Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Socceroos Squad List

Holger Osieck has called up a 23-man squad, adding five players from the 18 that contested against Malaysia and Oman at home, to face Oman away on Nov 11 and Thailand away on Nov 15, though that may change due to floods.

The big talking points pertain to the return of Aussie stalwarts Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton, as well as the call-ups of relative newcomers Chris Herd, Mitch Nichols and Adam Sarota.

The above tactical diagram displays the nominal positions of the players called-up, but as PM readers will know, Osieck will almost certainly revert to his 4-4-2/4-3-3 hybrid, with McKay and Holman as the main creative forces.

Clearly Osieck has increased the size of the squad to deal with the demands of travel. Most of the list is as expected. Troisi and Brosque are now members of the extended squad.

The possible returns of Brett Emerton and Harry Kewell has stirred a measure of debate within the wider football media, with most of the impression that neither has produced form that merits selection. That is a fair enough assessment, but Osieck has shown to place a premium on experienced heads within his squad to mentor and guide the younger players. It's important to contrast the tactical demands placed on them in the national team and at their club environs. For Sydney FC, Lavicka has subjected Brett to an inverted position on the left. Whether he ultimately adapts or not is up for debate, but his level of comfort in that role has certainly improved. Kewell on the other hand has found himself shunted around various forward roles while Durakovic tries to determine the best combination for Melbourne Victory; he has served as the trequartista, lone forward and left winger.

Osieck has demonstrated that Emerton's best position with the national team is at right midfield/wing, but more importantly, his best asset is working in tandem with Luke Wilkshire. Under Osieck, Kewell has best been utilised as a creative forward. PM is looking forward to once again seeing Kewell/McKay/ and new leftback Zullo combine down that flank.

While the media have questioned the presence of Australia's No 10 and 7, no such examination has occurred for Matt McKay, who has found himself unable to cement a place as a regular in the Rangers set-up. Ditto for Robbie Kruse, who has been restricted to the substitutes bench for Dusseldorf.

Chris Herd has received his debut call-up, on the back of impressive performances for Aston Villa as a right fullback. Herd is now one of the few Australians plying his trade in the Premier League, and while he has featured consistently, he has not played regularly. Osieck has shown a very restrained approach to introducing new players, and similar to his introduction of Rhys Williams, don't expect Herd to appear in more than a cameo capacity.

Same goes for Mitch Nichols. For PM, Nichols is a surprising choice. His form has been of a high standard, but given his level of involvement with the Olyroos over the summer, Erik Paartalu, a senior player, would seem to be a better option. Nonetheless, don't expect more than a cameo for the Brisbane man.

It's a shame Scott McDonald misses out, he is one of our hardest working forwards off the ball, but Osieck seems to have largely lost faith in the Boro marksman.

PM will release previews closer to the match dates.


jmac said...

couple of tough away matches, but hopefully we should get the points we need to progress before the final home game next year.

for me the main questions are:

with H back in the squad, will Holger break up the jesus/holman partnership?

will emmo play with wilky reverting to RB, or will wilk be kleft at RM with williams given another crack at RB?

has holger any plans to try another centre mid (in addition to carl/jedi/killer) and will we get a glimpse of that at all?

spira or og?


Pass and Move said...

thanks for the comment jmac

guess we'll have to see ey

Anonymous said...

just a general comment... I have to be honest but the wider format you're using is driving me nuts because i have to constantly arrow back and forth...only have a laptop ..
but i like I've said before...wonderfully site

Pass and Move said...

Sorry Greg, i know thats frustrating i've got a laptop as well, but most people seem to like it. the actual 'posts' width hasn't changed ive just added a second sidebar, so best bet is to stay in the middle :S happy reading and thanks for the comment

Bela Guttman said...

Given that Holman has been injured, and that the natural alternative for that position, Cahill, is also injured, Nichols provides a good alternative with his pace, movement and service.

Pass and Move said...

I'd forgotten about Holman being injured. Nichols won't be started, as I said above, he's commendably very cautious about blooding new players. It'll probably be a striker/withdrawn striker combination, two of Kewell, Kennedy, Brosque or Kruse.

Cheers Bela