With the 32-man list named for the Socceroos, new coach Bert van Marwijk faces many perplexing decisions in the weeks ahead, but none seems as challenging as what to do about Tim Cahill.
Cahill is 38, which automatically makes him a question mark. Arguments for his selection centre on the fact that he is Australia’s leading scorer and he brings the intangible x factor of being able to summon the most from his game when the biggest stages beckon.
He has scored in every FIFA World Cup tournament in which he has played. If he makes it to Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament, it would be his fourth appearance.
If he could net a goal in the upcoming competition, he would join a select club to claim a score across four trips, but of late, his time on the football field has been very limited.
He moved to Millwall in January to compete in England’s second tier of football, which would seem like a promotion to most, but over the course of the past four months, he has played just above an hour and he incurred a three-game suspension that cost him any time in the final three games of The Championship League, a couple of factors that seemingly have cost him automatic selection for the Socceroos’ World Cup squad.
Van Marwijk, speaking on the topic of Cahill, said, “I had a long conversation with Tim in Norway, and he is a special case. He is special in everything. He is 38. He is one of the best ever for Australia. He is suspended and cannot play anymore. I have to make a decision whether to take him.He can make a difference. He is a player who will not be nervous to play in front of 80,000 people.”
Cahill, if taken, should be quite comfortable in Kazan Arena, as the venue’s maximum capacity is given as 45,379.