'Suck On That One' If You Don't Like Sam Kerr's Post-Match Comments
Do you know what makes a great leader? In a word: authenticity.
And while Sam Kerr is currently being written a ticket by the tut-tut police for telling the haters to "suck on that one" after the Matildas beat Brazil 3-2 at the FIFA World Cup, there's a pretty good argument that she totally nailed the vibe of the moment.
The Matildas, after all, have been under siege of late. Dark rumblings continue over the bizarre sacking earlier this year of coach Alen Stajcic -- the man who built them from global nobodies into world-beaters.
There have been strong suggestions that the Matildas split into two camps after the Stajcic sacking. There were also murmurs the squad in France was divided. They've certainly been playing in a less than cohesive way under new coach Ante Milicic, and at 0-2 against Brazil in Montpelier overnight, we were facing a shock early World Cup exit.
But the Matildas escaped. And scenes of great joy followed.
And when Kerr was asked by a reporter about the pressure she and the team had been under, and about how proud she felt as captain after a historic comeback, she said:
I'm so proud of the girls. We knew we were in it at halftime, and you know there were a lot of critics talking about is but we're back -- so suck on that one!
Kerr, 25, is vastly experienced as a player, but young as a leader. She hasn't been media-trained too heavily, her personality ironed out like a kink in a shirt, her blemishes smeared over with public relations pimple cream.
Kerr is genuine. A real person. And she says it as she feels it. And what she felt overnight in France was that the critics should suck on it.
Our most-capped Matilda, Cheryl Salisbury, didn't quite see it that way up in the commentary booth.
"I probably would’ve chosen a few different words, but I was a few years older when I took the captaincy," she said.
“It showed a bit of fire and a bit of passion but also a bit of immaturity as well as a player and leader off the field as well.
"You’ve got to be able to do both, juggle both, be diplomatic occasionally when you feel something different and do what is best for the team sometimes and take away your personal opinion occasionally."
Yeah, nah Cheryl. But mostly nah.
In the opinion of this writer, what was best for the team was a bit of feisty defiance from Kerr, and her tone was football-pitch perfect.
Fair play. Play on. See you for the Jamaica match next Wednesday morning.