Friday, 2 September 2011

Australia 2-1 Thailand: Initial Post-Match Impressions

Firstly, Holger played McKay in an unfamiliar left-back position which stifled his ability to create. He also showed his defensive susceptibility, being caught on the break, drifting centrally instead of staying with his immediate opponent, which exposed the Australian defence. It was also notable that some players seemed reluctant to pass to McKay. Time and time again, McKay made attempts to run past his marker, but the ball was not passed to him.
Secondly, Holger made a rare mistake in selecting both Emerton and Holman. Both players are vital to the performance of the Socceroos but playing both unbalanced the team, with McKay being the only left-sided player for Australia and he was shackled by his defensive responsibilities.
Thirdly, Holger preferred Kennedy, a target man, over the considerably more mobile strikers Kruse and Brosque. This made Australia’s attack very static, as Kennedy and Cahill remained high up the pitch, waiting for service in the Thai penalty box. Neither came short and offered options, which restricted Holman and Emerton from making runs behind the defence. It was only after Cahill was substituted for Kruse, and Emerton for Brosque, that the Australian attack really ‘got going’.

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