Van Marwijk keeping his cool after Socceroos shocker, reveals Ryan

Mat Ryan has revealed Bert van Marwijk’s post-game message to the Socceroos was cool, calm and collected – despite a disastrous debut as head coach with Australia thrashed 4-1 by Norway.

Australia Training Session

Mathew Ryan trains with the Socceroos. Source: Getty Images Europe

Jackson Irvine’s first-half opener was cancelled out by Ola Kamara’s hat-trick and a header from Tore Reginiussen in a horror European encounter in Oslo.

Norway, ranked 57th in the world by FIFA, dominated Australia who trialled a new 4-2-3-1 formation and gave international debuts to Andrew Nabbout, Dimitri Petratos and Aleksandar Susnajar. 

This experimental XI wilted in the Oslo cold, with the Socceroos suffering their worst loss to a lower-ranked opponent since the FIFA system was introduced in 1993.

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After the dire defeat, goalkeeper Ryan said van Marwijk and his Dutch coaching team were positive and encouraged, given the short time they had had with the team.

“He was positive and upbeat in the changeroom, just making comparisons to teams he’s coached in the past and saying that,” Ryan told The World Game.

“Mark van Bommel [assistant coach], also compared it to teams he’s played in the past. Me with my own experiences going into a new team with a new coach, as much as you would love everything to gel from the beginning, it takes time. 

“It’s a process. We understand that, but at the same time we have high standards for ourselves and we fell short of that tonight, unfortunately. 

“But we’ll be better for the performance. Moving forward our relationship with Bert and the coaching staff is only going to grow.”



Irvine put the Socceroos ahead 1-0 in the first half with a header from an Aaron Mooy corner, Australia’s first shot on target, but Norway quickly equalized with Kamara’s first. 

Reginiussen put the hosts 2-1 ahead early in the second half, after he out-jumped Irvine from a free kick. Then LA Galaxy striker brought up his hat-trick with two more goals.

Ryan was at fault for the third goal, when his pass to Mile Jedinak was easily intercepted and Kamara was immediately fed the ball for an easy finish.

The Brighton keeper admitted getting this kind of clunky performance out of the way now is much preferable than in the World Cup in three months’ time.

“Definitely, we’ve only been together for three, four days,” he said.

“Common sense will tell you we’re not going to be playing our best football from the beginning. It’s a process, everyone’s upbeat. We’ve got such a great group.

“We’re all professional, we’re all doing absolutely everything in a making the most of the situation as footballers representing our country. 

“We want to be as successful as we can in doing so, so we’ll buy in. We’ll go back to the drawing board, sit down, assess and work on everything to get better.”



Australia face a step up in class when they take on Colombia on Tuesday at Craven Cottage. The South American nation is ranked 13th in the world and boast superstars such as James Rodriguez, Yerry Mina, Camilo Vargas and Cristian Zapata. 

“On the night, in a game of football, the opponent, they’re as good as you let them be,” Ryan said.

“Moving forward we have to take advantage of every day, every training session we have together because there’s not going to be a lot of time heading into the World Cup. 

“It’s going to be another opportunity for us to get a couple of days to get some training under our belt, assess this performance tonight and in the future, we’re going to be doing absolutely everything we can to take a few steps forward hopefully.


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4 min read
Published 24 March 2018 at 11:01am
By John Davidson