The sacking of Holger Osieck as Socceroos' coach evidences a bold, but brutal, new age in Australian soccer.

Osieck sacking a bold day in Aussie soccer

October 11, 2013
By Steve Larkin

Damned if they did, damned if they didn't.

But at least Football Federation Australia (FFA) hierarchy showed they give a damn.

The sacking of Holger Osieck as Socceroos coach was ruthless.

Less than a decade ago, any coach who took Australia to the World Cup finals was feted as a treasured genius.

Now, in a bold yet brutal new age of Australian soccer, getting there isn't enough.

Osieck's tenure ended, perhaps aptly, in the country that championed the guillotine.

Australia's woeful 6-0 loss to France in Paris on Saturday followed an identical defeated scoreline in Brazil last month.

So much for Osieck's grand plan of exposing his blue collar troops to the world's upper class.

"The manager wanted to test us against the best in he world at the moment and, right now, we're well below the standard," captain Lucas Neill told AAP after the pounding in Paris.

"We're going to have to take a long hard look at ourselves."

The FFA's look didn't take long.

Within hours, they terminated Osieck's contract. The German will get severance pay of more than $1 million.

Neill himself is being encouraged to look in the mirror, with Mark Bosnich and John Kosmina leading calls for him to quit.

"He is a big part of the problem ... he should retire," a blunt Bosnich said.

So where to now?

With eight months until the World Cup finals in Brazil, where does Australia turn?

Does it look inwards, to an Aussie coach such as Ange Postecoglou or Graham Arnold?

Does it look outwards, to another foreign coach such as Marcelo Bielsa or Gerard Houllier?

Does it look back to go forward, and turn to Guus Hiddink, who steered Australia's dreamy 2006 World Cup journey which ended in the round of 16?

Or does it look at sobering facts: just two wins in history at the World Cup finals. A current world ranking of 53. Only three Australians ranked in the world's top 1485 players. An average Socceroo age of around 31-years-old.

Perhaps they're just expecting too damn much.


Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.