David Davutovic says that the Australian public's lofty expectations placed on the Socceroos are unfair on a team that is visibly short of world-class talent.
The Australian men’s football side last week slumped to an uncompetitive 4-0 defeat to Brazil without star striker Neymar at the MCG last Tuesday, with criticism pouring in for the Aussie performance despite coach Ange Postecoglou fielding a second-string side having claimed a crucial 2018 World Cup qualifying win over Saudi Arabia the previous week in Adelaide.
The constant level of criticism from fans and the media whenever Australia fail to meet their expectations is what Davutovic believes to be the reason for Postecoglou’s grumpy attitude to the media in recent weeks – expectations which the Herald Sun football journalist believes must be lowered.
“I reckon he is unhappy at the Australian reaction to the Socceroos’ results and performances of late. He reckons they have been unfairly dealt with. He reckons the people’s expectations are too high (and there’s) not enough respect,” he told SEN’s The Run Home.
“The Socceroos are actually in the box seat to qualify for the World Cup… Japan have just lost some points so with two games left we are in the box seat, which is no mean feat.
“I reckon the Australian public have unfair expectations on this team or underestimates the quality of Australia’s Asian opposition. I think this has sort of filtered through the Brazil game last week, the 4-0 loss, and going into the Confederations Cup.”
Davutovic believes that the quality of the national side can be summarised by the lack of Aussie players currently playing in the world’s top five leagues in Europe.
“When I look at the players at the moment, I say this with the absolute most respect to the players because a lot of them have done as well as they possibly can with their careers, we don’t have many players playing at the top level,” he said.
“(Aaron Mooy) will go to the Premier League next year, so the only one who was playing regularly in the top five leagues in the world (this year) was Matthew Leckie, and yet he played for a team that finished second last in the German Bundesliga.
“That will change this year, there will probably be five or six, however I think that is a realisation of where we are at the moment.”
Australia’s 2017 Confederations Cup campaign kicks off at 1:00 AM Tuesday morning against 2014 World Cup champions Germany in Sochi.