Thursday, September 20, 2007

Australia Dicked

I won’t mince words today. The appointment of Dick Advocaat to manage the Socceroos by the FFA is a disaster.

A quick flick over his recent history makes for some strange reading. Let’s put aside the 2004 Euro campaign with Holland in which he was roundly criticised for poor performances and head scratching tactical decisions. After all it’s easy to lay the boot in with hindsight. What the FFA should be focussing on is his more recent record.

After the Euros Advocaat took on the top job at Borussia Mönchengladbach, which he walked out on after a terrible run of results in April 2005. He agreed to terms with Saudi Arabia shortly after and reneged on the deal to take up the reins for Korea. Advocaat quit his post after failing to proceed from the group stages at the World Cup in 2006. We are lead to believe that although Advocaat had made an agreement to stay with his latest post at Zenith St Petersburg in Russia if he qualifies for European competition, he has now agreed with the FFA to take the top job in Australia.

Hardly inspiring reading. Add the widely held belief that his brusque manner has put him at logger heads with plenty of players, fans and bosses and he once described Australia’s international commitments as “micky mouse” when forced to release Rangers players or international duty, and the picture isn’t too rosy.

So what is it that the FFA see in Dick Advocaat? It’s not his stellar record at club or international level, neither is it is pedigree within Asia. It’s certainly not his loyalty to employers or his track record of man management. Could it be that the FFA have fallen for a coach with a high profile from the same school as Hiddink in hope of similar returns?

If this is the case then Australia have most certainly been dicked. As a passionate supporter of the Socceroos I am dismayed by the fact that the FFA’s star chasing has allowed them to pass over potential candidates like Jose Pekerman and Jorvan Vieria.

As I have heard from more than one Dutchman, this is likely to end in tears.