532 Words on: It’s. Only. A. Friendly.

I love New Zealand football peeps. I really do. And I am not a violent person. But if there’s one thing I’d dearly love to beat into all of you, one by one, with a pointy wedge of Pecorino Romano, it’s this: FRIENDLIES DON’T MATTER!!! Understand? No, you bloody don’t. And it drives me insane.

I’m late to the party, because I made a mental health decision to quit social media and avoid the news for a few months. Hence I only stumbled across this a couple of days ago, so I apologise if it’s already been chewed over somewhere else. But do riddle me this…

WHY for the love of all that is Totti would New Zealand Football choose the opening day of the World Cup to announce the reappointment of a coach who’s main KPI is… to… Ummm… What was it again, I forget… Oh yeah – do well at the World Cup?!?!?

Full disclosure: I honestly don’t know if Sermanni is a good coach or not and I actually don’t give a Laziale’s patoot if he’s reappointed until the Sun turns into a supernova on the basis of a burp-the-alphabet contest. Furthermore, now would probably be as good a time as any to come clean that I haven’t seen a single kick of a single ball at the World Cup and I haven’t watched a Ferns game since the Oceania Nations Cup. My heart belongs to grassroots at this particular moment.

This isn’t about the Ferns or Sermanni. What I object to is any coach getting reappointed (at least in part) on the strength of friendly results, when a burp-the-alphabet contest would be more meaningful.

Only in New Zealand do we seem to attach any real fucks to friendlies. I blame rugby [for most things]. Our national obsession with a game that thinks “test matches” are important must rub off on otherwise sane individuals who prefer more civilised round ball codes.

Yeah. Alright. Calm your farm. I know what you’re yelling at me. I just admitted I haven’t watched either of the friendlies the Ferns won against higher ranked opposition. But I don’t care. They were friendlies – that’s all I need to know!

The results that matter don’t lie. One team we beat went on to make the semi-finals in France and the other went out in the quarters after dispatching one of the tournament heavyweights in the round of 16 (thanks Wikipedia).

Hey Siri, how did New Zealand do? “I don’t want to talk about it. Go back to asking me how much wood a woodchuck can chuck.”

After a World Cup tends to be when the shit hits the fan and a lot of good tacticians hit the job market. Is our coach really that good that we were so scared of losing him we didn’t want to wait a few weeks and have a tiny widdle wee peek at who else might be out there? And if he is, why couldn’t the Ferns score any goals, other than one own goal, in as soft a World Cup group as we could have hoped for?

Probably best if I go back to avoiding the news again now huh…