Socceroos off to Germany

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by quietfanatic, Nov 18, 2005.

  1. quietfanatic

    quietfanatic Ancient One

    Dec 10, 2003
    Australians love their sport, even me.

    The Sydney Olympics was the best ever. People bought tickets to anything and volunteers provided a huge amount of support so we broke even in the end. The Greeks didn’t have the money or interest so they are consequently in massive debt.

    When that plane risked crashing in the US fairly recently, one of our talk-back radio announcers ‘called’ what he could see on the CNN feed exactly like a race or footy game commentator would, even though it was a life or death situation.

    The nation effectively stopped for the Melbourne Cup horse race, where Makybe Diva won for the third time in a row in spectacular style. The attention is similar for all the big events.

    The main football games are Rugby League, which is fast and very rough, Union, which is more static, and Australian Rules, a less popular but more athletic game. Football, usually referred to as soccer here, is my personal favourite, although it has been much less popular. It used to be called ‘wog ball’ due to the fact that its following was mostly comprised of European immigrants. That has changed now.

    The soccer World Cup qualifier game was on Wednesday night. Australia vs Uruguay. I was worried that not enough people would go to support the Socceroos. I would have gone myself, but I was busy earlier on. The news readers had all entreated people to go along as well, but we need not have worried. Almost 100, 000 people went to see the game, as well as millions on TV (including me). The Prime Minister apologized for being unable to attend. To win we needed to get two goals against a formidable nation who believed it was their divine right to go to the World Cup in Germany. They had been unbeaten for more than ten games in a row and we hadn’t qualified in 32 years, so there were many naysayers. The game was rough and the pressure was on for all two hours of the game. Uruguay had the ball skills and we had the teamwork, momentum and spirit. It ended in a dreaded penalty shootout but the Aussies had the luck and kept their cool, winning the game. Although we had the home, sleep and training advantage and Uruguay was plagued by injuries, we still outplayed them and won our place. This is a great boon for Australian football/soccer. It raises the strong possibility that we will actually have a decent league and team in the Asia-Pacific region. Go us!

    How important is sport in your own countries? Is it just another boring entertainment fitness option, or something culturally significant as it is here?
  2. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    Just remember that you owe it all to a Dutchman; Guus Hiddink.

    Sport is a significant but fairly limited affair in Holland. Holland excells beyond expectations for such a small country in many sports, especially in soccer, and people watch wheel-sports and tennis with much interest too. Other sports my country's good at would probably be hockey and volleyball.

    Soccer beats all, though. Our teams can muster armies of supporters/hooligans. I worked at the Feyenoord Stadion in Rotterdam for a while myself. It's fun, even though Feyenoorders are not my type of people. The EC and WC are always national events as our tiny country often with it's disproportionate arrogance manages to squeeze far into the game.

    We've won one EC ('88, against the USSR, a fact we all like to believe contributed to the fall of the USSR) and were famous for one WC ('74, the year soccer became popular in Holland because the brilliant Cruijf and our totalfootball got us through to the finals against Germany, who beat us).

    I give us very little chance in this WC. We're overrated, even if we were unbeaten for more than a dozen matches in a row up until the recent loss to Italy, beating our young arch-rival the Czech Republic twice.

    Oh, the other sport that's popular is darts, ever since Raymond van Barneveldt appeared out of nowhere and won the embassy in the mid-90's. We've been one of the major competors ever since, even if the British dominate it (followed by the Irish, Australians and us).

    Now, believe it or not, but I've been following the American football season lately. I can't watch any of it live and it's a boring sport with way too many intermissions, slow play and people padded up from here to Tokyo like a bunch of nerds (and they still get injured. Fucking McNabb, fucking Culpepper). But still, some plays are amazing. Like, say, Shaun Alexander almost every game. Or Samkon Gado recently. Or Tiki Barber two games back.
  3. Eric the Viking

    Eric the Viking First time out of the vault

    Jul 15, 2004
    It was a Dutchman that discovered Australia too... ;)

    Is it just me or is the penalty shoot out a pretty sad way to decide a soccer match....
  4. Tayl

    Tayl First time out of the vault

    Feb 15, 2004
    As opposed to.....?

    I think penalty shots are exciting.

    Anyways, sports here are incredibly important to a lot of people. I imagine arguments over American football teams and/or baseball teams have the same level of ferocity as arguments over soccer/football do in other parts of the world.

    I only watch American Football when I am with friends, so I have some kind of entertainment between plays. Kharn is absolutely right, there are waaaaayyy too many play stoppages.

    I like hockey. I was a huge fan before the lockout. Now I just catch games when I flip channels.

    I hate baseball unless I'm drunk, in which case I can watch it.

    I'm becoming a really big soccer/football fan. The more I watch the more I enjoy it. From what I understand the US international team actually is semi-decent, so I'm pretty excited about the WC.

    Chicago's team lost recently in the MLS playoffs, so I was pretty upset about that. 1-0 aggregate, with the tying goal called off in second half stoppage time of the second game due to a questionable offsides call. Oh, well.
  5. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    There isn't really any other decent way to decide a football match.

    Hurray, Guus Hiddink is going to the World Cup again. I wonder if he'll get to the semi-finals and be beaten in a penalty-shootout there....again.

    As for our team being overrated...I don't know, Van Basten had a shitload of luck, but the team has been showing better football. Against Italy they played really well, but they did quite some things wrong in the defense. As Van Basten said, it's a learning experience.

    And as for American Football...too commercialised, too many interruptions, all for commercials, which is interesting because here they can't legally show that many commercials. So the game will be interrupted, but the commercials will not be shown and the remark 'commercials again' or somesuch will still be made. Plus, it's a boring game.

    Oh, and hockey (no, not ice hockey, hockey) is rather popular here. A lot of the rich/posh-kids will play it.
  6. Loxley

    Loxley Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Apr 11, 2003
    Norway was kicked out of germany by those acursed Czech. In norway fotball is the greatest sport. Then comes hunting, i guess. The press keeps an eye on other sports as well but only if norwegians has a chance of winning. Very hypocritical really. OH and we good at skiing.
  7. Duckman

    Duckman Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Nov 18, 2005
    man did i cheer when i heard them socceroos win the game!!!

    finally another aussie person, i thought i was all alone in the post-apocalyptic world.


    but i shall not 4get to thank Guus Hiddink coz without him man, we get drilled by the accursed uruguay pplz.

    the duckman
  8. DJ Slamák

    DJ Slamák Brain for eat. Not for think.

    Apr 2, 2003
    Ve vil invade you kantry, steal you Saab, rape you hot Scandinavian voman, and make you drink Staropramen 10°.
  9. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    I remember well the penalty shootout against...uhm...the Czech Republic, I think. We'd lost many penalty shootouts in the past few years, and the infamous van der Sar practiced himself rotten on the shoots. I loved the look on his face when he actually managed to get one and pointed to the row of Dutch shooters with a "and now it's your turn" look on his face.

    Robben ruined that one, if I remember rightly.

    They don't have that much time left too learn.

    There's too much rookie play, too little talent. Robben might be the only quality attacker we have, Kuijt isn't worth shit. We're floating on luck now, but no way we'll keep it against Italy or Argentine.

    What, you mean here?

    American television is always advertisment-lite here. It's nothing legal, it's because the station isn't actually being paid for showing American ads in Holland, so they...don't.

    As for the Superbowl, which Netherlands 3 broadcasts, yeah, few commercials many breaks. Same goes for Springer and Oprah. We're just not used to that many advertisment blocks.
  10. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    No, that was against Sweden. Robben shot the last penalty in the goal, and so we went on to the semi-final of the European Cup, where Portugal beat us in a really poor match.
    But yes, it's interesting, also because now everybody thinks 'Penalties? No problem.'

    Kuijt is a really good player, but much more of a workhorse than anything else. He's really good when he's not the center striker, because he has more freedom to pick up balls all over the field. Which is what he did quite a lot.
    Van Nistelrooy is a good striker, but isn't really performing well in the national team, but wingers like Robben, Van Persie possibly Quincy Owusu-Abeyie in the future are class players that can make a difference. Too bad Robben is haunted by injuries. Van Persie is starting to show a lot more class, though.
    And the midfield has a lot of talent too, Van Der Vaart has been brilliant since he moved to HSV, and Afellay and Aissati are performing really well for PSV, so I suspect they'll move on to the national team as well. Cocu is also a good player.
    The real problem is defence, though, the players don't have enough experience there.

    Wasn't it RTL5 or SBS6 that broadcasted the Superbowl?

    Meh, but, no, it is a legal issue. One of the reasons why we have so little advertisement blocks is because of (I believe EU) rules. If I recall correctly, it said that the maximum number of minutes of advertisement blocks on TV per hour was 10 or 15.
  11. Briosafreak

    Briosafreak Lived Through the Heat Death

    Dec 18, 2003
    Australian rules is one weird game, i tell you... On Rugby i honestly think the All Blacks are unbeatable for now, but you`ll rise up again, as usual.

    Night for you, i saw it live on Eurosport (a pan-european sports channel during the day] :). Congrats, my national team we`ll be there too, many great discussions will happen here at the GD at NMA for sure :)
  12. Hellion

    Hellion Antediluvian Lurker

    Jun 20, 2003
    Brasil will almost certainly win this World Cup...There just isn't anyone who can compete with them, IMHO (their performance in this summer's Confederation Cup in Germany just strenghtened my opinion on this). A surprise will always be welcome, though.

    Since Greece didn't qualify, my only interest in this year's competition will be whether the other "traditional powers" of football (England, Italy, Germany, Argentina etc) will be up to the task and perform quality football for a change...

    Regarding the question asked in the first post, all sports in Greece may not be equally popular, but certain sports (football, basketball and volleyball mainly) are perhaps a little TOO important to us. Most people here start playing and getting interested in them at a very young age (myself included) and continue to do so for...ever. But apart from doing these sports (which, combined with our mediterranean diet, makes most of us quite fit :wink:) , eventually we start getting them a little too seriously (frequent riots during important matches prove this), and getting all fanatical about sports is very common.

    Also, since some people consider winning the European Football Championship in 2004 one of the greatest achievements in our modern history, I guess Football especially is more like a cultural phenomenon than a mere sport :shock:
  13. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    Aye, yer right, my bad memory.

    I loved van der Sar that year. Stam and Cocu, too, but they're probably my favourite players anyway.

    I wish I had a T-shirt of van der Sar the moment he stopped that ball/the look on his face after it. That'd rock.

    The problem is both Kuijt and van Nistelrooy are "talentless" (relatively) workhorses. Van Nistelrooy got where he got not through talent but purely through hard work. That's admirable, but hard work alone just won't cut it on this level. Those two'll be death of us for sure.

    Van Persie is very, very overrated. He's an excellent player for sure, but he can't coordinate worth for shit, and that's quite important for a winger like him. Robben can coordinate if he choses too (too bad he doesn't always choose to), but indeed he's got all those injuries to deal with.

    We need Cocu, badly, as a veteran in such an odd midfield line-up. Cocu is quite possibly one of the most underrated players of Orange ever. I love his coordinating play. Class A captain, that.

    Yes. And we're stuck with a coach that sometimes goes blind on potential rather than current skill. That'll hurt if he koops on doing that.

    Ye might be right.

    For CNN etc. it's not a legal issue that keeps them from broadcasting ads. It's the fact that their ad-people don't pay them to broadcast to Europe and they can barely attract European advertisers. Sometimes I wonder how CNN stays afloat internationally.

    Bull. Both Argentine and Italy are also up there.

    Looking forward to it.
  14. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    You should see Van Nistelrooy in some Manchester United matches, Match Of The Day (2) specifically. He had one hell of a brilliant goal this weekend, and he makes those rather regularly. Somehow he manages to have the ball on a string and find the net in really fantastic ways. And those are great qualities for a striker.
    He's an arse when he's frustrated, though.
    But Kuijt is talented, he also has a knack for scoring, although to a lesser extent, but his greatest charm is his workhorse mentality. This makes him unfit as a central striker on this level, but still a great player to have roaming around on the field. You don't want all talented, creative players. You need some balance on the field.

    True. Although you're not giving Van Persie enough credit, he's performing admirably in Arsenal lately, scoring goals left and right and handig out assists. He seems to have completely gotten over his 'annoying kid' streak, and his playing with Bergkamp and Henry is really teaching him a lot.

    Good player, balanced, works, and you don't see him that much during a match. Perfect for a more defensive midfielder.
    Yep, but I suspect he's more or less done with that now. He has a base-team right now, more or less, and will need to start building a real team out of that.
    That, or he'll just need to bring the incredible luck he had during the qualification matches.
    Eh? I remember seeing several American commercials on CNN. Plus, I suspect that they have quite a bit of embedded advertising.
  15. Jebus

    Jebus Background Radiant

    Jan 29, 2004
    Yea - that guy is amazing.

    Although he had a shitload of luck with the South Koreans. Moslty due to sucky referees....

    Well, I guess Belgium's from the same stock. For a country of only 11 million inhabitants, we've been doing pretty good in tennis, motorcross (Belgians have been worldchampions all the time for the last 5 million years or so), cycling, billiart, etc. etc.
    Mostly sports that require some capital to get started in, I guess. Same as with Holland; I guess we're only good in these sports since the Ethiopians 'n all don't have the money to get into them...

    Belgian football has sucked beyond imagination for the last 5 years, though.
  16. ferdinand

    ferdinand First time out of the vault

    Jul 24, 2005
    quietfanatic, you neglected to mention international rules in your list of sports. Fantastic game - like AFL but with more tackles. Kharn - good rowers from Holland. What are the odds Australia gets slaughtered 1st round?
  17. Duckman

    Duckman Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Nov 18, 2005
    Although Australia thinks the Socceroos are World Cup Champions there is no way in hell they are making the finals.
    Too bad if they do then I'll be burnt at the stake for herecy.

    The Duckman
  18. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    Hiddink is someone who can make a moderately good team do brilliant things. Look at South-Korea on the 2002 World Cup: semi-finals. And PSV EIndhoven last year, semi-finals of the Champions League. But those were both different circumstances, so it'll be interesting to see what will happen.
  19. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    If a striker's job is to stand around waiting for him to pass the ball between one player and the goal, yeah, sure.

    This is why I never care much about attackers. The midfield, that's where things have to happen.

    You don't want all egotistical players, you mean. That's where our offense is lacking.

    Always has been.

    'cept maybe for Jimmy Hasselbiank. Maybe.

    No doubt. Don't expect what most people are expecting from him, though

    That's selling Cocu short.

    But then again, everyone does.

    He's almost geriatric by this point, but he can still play with a shitload of energy. But that's not where his quality lies. There's only a handful of players in existence who can *see* the game as well as Cocu does.

    The reason Cocu is always unspectacular is because he doesn't need to be, He never goes head-to-head in a duel with another player because he's always passed the ball beforehand. He never has to do anything spectacular to get to the ball because he's already there. Calm, collected, ready to coordinate.

    Amidst a bunch of ego-players, untalented gits and young ones, he's the only thing that can save us.

    Calling him a defensive-team player is selling him way, way short. You must not have seen much of his carreer. Jeesh, the guy started as an attacker, for pete's sake. A good one. Hell, he's done every position well.

    They do some. I doubt they edit out the embeds, but if you watch an advertisment block it has one or two American ads, for Americans who pay to broadcast to Europe, and the rest are ads from CNN to watch something...on CNN. Bit stupid, but it works.
  20. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    Well, at the point where they start to really play along a lot, they're not really strikers anymore. Or at least, I'd start to consider them to be more offensive midfielders.
    Van Persie too, for instance. Or Van Hooijdonk. But no, that's not what I meant. Kuijt just flies across the entire field doing, well, almost everything. That's more than just being non-egotistical, that's working your butt off to do as much as possible. Davids has a knack of doing that too.
    A bit reminiscent of the Total Football, where the attackers also defended more.

    He's a really versatile player, yes, but I do believe that he's best as a centre or defensive midfielder, he doesn't have the speed or creativity to play as an offensive midfielder, but indeed, he has a great feeling for the game, and can read the game like almost no-one else in the team. He's the coordinating player that added that little extra to PSV last year, like Rijkaard did for Ajax in 1995.