Cult A-League star Jason Cummings was so bad when he came on as a substitute for Australia on Wednesday morning against France that Socceroos legend Zeljko Kalac said it was as if the team were “playing with 10 men”.
The 27-year-old Mariners striker, who was born in Scotland but qualified for Australia through his mother, was replaced by Mitchell Duke in the 56th minute of the Socceroos’ 4-1 loss at Al-Janoub Stadium in Qatar.
Instead of giving Australia a much-needed injection of energy with the side down 2-1, Cummings was a liability according to Kalac, who won 54 caps for the Socceroos.
It was one of the most extraordinary sprays on an individual Aussie rules footballer in recent memory, with the ex-goalkeeper saying Cummings was ‘minging’, which is slang for stinky or disgusting.
Jason Cummings, who plays in the A-League for the Mariners, fell short on his World Cup debut from the bench, according to Kalac
Zeljko Kalac, who has represented Australia 54 times, was blunt in his assessment of Cummings’ performance: ‘non-existent’
“Man, he got along. He was absolutely having fun,’ Kalac said on Club Nedsin response to a question about why Cummings was recruited in place of Jamie Maclaren.
‘He was non-existent. We basically played with 10 men when he arrived.
It was a devastating takedown from the legendary 202cm goalkeeper known as ‘Spider’, who sarcastically spoke on a betting program despite his recent high-profile bouts with problem gambling.
Kalac was not finished, saying he would participate in Cummings not having an impact on the game.
Socceroos legend Zeljko Kalac has slammed Australian striker Jason Cummings for his ‘non-existent’ performance
“I think the bet should have been, when he came in, if it was a live bet, will he touch the ball more than three times?” he’s laughing.
Cummings, who spent much of his career at Scottish club Hibernian before moving to the A-League, was unable to influence play during his time on the pitch, making just six assists.
This has left many fans wondering why Melbourne City striker Jamie Maclaren hasn’t started or been engaged in place of Cummings.
The 29-year-old is in top form having scored at home in all six A-League games this season, and eight in total. He is also set to become the most prolific goalscorer in A-League history.
Jason Cummings, born and bred in Scotland but qualified for Australia by his mother, made his World Cup debut for the Socceroos today.
Kalac gave a clear reason why he was not preferred over Cummings.
“Because he didn’t play for the Central Coast Mariners,” he laughed wryly.
Mariners stars Cummings, Garang Kuol and Danny Vukovic have all been chosen in the A-League squad.
“Seriously, some of the decisions…it makes sense if you’re looking for a goal.” Okay, you didn’t start with Jamie Maclaren, fair enough.
“But if you make a substitute you lose 2-1, you want a goal and you don’t bring an absolute goalscorer? I just don’t get it,” Kalac said.
Kalac was by far the only former Australian legend to roast coach Graham Arnold’s selections and tactics.
Both John Aloisi and Mark Bosnich questioned coach Graham Arnold’s tactics in the second half, with the Socceroos looking too scared to take any risks or wave caution.
“Just questions around, in the second half, if Graham could have changed the approach. The pattern of the game was finally already defined,” said Aloisi.
“Don’t you say at some point, wait, we have to go higher in the park here?” says Bosch.
One way or another, the Socceroos will have to bounce back quickly and smartly when they face Tunisia at 9pm on Saturday (AEDT).