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Atrocious result against Norway

After the Socceroos suffered what, on paper at least, looks like a hell of a beating, the good news is that the Norwegian broadcaster declined to catalogue all the political giants in Australian history for whom the 4-1 defeat should be received as a personal insult. The bad news is, well, pretty much everything else.

The atrocious result against 57th ranked Norway does not bode well for more important matches to come against France (nine), Peru (11) or Denmark (12). “It’s always difficult in the first game,” Bert van Marwijk remarked after his debut in charge of the Socceroos. “You have to get to know each other. Today it was clear we are not ready yet and we need time to develop this team.”

Norway’s geographical proximity to Denmark supposedly made them excellent proxies for Australia’s Group C battle with Christian Eriksen and co three months from now. By then Van Marwijk will have enjoyed three further friendlies with which to refine his gameplan. At the Ullevaal Stadion the Socceroos played like they’d require another three-dozen to shift convincingly from Plan A(nge) to Plan B(ert).

The obvious structural changes included a return to a back four, the dismantling of the midfield box and a reluctance to apply a tone-setting forward press. The outcome of these changes revealed a lack of ambition with and without the ball, notable in isolation and stark in contrast to the previous regime.

If Postecoglou spent his tenure trying to convince the Australian football community to break free from its inferiority complex, Van Marwijk seems poised to acknowledge the limitations and cut his cloth accordingly. The grinding of Craig Foster’s gears may soon be detectable on the Richter Scale.

Van Marwijk’s first XI included two debutants, Andrew Nabbout and Dimitri Petratos, the latter outperforming his former Jets team-mate in one of the few positives to emerge from a dismal showing. A third newcomer, Aleksandar Šušnjar, came off the bench in the second half and arguably made the most assured impression of all three. His introduction meant the friendly featured the most players earning their first caps in almost four years. Van Marwijk cannot be faulted for not exploring his options.

Nor can the Dutchman be blamed for the individual errors that pockmarked the Socceroos’ showing. Jackson Irvine can expect an unflattering video analysis session for his failure to mark Tore Reginiussen when Norway’s second found the back of the net, while the normally dependable Mat Ryan had a Derek Watt Authentic Jersey night to forget, not least his poor turnover Justin Evans Youth jersey for Norway’s third. It would be harsh on the otherwise in-form Brighton keeper should he find his place under threat but Van Marwijk’s trust in Brad Jones is obvious. If the Feyenoord veteran does well against Colombia on Wednesday morning, the battle to be named Australia’s World Cup No 1 could become an unlikely storyline.

Two players whose stature grew in absentia were Trent Sainsbury and Matt Jurman. “I hope Sainsbury and Jurman return and stay fit,” Van Marwijk noted after watching Milos Degenek and Mark Milligan fail to dovetail in the centre of Australia’s defence. Sainsbury and Jurman, along with Tomi Juric, Tom Rogic and Robbie Kruse failed to start in Norway. All five can expect to feature prominently in games to come.

Overall, the performance and the result satisfies both competing narratives for this peculiar period of the national team’s history. For Van Marwijk it’s confirmation time on the training ground is vital and every opportunity to improve organization and cohesion should be seized, even Fozzy Whittaker Authentic Jersey if that comes at the expense of ever setting foot in Australia again as national team coach. For those who questioned the Dutchman’s appointment his first outing will have only heightened fears Australia are about to embark on a World Cup campaign that promises little onfield entertainment as part of a Faustian pact that comes with no greater guarantee of results. cheap jerseys wholesale jerseys cheap nfl jerseys cheap nfl jerseys cheap jerseys

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