Watched Fox Sports FC last night and was very interested in the interview with new Socceroos coach Holger Osciek. Having known next to nothing about the man until his appointment last week it was great to hear him speak and I was enthused by his views.
There is no doubt that it is time for change within the Socceroos and he will have to have one eye on the future as he lets former stars go out to pasture and brings in new players. He has a tough job ahead of him as there is no doubt the non-football media will be up in arms if he decides that the few players they actually know have to give way.
What was great to hear him say was how important the Asia Cup is in January. I personally have a grave fear that this tournament is not given the respect it should be by the powers that be with all the focus being on the World Cup. As Mr Osciek stated if you do well and win the Asia Cup you then attend the Confederations Cup the year before the World Cup and that is perfect preparation should you qualify for the World Cup.
The reason that I believe this is vital, is what happens if Australia do not qualify for Brazil in 2014? It is going to be tough with a team in transition, and yet it appears that the FFA’s sole focus is on World Cup Qualification. If we fail will the sponsors stay on board? After all the World Cup gives them massive exposure on a global scale.
If we take the Asia Cup seriously and perform well, even win it, we have a fall back should we fail to make Brazil, and a lever to keep the sponsors on board. As Mr Osciek said Australia as Champions of Asia would still play in the Confederations Cup, another global tournament. As Champions of Asia we would be the top of the pile in the key market for most of these sponsors. This is only looking at it from a commercial perspective, if we went into what it meant in footballing terms again, there are only positives. So the new coach is definitely thinking in a way that can only benefit Australian football, and if he gets the results the Frank Lowy and his team have once again pulled a rabbit out of the hat.