FWF-181018

Hungary v Australia, 1-2

Was there a better debut goal? Almost the first touch inside a minute? A more cheeky little back heel? A more pinpoint pass to Jackson Irvine that resulted in the second own goal? We're talking about Daniel Arzani (pictured) and, like many fans and commentators, we don't want to over-hype the 19-year-old, but his cameo was a joy - and a refreshing one at that. Unfortunately, we can't find an image of the look that passed over Bert van Marwijk's face in the moment after Arzani scored: it told more than a thousand words. 

Arzani was the highlight in an otherwise "unconvincing win" over Hungary, which included two own goals also. In the two pre-tournament warm-up games, van Marwijk has used 21 of the 23 players who head to Kazan in Russia tonight.

Putting aside Arzani's "stardust", it was a "scrappy, discordant and discomforting display" writes Tom Smithies, and gives no-one any confidence heading into the game v Frances (particularly the journalists in Russia). Smithies writes that Bert van Marwijk wanted a sign that his training methods are "bearing fruit" and he got none.

In The Australian (presumably from an AAP report but also using similar language to Ray Gatt's commentary on social media), Australia was lucky to scrape through with a win from "three defensive howlers". They rate the Socceroos, giving Mat Ryan the top score with 8 and Brad Jones a 4. 

Socceroos

Mile Jedinak says he won't let the drama surrounding Aston Villa distract him while the World Cup is on. Villa are threatened with insolvency and are trying to work out a deal with the British tax authorities. 

Good to see Tom Smithies has been reading his Encyclopedia of Socceroos by Andrew Howe, trotting out some of the stats. Who has the 10th most number of caps, 4th most as captain, and is number 10 in the goal scoring ranks? The quiet one, Mile Jedinak. He may be understated, but he's also the quiet achiever. 

Robbie Kruse and Mat Leckie talk about their wilder days when they were younger, did things they shouldn't including, in Kruse's case, knocking-off a bottle of scotch a day, and how they're now reformed, focussed and realise how much football gives them. Kruse is apparently the fittest of all the players and Leckie not far behind him. 

Andrew Nabbout is flying the flag for his Lebanese community at Russia, having been regularly approached by Lebanon to play for their national team but never giving up hope of one day wearing the green-and-gold. 

World Cup

Robbie Slater's guide to the 32 teams in a sentence or two on each.

Michael Lynch has a form guide of sorts also, noting that only eight teams have ever won it - Argentina, Brazil, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Uruguay - with only a handful more who have been runners-up and who are at Russia 2018. He suggests if you're a betting person you really wouldn't look outside those eight, and six if you discount England and Uruguay who have only won it once each (as with Spain and France, but they have European form also). 

Recent international friendlies

Other recent international friendlies; World Cup participants in bold. 

  • Uruguay, 3 v Uzbekistan, 0
  • Iran, 1 v Lithuania, 0
  • Croatia, 2 v Senegal, 1
  • Switzerland 2, v Japan, 0
  • Germany, 2 v Saudi Arabia, 1
  • Poland, 2 v Chile, 2
  • Estonia, 1 v Morocco, 3
  • Serbia, 5 v Bolivia, 1
  • Sweden, 0 v Peru, 0
  • Tunisia, 0 v Spain, 1
  • France, 1 v USA, 1

socceroos, 2018 world cup, #russia2018, #hunvaus, international friendlies, daniel arzani