Chris Coyne has finally arranged his loan deal to China to give himself a last chance of making Pim Verbeek’s Socceroos World Cup squad. It is only fair that he should cling to that dream, but realistically it has to be just that, a dream. When Jade North pulled out of the Socceroos camp and Robert Cornthwaite was called up as a replacement he must know that the dream is all but over.
The sad thing is he did little in Glory colours to show that he should earn a spot on the plane to South Africa. Prior to the January transfer window he allegedly told one journalist that he had been playing well within himself, as he wanted to save himself for a move in January. Then in January his back started to give him trouble, and he missed games.
His form on the park was disappointing. Although an intimidating presence, and committed when in a challenge, his distribution was poor and he lacked the calmness on the ball under pressure that Andy Todd alongside him exuded.
When you go away to a tournament it is not only about how good you are as a player but whether you are a team man and how you conduct yourself amongst the other members of the squad. The reason one A league player who has had an outstanding season will not make the plane to South Africa.
One thing that cannot have escaped Pim Verbeek’s attention would have been Coyne frequently contradicting comments made by head coach Dave Mitchell in the media. This to be fair may not have been the player’s sole fault, however, it will not have helped his cause.
With the World Cup dream a thing of the past next season hopefully we will see the best of Chris Coyne. Let us hope that there is not a hangover from the fact that he did not make the squad, we are confidant that his professional pride will ensure that this does not happen.