Thursday, June 17, 2010

Should Australia's media be cheerleaders for the team?

I went to South Africa v Uruguay last night after watching Harry's quite calm attack on Australia's reporters - well particularly one from the Herald. Harry obviously believes the Australian journalists should be an extension of the Fanatics or Green and Gold Army.
"You should all be supporting us, making us feel good," Harry said in the mixed zone at Australia's training ground. "You're all supposed to be on our team and it's a shame you're all having a go a us."
That's not really the Australian way. News is news and the reporters don't care if it's good or bad. Sure it's better writing about a winning team. It's certainly easier because the team opens up and players are happy to talk themselves up. After the Germany game, the Australian team went to ground. They have done one media session in three days and that one was used as a chance to attack the press. A classic tactic in shifting momentum.
Interesting too has been the reaction to Pim's selection. Players from Harry, Vinnie and Craig Moore have produced the same line "we are following orders." Kewell appeared to support Verbeek in his interview but his message is more subtle than that. I believe he is saying, no matter what happens here, success or dismal failure, it is all down to the coach.
I found the motivation for Ben Buckley's press conference difficult to understand. He stood up and responded to a rumour - that there was a rift between players and Verbeek - which appeared on a rumour segment of a Melbourne radio station. By glorifying the rumour with quotes Buckley turned the rift into an international story. From 3AW to Taiwan, Tehran and Timbuktu in a matter of hours.
So, the footnote. After Uruguay beat South Africa the Uruguay coach came into the interview room, to applause. The first question: "Maestro, congrtulations on your personal contribution to this momentus victory for our country..." That must have made Oscar Tabarez feel good. Harry would have liked that.


  1. "we are following orders."

    So if/when Australia fail it couldn't possibly be the players fault then could it?

  2. Hi Tony, I see in Kewell a sense of "entitlement" which is delusionary in relation to his achievements. Sport is a two way street and it is time players,in all sports,realised they cannot be just "takers"

  3. Both are good points. yes, in saying they are following orders this is exactly what they are doing. When the shit goes down they don't want any to stick on them...
    As for harry, great player when fit (if I remember correctly, it's been so long)

  4. While you were messing about over there,
    Over here we had the greatest win by the greatest team,in the greatest state of all!!

  5. Buckleys motivation? Shittin himself that we look bad for wc bid.

  6. And you have been kind to Harry in quoting him - I think you'll find he said "youse" should be supporting us, "Youse" are supposed to be on our team and it's a shame "youse" are all having a go at us...for a moment I though Jeff Fenech had been appointed team spokesperson...

  7. The Not So Old BlokeJune 20, 2010 at 11:40 PM

    To "The Old Bloke" Would that have been Eengland beating Australia in a proper game of rugby?