Australia v Honduras: Why Tim Cahill’s injury doesn’t spell the end for the Socceroos

Updated

November 10, 2017 17:14:19

The collective panic that was generated when Tim Cahill went over on his ankle last week was absurdly disproportionate.

Don’t take this as a belittlement of Cahill’s international record or influence — in fact, I defy you to find someone who worships the man as I do — but ahead of a match in which Australia will be without Mat Leckie, Mark Milligan and Robbie Kruse, Cahill’s absence is small fry.

And it most certainly is not the make-or-break factor that will decide this two-legged World Cup qualification tie.

The challenge that faces the Socceroos both in Honduras and then back home in Sydney is substantial, but not insurmountable.

Timmy or no, the Socceroos are capable of reaching Russia 2018.

Cahill’s influence had waned anyway

First thing’s first, let’s put to bed the notion that Australia is overly reliant on Cahill’s play. Goals, yes. But overall? Hardly.

No longer a guaranteed starter, Cahill’s role under Ange Postecoglou has been mostly as an impact sub, with that impact declining somewhat over the past couple of years.

You will no doubt remember his two goals against Syria, but can you remember the last goal he scored before then?

It came more than a year ago, in October 2016 away in the UAE.

His greatest attribute nowadays is his strength of will — OK, and his magnificent forehead — and his absence is not going to change the way the…

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