So it’s, shall we say, not the strongest side Germany could have selected. But of course we knew that given Jogi Luuuuuuurrrve’s squad – he hasn’t got Thomas Muller and Mesut Ozil idling on the bench. So will this actually be the test for Australia that Postecoglou wants?
Ryan; Degenek, Sainsbury, Wright; Leckie, Milligan, Mooy, Behich; Luongo, Rogic; Juric
Leno; Kimmich, Mustafi, Rudiger, Hector; Goretzka, Rudy, Stindl; Draxler, Brandt, S.Wagner
This week, a newspaper posed the question: is Ange Postecoglou the Kanye West of Australian sport? The thought of the big man hopping onto a stage, grabbing a microphone off, say, Anna Meares, and declaring “Imma let you finish, but Meg Lanning is one of the best cricketers in the world!” is certainly an arresting one. Or perhaps naming one of his training sessions “Peezus.”
The basis of the comparison was seemingly that Postecoglou was a bit grumpy in a press conference, which did seem a bit much. What, one might wonder, would the person who drew that comparison make of Sir Alex Ferguson in his pomp?
Still, the Aussie boss is quite a grumpy grump. “Maybe that’s just my demeanour,” he harrumphed, when asked about his mood. And he did seem pretty happy with the prospect of playing this game, if only because Australia don’t get the chance to face the European elite very much. “It’s a great opening game for us. We’re playing against the world champions. A team that wants to win the World Cup next year,” Postecoglou said. “We want to continue to evolve as a team and we want to do well here. We’re not going to hide. We’re going to measure ourselves against the best teams.”
Quite so. Let’s see how they measure up.
Nick will be here shortly. In the meantime, have a read our man on the ground in Sochi Kieran Pender’s preview: