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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 07 July 2018
26 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 7 JULY 2018 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Former Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou under heavy fire Postecoglou told to ‘go away’ after expressing opinion on Australia’s style of play at the World Cup A number of media publications did not take too kindly with Ange Postecoglou speaking his mind regarding Australia's performances in Russia. More specifically, after the current Yokohama Marinos manager spoke to the Players Voice and pointed out that the team has returned to being "the underdog" and opting for more "defensive stability", rather than choosing to be play more offensively like he tried to do during his tenure, Postecoglou received backlash from several media outlets. Firstly, The Age's Michael Lynch wondered if there really was progress under Postecoglou and how the Socceroos would have fared if he have been on the bench, pointing out that his style of play would've left the team more open to attacks from other teams, and thus even greater defeats. It was also noted that Van Marwijk's pragmatism may have been the factor that allowed Australia to stay alive in the competition until the last day of the group stage, despite France's draw with Denmark. However, Ange "copped it" the worst from The Weekend Australian's Patrick Smith who began his article with the suggestion for Postecoglou to "Shut up! Go away. Disappear". He continued his rampage on the Greek Australian coach by emphasising that "France will now play Argentina in the Round of 16 and presumably Postecoglou will leave the Greek islands where he has been holidaying". His criticism on the Players Voice article was also quite harsh, as it was stated that "Only Royal Melbourne has more holes than Postecoglou's article", and his style of play and results were heavily criticised. "Like why was our way to Russia so laboured and uninspired? Why did a man apparently so committed to the philosophy of attack, attack, attack retreat from the job so limply?" Finally, Smith explained why, in his opinion, Postecoglou shouldn't be speaking about the Australian national team: "No, as good and as personable as Ange could be, he needs to move on. He has lost the right to comment on Australia. Ange wasn't half as good as we thought he was". Socceroos’ poor World Cup performance leads to raises in fees The FFA is set to increase registration fees in order to generate more revenue Football Federation Australia (FFA) has decided to increase registration fees for youngsters and amateurs, as the governing body of the sport deals with financial issues following the Socceroos' poor performance at the ongoing World Cup in Russia. More to the point, for a child that was formerly paying $12.60, the fee will now be $14.00, while for an adult that used to pay $25.00, the cost will jump to $33.00. It would seem there was a lot riding on that extra $5.5 million that the FFA would have received had the team progressed from the group stage to the final '16' in order to cover for the heavy expenses required for the team to participate. Each player was awarded $300,000 and the FFA had to pay for the friendly tournaments, the team's training camp in Turkey, and a number of other expenses. The FFA hopes that by introducing these higher fees, it will see a "modest $1 million profit for the FY2019", as per its chief executive David Gallop. However, not all concerning parties seem too thrilled by the idea of these increases. "We are entitled to know where all the money is going. As it stands now, we get scant information from the financials," he said. The FFA defended its choice The first to be affected by the changes are the parents of the children, who might see these fees as too high to afford, especially if they have two or more youngsters that are interested in the sport. There are fears this could result in children being withdrawn from football altogether, and Australia missing out on some great talent that would potentially better represent the country on the grander European football scene. Local football organisations also don't seem to be on board. Ian Holmes, chief executive of the Canterbury District Football Association, has called out the federation on its decision. "One thing is self-evident, FFA have an under performing bloated bureaucracy which is not sustainable. Taxing junior and amateur participants will be a clear sign of failure on the part of the FFA, which in its present form, is an undemocratic entity controlled by a few people," he said. Mr Holmes' club last season paid out $250,000 to the FFA in fees collected, and called into question how that money is being used. ,however, saying that the decision "wasn't taken lightly", and that there were already cuts made from last season up to $5 million, and that there will be even more made next season, which will save up to $1.6 million. "As we have just seen in Russia, we want to be able to compete more effectively in the men's and women's World Cups by identifying talent in our grassroots clubs and nurturing that talent to be the best it can be. But football also faces some challenges," said the FFA. "Our game doesn't yet generate the massive revenues from broadcast agreements that the other major codes enjoy. That's why we're expanding the A-League: to create a better competition that more people will want to watch. In the meantime, we continue to rely on funding from a range of sources to keep building the game." Follow us on Facebook and Twitter: @NeosKosmos Sokratis Papastathopoulos joins Gunners’ defence There's a good chance that Arsenal's central defence this season could have a 'Made in Greece' tag on it, after the club announced the signing of experienced Greek international defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund, for a reported €20 million. The powerful 30-year-old will team up with 20-yearold compatriot Konstantinos Mavropanos who joined the North Londoners early this year as one of former coach, Arsene Wenger's last signings. Papastathopoulos also joins former Dortmund teammates Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan at the Emirates stadium. He is new Arsenal coach Unai Emery's third signing since taking over from the departed Wenger in May. All Former Socceroos boss, Ange Postecoglou. fender's uncompromising style. "He's a little obsessed with defending. He wants to protect the goal-line no matter what and he's hungry to face duels," Tuchel said. Known to fans as Sokratis, he is also the vice-captain of the Greek national team for which he has played 79 times. PHOTO: VIVARO NEWS three are defenders and indicate Emery's determination to strengthen the Gunners' defence. Others include fullback Stephan Lichtsteiner and keeper Bernd Leno who will compete with Petr Cech for the number one spot. Papastathopoulos made his debut for AEK in 2005, going on to play in Serie A with Genoa before joining Werder Bremen in 2012. He then joined Borussia Dortmund in 2013 where he played under current Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp. He went on to play 130 games for the Bundesliga club over the next four seasons, becoming a respected leader on and off the park and rising to the vice-captaincy. Another of his coaches at Dortmund, Thomas Tuchel, described the central de- Speaking on Arsenal TV after his signing, Papastathopoulos said "I feel very good, everything is special". "It is a beautiful moment and I am very happy for the next years that I will be here. Arsenal is one of the three biggest teams in the Premier League," he continued. "I'm a normal defender, I like to defend. I like that my team doesn't take goals. I like a zero in the defence, and I will do everything to help to achieve this goal."
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