A 5-1 battering at the hands of Mexico has set an unrealistic target for the New Zealand to reach in Wellington, which may bring an end to their plans of getting a place at the World Cup next year.
However, despite the valuable experience of the international stage along with the financial boost they would get from the tournament, missing out on 2014 may prove to be beneficial for the long term of the All Whites.
The squad is currently in transition with experienced players reaching the off end of their careers such as the likes of Leo Bertos, Ivan Vecilich, Rory Fallon and Chris Killen. While the younger talents such as Marco Rojas, Kosta Barbarouses, Chris Wood and Tim Payne are all still maturing into more competent and complete footballers. Winston Reid being the one exception in the side of a player who is in his prime and playing top quality football.
Generally the All Whites are lacking in areas which would be exposed come the World Cup, so not having the pressures of rugby dominated nation on their shoulders would be helping the development of these younger player to prove a point come 2018.
Over the next four years we will see players such as Marco Rojas hopefully making his mark on the Bundesliga after he overcomes his injury troubles and makes his presence felt at Stuttgart.
Chris Wood is one of New Zealand's most experienced players, even at 21 years of age. Seeing him develop in England, potentially even the Premier League at some point over the next four years could see him be a major threat come 2018 where he would be playing in his prime.
Tommy Smith is another talent that may be implementing his skill in the Premier League sometime in the next four years and may prove to form a strong partnership alongside Reid at the back.
With other names such as Louis Fenton of the Wellington Phoenix, Cameron Howieson of Burnley, Bill Tuiloma of Marseille, Tim Payne of Blackburn and Jake Gleeson of the Portland Timbers all being talented young players who may make they mark over the next four years.
Goalkeepers, strong defenders, creative midfielders and talented strikers, over the next four years the All Whites may see a side with a strong core and strength in all areas of the field, pushing their chances of an impressive display in Russia 2018.
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