Tomorrow morning is the Australia v Ecuador match. This game, even though it’s just a friendly, is actually so important for the Australian manager, Ange Postecoglou. This is because he is bringing in several new faces, and has axed most of the older Socceroos, known as the “Golden Generation”. One of the most notable players missing is Lucas Neill, Australia’s captain. During his prime, Lucas was crucial to their success, and lead from the back to improve Australia’s international reputation. Having no club for many months, he recently signed for Watford FC in England, but his recent form and age has forced Ange to remove him from his squad indefinitely.
So the spot for Captaincy was available. Many people expected Tim Cahill to receive it, because of the impact he’s had for the squad (he even scored Australia’s FIRST World Cup Finals goal against Japan in 2006). But the role fell before the very worthy Jedinak, the Midfielder from Crystal Palace in England.
I think Mile Jedinak totally deserved to be Captain for Australia, even though he scored an own goal when we faced Oman in the Qualifying rounds for the World Cup. His recent performances for Crystal Palace have been amazing (in my opinion), he is alway full of so much energy, and is never scared of a tackle. He leads the team even when he wasn’t the Captain for Australia, and the fact that he is Captain for Crystal Palace already shows that he knows what he’s doing. Plus, Jedinak’s style of play is perfect under Ange, High Pressure. And I’m sure we will be seeing this against Ecuador.
One of the largest threats we face tomorrow, is Antonio Valencia, who plays on the right wing for Manchester United. Now, even as a United supporter, I can admit we’re having a bit of a crappy year. One of the worst for decades. And hopefully this form and morale can stick to Valencia during tomorrow’s game, otherwise Ange will have to mark him closely.
I’m predicting a 4-2-2-2 formation, which Ange used a lot at Melbourne Victory. With Kruse missing, I think he will give Rogic a chance to show his potential with a starting position, and I think he’ll place Leckie and Cahill up front, almost in a False-9 type of formation. He’ll play aggressive with high pressure, and try to capitalise off every mistake.
I’ll be up watching it live before I go to Uni, and I’m sure I’ll do a Post-Match thread later in the week.