Match Preview Oranje – Australia: worries!

But not for us ( I hope). For them. The Socceroos. Or maybe: The Suckeroos, hahahaha.

They love their expressions in Australia. No worries mate! She’ll be right mate! Well, if Robin, Robben, Daley, Wesley, Bruno and Jasper have anything to say about it, it will be “She won’t be right!”.

Australia however, is pretty confident. They are always quite confident, simply because they know how to fight. They’re battlers. They love being the underdog. And they will never give up. That is in their DNA and they most likely will not be impressed with our stars.

Oz team

After being courted into the game of football (soccer here) by none other than Guus Hiddink, the Socceroos take their sports seriously. They had mixed results at the World Cup, with 2006 seeing them screwed out of the competition by the “Italian cheating bastards”. Hiddink was succeeded by Pim Verbeek who didn’t make a lot of friends in Australia and some assistant coach from Germany took over for a while but he had all the flair and charisma of a garden hose, so they replaced him and finally had the guts to appoint an Australian coach. With an Australian name. Ange Postecoglou.

But the round chested former A-League club coach has that same quality Hiddink has. Doesn’t fear no one. And with the same starting eleven as the team that did so well against Chile (bar two forced changes), the Aussie manager is focusing on delivering a big upset to the World Cup, and the Dutch in particular. “The score we ended up with vs Chile doesn’t tell the whole story. We actually did well.”. Poste needs to replace injured Ivan Franjic who traveled back to OZ with a hamstring and Mark Milligan. James Holland – formerly of AZ and Sparta – might be his replacement. Heracles defender Davidson and Utrecht forward Tommy Oar will most likely start.

coaches NL Oz

Postecoglou: “It’s a massive challenge for us to play Holland. They have so much quality and such a pedigree, but our team will grow as a result and we play good in big games.” The former Melbourne coach had to refresh the team and had to say goodbye to stallwarts like Lucas Neill, goalie Schwarzer and Harry Kewell. Tall striker Josh Kennedy got injured right before the World Cup so the Ozzies will filed a team, partly, of youngsters. Not unlike Holland. “And there is much at stake. If Holland wins, they will be placed and we can travel home. It’s a big game!”

And their star player, Tim Cahill of Everton fame, also is the man leading the line (like we have).

It seems like the Ozzie support will outshine the Dutch legion. Australia is the third nation in terms of supporters on the ground in Brazil, after Brazil (sic) and the USA with close to 20,000 people traveling to Brazil. In comparison, there are only 5,000 Dutch fans in South America.

trainin oz

Postecoglou: “I dropped my jaw when I saw Holland butcher Spain. I knew it would be at least tight between the two nations, but I rated Spain higher. But Holland was impressive at times. Still, I think we have a chance.” The Football Director of the Aussie Federation is none other than former Dutch coach Han Berger, who is in his final weeks now of his job. “This nation loves rugby more than anything. There are three different rugby variations. And they play football like they play rugby. In a fast pace move the ball forward and use physical strength and guts to push for a goal. This is not how you play football so we have started a whole new development process. But it will take a generation for that succeed.”

nl training oz

Which is why Ange has been given the task to refresh the “Hiddink generation” and bring new young players. This World Cup will be a learning curve tournament for them. Nigel de Jong is impressed with them. “I know Tim Cahill well. We played against each other a lot and I will meet him on the pitch again for sure. He is tough as nails and will not complain when you play manly. He loves it. He has a super mentality and is a tremendous header of the ball. With him, anything can happen. I rate him very high.” Australia lost 3-1 against Chile but as the coach said, the scoreboard didn’t tell the whole story. “We were close to 2-2 all the time in the second half, but we needed to play more compact and smarter. Big lessons to learn.”

Wes Sneijder expects a tough game against the Socceroos. “I understand the whole nation is euphoric and that is fine and dandy, but Australia is a tough nut to crack. We never beat them. That should tell you something. We are not with our head in the clouds. We won against Spain, but that merely gives us three points and a good goal difference. That is all.”

sneijd wall

Robin van Persie, Oranje skipper, didn’t want to speak to the press. “Superstition,” he said. “I am sorry. But before the Spain game and didn’t do media and I got two goals. I hope to do the same tomorrow!”

There were some rumours that Van Gaal wanted to go with 4-3-3 against Australia and that Lens would come in for Vlaar. But the latest news is that Van Gaal will allow the same players to start, and he will play a 5-3-2 / 3-5-2 against the Aussies. Van Gaal didn’t want to say anything during the last press conference about. “I can play both 4-3-3 and 5-3-2 with these lads. And in both systems, we can play according to the Dutch School.” Van Gaal also commented on the new philosophy in which he allows the families in the hotel every now and then. “I want to treat these lads as grown ups. I don’t want to take them from their families for weeks and have them send skype videos to their loved ones. I believe the lads feel better if they get to see their families regularly. And when they do feel better, they play better.”

RVP Oz training

Van Gaal had an interesting comment to make about the venue of tonights game. “The dug out is literally dug out. I sit under the ground. I can hardly see anything due to this big tv camera in front of  me. And I am not a coach who enjoys to stand along side the touchline. I want to sit and talk with my assistants. I asked them to fix it. I hope they have.”

VG before OZ

Van Gaal was impressed with the response of the players after Spain. “As a coach, you sometimes need to keep the players grounded. But after the Spain game, it was the older players who did it. They immediately warned the young lads that this was merely the start. Nice, but merely three points. That makes my life easier, to have players with that mentality.” Wesley Sneijder: “You notice in the group that we’re away. The first game is always tense. And no one knows exactly what to expect. Now, Australia is forewarned. The whole world has seen how we play. It will be harder now, against Australia, I think.”

Van Gaal: “Australia has to come and get something. They’ll attack. I know their coach and he is a good coach, with balls. The Australians will never roll over and lay down so we have a battle on our hands, I’m sure.”


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  1. I think we should allow them the initiative, tight defending and hit them hard with speed and flair once in possession. They have to come forward at some point. We definitely have to avoid that they score the first goal as the match will become very difficult for us, as in Denmark 2012.

  2. I know. It is a “Spain in the Ass”. But we need to do some finetuning as to not get the hosting platform down again…. I will try and improve.

    1. Yes, feature makes sense to manage traffic … but maybe you can extend the delay a little bit.

      In any case, thanks for your work, as always.

  3. I think LvG will continue with his 5-3-2 formation. This is a new system, which worked well and Dutch need to practice as much as possible. Depending how midfield cope with AUS, 5-3-2 might turn eventually into 4-4-2…LET’s see…Good luck to our team, I have to run to work.

  4. It has allways not easy against the aussie and the records tell it all and tonight the record will change just like we changed the whole world after we humiliate the spaniards.

    samba all the way oranje!!!!! HUP HUP

  5. Apparently when the team practiced yesterday, Vlaar was out and Lens was in the first team.

    Sounds like we’ll see the 433, at least at some point.

  6. It may be a tough game. If we can get to score early then it’s over. I am concerned about the physicality of the Aussies and they can play rough. No injuries please and hopefully no cards. I heard Vlaar was lightly injured.

    1. I think that was not an injury. De Vrij was picked over Vlaar as he is a better footballer and van Gaal wants a left footed player on the left and a right footed player on the right. So BMI over Vlaar.

        1. I stand corrected. We play the same as against Spain. Vlaar is in the squad. Yesterday it looked different as Vlaar was not in the 10 vs 10 with the other starters. Picked something like that up.

          I think van Gaal did not want to change a winning team/formation after all. Vlaar deserves it as he was excellent vs Spain.

  7. It looks to be approximately 59 °F / 15 °C at game time, with 0% precipitation and 67% humidity. So hopefully the weather will not be much of a factor.

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