Tactical uncertainty cost Socceroos, reveals Kruse

Socceroos winger Robbie Kruse has revealed uncertainty with new coach Bert van Marwijk’s style and tactics cost Australia against Norway.

In what was a disappointing start to the Dutchman’s reign, Australia suffered a comprehensive 4-1 loss to Norway in Oslo on Saturday (AEDT).

The Socceroos struggled to adapt to a more pragmatic style after years of adhering to former coach Ange Postecoglou’s attacking philosophy.

The drastic change in tactics, combined with a short lead in to the match, proved to be a defining factor in their heavy defeat, according to Kruse.

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“Any game you don’t want to lose, so it is disappointing in that aspect,” Kruse said.

“The last few years we played to a certain philosophy. Now a new coach has come in and as a player you’re not too sure what is wanted from you.

“It is difficult to gauge. We had only three sessions in camp before the game you so can’t expect miracle changes and players to pick up new tactics.”

Despite the poor start to van Marwijk’s tenure, Kruse believes the former Netherlands boss is the right man to lead the Socceroos at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

“Bert has worked a long time in Europe and has coached some huge clubs in Holland and Germany as well as the national team,” he said.

“He has brought in coaching staff with a great pedigree and I think it has been very good for the team with everyone in great spirits during the first week of this camp.



“It has been a new change and everyone is a bit anxious, trying to impress the new trainers but this was to be expected with a new coach coming in.

"In May we will have three weeks to work together as a team and really work on the tactics the new coach wants to implement."

The chance to represent Australia at a World Cup is something which has been a driving force for Kruse with the 29-year-old missing out through injury in 2014 and 2010.

Strong performances for German second division club Vfl Bochum have helped the former Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory star remain a regular member of the national team, something he hopes to continue when van Marwijk selects his World Cup squad.

“For me it would be wonderful to go to the World Cup. I have amassed a heap of Socceroos caps over the years but injuries have cost me going to the past few World Cups.

“It would be extra sweet to go to this World Cup, but I know there is still plenty of work to be done before then.

“Everyone is trying their best to present their case for selection and at this point that is all you can do.”



Kruse, alongside his Socceroos teammates, will get another chance to perform on Wednesday (AEDT) when they host South American powerhouse Colombia at Craven Cottage in London.

“Colombia will be an excellent preparation for the World Cup," Kruse said.

"Their 3-2 win against France on Saturday goes to show their standard and that our match with them will be a great test for what we should expect in Russia,” he said.

“It is going to be a difficult match especially coming in with limited preparation  but I think we have a bit more clarity after reviewing our performance against Norway.

“We are looking for improvement in every game and I know the boys will be determined to turn things around.”


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4 min read
Published 26 March 2018 at 4:54pm
By Nick Houghton