Australia 7 - Solomon Islands 0

I guess it is difficult to play against an opponent that badly (and numerically) out classed, but that is the only excuse I can think of for what was a pretty inept performance IMHO. It seemed as if we were so sure (and correctly so) of scoring a bundle, that precision and thought (perhaps skill too) were missing from so many passes to players in potential scoring positions. Only Viduka actually tried to beat a man and the concept of "letting the ball do the work" was taken to extremes in and about the box.

That said, I thought our formation and the mid field looked good, surprisingly better when Guus actually reacted to a situation and shifted Cahill out wide to the left. It is a worry that the defence, though possibly lulled into total mental inertia, did stuff up once which could be enough against a good opponant. We had a strange mixture of three cracker goals and three gifts - four if you count the space Viduka was left for his second. I guess the clever Archie goal may not have been scored against a decent left back and stronger keeper, but our and Viduka's first might have beaten any keeper.

I still cannot understand why Brett Emerton has played 41 games for Australia and keeps his place. Obviously FF and now Guuuus see something I don't. He does buzz about a bit with some moderate pace, make space out wide thus drawing a defender or two out, but his final delivery and last pass are almost always total crap and I think he is a liability. When the cross onto the Dukes head was so perfect my wife, having put up with my tirade of abuse against Bretto, said "There you are he can cross" - it was of course Skoko - who can! Even his goal should have been a wasted ball. I had intended to do an Emmo count, but forgot, which is just as well as I only have ten fingers and ten toes.

written by David Marshall