Luke Wilkshire's World Cup omission backfires

Australia have cause to regret omitting Luke Wilkshire for the World Cup in Brazil.
Australia have cause to regret omitting Luke Wilkshire for the World Cup in Brazil.


Ange Postecoglou should already regret his decision to send home Luke Wilkshire.

Ivan Franjic's injury in the Socceroos' opening loss to Chile will leave a massive hole on the right side of defence for the remainder of the World Cup.

There would have been no better man to fill it than Wilkshire.

An 80-game veteran in the green and gold, the Wollongong-born defender has both the ability and experience to play on the biggest stage.

It was always dangerous coming in with just one recognised right-back and that risk has been found out after just one match.

While Ryan McGowan did a decent job against Chile, Wilkshire's experience at two previous World Cup's couldn't have been more handy.

You can't help but wonder how Australia would have fared in the opening 20 minutes with his experience at right-back.

A cool head was needed when the Socceroos looked a bit overawed and an experienced addition could well have been the difference.

Had Australia got through that opening stanza unscathed they were a realistic chance of taking the points.

In the end, they were probably well worth a point after dominating for long periods.

Matt Leckie, Tim Cahill and Mark Bresciano were all outstanding in the 3-1 loss and almost carried us to a shock result.

It was a performance which would have left quite a few people eating humble pie but has to be followed by an even better display if we are to have a chance against the Netherlands.

No doubt the Dutch pose an extremely daunting task.

The five goals they put past Spain sent shockwaves around the World Cup and left the 2010 champions in serious doubt of making the second round.

If we start like we did in the opening match, the Dutch will dish out an even stronger form of punishment.

The likes of van Persie and Robben will be quick to put away even the faintest of chances handed to them.

Hopefully the boys have got all their tournament jitters out in the opening game and mount a good fight.


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