How Socceroos used inside info to bring down Denmark by getting hands on tactical note
The secret to the Socceroos’ success in bringing down Denmark could lie in the small note which changed hands during the second half of the 1-0 boilover win.
Socceroos coach Graham Arnold made a tactical switch midway through the second half, using Bailey Wright as a fifth defender moments after a Danish sub’s note to star midfielder Christian Eriksen found its way into Australian hands.
Two substitutes, Robert Skov and Andreas Cornelius handed notes to a couple of players as Denmark made dual replacements following Mathew Leckie’s cracking goal.
A couple of minutes later vision is shown of the Australian coaching staff being in a possession of one of the notes on the sidelines. It appears strike Mitch Duke found it on the ground and passed it on to his coaches.
Arnold then switched Wright back into a five-man defensive line-up, which he said after the game was due to Denmark sending long passes ahead.
“Obviously, they put a big striker on, and had two strikers on, and I knew they were going to start hitting long balls,” Arnold said. “That’s why I put Bailey Wright on for a back five.
“Obviously then it’s going to push you deeper, but we needed that extra man centrally to help with dealing with the crosses and long balls.”
The Socceroos’ street-smarts was reminiscent of keeper Andrew Redmayne throwing his Peruvian rival’s water bottle away during the crucial penalty shootout that decided the final spot in World Cup qualification. The bottle apparently had notes attached to it to help the keeper decide which way the Socceroos players would direct their penalty kicks.
After upsetting the Danes, now the Socceroos turn their attention to pulling off the mother of all upsets against Argentina on Sunday morning (6am AED).
Australian defender Milos Degenek is joining a queue of critics blasting FIFA for their cramped World Cup scheduling.
The Socceroos meet Argentina in their round of 16 encounter just two days after their last game.
Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni has described the scheduling as “madness” and Degenek agrees.
“It’s something that FIFA need to consider, that we’re not robots, that we are humans,” Degenek said.
“And that we do need to recover and we can’t just play day after day.
“We need a break as well.”
The tight turnaround is compounded by the Doha heat, with temperatures at game-time rarely dipping below 30 degrees Celsius.
But the Socceroos actually have a slight edge in recovery: they played their last game, a 1-0 win against Denmark, four hours before Argentina downed Poland 2-0.
That gives Lionel Messi’s world No.3 outfit no reward for finishing top of their group. The Australians finished second in theirs.
“I think it’s absolute madness to play in nearly two days and a bit when we are top of the group, I can’t understand it,” Scaloni said.
“Those aren’t good conditions but it’s the same for everyone.
“We’re first in the group. We could have had more rest.”
The Socceroos are in the knockout phase of a cup for just second time, following the 2006 achievement.
And Degenek said they were fully focused on recovery rather than training.
“Not just me, especially the boys that played three in a row and they have the short turnaround now again,” he said.
“But they will recover. They will get back and they will be ready.”