The gun in the Holger
Shaun Whitaker has a look at the new Socceroos coach, Holger Osieck
Make no mistake, the appointment of Holger Osieck as the new Socceroos coach came as a huge surprise.
But is Osieck really an appointment for the future or is this more shrewd political manoeuvring with a big decision in November in mind?
Who is Holger Osieck?
More to the point, what makes Holger Osieck the right man to take our Socceroos 'under renovation' to the big dance in 2014?
These were the questions frantically being posed in football forums across the country Thursday as we scoured Osieck's CV in an attempt to make some sort of logical connection with the FFA's decision.
Unfortunately Osieck's resume poses more questions than answers.
He has coached a national team once - and that was Canada.
Yes, that's right, that traditional footballing powerhouse Canada.
Even worse, after 4 sporadically successful years at the helm his own players came to the conclusion that they didn't feel he was the coach they needed to progress to the World Cup.
And this is from a Canadian team that hasn't qualified for a World Cup since Archimedes was kicking a ball.
At club level Osieck's has not been a major long term success either.
Yes, he did take Urawa Red Diamonds to the AFC Champions League title but then suffered what was the fastest sacking in J-League history just 2 games into the 2008 season.
Clearly this guy is capable of rubbing people the wrong way.
Pim Verbeek might look like Pat Rafter after this guy's done.
But it's not all doom and gloom, Australia.
Give Mr Lowy some credit. He didn't just fall off the back of a Westfields truck.
While the FFA is spruiking Osieck's credentials as a leader in youth development and are commending his willingness to be based in Australia, Lowy knows Osieck's most important asset lies away from the football pitch.
His connections at FIFA.
Osieck has had two stints working as head of FIFA's technical department and joins the Socceroos from that post.
He also has valuable intel on all of FIFA's European delegates not least of which on his old stein-sharing buddy Franz Beckenbauer who the FFA have admitted they consulted as part of hiring Osieck.
It will be this group of European delegates who will effectively have to vote against a timeslot-friendly World Cup in the US in order for Australia to get up for 2022.
Lowy knows this and is going all out to get us across the line. He knows Beckenbauer has sway and he knows the appointment of Osieck will impress Beckenbauer and the other delegates.
While it may be the case that Osieck's turns out to be a successful Socceroos coach and he achieves his main objective of qualifying for 2014, I can't help thinking that if we win in November it will already be 'mission accomplished' for Osieck.
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