PROMISING FUTURE: Massimo Luongo tussles with Yasuyuki Konno of Japan at Nagai Stadium.
PROMISING FUTURE: Massimo Luongo tussles with Yasuyuki Konno of Japan at Nagai Stadium. GETTY IMAGES

OPINION: Questions posed ahead of cup opener

IT has been just over a year since Ange Postecoglou was handed the reins as Socceroos coach.

The team has played 12 games since and the 2-1 loss to Japan in Osaka was the eighth defeat to go with two wins and two draws.

The coach has urged patience as he puts his stamp on the side, promising attacking football, and that's what he has delivered, albeit with limited success.

The former Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory boss also promised to give players a chance at the highest level, and he has definitely done that, using 42 players in those 12 games in charge.

But D-Day, in the shape of the Asian Cup on home soil, is rapidly approaching, and despite some promising signs, the old failings still appear to be around.

There were some positives in Osaka, including the performances of Aziz Behich, Massimo Luongo and the return from long-term injury of Robbie Kruse. But despite plenty of endeavour, the Socceroos created only one clear-cut chance in a first half they dominated, and it wasn't until Tim Cahill came on late in the second half that they looked like scoring.

And that is the major problem, without Cahill, who has scored eight times under Postecoglou, the Socceroos look toothless in attack, and if they defend as they did for both Japan's goals then the Asian Cup might not be as successful as some hope.

"It was the little details that let us down, which is unacceptable," Postecoglou said.

"We talk about wanting to progress our football, but if we are going to be that sloppy about a key part of the game, set pieces, then it doesn't matter what we do, we are going to pay a price."

Sloppiness is something that has to be eradicated before the first game in the Asian Cup on January 9, as well as finding a ruthless streak in front of goal.



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