Thompson gutted to miss Liverpool clash

July 23, 2013
By Angela Habashy

Socceroo Archie Thompson admits he's gutted to be missing Melbourne Victory's sold-out clash with English Premier League giants Liverpool on Wednesday.

Thompson is one of five Victory players selected in Holger Osieck's 23-man East Asian Cup squad currently in South Korea.

But while goalkeeper Nathan Coe and forward Conner Pain where given permission to leave Seoul on Monday for the MCG match, Thompson, Mark Milligan and Mitch Nichols were required to stay for Australia's remaining two matches against Japan on Thursday and China Sunday.

The blow is even bigger considering Thompson would no doubt have been part of the A-League All-Stars match against Manchester United in front of over 80,000 people at Sydney's ANZ Stadium on Saturday.

Instead he was slugging it out for a 0-0 draw against South Korea in the East Asian Cup opener with a crowd less than half the amount in Seoul the same day.

"I am disappointed to be missing the Liverpool game," an honest Thompson conceded.

"Home town, and you don't get Liverpool coming to Oz very often, 90,000 people.

"Just off the back of the Man United game, which I missed too. Manchester and Liverpool in the space of a week, that would have been brilliant too.

"It's difficult to be here and missing that match, but saying that I am part of the national team and it has its goods and bads."

Pain and Coe will re-join the Socceroos squad after the Liverpool encounter and return to Seoul on Thursday night, missing Australia's match against Japan.

Thompson admitted he wished he was on the flight home with them, but joked he mainly hoped to avoid having to do as much running as he did against South Korea.

But always the optimist, Thompson managed to find an up-side.

Another silver lining is Thompson will get a further chance to equal Damian Mori's all-time Socceroos goal scoring record of 29, with just one more goal needed to achieve the feat.

With many of the A-League's top players, including Thompson and Milligan, in South Korea as part of Osieck's experimental squad and the likes of Alessandro Del Piero, Shinji Ono and Emile Heskey all unavailable, the All-Stars were that in name only.

Add to that coach Ange Postecoglou only had his team for a week's worth of training.

In the end they were thumped 5-1 and with the Victory missing the injured Gui Finkler and Adama Traore and having lost Marco Rojas (VfB Stuttgart) and Marcos Flores (Central Coast), Thompson feels an understrength Melbourne could be in for a similar annihilation.

"I don't know whether the players we have got there are experienced enough," he said.

"There are some good young players coming through, but I think as a Victory supporter if I was in their shoes I would like to see the best team you can have out there, and I think we haven't got that."

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