Daniel Kaliszaap Images

Pressure on Ange right from the start

ANYONE watching Ange Postecoglou's press conference on Wednesday after the announcement of his appointment as Socceroos coach will know the Melbourne Victory mentor can certainly talk a good game.

Postecoglou was calm and composed as he outlined his blueprint for success for the national team after a forgettable period when it took a beating both on and off the field.

The reputation of the game at the national level had certainly been tarnished after a string of poor performances in World Cup qualifying, some more tardy displays at the East Asian Cup and those now infamous 6-0 hammerings from Brazil and France.

At face value, Postecoglou appears to be the man to get the Socceroos back on track. The 48-year-old was also impressive when he talked about restoring pride to the national team.

"The team struggled (against Brazil and France) and maybe morale is down as well," he said at Wednesday's announcement in Sydney.

"But if our players respond in the right way they will get a lot of love from the crowd here (in Sydney against Croatia on November 19).

"And hopefully we can restore some of that morale and confidence and then build it stage by stage."

Postecoglou's words had me inspired, but I wondered if the words of Football Federation Australia boss Frank Lowy had thrown his new man under the bus somewhat.

I am all for aspiring to do the best you can both in sport and in life, but was Lowy aiming a tad high when outlining his aims for the Socceroos under Postecoglou, who was handed a five-year deal?

I think I spotted some raised eyebrows from Postecoglou when Lowy responded to a question about what he expected over the next few years.

"The objective is definitely to be the No.1 team in Asia," Lowry said.

"There is no question about it. We have the knowledge, the ability and players, and now we have the coach.

"The rest is that we want to do better than we did in the past (at the World Cup), but that may take a little bit more time."

Realistically, the Socceroos seem to be a fair way behind the Asian superpowers of Japan and South Korea, and Lowy's words may just have put too much pressure on the new boss.

I am right behind Ange Postecoglou and believe staying local is the right move for the Australian national team coach.

But shooting for the stars and aiming to be No.1 in Asia seems a bit like running before you can walk, especially as Postecoglou has not even started his new job yet.

No pressure then Ange.


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