Australia’s voice of football Simon Hill gets into a war of words with Peter FitzSimons over his take on Socceroos’ loss to France: ‘At least have a working knowledge of the game’
Football commentator Simon Hill has lashed Fairfax columnist Peter FitzSimons for his lack of knowledge about the world game.
The two media identities squared off on Twitter, with Hill – the voice of football in Australia – incensed by FitzSimons’ take in the Sydney Morning Herald after the Socceroos were outclassed 4-1 by France in their World Cup opener on Wednesday (AEDT) in Qatar.
FitzSimons – who conceded he knows little about football – felt Australia went into their shell after taking a shock lead versus Les Blues at the Al Janoub Stadium in Doha.
It was a view echoed by Socceroos legends such as Harry Kewell, Mark Bosnich and John Aloisi – but Hill singled out former Wallaby FitzSimons.
Hill labelled the take of the veteran sports journalist ‘depressing’, particularly his reference to the ‘Australian way’ where sporting teams always ask questions of their opposition, no matter the occasion.
Respected football commentator Simon Hill has lashed Fairfax columnist Peter FitzSimons for his criticism of the Socceroos performance versus France
Former Wallaby Peter FitzSimons – who has admitted his knowledge of football is limited – accused the Socceroos of going into their shell after taking a 1-0 lead versus France (he is pictured, with wife Lisa Wilkinson)
A reference to the late rugby league great Tommy Raudonikis and his infamous ‘cattledog’ cry also irked Hill, who is covering the World Cup in the Middle East.
‘Ave a go… I don’t know anything about the game…Tommy Raudonikis…’ Sigh,’ Hill posted on Twitter.
‘Why are we STILL getting these sorts of ‘analysis’ pieces on the biggest sporting event on the planet?’
‘If you’re a general sports writer, shouldn’t you have at least a working knowledge of the biggest game on the planet?’
Hill later pointed out to another Twitter follower the gulf in class between the two nations was obvious, with Australia ‘running with very limited resources in comparison to France’ before adding it was a ‘minor miracle’ Australia had qualified for its fifth successive World Cup.
Former Socceroo John Aloisi also felt the Socceroos were far too conservative against the might of France
FitzSimons returned serve on Friday, pointing out his view was shared by the likes of Kewell, Bosnich and Craig Foster.
‘I know nothing about this game. But to my neophyte eyes, our blokes are way too tentative, and lacking urgency, yes? I sense desperation, but not the right kind? We don’t seem desperate to go at them?’ he asked.
Then Mike Tyson was bizarrely brought into the debate.
Australia next play Tunisia on Saturday night (9pm, AEDT) before taking on Denmark at 2am (also AEDT) on Thursday, December 1.
Graham Arnold’s men will need to win both games if they are to progress to the round of 16 for the first time since 2006.