Australia have to go for broke and score goals in their two remaining matches if they are to stay alive in the World Cup, and coach Pim Verbeek will surely now remove Harry Kewell from the glass case in which he has been sheltered for the past month.It has often seemed the Kewell container is there to be opened only in the case of emergency, and Australia have rarely been in more dire straits than now after their devastating loss to Germany.Assuming the team’s morale and confidence is not shattered, then Verbeek will look to regroup and reload against a Ghanaian team which will itself be on a high after its 1-0 win over Serbia.Verbeek has been a cheerleader for conservative consistency during his 2½/-year reign, sticking through thick and thin with a 4-2-3-1 formation designed to contain and stifle opponents.Surprisingly, he abandoned it at the last moment in the opening World Cup match to go with a two-pronged strike force of Tim Cahill and Richard Garcia up front.The Dutchman would not admit that the decision to pick the personnel or adopt the tactics he did – he dropped Mark Bresciano and left out Josh Kennedy – had backfired, merely saying that neither man had played well enough in warm-up matches or impressed at training sufficiently to be included.”I think it wasn’t a mistake to change to 4-4-2 … the only way to get a result over here was to use our pace in front. The target was to play more compact than we did in the first 20 minutes and that’s where we lost control,” he said after the match.Having shown an unexpected inclination for experimentation against Germany, where he pushed Jason Culina to left midfield to try to contain – unsuccessfully – the rampaging runs of the German full-back and captain Philipp Lahm, he might as well continue against Ghana as there is nothing to lose.A draw with Ghana and a win over Serbia is unlikely to be sufficient to progress given Australia’s terrible goal difference, so Kewell starting in a two-pronged strike force may be the way to force the issue against the Africans.Questions remain over Kewell’s fitness. Verbeek said he had planned to introduce him late in the game against Germany had the situation been propitious, but didn’t when the game was a lost cause.”With 10 players against a team that was already better than us, you have to make different decisions. I try to save him for maybe the next game,” was his verdict.Verbeek was man enough to take responsibility for the tactics and choices he had made and said it was now up to him to galvanise his squad. ”As the coach you are always responsible. I am the one who picks up the final 11, I am the one who prepares the strategy and the way we play. I never blame the players. I always look in the mirror and say, ‘Did you do a good decision or not?’ I have no problems to admit that it’s my responsibility.”Compared with the top teams, Australia’s squad depth is not great. Kewell aside, he could bring back Bresciano, use the pacy Nikita Rukavytsya or Dario Vidosic or start with Brett Holman, who at least made some sort of attacking impression, albeit briefly, when he came into the second-half against Germany.”Germany was better, we knew that in advance, we tried to make it very difficult for them and use our speed in front but we never had the ball, especially in the first 25 minutes. They were better, and the reality is the next two games we have to win. There is no discussion about that, it’s very simple. A draw is not enough. The next game is a final. We have to learn from this game. We have six days to recover physically and mentally,” said the coach, who is now drawing very close to the end of his time with Australia.
南京夜网