Mark Viduka is currently carrying a slight Achilles problem, and while he still has international ambitions, he will definitely sit out the four qualifiers Australia have in June against Iraq (twice), Qatar and China.
Mark Viduka – needs summer break to clear up injury problems
Viduka was admittedly tired at the start of this season, because of his involvement in last summer’s Asian Cup, and because of his advancing years.
Mark needs a break from football in the summer.
However, Dutchman Verbeek â€“ who recently travelled to Newcastle for talks with Viduka â€“ will not give up on him.
“Nobody can do the same as Mark Viduka,” “I’ve seen enough games in England and Europe â€“ he’s special.â€
“You don’t see players like him very often. He’s so important for the team he’s playing at.â€
“We don’t have players like that. With all respect for Scott (McDonald), Josh (Kennedy), Archie Thompson and John Aloisi, if you can use him, we’ll use him. If he’s ready, he’ll come.â€
“We have some players who can do a great job also, but if we get a chance to use Mark, we’ll do it.”
Viduka has scored seven goals for Newcastle this season, but has missed lots of games due to niggling injuries like hamstring problems.
But it appears that Viduka still has international ambitions, and if his fitness allows it, he will again represent his country, according to Verbeek, who continued:
“He has a contract (with Newcastle) until 2010, and he said he wants to finish with the World Cup â€“ there’s no doubt about that.â€
“He was very positive about it, and he said: ‘I’m always available’. He said: ‘Whenever you need me, and I’m fit, I’ll always come over’.”
Thereâ€™s no doubt the Dutch coach thinks very highly of Viduka, and we donâ€™t blame him for wanting Mark in the Australian side.
What we doubt is whether Mark, given his injury problems and advanced age for a footballer, can stand the extra games and all the traveling that will be necessary.
However, we compliment Verbeek, because he seems to be extremely flexible as far as Mark is concerned. Maybe it can work out, but Mark’s fitness and ability to play for Newcastle United has to be the highest priority.