The same generation of Australian players that Ange Postecoglou coached are now playing together under other coaches. Let’s see if results got better or worse.
In the above league table After-Ange’s results are for the 4 games since Angel left. With-Ange’s results are for Ange’s last 4 games (no friendlies).
0 – 1
0 – 2
1 – 1
2 – 1
*All of these matches were at neutral venues.
3 – 1
0 – 0
2 – 1
1 – 1
2 – 1
2 – 0
These games are comparable
Right now we have a small sample size, but I will maintain the table until both teams have 33 competitive games, the total number Ange coached.
Strength of opponent
The average FIFA ranking of teams Ange faced in his last 4 games was 71, in the 4 games since then it has been 35.
Taking that into account the conclusion is still that the Socceroos were better with Ange. At most the different strength of opponent means With-Ange could be expected to have around twice as manny points, its 8 to 1!.
The Socceroos coaching appointments since Ange leftI have been terrible. In one case the Football Federation of Australia (FFA) took the wrong approach and in the other case they appointed the wrong person.
Short term mercenary instead of long term leader
After Ange left the FFA should have found the right man for the job and hired him to lead us until the end of the 2022 World Cup campaign (5 years at the time). They should not have hired a short term mercenary just for the 2018 World Cup.
They got Bert Van Marwijk for 3 games; 2 losses and a draw. We had no direction or plan or identity. This was not BVM’s fault, he did his best in limiting circumstances. The Socceroos would be doing much better now if BVM was still there on a 5 year contract.
Re-hire someone who failed last time
Re-appointing Graham Arnold was stupid, because he had already had the job and failed badly! The circumstances are almost identical to the last time around; he is taking over from a big name, short term, Dutch coach, right after the World Cup heading into the Asian cup.
His record last time was an abysmal 14 games for 5 wins 4 draws and 5 losses. That’s faltering because one of the “draws” was when we lost on penalties and were eliminated from a disastrous Asian Cup campaign. Remember he had one of best Socceroos squads ever, with players like like Aloisi, Bresciano, Cahill, Culina, Emerton, Kewell, Neil, Schwarzer and Veduka.
Unsurprisingly he is repeating his past performance. This is nothing against Arnie, he is a top bloke and a great servant of the game in Australia. This is entirely the FFAs fault for giving him a job he had already proven he is not up for.
Ange was good until he hurt the team by leaving
Ange Postecoglou is a divisive figure amongst Australian soccer fans. He is called everything from our greatest ever coach to a disaster for the national team. I think he was both.
Ange had a great record, he won us the Asian Cup! But he took a contract to coach the Socceroos until the end of the 2018 World Cup campaign. After qualifying the team he lacked the courage to see it through.
Sure there is a lot we don’t know, maybe the FFA were bad to work for, maybe the media were annoying. Geewiz, so everything was not perfect, have some fortitude and finish your job! It was obviously going to be difficult from the beginning. Do you think it was easy to coach Panama or England or Egypt to the World Cup? Ange was in a brilliant position, the position he chose!
The FFA should have never been put in the position of having to find a new coach 6 months before the World Cup. Ange’s cowardly exit left us in the lurch and lead to the disastrous hiring decisions of BVM and Arnie.
Betfair is by far the most recommended (too many times to count) operator. Betfair gets props for the exchange model which allows bettors to lay and gives the operator no reason to block winning bettors.
Harry Finlay (ep 25) and Scott Ferguson (ep 35) criticize Betfair for moving their focus away from the exchange on to more traditional gambling products that are less advantageous for the bettor. I used to work for Betfair and I agree.
Other exchanges: Matchbook and Betdaq
Matchook gets respect with 3 recommendations for it’s large liquidity pools and low commission.
Betdaq is mentioned 3 times when a guests is talking about Betfair but adds that what they are saying applies to any betting exchange, not just Betfair.
Pinnacle is widely respected and recommended (too many times to count) for its sharp lines, low margins, high bet limits and the fact it welcomes winning bettors.
Colossus Bet is a UK pool betting operator with jackpots and cash out on accumulators. It is recommended by 3 British horse racing experts who hope it will improve on the old tote.
Westgate SuperBook and SuperContest
The Wastage SuperBook and SuperContest is recommended 6 times. This is the biggest betting contest in the world. Entry is $1500 and this year’s first prize is $1.5 million! Contestants pick 5 teams against the spread every week for the 17 week NFL season.
Most not recommended: Bet365
Bet365 get’s a lot of hate for offering poor odds and blocking winning bettors. Bet365 is often used as a symbol to criticize big corporate sportsbooks in general.
Guests do check Bet365’s odds and respect the fact that they set the opening line on some leagues that Pinnacle don’t cover.
Parlay Queen Monique (ep 38) is the only guest with a good word to say about Bet365. She recommends them for the convenience and in play options.
Do you even crypto bro?
Most professional bettors do not yet use cryptocurrency, as such the most commonly recommended gambling operators are old government currency sites that violate your privacy by requiring your personal information.
There have been 5 crypto gambling operators recommended but each only once
The US sports betting content website is recommended 4 times, although 3 of those were by people who write for it. One of those was Parlay Queen Monique (ep 38) who displayed low betting acumen.
Covers is specifically not recommended by data driven betting expert Rob Pizzola (ep 50). His criticism is that the content is short term trend based, which is just searching for patterns in randomness.
I followed the Socceroos around the world to 4 World Cup qualification playoffs and the finals in Russia. I paid for it all with bitcoin I won betting on the games! See the introductory post for details.
I did it!
My betting strategy for matchday 2 was to martingale to win 50 m฿ on double chance draw/underdog. This means I win 50 m฿ if the result is either a draw or underdog win. If that bet loses I carry the loss forward to the next game and bet to win the amount I had lost, plus 50 m฿.
Chasing your loses is generally not a good way to make sustainable long term profit. If you don’t have a stop loss you can lose your whole bank roll. Despite that I thought martingaling suited this particular project because
The games are not simultaneous (except for matchday 3).
There are enough draws and underdogs wins.
The value is usually on the draw or underdog.
Having a stop loss meant I would not go busto.
At the start of matchday 2 I was 150 m฿ short of my goal, meaning I should have only needed 3 draws or underdog wins to achieve it. However, it turned out to be more complicated than that.
When my strategy called for a ฿0.0090000 bet, I accidentally bet ฿0.090000. I did not realize until after the bet lost, meaning I lost 81 m฿ more than I should have.
This was my fault but there are a couple of things Nitrogen Sports (review) (the sportsbook in question) should have done which would have prevented this.
Offer double chance bets. I had to calculate and build my own double chance bets by making 1 bet on the draw and another bet on the underdog. Juggling the stakes and winnings between the 2 bets to get the right win on both results was fiddly, annoying and prone to human error.
When you manually make a large number of bets missclicks can happen, just ask online poker pros.
For this project I have made 214 bets, totaling 8340 m฿ at 5 different sportsbooks. So 1 missclick for a cost of 81 m฿ is not unreasonable, and it has turned out to be the only hiccup in the whole project.
When I realized my error I briefly considered making a special makeup bet outside of my betting strategy to win the 81 m฿. Instead I decided to continue the same strategy for longer. Since I was going for 50 m฿ per win, I would have to get 2 more wins.
Enough draws and underdogs won
Without the missclick I would have needed 3 games to result in a draw or underdog win, with the missclick I needed 5. The 5th and final win came when Japan and Senegal drew in the 2nd last game of matchday 2.
I was relieved because the martingale’s accumulated loss was getting high and it would have been difficult to continue it into matchday 3, due to the simultaneous games.
My total expenses for the tournament were 629 m฿ and I was already up 480m฿ at the start of matchday 2. These were the matchday 2 bets (all figures in m฿, click on the number to see the full bet slip)
* This is the amount I should have lost in my betting strategy. The additional amount lost due to the missclick is counted on the next row.
So for the tournament I have achieved a betting profit of 644 m฿. That’s more than I spent on the whole trip!
Australia vs Denmark
As usual Australia created enough chances (the lack of chances against France was the exception not the norm) but lacked quality on the final ball and lacked the killer instinct to score.
The draw was enough to keep Australia alive in the tournament meaning our last group game will be very exciting. This meets my minimum expectation as someone who bought tickets for Australia’s 3 group games.
The city of Samara
Samara is the stereotypical rough old soviet cityscape that would have been depressing to live in when it was a closed city during the communist years. This is the only place I have been in Russia where they authorities felt the need to put large screening fences up to block visitors from seeing old dilapidated buildings.
In 2018 the soviet kitsch has a lot of charm (when visiting in summer, not living here in winter). Spending time in Samara is a fun adventure because it is the “real” Russia, well off the tourist trail.
The new stadium is magnificent but it’s quite far from the center of the city. One gets the impression it might be underutilized and fall into decay unless the local soccer team becomes a real powerhouse and the city grows in that direction, both of which are happening!
I followed the Socceroos to 4 World Cup qualifiers around the world and paid for it with bitcoin I won betting on the games. Now I am doing the same for the tournament itself. See the introductory post for details.
My expenses for the whole trip were 629 m฿ and I am currently 480 m฿ in profit. My expenses and current betting strategy are detailed on matchday 1 preview. The results so far are detailed on matchday 1 report.
I plan to continue martingaling double chance underdog/draw (betting that the favorite won’t win) for 50m฿ until I have 3 more wins which will take me to the target of 630 m฿.
I hope to complete this in matchday 2 because matchday 3 is the only stage of the tournament that features simultaneous games, which is less suited to martingale or any progressive staking plan.
During matchday 1 there were 7 games in which the favorite did not win.
Australia vs Denmark
I consider this a must win game for Australia. Every team in group C is capable of beating every other team in group C. France and Denmark could both finish the group with 6 points, or so could Peru. 4 points with a good goal difference will probably not be enough for Australia to get out of the group.
Denmark are a decent team and deserve to be favorites. Australia has not been scoring enough goals since the last group stage of Asian qualifying. Under Ange we created a lot of chances but failed to convert them. In the 1 game under Aussie Pim we did not even create enough chances.
However, we will have a more attacking line up and mentality in this game and we are in with a chance to win.
Video assistant referee
I believe in using technology to get decisions right. But only in matters of fact, not matters of opinion. Matters of fact that should be decidable by VAR include things like
Did the ball cross the goalline (or touchline)?
Was a player in an offside position?
Was a card given as a result of mistaken identity?
Did a thing happen before or after another thing?
Has a player received 2 yellow cards?
These are cases where referee’s errors should be corrected by VAR.
Matters of opinion, like most fouls including penalties, often cannot be definitively right or wrong so should not use VAR. There is no point stopping the flow of the game and changing the dynamics of football to have 2 opinions instead of 1.
Especially in the case of 50:50s, VAR’s opinion cannot be better than the on-field referee’s opinion. The rules say that VAR should not be used for 50:50s, only for “clear and obvious errors” but what is a 50:50 as opposed to a clear and obvious error, is itself a matter of opinion!
One problem with the current implementation of VAR for matters of opinion is that it is utilized inconsistently. Some penalties that were missed by the on-field referee have been given via VAR. Other penalties that were missed by the on-field referee have not been given by VAR. This is unfair.