AAustralia loves the weak. Think Lionel Rose, Kieren Perkins, and Samantha Stosur. Steven Bradbury in 2002. Paul Keating (yes, politics is sport) in 1993. In football, underdog is often described as «live» or «brave» or some other mildly patronizing term of encouragement. These are usually reserved for a losing team, the «minnows» who can’t challenge their minnow status.
A similar dictionary circulated Socceroos in early 2022 World Cup, before even playing a match. Such was the case in Australia. According to former goalkeeper marvel Mark Bosnich, they were not only powerless, but «completely powerless». Thus he declared their utter misery.
If conceding four goals against France confirmed this, then Tunisia’s defeat slid the Socceroos down a little in weakness. However, the overall feeling remains. Defeating Denmark would be a win for the oppressed, and that’s easy to come to terms with. It would have felt sweeter to witness an upheaval on Wednesday, because it was unexpected, because the supreme opposition was knocked down and the natural order was broken.
This, of course, is only an external perspective, and athletes have talked before about how the powerless mindset can be used for competitive advantage. Craig Goodwin, who scored Australia’s first goal against France and assisted Mitchell Duke’s goal against Tunisia, said his playgroup has grown from that.
“Every Australian team in history has been underestimated,” Goodwin said. “This is how it will always be from where we are, and it will always be like that in the future.
“It’s something that I think helps us and something we enjoy being the oppressed. I think every Australian sports team enjoys it and we are no different. We believe in ourselves and what we are doing and we will fight to the end to get a result against Denmark and try to put our name in the light and make our nation proud.»
The other driving force behind Socceroos is «Aussie DNA», a hereditary material invented by Graham Arnold prior to the qualifying rounds. The idea itself is vague and problematic in many other settings in modern Australian society. But Graham Arnold is not a social scientist or geneticist. He is a football manager with the authority to force his side to perform.
More importantly, the current iteration of this national team consists of players with heritages such as Bosnian, Croatian, Turkish Cypriot, South African and South Sudanese, all of whom have expressed belief in Aussie DNA, which Awer Mabil describes as «a unity». .
«Not many believed in us but we always believed we would be here, it was a matter of finding it no matter what,» said Mabil, one of the three South Sudanese refugees on the team. “But I think we Australians love the hard way. So I say courage, that’s the DNA we have – never give up.
Supporting the oppressed is not an Australian concept. It’s been the basis of Hollywood movie scripts for as long as your memory has served. Perhaps an important difference lies in the result: Australia’s support is not dependent on victory. Having tried and failed is still a kind of victory because the attitude was there, if not the capacity.
Similarly, if the Socceroos don’t do enough to advance to the qualifying stages of this World Cup against Denmark, they will still have accomplished more than expected. If they succeed, they won’t have built a Bradbury to get there. Denmark’s manager has already confirmed this.
«Australia is fighting stronger with fantastic team spirit,» Kasper Hjulmand said after Saturday’s loss to France. said. «It will be a difficult game. It will be a close game. We will do everything we can to set up properly and try and win.
Meanwhile, the opposition will try to overturn the status quo.
“We don’t want to be here just to experience the World Cup,” Goodwin said. «We want to go as far as we can and give our best and we believe we can qualify for the qualifying rounds. We will prepare for that.»
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