“Why this, why now?” Matildas tactics went wild after ‘shattering’ 7-0 loss

Australian football fans wondered what the Matildas were up to when they took a bizarre approach during a “shattering” loss to Spain.

The Matildas have come under fire for their approach to a friendly against Spain after a shocking 7-0 defeat on Sunday morning (AEST).

The match in Huelva, in southwestern Spain, was part of the Aussies’ preparations for the 2023 World Cup, but football pundits suggested they had learned nothing from a game treated as an experiment, prompting a stunned reaction from fans. and led commentators. †

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Spain is five places ahead of Australia in seventh place and has some of the world’s best players, but the divide in the class was exacerbated by an odd tactic from Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson as the home side were allowed to run rampant in the very first meeting between the two countries.

The deficit can be explained by the fact that many Matildas regulars were at ease, with Gustavsson instead opting to give opportunities to a whole host of younger, inexperienced players. It was a strategy that did not go down well with everyone.

Optus Sport football presenter Michelle Escobar denounced the Matilda’s tactics and performance, saying it had absolutely no value for their upcoming World Cup campaign.

“This friendly match has yielded nothing. No shots on target, 24% possession, 776 passes to 250, 9 corners to 0,” she tweeted.

“I can’t help but think Tony should have called the regulars against a world class Spain to get a better idea of ​​where we stand, the World Cup is only 12 months away.”

Australian football writer Joey Lynch was critical when Spain – who were leading 2-0 at halftime – kept putting the ball in the back of the net in the second stanza.

“In the second half it just melted away. Waived the game,” Lynch tweeted. “This has really become a bit of a flustercluck.”

Football reporter James Dodd added: “Spain is a fantastic team, but gosh, talk about picking the wrong time to experiment. That’s a harrowing loss any way you look at it.”

Former Matildas star Thea Slatyer wondered what Gustavsson was trying to achieve by making so many changes, highlighting the uncertainty goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold showed when she was brought in in the second half.

“She has definitely been caught a few times. I’m not sure if that’s a trust issue going on there,” Slatyer told Ten in the post-match analysis.

“I know the amount of changes the coaching staff were making would be very frustrating to a lot of players in my opinion and they seemed just as confused as I was about what he actually wants in some of those positions.

“That inconsistency does nothing for their confidence.

“Unfortunately there were some miscalculations that cost us goals and in the end we got away with a 7-0 loss, which is not good for our morale.”

Former soccer player Andy Harper also said what many Australian soccer fans were thinking.

“A lot of people, devotees of the Matildas… will think, ‘Why this, why now?'” Harper told Ten. “That is the question that will resound.

“You play against Spain away from home a year after the World Cup. Iron sharpens iron – so this was iron versus wood, with the utmost respect

“That second half collapse is no disgrace to our team, but by my count there are four or maybe five girls from the NSW NPL (National Premier League), right. And so, a year after the World Cup, that’s when we see if girls playing at that level of football can compete against six of the top 30 players in the world?

“That’s the question I have. I assume speaking on behalf of you (Slatyer’s) ex-teammates and the greats who have gone before – why this, why now, a year away from a World Cup?

“This may have been twenty games ago to go through the options.

“Still, it’s true for today, and so now he (Gustavsson) has to get the team together…but how much damage would have been done today?”

The Matildas will face Portugal in another friendly match next Wednesday.

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