By Jack Brady
Archie Thompson, Brett Emerton and even Harry Kewell, these men should never play for the Socceroos again.
Archie is a 33 year old striker, who has spent the majority of his soccer career in Australia. Regardless of his five years in Belgium and his lacklustre two games for PSV Eindhoven, Thompson has never really reached any great heights in his footballing career outside of Australia.
I am constantly shocked by Australian coach Holger Osieck’s constant selection of Thompson. After all, there really is no great merit in doing so.
As for Emerton and Kewell, both of these men played in the A-League this season with both attributing poor seasons as their respective clubs both went terrible. Kewell now is unsigned and hasn’t played since the start of the year whilst Emerton, come 2016, will be thirty-five and will have, by then, been playing low quality soccer, that the A-League sustains, for the last three seasons beforehand.
Not an ideal prospect.
On a positive note, Osieck has done Australian soccer a favour in their last game against Scotland by finally promoting some young blood into the team.
Jason Davidson (aged 21) and Rhys McGowan (23) both made their debuts last week and while Davidson scored a goal… for the other side, they each showed enough to stake a claim to be a permanent fixture in the Socceroos side for years to come.
With upcoming fixtures against lower nations Lebanon and Jordan coming up, there should be no reason as to why Osieck doesn’t pick players like Davidson, McGowan, Tommy Oar (aged 20), Luke De Vere (22), James Troisi (24), Chris Herd (23) and goalkeeper, Mitch Langerak (23).
Osieck should also consider opening up starting spots for those younger players whom have played in recent games, players like Robbie Kruse (23), Rhys Williams (24), Nikita Rukavytsya (25) and Mark Milligan (27).
Primarily, Osieck should look to two men to lead the Socceroos out these dark days, Brett Holman and Adam Federici.
Federici is a ready-made replacement for aging keeper, Schwarzer. At 27 years of age, Federici, baring injury, has at least two more World Cups in him and will only get better if he continues to play for the recently promoted Reading, in arguably the best soccer league in the world, the English Premier League.
Similarly, Brett Holman has signed on with Aston Villa this season and as Australia’s best player in the 2010 failure of a campaign in South Africa, he will be primed for a massive tournament when it comes around in two years time.
While he may be 30 by Brazil, I can see Holman hitting his prime in the English Premier League over the next two years and will be once again one of Australia’s best players come Rio.
Hopefully Holger Osieck will take note of my “expert” opinions and continue to push the younger guys up into the side over the next two years.