For the first 30 seconds of the game I thought they were showing old highlights from the early 2000s, turns out the game was just being recorded in portrait mode on an old Motorola. Almost made watching the game nostalgic for me.
Viewing quality aside, I think we all secretly (or not so secretly) wanted Australia to lose so that Graham Arnold would fail, but alas. I guess I will take the 4-0 win, if he can improve the team maybe he’ll turn me around. Kuwait obviously isn’t the best test for his coaching ability so I’m nowhere near convinced yet, if we can beat a team like Japan 4-0, who regularly appear at the World Cup, THEN I might give him the benefit of the doubt. The main surprise for Arnie’s squad was of course that Matt Simon didn’t make the cut. Don’t fret, I bet he makes the Asian Cup Squad.
This was of course our first game without our bearded leader Mike, who retired from International Football last week. Mark Milligan had the honour of wearing the armband in his stead. The big question now is, who will be our new skipper? I for one, don’t think anyone in our current squad has impressive enough facial hair to replace Mile Jedinak. I’m tipping Brandon Borrello to hopefully have his first senior cap once he’s fully fit, so that we can try and fill the large bearded shaped hole in our hearts.
Speaking of pacey wingers, unfortunately, Robbie Kruse started. The first miracle of the game was Kruse getting possession in the final third and not losing it. Amazingly, he managed to put a cross in for our first goal, a fantastic diving header from a Kuwaiti defender put it past his own keeper. Almost 10 minutes later, Apostolos Giannou scored his first goal for Australia, taking advantage of the poor Kuwaiti defence by breaking through their defensive line inside the penalty area to put our second goal away. Giannou and Awer Mabil both netting their first senior international goals, with Tom Rogic scoring our other goal of the match. Positive signs for Cahill’s retirement, we can find goals without finding his forehead. Speaking of which, for all our friends on Twitter and Instagram who’ve had the honour of being blocked by the man himself, head to our website for the perfect T shirt to wear in solidarity at his send-off matches in November.
With a comfortable 4-0 win for his first match back in charge, we didn’t get to see an Arnie meltdown, something I am greatly looking forward to. Cocky Arnie just isn’t as much fun. Let’s look at the things we did right:
1. Plenty of possession.
We managed to control the game with a lot of possession, with 54% at half time and by the end of the game. The reason we managed to put those goals away is because we kept possession well into their half. Basically, when Robbie Kruse can actually control the ball at his feet we can score.
2. Successful Debuts.
Thomas Deng and Awer Mabil both made their senior international debuts for the Socceroos after a couple of promising seasons in the A league. Mabil crowning his debut with a goal, a good showing for him considering the last few attacking debutants haven’t managed to score yet, such as Jamie Maclaren and Giannou who didn’t score until this game on his 6th cap.
Four of them. Love a game with a lofty score line.
4. Simon x Harps commentary.
I always love the stream of consciousness and occasional shade from Simon Hill, highlights from this match included; “Look at the two kids on the sideline, passing the ball between them.”, “Substitutions seem to be rather a problem for our local cameraman.”.
Andy Harper talking passionately about the amazing story of Sudanese refugees Thomas Deng and Awer Mabil, the man brings an emotional touch sometimes. Love you two, never change. Honourable mention for Daniel Garb’s accidental audio appearance.
With two more friendlies coming up against South Korea and Lebanon before the start of our Asian Cup campaign, the South Korea game will surely be the real test and a sign of what is to come. Will we have more big wins? Can we score penalties without Jedinak? Will Arnie become more loved than Ange? Will Cahill spit the dummy? When will Matt Simon inevitably debut? All questions I cannot wait to be answered.
Featured image from SEN 1116 Twitter page.