"It could've been better but it could've been worse."
- Pim Verbeek, about our World Cup grouping
World Cup draw last night, and we've been picked in Group D along with Germany, Serbia and Ghana. It's not a bad draw. We could've had something easier (Group F with Italy, Paraguay, New Zealand and Slovakia looks appealing), but we could have had something much harder as well. We wouldn't be favourites against any of those teams, but we won't be out-classed. Australia's good enough to give each of these countries a game, and who knows, we may even qualify.
I'm kind of disappointed that we didn't draw England in the group. There was an outside chance of an Anglo Group in Group C (England, USA, Algeria and Slovenia), but I guess it wasn't meant to be. Someone else will have the privilege of knocking England out of the World Cup. It's a shame because knocking English out of international sporting events is the reason Australia invests so much money into sports.
Oh well, I suppose there's always the Ashes next summer.
Jason Culina thinks the group is tough, but that all the groups are tough anyway. He puts it on par with our 2006 grouping with Japan, Brazil and Croatia. I'd have to agree, but with the caveat that the talent in 2010 will be more even. If we're lucky and organised, we've got a chance of beating each of Germany, Serbia and Ghana. There was no chance in hell we were going to beat Brazil in 2006.
So if we're good, we'll give the group a hell of a shake. If we're lucky and good, we'll get out of the group. And if we're lucky, good and the stars are aligned, we'll draw England in the second round. And wouldn't that be an interesting game?