kewell may very well play little no more part in future matches, and that Aloisi is almost certainly on his way out, the future is bright precisely because we have the new dynamic duo of Bruce Djite (via Togo and the US I believe....) and Nathan Burns to fill the breach. If McDonald ever bothers to play for the national he might prove himself too. Plus Jesus Christ up front looks useful in that Peter Crouch sort of way....
Still, the strikers need to receive a steady supply of passes and crosses and for that Chipperfield and Emerton need to stay involved with the national team, even if the former is getting on. Whomever takes over the helm (and perhaps it is not Advoccat after all) need not worry too much about conceding goals once they sort out lapses at set pieces but will have serious work to do in order to get the team scoring goals. And isn't that always the hardest bit...?