WCC-LB

Socceroos

Robbie Kruse says it's important that the Socceroos get a 'quick start' to the match v France, saying "the penny will drop soon" after two slow starts in their pre-tournament friendlies. 

Much the same story and photo (which is also our feature pic) is used here, as Mathew Leckie, Andrew Nabbout and Kruse are being urged to use their pace to "harry" France. Kruse says he knows France won't make too many mistakes but it's his job to try to make them. 

Mathew Leckie says the Socceroos won't be intimidated by Les Bleus and they will be seeking to "impose" themselves on the French, along similar lines to the Netherlands team of 2010. Leckie says they may have "been playing too fair" in recent years. The #WhateverItTakes Socceroos?

Ben McKay writes that it's "four into one" upfront for the Socceroos - between Nabbout, Tim Cahill, Tomi Juric and Jamie Maclaren - with Nabbout one of the favourites to get a starting berth. 

Mat Ryan believes the Socceroos can cause an upset in Russia, just as his club Brighton was able to get a result against the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham - all of which are teams some of the French play for. Ryan says the biggest thing he's learned in the past season that these big name players "are only human". 

You can't help but wish Danny Vukovic anything but well. He talks of the decision to leave Sydney FC at the end of the 2016/17 season to take up a long sought after overseas job with Genk in Belgium, not long after his son Harley had started recovering from a life-saving liver transplant. Vukovic won the player of the year at Genk and is now at the World Cup. Go well to the Vukovic family!

As always, a big thumbs-up from the Socceroos for their home-away-from-home at their training base in Kazan, where they arrived yesterday ahead of the first match v France.

A piece from early yesterday which talks of the Socceroos arriving in Kazan (one of our pictures yesterday) and the changes to FIFA's ranking system. 

World Cup

Tom Smithies and Michael McGuire (Kate Ellis' short-lived Chief of Staff) write that the "World Cup is Vladimir Putin's chance to put Russia on the global stage for all the right reasons." As if we hadn't realised. There are far many better pieces on this topic. 

VAR

“It has been a shock how rapidly and how widely VAR has been adopted," says David Elleray, the technical chief of the International Football Association Board that governs the laws of the game and who is overseeing VAR at the World Cup. Many A-League fans might wonder what he's smoking. Elleray says it will stop "hand of god goals" such as that of Diego Maradona in the quarter-final v England in 1986 - the only one we can actually remember over many World Cups - and "cheating" players. 

Socceroos fans

Three Northern Beaches (Sydney) dads and their 8-year-old sons are off to the World Cup, commenting how accommodating their respective wives are. Trust us, guys, you will owe them and your daughters big time when you return. 

A-League expansion

The 15 A-League expansion applicants have been left wondering what's happening after "FFA failed to deliver on its promise to name a shortlist" yesterday. Fairfax reports that: "Bid teams were quietly frustrated with the lack of communication from the FFA, while several fans blew up at the national body on social media."

David Gallop

David Gallop won't rule out the Cricket Australia job, but says he has lots of challenges in his current role. He is expected to be under pressure if there are changes in the balance of power within the FFA Congress. 

Same responses to the same set of questions here, but a different slant on it from the headline which says 'Gallop distances himself' from the CA job. 


socceroos, #russia2018, 2018 world cup, a-league expansion, var