Think about Brazil or England had simply misplaced its opening World Cup sport 4-1, and the coach fronted as much as face the media.
He would face a grilling and solutions could be demanded.
However when Graham Arnold confronted a press convention after Australia’s 4-1 loss to France on Wednesday morning (AEDT), it was over in simply 5 questions in 5 minutes.
A type of questions got here from a Sudanese journalist asking what the explanations for the defeat had been.
“On the finish of the day, the standard of the French crew,” Arnold stated. “They’re the earlier world champions for a motive.
“They had been a lot larger and stronger and quicker than us immediately, however the boys did all they might and that’s all I can ask.”
Arnold was requested how he would get the gamers up for the subsequent sport in opposition to Tunisia on Saturday evening.
“We’ve constructed the idea, and the power and focus within the final week. Working arduous in camp, the way in which we began, I feel they believed,” he stated.
“We simply received punished by our errors. The supply of their crosses was proper heading in the right direction.”
“Any extra questions?” the FIFA official requested earlier than the press convention was rapidly wrapped up.
This isn’t to be too harsh on the Socceroos, they had been merely outclassed by a far superior crew.
However Australia’s obvious collective shrug of the shoulders as if to say “it’s, what it’s” exhibits the place soccer is on this nation in the intervening time.
It’s a good distance from the heights of 2006, when the Golden Technology squad took Australia on a wild trip because it reached the ultimate 16.
That squad was crammed with gamers from the highest European leagues – the likes of Harry Kewell, Mark Viduka and Tim Cahill.
This 12 months’s squad consists of simply two gamers in one of many high 4 leagues in Europe – Awer Mabil who’s struggling for sport time in Spain, and Adjin Hrustic who lately moved to Hellas Verona in Italy.
There have been some positives after all. The defensive pairing of Harry Souttar and Kye Rowles might present Australia with a long-term answer to a lingering subject, and Craig Goodwin scored Australia’s first objective from open play at a World Cup since 2010.
4 years in the past Australia misplaced 2-1 within the opening sport in opposition to France, with the wash-up centring round a controversial VAR name for France’s first objective.
Now it appears to be an acceptance that Australia simply can’t compete with the massive groups.
The massive query coming into the France sport was whether or not we’d see a efficiency like Saudi Arabia’s upset in opposition to Argentina, or Iran’s poor exhibiting in opposition to England.
For the primary 20 minutes, it regarded like an upset might occur.
France wanted a late personal objective to beat Australia when the edges met of their opening sport on the 2018 World Cup and the Socceroos raised the prospect of a shocking upset this time in Qatar as they took an early lead.
Goodwin, beginning after damage dominated out Martin Boyle, put them in entrance from a Mathew Leckie cross.
Nevertheless, targets from Adrien Rabiot and Olivier Giroud had France forward earlier than half-time, and Kylian Mbappe made it 3-1 halfway via the second interval earlier than one other Giroud objective ended any doubt concerning the final result.
It was a punishing evening at occasions for a number of the Australian gamers, amongst them Nathaniel Atkinson, with the 23-year-old Hearts right-back given a torrid time by Mbappe.
“I believed the child truly did decently effectively. He did his greatest in opposition to the most effective gamers on the planet,” stated Arnold.
“However how do you cease somebody so fast? It’s very tough. It’s a terrific lesson for the child and he’ll transfer on from it.”
If Australia can flip issues round in opposition to Tunisia, the 4-1 loss to France will quickly be forgotten.
However for now it looks as if the Socceroos – who scraped into the World Cup after a poor qualifying marketing campaign – are heading dwelling after the group stage.
With the World Cup increasing to 48 groups from 2026, qualifying could pose much less of an issue for the Socceroos sooner or later.
However Soccer Australia could must resolve whether or not its glad to be a part of the motion each 4 years, or how Australia can truly match a number of the world’s greatest.
– With AFP