Sunday, December 06, 2009

Father and Son Discussing Australia's Chances at the World Cup

The following conversation happened on Facebook Chat:

Jacob: Lol. Good prediction by me (:. Bring that to South Africa we'll see how right it is.

Hamish: Ha ha. I'm back to my position that it's gonna be damn tough for Oz in group D though. Ghana has this Chelsea striker who wasn't playing when we played them, and a couple of other gun Euro players.

Jacob: Were they playing in their qualifiers? If so then they still didn't do great so we're fine.

Hamish: Fifa puts us as favourite for 4th place. Topped their group. The game Serbia lost against Lithuania was when they'd already qualified and was a second team. And they did top France.

Jacob: They didn't beat France though.

Hamish: They did once, I think. But they did top them in the group.

Jacob: No they drew and lost to France. And they beat Romania 5-0 after Romania knew they couldn't get in so wasn't like they were all determined or anything.

Hamish: Sure. From the analysis I'm reading neither Ghana or Serbia can be underestimated. But it's good for Australia if people underestimate us, so it could be good.

Jacob: Indeed. Hang on I'll read your link...

Jacob: They don't say we're tipped to be fourth.

Hamish: They seem to be giving them in order, and they definitely give Ghana second.

Jacob: They just say Serbia's great and all and really qualifiers didn't look too convincing to me. They didn't beat France. Ghana didn't have to beat any good teams Dad seriously, though they're obviously good.

Hamish: Neither did Australia.

Jacob: Japan is higher ranked than Ghana or any country they versed, so yeah, we did.

Hamish: Ok, but Japan beat us in the Asia Cup, and we could only draw against them away.

Ranking means shit at this level - well it means a bit but not too much. Like Serbia is one more than us but they had to qualify against much harder teams.

Jacob: The only country that was good in Serbia's group was France and they didn't even beat them.

Hamish: I just reckon it'll be bloody hard - that is, every game will be bloody hard. Ozzie spirit is our best hope - I hope they bring extra supplies.

Jacob: It's not even our only hope though.

Hamish: Honestly, I reckon the best hope is against Germany in the first game.

Jacob: You're not positive enough.

Hamish: Ha ha. It's usually the other way around.

Jacob: I know.

Dude, Germany is impossible. It's like Brazil. We just won't, but Ghana qualified over countries that are not as good as us or our competition, and Serbia had one overly hard country in their group who they beat on the table without winning against them.

Hamish: No, it's not impossible. As Shane Davis says, we don't suit their game, and as Dario says (from Germany), they reckon we're easy.

Dario reckons he'll be wearing his Socceroos Jersey to training to stir them.

Jacob: What a mad guy. Dude!!!!!!!!

Hamish: Yeah cool.

Jacob: How can you be positive against fucking Germany and not Ghana or Serbia for fuck's sake? Urgh!

Hamish: Ha ha.

Ghana have some killer players - prob better than Timmy and Harry - and they are at least as tough and physical as us - which is our strength. Then they have 30,000 Africans drumming, singing and dancing for them. There's nothing easy about that.

Serbia I'm less sure of, but from what I read they're extremely good on the ball, and will be much better technically. Maybe we can beat them with our strength, stamina and spirit, but still no easy match.

Germany think they're the shit, but they're outside their territory, will underestimate us in their first game of what they think will be a long campaign, and their style will struggle against our physicality and stamina.

Honestly, the odds say about two of the favourites will stuff their group, and Germany could easilly be one of them - the other likelies are England, Portugal and Argentina.

Jacob: Ok for your Ghana bit. They will be strong.

Hamish: Of course anything can happen, but yep, they're no easy beats.

Jacob: But we've shown that that's not a problem before. I know they didn't have some good players but you can't underestimate Aussie. For example...

Harry Kewell... ex Liverpool player (top 4 club in EPL);
Timmy (top 5 club in EPL Everton);
Mark Schwarzer, Middleborough keeper, probably one of best in world. Never lost a professional penalty shoot out;
Lucas, he's in Europe;
Craig was in europe.

They're a good bunch of players. Just 'cause Ghana has some killers doesn't mean we can't match them.

Serbia... I havn't seen them play but again their qualifiers aren't convincing to me.

Hamish: I love your optimism. Go Ozzie is all I can say.

Jacob: Ghana's toughest opponent is ranked 47th Dad. Sure ranks don't matter, but to be 47th means you're not good, simple as that.

Hamish: Fair call, but they've kicked some arse at World Cup level before too, and you know the continental system skews rankings. It's pretty hard to say.

Jacob: WE HAVE KICKED ASS AT WORLD CUP. Lost one nil to the winners by a bullshit penalty. You're underestimating us Hamish!

Hamish: Ok ok. We'll see, personally. And I can't wait to sing Advance Australia Fair, Waltzing Matilda, Land Down Under and even bloody Oi Oi Oi.

I'm going to publish this conversation on my blog. So any final comments?

Jacob: LOL. Alright. Wait. I'm not done.

Hamish: Ok.

Jacob: Serbia... hang on!

Hamish: Ok.

Jacob: Apart from France none of Serbia's opponents are ranked in the top 50, and they never even beat France. For eff's sake think positive. France obviously were not fielding their best team anyway because they lost to Austria.

Hamish: Ok then... anything to add?

Jacob: Negative. That will be all.



Anonymous Shane Davis said...

Serbia didn't beat France because Antic had barely taken over when they first played in Paris in September 2008 and the team still looked very much like that managed by Djukic, his more defensive predecessor. By the time they played in September 2009 in Belgrade, Serbia only really needed a draw and played as such.

Romania also still had a mathematical chance of making the play-offs when they lost 5-0 in Belgrade.

I expect a lot of Oz fans and media to optimistically make much of Serbia not beating France but it was a bit of a mirage. The question marks over Serbia shouldn't concern their qualification campaign (which was excellent, make no bones about it), but whether their attack-minded midfield can sufficiently protect their defence and how strong they can stay mentally in South Africa.

December 08, 2009 1:55 pm  
Blogger Hamish said...

Thankyou Shane. Clearly both my son and I rely on others for analysis that is properly informed. :)

December 08, 2009 3:03 pm  
Anonymous Neil said...

One correction to your conversation. Schwarzer actually plays for Fulham, who are doing quite well domestically and also competing in the Europa Cup.

Great conversation but I don't share your son's optimism. Getting out of this group will be a great achievement that last time round me thinks.

December 15, 2009 9:06 pm  

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