What’s with the negativity?

I really don't understand all the fuss about the Socceroos at the moment. In a rare moment in a lifetime when all we should be doing is reveling in the fact they have departed our shores to play in the World Cup in Brazil - the spiritual home of the game - there is way too much pessimism surrounding our campaign.

Even my coffee shop gangster mates got under my skin on the morning after the South Africa game. “We won't get a point and we won't score a goal" and "that was crap last night".

On they went in typical armchair critic fashion. And the 'football media' for want of a better description haven't been too much better. I've read some pretty bland articles about the team and its chances bordering on negativity.

But it's good to see the players aren't bothered by the criticism and that seasoned veterans like Tim Cahill and Mark Bresciano are quietly confident of a surprise.

I've also been pleased to note the humility shown by these same two players whenever they have been interviewed, but then they always have which has a lot to do with why they are still around. Both have been public about having to work for, and earn, their place and about having to look over their shoulders for the new guy gunning for their spot on the plane.

The same goes for Josh Kennedy and Luke Wilkshire. Despite it being their third World Cup they are  grateful for the chance and happy to fill whatever role the coach has in mind for them, even if that means coming off the bench.

There is no doubt all four will make the final 23. Their experience will benefit a youthful squad and what they have to offer on the park warrants it. Cahill and Kennedy are goal-scorers and Bresciano can add that bit of guile and composure around the box that was in short supply against the South Africans.

Remember who it was that combined to conjure the goal against Iraq that got us to Brazil in the first place. The way Ange Postecoglou likes to play will suit Bresciano. He's a good fit for the 'hole' behind the front three and he doesn't mind a shift defensively when needed.

As much as we didn't win last Monday the way we played was more important. I'm big on intention - if that's not right then you'll never get the outcomes you want and the team played with proper intent and purpose from my perspective.

There was nothing so far wrong it can't be fixed, in fact there wasn't a great deal wrong at all. So all this complaining about the performance comes back to a lack of perspective from the commentators.

Twelve hard days in camp with relentless intensity and focus on getting the little things right is tough. Then to get it right on the park is no simple transition so to play as we did for the first half hour was a positive step in the process. That we came straight back and scored after conceding showed mental strength and that we got a bit strung out towards the end from obvious fatigue is only natural. So no big deal!

Tommy Oar and Matt Leckie are looking more and more like international players and, despite a few passes off target, I liked the way James Holland worked, especially when the opposition had the ball.

It was no surprise that Adam Sarota, Curtis Good and Josh Brillante were cut. If fit Good would have been a starter - he's a quality stopper and that he's missed out through injury is sad.

I've always rated Sarota but he's one of those that flies under the radar and doesn't get the recognition or have the reputation that puts you in the front of the coach's mind and gets you picked.

But he has to be a player for the future while it is just too soon for Brillante.

The next four to get cut will be interesting to see. Obviously one of the keepers has to go but the other three is a tough decision for Postecoglou.

I have my own ideas on this and I won't mention any names but I will not be surprised if there's one or even two names on the list that raises a few eyebrows.

I still haven't changed my opinion from my last column. We can cause an upset or at the very least give all three teams in our group a big fright. Like I said in my last column, my gut is telling me I might be staying in Brazil a bit longer than I have planned.

Featured News