There's been plenty of talk in the media about the cultural and political significance of the Asian Cup and its impact on mainstream Australia, here and abroad. And rightly so.
There is so much to be gained for our nation by embracing the event itself and the teams that are here representing such a diverse spread of cultures.
That we are even staging this event is fortuitous for our nation in this time of international upheaval, because no amount of politicking and diplomacy can bring different peoples together like football.
It is a huge coup for the game and for Frank Lowy who had the foresight to get us into Asia in the first instance. And no doubt his influence encouraged the government of the day to support our initial bid and the AFC to award the event to Australia.
Now all we need is to win the main prize, which would be an apt reward for his stewardship for the last 10 years. And that the event is well supported, which I think is on the cards.
Ticket sales have been good and the general level of interest is steadily rising as we approach kick-off. But now the time is here to put aside the rhetoric and focus on what this Cup is all about...football!
Can we win it?
Yes of course because we are good enough to do so. I have wavered these past few months between thinking we can/will win and no, we will struggle to make it to the semi-finals let alone the big one.
I'm no Robinson Crusoe in that regard judging by the punters I talk to and the pundits I conspire with!
But I’ve gotta be honest I'm a little bit excited about this and I'm favouring the former - and the thing that inspired was the final squad selection.
The game is all about players and this squad has the ability to excite. And it's the young guys, the next generation, the next World Cup players that do it because this is their stage, their opportunity to announce themselves!
I really hope Nathan Burns, James Troisi and Massimo Luongo are just as famous throughout Asia by the end of this tournament as Tim Cahill is around Australia.
Ange Postecoglou has got it right keeping everyone on their toes regarding team selection. It keeps the media on their toes as well, keeps them guessing.
Imagine if Postecoglou chooses not to start Cahill and Mark Bresciano and the media have a few days to dissect this before the first game. But imagine for argument sake a front five of say Burns, Matt Leckie, Robbie Kruise, Troisi and Luongo - there's pace and mobility to burn not to mention individuality and creativity!
Now don't tell me this isn't exciting and won't work. Postecoglou has suggested he wants players interchangeable in positions in the sharp end of the pitch and these five fit the bill to a tee.
Let's face it, as much as I would like to be wrong Cahill and Bresciano aren't going to make it through three games in eight days and the time I right for trying combinations like this because this is the future.
There's been a bit of focus on our opposition in the opening game because it's important to get off to a good start.
Kuwait have form going back decades against the Socceroos but in present circumstances I can only think they will sit off and look to counter.
Provided we stay balanced I really don't think they can hurt us.
This game is more about us breaking them down and that can be done with possession, movement and pace leading to good combination play and 1v1s in the front third where I think the five I have mentioned can excel.
But then I'm not the coach and I tend to think Ange will lean towards the experience and reliability of Cahill and Bresciano - at least initially. Get a result and worry about Oman in game two on Saturday morning.
Are they going to be much different to Kuwait? I don't know but I do know we don't want to be going Brisbane Stadium needing a win against Korea Republic to qualify for the knockout stage.
What I also know is that this tournament is here to be taken.
We are amongst the favourites, as we should be at home and we need to forget about the underdog tag that has been attached to Australia for decades and approach this as contenders.
Play with the Aussie spirit and play as winners.
Make sure you get your family and friends together and RISE with the Socceroos! Tickets are available by clicking here www.socceroos.com.au/tickets
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