Ange’s Next Gen Legacy
The hits and misses of his era
Amid the rollercoaster of the last 12 months, it’s easy to forget former coach Ange Postecoglou was signed on a five-year deal to take Australia to the 2018 World Cup and beyond…but his first key target was regeneration. With an ageing squad reeling from shocking back-to-back 6-0 defeats under Holger Osieck – and given how little time Ange had before getting on the plane to Brazil – results at the 2014 World Cup became secondary. Football Federation Australia knew the side was coming from a long way back, and it seemed impossible for them to get through their (inevitable) Group of Death against South American powerhouse Chile and 2010 World Cup finalists Spain and the Netherlands. Australia went on to lose all three games and concede nine goals in Brazil but it was seen as a chance to invest in the national team’s future. The squad Postecoglou selected for Brazil had almost half the total number of international caps as the one which went to South Africa four years earlier, so he ticked the re-generation box. But four years on, FourFourTwo thought it’s time to reflect on the 2014 squad and analyse who were the hits and misses?