Oh Harry!

Also on Fox Sports last night the producers very generously gave Harry Kewell the right to reply to an article that upset the former Socceroos superstar, written by former team mate Robbie Slater in the Sunday Telegraph.

In that article Slater stated “Harry Kewell has been put on a pedestal for years. Now it’s time for him to call it quits with the Socceroos.” He went on to say “For far too long Football Federation Australia has universally backed Harry because of his profile.” Two points with which we concur.

Slater also said that at 32 and with a long history of injuries, which at the recent world cup destabilised the team it was time to start looking for another striker. We have stated on air and on this blog that the FFA have stuck by Harry for marketing purposes for far too long, and again agree with Slater, as this is about what is best for the game as a whole and no player is ever bigger than the game. The one thing that Slater’s column does allude to is was Pim Verbeek pressured by the FFA to include Kewell in his squad? Having spoken with Verbeek prior to the team leaving Australia this would appear unlikely as he seemed a man who would not be swayed on anything once his mind was made up.

Slater also claimed in the article that there was an altercation between Kewell and another player at the Socceroos farewell dinner. A claim that Kewell vehemently denied on Fox Sports last night.

Kewell was understandably upset by this accusation, but to appear on national television while still obviously upset was not a good move and his handling of the situation was incredibly immature, and reminded one of a school yard squabble. For so long Mr. Kewell has been a protected species only doing interviews with the likes of Ray Martin and Rove, who know absolutely nothing about football. In these interviews he has been able to breeze through with his “Mr Clean” image intact. Last night the veil slipped and he will have no doubt damaged his own reputation far more than he has Slater’s.

Whether Kewell continues his international career will be up to new coach Holger Osciek, as he admitted. Whether there is a personal issue between the two, it was foolish to air it on television, if he was upset by the accusation that he fell out with a player and this again hurt his ‘clean’ image, his television tirade will not have convinced any doubters. Sadly this appears to be one time when Harry has not come up smelling of roses.

Oh Harry!
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3 thoughts on “Oh Harry!

  • August 23, 2010 at 12:01 am
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    Why does Australian Soccer put Harry on such a pedastal. I don’t want to denigrate him, he is a very gifted footballer, however he has been dogged by injury since before the previous world cup. Unfortuantly for Aussie football and Harry he is no more than a bit player now, as good as he may be.
    What the Socceroos really miss is a bloke like Viduka, who in my humble opinion, gave the side structure and who was resiliant as well. Harry’s heir apparent, Tim Cahill (another unarguably gifted player) is the sort of player that is at his best when he is allowed to flank that structural spine that players like Viduka allow you to create.
    As for Robby/Harry and all the rest, I hadn’t heard of Robbie Slaters comments until Harry tee’d off. And guess what, we are all talking about Harry again. And that would lead us into a rant about why Ray Gatt in ‘The Australian’ thought Graham Arnold was a reborn supercoach after achieving a 1-1 draw on the same weekend Dave Mitchell got the Glory over the line against the victory in a very good team performance. Hey, I am just an onlooker, I wouldn’t know any of the aforementioned fellows if they fell on me. Soccer/Football, whatever, in this country confuses me a bit.

  • August 19, 2010 at 11:21 am
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    Thanks for your comment, this was not good for the game or for those involved.
    You make a valid point re the reports about Kewell’s fitness, and this was handled badly by the Management at the World Cup and prior to the team’s departure.
    Kewell would however have been better served having someone write an open letter for him as a form of response as he did not handle himself well on television.

  • August 19, 2010 at 9:27 am
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    Kewells inarticlate rantings and inability to structure a clean line of argument aside, he was audibly annoyed last night as to the comments made by Slater.

    Furthermore he made it clear that he has not made any circus about his playing for the team and that his non-selection for the Denmark and US games were not due to him being unfit rather because he wasn’t selected (something Bozza backed up today in his article on Fox Sports News).

    Slater’s inability to come up with anything other than a spluttering reply about having friends in the business just made him look guilty whereas Kewells genuine annoyance asked questions about where these “rumours” had come from.

    Kewell has every right to be upset and voice it, he was picked by Verbeek, he worked to get fit and wasn’t chosen for certain games and then was told not to talk to the media. This circus that Robbie alludes to is all down to the media, I can remember infinite reports on Harry’s fitness during the world cup when I would rather have seen reports on the rest of the team.

    He also made a good point, he’s available to be picked. If the Socceroos don’t want him, he’ll accept that and move on.

    I’m appalled at what an idiot Slater has been through this whole issue. It should never have been reported in the first place if he really values the Socceroos.

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