Why Tom Rogic Must Be Handed a World Cup Starting Spot for Australia

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Why Tom Rogic Must Be Handed a World Cup Starting Spot for Australia
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It would be a risk for Australia coach Ange Postecoglou to name youngster Tom Rogic in his starting XI at the World Cup, but it is a risk worth taking.

Rogic has enough ability that the team could one day be built around him, and since Brazil 2014 is likely to be little more than a learning experience for the Socceroos, the 21-year-old should be given a chance to show his worth.

There are plenty of reasons for the manager to overlook Rogic at this World Cup.

He has barely done enough to warrant a place in the squad. 

After impressing with the Central Coast Mariners in 2012-13 as an elegant, South American or European-style playmaker, the lanky midfielder moved to Scottish champions Celtic, where he barely featured.

His return to the A-League for a loan spell with Melbourne Victory last season only saw him produce the occasional decent performance, as injuries disrupted his campaign. 

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A groin injury has troubled the player since his time at Celtic, and his last appearance for the Victory only lasted 39 minutes before he limped off. That was back on April 5, and he hasn't played a competitive match since.

Hardly the kind of buildup that demands national-team selection.

Postecoglou does have Rogic in his 27-man squad which has already arrived in Brazil, however, and he should maintain his faith in the Griffith man when it comes to choosing his starting team.

In Mark Bresciano, the Socceroos have a highly experienced creative midfielder who has done the job before on numerous occasions. 

He deserves to play in Brazil, but there is no reason both he and Rogic could not fit into the same XI.

Should Postecoglou take a punt on Rogic and select him in his Australia side?

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Two gifted ball distributors would suit Postecoglou's possession-based philosophy, and with Mile Jedinak and Mark Milligan shielding the defence, they would have adequate cover behind them to focus on their offensive duties.

Rogic would benefit immensely from playing alongside the veteran, so that when the 34-year-old does retire from international football, the youngster will be better prepared to take over playmaking duties on his own.

But it is not just with an eye to the future that Postecoglou should roll the dice with Rogic.

As former Socceroo Ned Zelic pointed out in an interview with Lee Gaskin of the Sydney Morning Herald, he is the type of footballer who can make a difference at the top level, even if he may be out of form at the moment.

Zelic said:

Tommy's the type of player that can go through a difficult bad patch, but can flick the light switch on.

In saying that, he really next season has to get himself organised club wise and get himself playing somewhere regularly.

The most important thing for him is to be physically fit and the rest will come.

If Postecoglou decides to hand Rogic a spot in the Australia team in Brazil, it could give him the confidence boost he needs and act as a springboard to get his career well and truly underway.

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