Managers of Australia, Japan, and Korea have picked their 30…23 actually in Japan’s and Korea’s cases…men bound to Brazil. Wow, 23…that’s bit of a rush, isn’t it? It’s good they want to finish a project a month before the deadline so they can concentrate on other things, but yeah, it feels more like being hasty than being so sure and efficient.
So, let’s compare my picks and theirs.
Ange (not Angie)’s picks: Ryan, Langerak, Galekovic (Adelaide), Birighitti (Newcastle Jets).
My picks: Ryan, Federici, Jones, Langerak
Naturally many coaches wanted to balance between players based in Europe and in domestic leagues (with the exception of Africa, in most cases). Ange did not trust English based goalkeepers at all, but among A-League keepers, he picked Galekovic rather than say, Theo from Brisbane or Ante Covic from Western Sydney, who was also a Socceroo regular. Can’t wait to see Ryan facing the world’s best attackers at the group stage.
Ange’s picks: Good (Dundee), Davidson, Spiranovic, Wilkshire, Franjic, Wright (Preston), McGowan, Wilkinson
My picks: Wilkshire, Williams, Neill, Herd, McGowan, Smith, Spiranovic, Ognenovski, Wilkinson, Davidson
We agreed on some Asian based players. Herd apparently has “personal issues” while yeah, Smith should have been there.
Ange’s picks: Brillante (Newcastle Jets), Bozanic (Luzern), Bresciano (Al Gharafa), Holland, Jedinak, Milligan, Vidosic, Sarota, McKay, Troisi, Luongo (Swindon)
My picks: Cahill, Holman, Jedinak, Kruse, McKay, Oar, Milligan, Vidosic, Sarota, Holland.
Ange picked Cahill and Oar as forwards but left Kruse, while I picked Troisi as a forward (same with Franjic). I did the silly mistake of omitting Bresciano. He did have legal trouble regarding his transfer but early this year FIFA had permitted him to play for Australia again.
Ange’s picks: Cahill, Kennedy, Leckie, Oar, Rogic (Melbourne Victory), Halloran (Fortuna), Taggart (Newcastle Jets)
My picks: Leckie, McDonald, Taggart, Troisi, Franjic, Joel Griffiths, Williams
So he didn’t believe in McDonald, while I also regret I forgot Kennedy. Rogic is a fine choice, tho, although I’d have put him as a midfielder.
So, generally we agree that these men are the best out there for Australia. Less flashy than the Japanese, but flashy is never a word associated with Australia. Gutsy is.
Al Z’s picks: Kawashima, Nishikawa, Gonda
My picks: Kawashima, Nishikawa, Gonda
Who else? Poor Hayashi.
Al Z’s picks: Inoha (Jubilo), Konno (Gamba), Nagatomo, Morishige (Tokyo), Uchida, Yoshida, the Sakais
My picks: Uchida, the Sakais, Yoshida, Masukawa, Shoji, Yasuda, Shiotani, Hashimoto
Besides the elite four, probably four best Asian defenders worldwide, Don Al picked the old names (stars in their own rights at J. League, but with mixed results internationally) for the three subs.
Al Z’s picks: Yasuhito Endo (Gamba), Hasebe, Aoyama (Hiroshima), Yamaguchi (Cerezo)
My picks: Kagawa, Honda, Nagatomo, Hosogai, Kiyotake, Hasebe, Inui, Ono, Tasaka, Doi, Yasushi Endo (Kashima), Ienaga, Kakitani
This means only one thing – he chose only four holding and central midfielders and pushed everyone else as attackers. Old Al counts on four great defenders (with mediocre/poor subs) and the rest to attack, leaving opponents to rule the midfield. We know what will happen. And yeah, we thought about the different Yasu Endo.
Al Z’s picks: Honda, Okubo, Okazaki, Kagawa, Kiyotake, Kakitani, Saito (Marinos), Osako
My picks: Okazaki, Havenaar, Osako, Toyoda, Okubo, Kobayashi
The Senegal option. Even Senegal only chose 7 forwards for 2012 African Cup of Nations (and scored only three goals). Okay, so the difference is I designated Honda, Kagawa, Kiyotake and Kakitani as midfielders while he said they’re forwards. Essentially he picked four forwards. Both of us believe in Okubo and Osako, Okazaki is undisputed with his 15 goals in Bundesliga, but I still believe Havenaar, despite a mixed year (he still can’t become Vitesse’s main contributor after two seasons, keep losing behind a Brazilian), is a far better option than Saito. Still hoping to see Toyoda in Asian Cup 2015.
Hong’s picks: Jung Sung-ryong (Suwon), Kim Seung-gyu (Ulsan), Lee Bum-young (Busan)
My picks: Kim Yong-dae (Seoul), Kim Young-kwang (Gyeongnam), Kim Jin-hyeon (Cerezo)
Totally different. Okay, Jung has replaced Lee Woon-jae since 2010 to become Korea’s number one, and Kim Yong-dae (and the rest of FC Seoul) has been shabby this year. He certainly believes in Kim Seung-gyu better than I do, but I believe it’s unfair to overlook Jin-hyeon.
Hong’s picks: Kim Jin-su (Albirex), Kim Young-gwon, Yoon Suk-young, Hwang Seok-ho (Hiroshima), Hong Jeong-ho, Kwak Tae-hwi, Lee Yong (Ulsan), Kim Chang-soo (Kashiwa)
My picks: Park Jo-hoo, Kwak Tae-hwi, Hong Jeong-ho, Kim Jin-kyu, Kim Young-gwon, Hong Chul, Yoon Suk-young
Err…so he went Japanese (I know, I know) with the defenders. It’s too bad Park Jo-hoo is left out (I know, his recovery is slow), we agree that Kim Young-gwon is the best Korean defender in Asia at the moment (with Kwak Tae-hwi the second), and at least there’s a defender with singular given name.
Hong’s picks: Ki Sung-yong, Ha Dae-sung, Han Kook-yong (Kashiwa), Park Jong-woo (R&F), Kim Bo-kyung, Lee Chung-yong, Ji Dong-won, Son Heung-min
My picks: Park Ji-sung, Koo Ja-cheol, Lee Chung-yong, Ki Sung-yong, Kim Do-heon, Kim Nam-il, Kim Bo-kyung, Ji Dong-won, Ha Dae-sung, Lee Seung-gi
We agree more than I expected. We traded roles for Koo Ja-cheol and Son Heung-min.
Hong’s picks: Koo Ja-cheol, Lee Keun-ho, Park Chu-young, Kim Shin-wook
My picks: Lee Dong-gook, Son Heung-min, Kim Shin-wook, Kim Seung-dae, Lee Keun-ho, Park Chu-young.
LOL, he picked Chu-young and struck out Dong-gook. At least Shin-wook and Keun-ho are pretty dependable, but it’s a shame that Pohang and Jeonbuk players are again omitted. As usual.