Australia likes its World Cup betting chances against Denmark, as do people betting on the World Cup in the land down under. However, defender Michael Jakobsen, who plays for Melbourne City in the A-League, believes the socceroos are in for a rude awakening. “I read in some newspapers in Denmark that the reaction from the Aussies was like relief or something, I was thinking ‘oh, apparently they don’t know what’s waiting for them’” he said. “I think if you look at Denmark, nearly every player in the starting XI plays at the highest level around Europe. If you look at the Aussies, many of them are in the lower levels or they’re not playing for the clubs at the highest level. Denmark can play up to a certain level and when I’ve seen the Socceroos, I haven’t been totally impressed.
“But the World Cup is something different. You do see nations doing things that are unreal, so it’ll be fun to see. When you see Australia struggling to beat Thailand, then that’s what I think. I think Denmark got a good group, they have a fair chance of finishing second in that group.” Then again, Jakobsen has not donned his country’s colours since a 3-0 win over Thailand in a friendly match 2010, so it’s not like he has his finger on the pulse of Danish soccer. “Nope, I would love to [play in the World Cup], I think my time has gone. In my position, they’re very strong, so I’m not getting my hopes up,” Jakobsen said. “You have plenty of players at the back like Andreas Christensen at Chelsea, Simon Kjaer at Sevilla and Jannik Vestergaard at Borussia Monchengladbach. You have a lot of players at these big clubs in Europe getting a lot of game time.
“In general I can be patriotic. When it comes to the football, I’ll always support the national team.” it is worth noting, for World Cup betting fans, that the Australian national team is still coach-less. Candidates to take over the post include Graham Arnold, Kevin Muscat, Ante Milicic, Josep Gombau, Tony Popovic, Sven Goran Eriksson, Jurgen Klinsmann, Marcelo Bielsa, Slavoljub Muslin, Gianni De Biasi and Bert van Marwijk. Alen Stajcic, Carlo Ancelotti, and Sam Allardyce have been ruled out. “We are open minded about whether the coach is Australian or someone from overseas but they must live in Australia, embrace the progress on and off the field that has been achieved with national teams over the past four years – especially in the areas of technical development and sports science – and be prepared to be an ambassador for our sport here and abroad,” Football Federation Australia Chief executive David Gallop said. “FFA’s starting point is to appoint a coach for the long term but we will be advised on this and other matters by our expert panel.”
Former manager Ange Postecoglou surprisingly resigned a week after Australia qualified for a fourth straight World Cup with a 3-1 win over Honduras. “The journey for me ends as Socceroos coach,” he said at the time. “It’s something I’ve mulled over for a while, it’s just the nature of me as a person. I’ve really tried to coach for the moment … I think I’ll always have a sense of unfinished business but to be honest that would have happened whenever I left.” That surely does not bode well for the Aussies’ World Cup betting chances.