At the moment the Socceroos are at rock bottom. They are like Robert Downey Jnr during those years when he took heaps of drugs and lived in a rehab facility.
They are broken, destitute and down on their luck. They want to crash on your couch for a couple of days. Maybe borrow a couple of dollars here and there, but they’ll pay you back. I swear.
They claim that things are about to start picking up, but in reality they couldn’t be much worse. That job with their cousin Donny just isn’t going to materialise.
To be fair, they have had a shit awful run of luck. Last week the Socceroos’ best player, Robbie Kruse, succumbed to a knee injury that will rule him out of the World Cup. The team’s most exciting young prospect, Tom Rogic, has left Glasgow Celtic on loan to play in the A League where he will, presumably, finally get some fucking game time. And last month we discovered the Socceroos’ best playing during the qualifiers, Marco Bresciano, will be unable to play during the lead-up to the World Cup thanks to a transfer dispute with his Gulf League club or as a colleague put it, some dodgy Arab shit.
These knocks are compounded by the fact the Socceroos still don’t have a left back and most of starting team either play in the MLS (Tim Cahill at New York Red Bulls), the A League (Mark Milligan at Melbourne Victory) or minor European Leagues (James Holland at Austria Wien). The ones who playing for big European clubs are not either starting (Mitch Langerak at Borussia Dortmund) or they play for one of the worst sides in the English Premier League (Mile Jedinak at Crystal Palace).
On the upside, the Socceroos have made the World Cup. This should continue to be celebrated with excessive drinking and endless replays of Peter Allen’s “I Go to Rio”. On the downside, the Socceroos have been grouped together with the best international team the world has ever seen (Spain), the country that practically invented passing (Holland), and a bunch of wily South American tricksters (Chile), all of whom will most certainly dick the Socceroos with plenty of ease in Brazil later this year. If the Aussies are lucky enough to emerge from the group, they will probably face hosts Brazil in the next round, and the last time that happened we lost 6-nil.
Things are looking pretty dire for the Socceroos. If they were financial investment instruments, they would be Collateralised Debt Obligations in 2007, and my advice would be to SELL.
Thankfully, the Socceroos are not complicated and confusingly structured tranches of debt. They are just a football team, a bad loss at the World Cup most likely will not cause another global economic crisis. What it will do is make this author, a near-30 year old man, cry over a game of sport, which is a crisis in itself.
By Ben Shine