Who are the bolters for Russia 2018? The Socceroos have qualified for a fourth consecutive World Cup Finals. That’s brilliant – but seven months out, we need to re-appraise. Especially up front.
We are totally crap at scoring goals, which are kinda important in football matches. So, besides Le Timmy, who can we turn to for goals as the new Socceroos coach starts his (or her…I’m not sexist) tenure?
The following are not nailed on Socceroos. They are players who’ve caught my eye and made me wonder whether they ought to be encouraged to climb to the next level…
After initial excitement at Sydney FC, Pet Rat’s career stalled. But after a couple of wilderness years, he’s rediscovered his mojo. This is a seriously good footballer – intelligent, fast, skilful, capable of scoring and making goals. He reminds me just a tad of Aaron Mooy the way he started with a bang, lost his way and has clambered back through sheer blazing talent. This guy could definitely star overseas and will certainly be a Socceroo at some point. Is it now? On the plane to Russia? 8/10
Daniel De Silva
Possibly the most skilful Australian playing in the A-League, Daniel is a number 10 who always beats the first defender, and has game intelligence way beyond his 20 years. Like Petratos, he is nailed on to have a successful career overseas and in the Socceroos. Thing is, we’ve got plenty of number 10s, so I would actually like to see Paul Okon try him out as a striker because the Mariners need an out and out goalscorer, and so do the Socceroos. De Silva has superfast foot speed (a key feature of any good striker) and outstanding vision. If he could learn to finish ruthlessly, he’d be a superstar. On the plane to Russia? 7/10
He’s not a striker and he has actually played for the Socceroos, but Amini has not quite nailed his spot. When he played for the Mariners he was really effective at turning defence into attack with a single touch. Has never quite regained his form as far as Australian audiences are concerned but has exceptional vision and passing range. A supremely intelligent footballer who would not be out of place in a World Cup squad. On the plane to Russia? 8/10