Verbeek: Socceroos won't score against Dutch

Former Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek has given a scathing assessment of Australia’s chances against his native Holland when the two teams face off tomorrow morning (Australian time).

Verbeek, who was widely criticised by fans and media for failing to regenerate the national team, characterised the new-look Socceroos as fatally “vulnerable” and “inexperienced”.

In an interview with Dutch media at the World Cup, and transcribed for, the 58-year-old also shot down any hopes of the Ange Postecoglou’s youthful line-up scoring against the Oranje.

Verbeek was replaced after the 2010 World Cup where Australia fielded the second oldest team in the tournament with a preferred starting line-up averaging 31.5 years.

Asked whether the Netherlands would secure the win in Porte Alegre, Verbeek said: “Oh, (Holland) will win this game, not a single doubt.

“I don’t see any possibility that Australia will score a goal against the Netherlands.”

If Postecoglou's men needed any added motivation heading into the clash against the mighty Dutch then the ex-national team mentor provided it.

“(Holland) should go for an extra attacker,” he said.

“We have to attack from the flanks, but also through the middle. (Australia are) so inexperienced at the back.

“They are very vulnerable at the back. So I think we’ll score at least three goals.” reported one bizarre moment during the interview when the vision cut to Verbeek with his hands on heart apparently mocking the Australian national anthem as it played.

Verbeek got many fans offside with his dismissive attitude of the A-League and the die was cast when the Socceroos were humbled 4-0 in the opening World Cup game against Germany in 2010.

His successor, Holger Osieck, was also tardy in renewing the team and was replaced by Ange Postecoglou who had just eight months to fast track Generation Next for the world's biggest sporting event.

But in an interview with Fox Sports' Simon Hill, Verbeek was more upbeat, reflecting on the Socceroos fightback in their opening game against Chile.

"After 15 minutes I was shocked," he said.

"I thought at 2-0 behind, there was a chance it could be a disaster, but they showed the mentality of not giving up.

"If you give them an idea they can get something, they will go for it – and the goal from Timmy (Cahill) made a big difference.

"You saw the chance of Bresciano – that could have been a goal too, and then they are back in it at 2-2. I think they did very well in the defensive transition – they didn’t give anything away, and on the counter-attack they were very dangerous with Leckie.

"And every ball with Timmy in the box is dangerous."

Under Verbeek’s more conservative tactics, the Socceroos defeated the Dutch 2-1 on their own turf in 2008 and played out a dour 0-0 draw at home the following year.

Meanwhile, compatriot and Australia’s Technical Director Han Berger emphasised the long-term vision of the Socceroos to Dutch publication De Telegraaf.

“(Australia) play football a bit as they play rugby,” Berger said.

“The ball goes forward as quickly as possible. We have a plan, but it takes a generation before we see results.

“We are therefore very busy preparing the team and have them realise that although the Dutch might be very strong, it is not a mission impossible to achieve,” he said.

Australia take on the Netherlands at Estádio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre, from 2am Thursday morning (AEST)

1 comment


Gus is a goose, Pim is a goose, Holger is a big goose and Han Berger is the biggest goose for hiring Holger.
Get rid of these Euro Jokes now ! FFA Please sack any European coaches especially those who recently just came here for a job eg Han Berger. He clearly doesn't understand.
Pim clearly thought we'd lose to Holland as he said mininum 3-0 but probably more. He should admit he was wrong.
As Andy Harper said "Take off your veil and see it as it actually is". Holland is clearly the team that plays rugby physical football with dirty physical fouls. In the last WC final it was Nigel De Jong who tried to karate kick the Spanish guys head off ! The rest of Holland kicked the hell out of the Spanish players who rolled around on the floor all game and it was the worst game much lower than any A-League game I've ever watched. The skill level was ZERO in the 2010 WC final. Watch it again Han Berger you clown.
FFA please sue the pants off these Euro snobs who are so racist and blind they can't see that Australia plays classy football without dirty karate kicks like De Jong or diving around with the slightest touch like Arjen Robben and Robbin Van Persie. It was Holland who played dirty it was De Jong who kicked Tommy Oar and RVP pushing players. Lastly we will improve and be number 1 by the end of 2014 Han Berger and not in 15 years time, thanks all due to Ange and none of it due to you !
Sack Han Berger now please FFA and sue both Han Berger and Holger Osieck for the damage they done taking us backwards !
Your Robbin Van Persie will never get close to scoring a goal like our Cahill. Give him 1,000 attempts he won't be able to score Cahills goal volley from the cross near half way behind him on his weaker foot !
RVP's goal was just him running with no danger and he headed it while standing then after it contacts his head he dived to make it look good. Cahill done a better header last month against Ecuador with a guy running at him and danger involved Cahill is fearless. Cahill earnt 6 goals against Ecuador and we should have won the Holland game if the ref awarded a penalty for Holland guys RUGBY tackles on Cahill in the box one in front and one behind. Is that skill to hold on to Cahills shirt or is that Cheating ? Wake up clowns Berger and Verbeek.