Feature

Savour Cahill now, because there won't be another like him

It was only ever going to be Tim Cahill who led the line against Jordan - the Australia talisman is simply the best and we must enjoy the Socceroos No. 4 while we still can.

Cahill

Cahill gives the fans some love after the Socceroos' win over Jordan Source: AAP



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It is truly amazing what Cahill keeps delivering and Ange Postecoglou knows it.

Cahill scored his 46th and 47th international goals and if service like that he received from Robbie Kruse continues, goal number 50 won't be far away. And if he continues scoring and leading this fresh-faced Socceroos side, cap number 100 won't be too far away either.

Postecoglou played a savvy hand in whisking away Apostolos Giannou after the striker had already been capped by Greece, all part of 'creating depth' as Postecoglou says.



Giannou, superb against Tajikistan, is another option in the attacking third to go with Kruse, Mathew Leckie, Nathan Burns, Tomi Juric and, the surely soon-to-be-capped, Jamie Maclaren.

But Cahill is no shrinking violet - the competition and depth Postecoglou has created has spurred the Hangzhou Greentown forward to new heights and he is even more important now, even at 36-years-old, than he has ever been in the green and gold.

He is a leader and an inspiration - and his 89 caps are a welcome dose of experience in an otherwise youthful and regenerated squad.

Would anyone really rule out a tilt at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the chance to score at a fourth successive tournament?

Postecoglou certainly won't and the dramatic development of his creative forces may well push Cahill to one last shot on the biggest stage of all.



It is after all, Cahill's driving force and why he is so selective in where his club career takes him.

Aaron Mooy is the best player in the A-League (Postecoglou's own assessment) and is growing into an international footballer of considerable promise, and Tom Rogic has finally thrown off the shackles of injury to show his undoubted ability at Celtic - and the national team.



Those two may have pushed the AFC 2015 Asian Cup golden boy Massimo Luongo into the shade but the giant strides he has made in the Socceroos midfield, from non-playing member at the 2014 FIFA World Cup to star-man in Australia only six months later can't be forgotten.

Terry Antonis - a Cahill disciple - is another bright star in attacking midfield.

All the while these effervescent creators are playing in dangerous areas in and around the penalty box, the master goalscorer, Cahill, and the Socceroos will continue to profit.

Cahill is a clever PR operator - he talked after the Jordan win about being here "for Ange, for the boys and for the crowd".



He knows his value to the squad and the country, and he knows that if he positions himself as an experienced leader and a teacher while Postecoglou lets the youngsters off the leash, then he will be indispensable.

But he doesn't need the spin because he already is indispensable - even for his goals alone.

Cahill


Why else would Postecoglou turn to him every time he needs someone to step up to the plate and deliver?

Mark Viduka scored 11 goals for Australia, Harry Kewell 17.

There is no doubt that Viduka and Kewell are two of the greatest ever Australians to kick a ball - but goals are a potent currency in which to trade and Cahill just keeps scoring them.

He isn't the most talented Australian footballer to kick a ball, arguably, that title belongs to either of the two above.

However, he is the greatest Socceroos player to ever kick (or head) a ball - so enjoy it now because you don't know what you've got until it's gone.


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4 min read
Published 30 March 2016 at 6:51am
By Matthew Connellan
Source: SBS