Normally, when we do international updates, they'll get written up after the break is over. But this is just too bizarre not to write up.
Australia, for those not following the Socceroos, haven't had the best of times since qualifying for the World Cup in June. A 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Brazil (neither Tim Cahill, nor David Carney, were in camp for that one) was followed up by a crushing defeat to France by the same score. And if the scoreline wasn't bad enough, consider this: In those two games, the Aussies mustered only five shots. None of those shots were on goal.
Last night the French carved up the Australian defense, making it look easy by putting four past Mitchell Langerak before halftime. The French looked like they came out flying. Australia? Stuck in second gear.
(For the record, Carney came off at halftime and Cahill came off in the 80th minute.)
Both were embarrassing defeats from a team that's probably third best in their confederation with the ability to give the Asian Football Confederation's best a run for their money. So what does the Football Federation Australia do? Fire head coach Holger Osieck less than a year before the World Cup. Naturally.
To be fair, I don't follow Australia enough to know whether the change was warranted or not, but with the World Cup just eight months out I have a hard time believing it's going to make things easier on the Aussies.
But why take it from me when you can hear it from one of the country's most decorated players? Cahill was not happy about Osieck's sacking and, reportedly, the two didn't even have that great a relationship. Of course, Cahill can fume publicly as he'll be on the Australia roster come next June. It's Carney, who was just making his way back into the team that's now teetering on the edge.
Australia returns to action Tuesday against Canada at Fulham's Craven Cottage.