Australia’s football hierarchy has reacted to its clubs flagging performances on Asian soil during the Champions League by scrapping plans for a Brisbane-based get-together before the Asian Cup finals in favour of an acclimatisation training camp in Singapore.
“The camp in Singapore will give us a good Bandar Qiu Qiu Online indication of what to expect at the Asian Cup,” declared Socceroos coach Graham Arnold last week. “Acclimatisation will be a key to success at the tournament so training and playing in Singapore will get us in good shape for the conditions that we will face for the tournament.”
Welcome news indeed, and proof of the gravity with which Football Federation Australia is holding the Socceroos’ maiden venture into Asian competition.
Over the past couple of months we’ve seen how the Australian clubs in the ACL have been caught with their trousers around their ankles by supposedly inferior opponents, particularly in tired-looking second-half displays by Adelaide in Vietnam and Sydney in Indonesia.
Sure, a lack of regular match action has some claims, but the A-League sides have comfortably proven that simply turning up a few days beforehand and expecting to roll over the opposition is a theory fast losing credibility down under.
As Arnold added in a far-ranging interview with the Sydney Morning Herald over the weekend, “They’re 50 per cent better at home, so when we go to these types of nations we have to make sure we have a minimum of a week to prepare properly, otherwise we’ll get ourselves into trouble.” A little tactless perhaps, but spot on.
Of course, the climatic conundrum is effectively multiplied for Arnold. Not only is Australia, geographically, not even in Asia, the basis of his Asian Cup squad will come from the English Premiership, a league played across the northern winter save for a few months of relative sunshine at its beginning and end. Derby days in Liverpool and London aren’t exactly the ideal preparation for an Asian Cup opener against Oman in Bangkok.
Then there’s Australia’s glaring lack of experience playing …