The Socceroos are in grave danger of not qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup after a 2-2 draw in Oman last week. Japan’s win over Saudi Arabia also made qualification even harder forcing the Socceroos to win both of their last 2 games against both Japan and Saudi Arabia, a task that as things stand in the Socceroos side, is near impossible.
Pressure is also mounting on Manager Graham Arnold as the Socceroos continually drop points in games, they should be winning comfortable. It wasn’t just against Oman in this stage. Failure to earn a win or even score a goal against Saudi Arabia in their first home game in over 2 years in November and dropping points against China just 6 days later, 2 fixtures that Socceroos fans will look to as huge reasons for the Socceroos being in the situation, they find themselves in now.
Lucky for me, I am an England fan, and have been since a young age. But I understand how important the Socceroos qualifying for World cups is for the growth of the domestic game. The Fairweather non-A-Leagues fan doesn’t care about Football 3 out of the 4 years, but when the Roos are in the World Cup, their all in. Converting these guys into more permanent football fans is all about the Socceroos performance at the World cup and the players from the domestic league playing in the National Team. Joel King and Craig Goodwin put on great performances in the Socceroos home win against Vietnam, an entertaining 4-0 win was huge for not just the Socceroos and their qualifying campaign but for Football in Australia. But the inability to grab the win against a substantially lower ranked teams is hurting them.
When supposed “Friends” of Graham Arnold come out in the media and openly call for his sacking should Australia not qualify for the World Cup, its obviously something that adds a little more pressure to the man who is already under extreme pressure. When you’re in this situation, you don’t need you “Friends” going in the media and bagging you and the job your doing. As an Arnold fan for what he did for Sydney FC at a time when the club were losing their identity, I will back him in any day. He and the players available are more than Capable of winning the game against Japan in Sydney on March 24th and then travelling to Saudi Arabia and grabbing the win over there. There is quality in this squad, they just haven’t shown it yet. But now is the time to show it.
The road is clear for Australia now, Beat Japan, Beat Saudi Arabia. Qualification is still in there hands despite how hard it may seem. Lose or even draw either one of those games and the task is made even harder. Finishing third in the group will see them take on the other third place team from the other group. Should they win that, they will then face a tough 2 Leg match up against the 5th placed South American side. If you’re keeping an eye on that qualification table, it is looking like a nightmare match up. Currently 5ht place is held by Peru, but Chile, Colombia and Uruguay all circling around the position.
None of those teams will be easy oppositions for the Socceroos, so wining the next 2 games is crucial if the Socceroos want to be playing in the World Cup in November (Yeah, I said November, how fucked up is that?)
Oh and Come on Graham, CAP THE CUMDOG