Vet­eran slams crit­ics af­ter scor­ing win­ner

Geelong Advertiser - - WARRNAMBOOL -

A WAR of words erupted be­tween Socceroos past and present as goal-scor­ing hero Archie Thomp­son took aim at crit­ics la­belling the Aus­tralian squad too old.

Thomp­son scored an 84th- minute win­ner in Aus­tralia’s 2-1 vic­tory over Iraq yes­ter­day morn­ing, breath­ing life into the Socceroos’ flag­ging 2014 World Cup qual­i­fy­ing cam­paign. It was the 33-yearold A-League star’s third goal in as many qualifiers, and he used it as a plat­form to hit out at those call­ing for the age­ing Socceroos squad to be given a makeover.

Thomp­son was one of five over30s — in­clud­ing fel­low goal-scorer Tim Cahill (32) and skip­per Lu­cas Neill (34) — to take the field against Iraq, while 32- year- old Marco Bres­ciano was an un­used sub­sti­tute. ‘‘Who keeps telling me I’m old?’’ de­manded Thomp­son when in­ter­viewed post­match. ‘‘Who keeps telling me I shouldn’t be in the Socceroos? Who keeps telling all us old boys we shouldn’t be part of the Socceroos?

‘‘Maybe we’ve been lack­ing a lit­tle bit in the last ( few) games – hope­fully this will shut a few mouths.’’

For­mer Soc­ce­rooturned- football an­a­lyst Rob­bie Slater, who has been vo­cal in his call for young blood to be given a chance in the na­tional squad, fired back.

‘‘To come and say that all they seem to cop is criticism and they’re too old, well, Archie, sorry, we (the Socceroos) are too old,’’ Slater said on Fox Sports.

‘‘And we’re not go­ing to sit here . . . and blow wind up peo­ple’s back­sides and say that ev­ery­thing is per­fect. It’s not.

‘‘We have an age­ing team and that’s fact.

‘‘We’re not say­ing that ev­ery­one’s bad play­ers.

‘‘But we’re not go­ing to sit here and watch per­for­mance af­ter per­for­mance af­ter per­for­mance and watch the Socceroos go down in ev­ery­body’s minds in this coun­try, and sit back and say noth­ing.’’

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