Crestfallen: Socceroos coach Holger Osieck after the French defeat. Photo: Getty Images
- As it happened / match stats
- Socceroos thrashed 6-0 by France in international friendly nightmare
- Australia becoming the joke of the soccer world
The most embarrassing pair of results in the Socceroos' history has ended the reign of coach Holger Osieck, who was dramatically sacked on Saturday morning.
In the wake of the 6-0 defeat by France in Paris on Saturday morning [AEST] – an outcome even more humiliating than last month's 6-0 loss to Brazil – Osieck was immediately stood down.
Aurelio Vidmar will take charge of the Socceroos for their friendly against Canada on Tuesday.
FFA chief executive David Gallop travelled to Paris and acted ruthlessly and swiftly after the heavy defeat.
Osieck was already under huge pressure coming into the match and needed a competitive performance – most probably a draw or better – to save his job.
However, the manner of the defeat sealed his fate and the FFA board told Gallop to deliver the news to Osieck not long after the final whistle at the Parc des Princes.
The public response to the result bordered between disbelief to outright anger, with speculation already turning to who should replace the German eight months out from the World Cup.
Calls for fans' favourite Guus Hiddink, who led the Socceroos to the 2006 World Cup, to replace Osieck were again heard across the soccer landscape – but there were equally strong calls for representations to be made to three A-League coaches: Melbourne Victory's Ange Postecoglou, Western Sydney's Tony Popovic and Central Coast's Graham Arnold.
There was even a suggestion being widely discussed that Postecoglou and Arnold, the two most successful A-League coaches in the past three years, could share the job.
"Worst position we've ever been in," tweeted former Socceroos star Robbie Slater at full-time. "Embarrassing! I feel sorry for young players."
Footballer-turned-pundit Francis Awaritefe put an even more blunt spin on the occasion.
"It's no exaggeration to say that France could easily have scored in the double figures - such is [the] abject performance by Australia," he said.
Downright disappointment was the emotion of Fairfax Media columnist Craig Foster and his former international teammate, Craig Moore.
"Very, very sad this morning. I feel particularly for [Mitch] Langerak, [James] Holland playing right back [versus Franck] Ribery. Horrible," Foster said.
"Sadness is an understatement to the way I feel right now," Moore added on Twitter.
"Holger out, but let's be realistic re: our position in world's main game," said prominent broadcaster and ex-Soccer Australia board member George Negus. "Not first time we've lost 6-0 to a top nation is it?"
Melbourne Heart general manager of football John Didulica even rescinded his social media absence to comment on the disarray.
"Self-imposed Twitter ban broken. Watching match on IQ and it's 4-0 after 30 minutes. Do I keep watching?" he morbidly pondered.
Central Coast Mariners' defender Josh Rose – who has been continually overlooked by Osieck – said it was right the German was sacked.
"Time for the big dogs to do what's right and fire that golden bullet," he wrote.
Broadcaster Francis Leach said the nation wouldn't tolerate such a pitiful display.
"Most Socceroos fans can wear defeat where there's been a spirited resistance," he said. "This capitulation is a national embarrassment."
Another ex-Soccer Australia board member, Remo Nogarotto, said "tonight represents a new nadir in Australian football" and that "at least Rudi Gutendorf [German-born ex-Socceroos coach] gave us some reasonable vaudeville."
Veteran presenter Jason Dasey was one of many hoping an emergency call would be made to Hiddink.
"Enough. 6-0 defeat to Brazil followed by 6-0 defeat to France? It must signal end of coach Holger Osieck," he said. "Bring in Guus Hiddink."
Asian football expert John Duerden, who closely tracked Osieck's reign during his time in Japan, made a similar suggestion.
"Australia coach Holger Osieck was not exactly popular before successive 6-0 defeats," he said. "Hard to see him survive and he shouldn't."
Renowned statistician Andrew Howe chipped in to offer a final, demoralising proposition:
"A loss versus Canada on Tuesday would be five losses in a row & equal longest losing Socceroos A streak ever (5 straight losses versus South Africa 1955)."