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Turning to the match itself, although this is an international friendly, for the Socceroos it also carries some emotion with four players retiring from international football. The foursome of goalkeeper Zeljko Kalac and defenders Tony Vidmar, Stan Lazaridis and Tony Popovic will be ending their international careers at Suncorp Stadium and this is why Moore will be required even more next time because we are losing three very experienced defenders. Also this is the first match to see nineteen of the players who players who made history at the World Cup by reaching the second round.
Paraguay failed to reach the second round at the World Cup in Germany and I think this was more to do with the fact that they couldn't create good enough chances for scoring. Against England they lost to a early goal and even though they tried to come back in the game they just didn't have enough firepower upfront. Against Sweden it was a similar story although they did play quite well and it was only towards the end that they lost.
We should therefore expect a good game from Paraguay and depending on the substititions in the second half I think it will be a scoring draw.
I would have thought the A-League would have taken an international break this weekend. For a start Brisbane Suncorp Stadium hosts this international friendly and then less than 24 hours later Queensland Roar battle it out with Sydney FC at Aussie Stadium in Sydney. You would assume that some of the Sydney and and to a little extent Roar fans who would have attended Saturday night's match are the ones more likely to attend Sunday's match and that makes it a very football congested weekend for them should they decide to attend both matches.
In future I hope the FFA will consider giving the A-League a break in similar circumstances.
Um... this is an extraordinarilly ideological statement. Why exactly? I'm interested in good football and Australia winning, in that order.
Hamish, what I am trying to say is that there could have been good reasons behind missing the flight by Moore but FFA have to take disciplinary action so that they don't look like they are losing control of the players. I don't think they made the decision just to make a point. Its debatable if the sentence was too harsh because possibly a fine would have sufficed after all this was a friendly but in making the decision they just showed that they are in control and all the players have to follow the prescribed guidelines.
Sometimes in footballing terms that decision may misfire like in this case Moore then decided that he would miss the Bahrain match as well where he was going to be very much needed especially with four defenders having just retired but I still think the FFA took the right decision.
The thing is, I think all these guys are professionals, and aren't about to run amok as soon as the scourge is put away. Including Moore. Jet lag is real, and it also is easy not to feel it in the euphoria of a moment (like meeting up with old mates under these circumstances). Everything points to this being a genuine mistake on Moore's part. Genuine mistakes require a firm slap on the wrist; that's all.
Anyway, I appreciate your views Wes, and it doesn't seem that our disagreement is too gaping. After the emotional roller-coaster of last night I have other things on my mind. Cheers.
Let us not forget that this is the same Moore who sacrificed his illustrious Rangers career so that he could play for the Olyroos at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Rangers didn't want him to go but he went instead to represent Australia and that shows you how committed the player is. In the process I think he also lost a testimonial that could have landed him thousands of pounds and now tell me he needs to be suspended for failing to take a flight.
Moore deserved to be there last night, that's my call.
And Hamish you are right in saying all these guys are professionals, and aren't about to run amok as soon as the scourge is put away and you can also imagine somebody having flown all the way from England and just the match.
The good thing is that Australia won against Bahrain and its time now to fully focus on winning the Asian Cup come July next year.