Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Favourites

A FOOTNOTE to yesterday's piece about Australia's crowded football calender, the news has just filtered through from Beijing that the Olyroos have been drawn to take on the tournament favourites and defending champions the Albiceleste in Group A, along with first timers Ivory Coast and Serbia. The group is based in Shanghai, while the Olyroos draw looks like this;

August 7 v Serbia (Shanghai), 7pm Eastern
August 10 v Argentina (Shanghai), 7pm Eastern
August 13 v Ivory Coast (Tianjin), 9.45pm Eastern

It's tough, but with only 16 teams on deck, which group isn't? Ok, Brazil's group looks comfortable.

Even tougher is the fact the Olyroos have to play three times in a week, but the first game, as it was for the Socceroos in Germany, looks crucial.

Not wanting to think too far ahead, but if the Olyroos can finish top-two in the group, they will face either first or second from Group B in the cross-over. That group contains the Dutch, Nigeria, Japan and the USA.

The excitement it building, can hardly wait.

Note; Thanks to Peter Kandy, a regular TRBA reader, who pointed out via txt that our group is the exact same group as the 'Group of Death' at Germany '06, only that the Olyroos have replaced Holland. Some would argue, given there are so many Dutchmen in our technical ranks, that there's no difference.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Jonvoit808 said...

I am pretty sure the group of death for Germany 2006 was USA,Italy, Cech Republic, Ghana.

Mon. Apr. 21, 04:59:00 pm AEST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Tue. Apr. 22, 06:47:00 pm AEST  
Blogger pippinu said...

"Group of Death" is in the eye of the beholder. Whichever way you look at it, Australia's group is a tough one!

Wed. Apr. 23, 11:39:00 am AEST  
Anonymous Guido said...

I know we should no whinge....but Australia seems to get always difficult groups. Is that because we are still seeded low?

Wed. Apr. 23, 03:48:00 pm AEST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony,

After seeing the draw, do you think Arnold is wishing he didn't say those fateful words "We are going to win a medal at the Olympics" utted very soon after we qualified?

Unfortuately, I can see us struggling to get out of this group and into the next stage, but hopefully that will be the final nail in Arnold's coffin and he is given the axe once and for all. I wish the boys the best of luck, and hope that they learn from that experience to become better players when they move into the senior squad.

Wed. Apr. 23, 04:58:00 pm AEST  
Blogger Mike Salter said...

...Note; Thanks to Peter Kandy, a regular TRBA reader, who pointed out via txt that our group is the exact same group as the 'Group of Death' at Germany '06, only that the Olyroos have replaced Holland. Some would argue, given there are so many Dutchmen in our technical ranks, that there's no difference....

:-)

I hear there are plans afoot to change the team name to "The Oranjeroos"...

Thu. Apr. 24, 08:48:00 pm AEST  
Blogger The Round Ball Analyst said...

...I am pretty sure the group of death for Germany 2006 was USA,Italy, Cech Republic, Ghana....

depends where you look jonvoit808, i've seen both groups referenced as such.

...Australia's group is a tough one!...

no doubt about that pippinu, and the over-age opposition will just add to the degree of difficulty...the likes of riquelme, drogba, toure are big, and just imagine the serbs were able to jag a vidic, stankovic or even zigic (we'd need crouch to mark the latter) if they were available....and thats just our group...korea are calling up park ji-sung for a group that includes italy and cameroon, which just shows how tough the tourni is...

scotty mcintyre has written a piece today highlighting the difficulty we face.

http://theworldgame.sbs.com.au/blogs/scottmcintyre/olyroos-up-against-it-110526/

...I know we should no whinge....but Australia seems to get always difficult groups. Is that because we are still seeded low?...

Gweeds, the way this draw worked is that there could be no two teams from the same 'region' in the same group and the only 'seeds' were argentina, cameroon, china and holland...the rest were in pots of regions...aust was with the other asians, there was a pot for 'the americas', a europe pot and an africa pot (with nz thrown in)..the floaters were brazil (surprisingly 'unseeded') and nz (who everyone probably wanted)...we got neither...

here is a link;

http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/competition/drawproceduremen_45465.pdf

....After seeing the draw, do you think Arnold is wishing he didn't say those fateful words "We are going to win a medal at the Olympics" utted very soon after we qualified?...

anonymous, I dont think it was those words exactly he said back in November...think they've been take out of context a touch. Arnie is quoted as such;

"Mr (Frank) Lowy, the (Football Federation Australia) chairman, has said publicly he would like to get a medal and I would love to get a medal, so therefore we need at least 20-25 internationals between now and the Olympics,"

and

"If we give them good preparation I can't see why a medal is out of reach. They're a wonderfully talented group."

The question is, have they had that prep? So far, probably not, the FFAs focus appears to have been on the first two Socceroos games...now Arnie needs the full support and resources, but the Socceroos are such a 'commodity' these days the resource will invaribly go there throughout june, which means Arnie has to wait till july...

....Unfortuately, I can see us struggling to get out of this group and into the next stage, but hopefully that will be the final nail in Arnold's coffin and he is given the axe once and for all. I wish the boys the best of luck, and hope that they learn from that experience to become better players when they move into the senior squad....

Agree it will be tough to get out of the group, but if Arnie does do it he should be lauded...not so sure I want Arnie to fail as that would mean the team fails, and nobody wants that, surely.

...I hear there are plans afoot to change the team name to "The Oranjeroos"...

Haha mikey, all we need now is to draft in Culina, Wilkshire and Holman and the picture is complete.

Thu. Apr. 24, 10:03:00 pm AEST  

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