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Tactics & Analysis

Neill says it's about you, not him

If you read this, you're a Socceroo.

What's that? Can't play soccer?

Don't know an offside trap from a mouse trap? Think dribbling is something done by a baby, or after one drink too many?

Doesn't matter. Lucas Neill says you're part of his team, the Socceroos.

"This is not about any individual, in fact it's not even about the team now. It's about the country," Neill told reporters on Monday.

"We're in an exciting time. Just seven months out from a World Cup. And it's about Australia, it's about everybody."

Neill then took his grandiose motherhood statement even further on Twitter.

"Proud to be named Socceroos captain for tmrw but focus should be on all 23 million of us, uniting to produce a good performance and result!!", he tweeted.

So there. You're in. The focus is on you, now you're a Socceroo.

Perhaps we can forgive Neill for being sickly-sweet.

Most pundits didn't expect him to be at a media conference where your new coach Ange Postecoglou announced your captain for Tuesday night's friendly against Costa Rica.

There was genuine surprise when Neill strolled in, side by side with Postecoglou - most thought it would be Tim Cahill attending, not Neill.

So he's entitled to be a tad over the top: after all, he's assured of becoming the Socceroos' longest-serving captain, surpassing the 60 captaincy caps of your 1970s leader, Peter Wilson.

And Postecoglou didn't even consider replacing Neill as your captain.

"There's a fascination with it at the moment which I sort of understand to a certain extent," your coach said.

"But beyond that it hasn't really taken up too much of my time and thought.

"With Lucas starting tomorrow night it was pretty logical. In fact, there wasn't a decision to be made as far as I was concerned."


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