Arnold will inspire Aussie pride, says Ange

Ange Postecoglou has reportedly agreed to manage EPL side Tottenham on a two-year deal.

Ange Postecoglou has reportedly agreed to manage EPL side Tottenham on a two-year deal. Photo: AAP

Ange Postecoglou hopes Graham Arnold’s trailblazing leadership can spark a patriotic fire that sweeps the Socceroos through to the World Cup’s knockout stages.

Arnold is the first Australian-born coach to take the Socceroos to the global showpiece after a succession of European managers took charge either side of Postecoglou’s reign in Brazil eight years ago.

Postecoglou – who who was born in Greece and is proudly Australian – believes having a home-grown coach in Qatar will fuel a deep sense of national pride for the Socceroos, who open their campaign on Wednesday morning (AEDT) against reigning champion France.

“Sometimes it’s when you’re a foreign coach, it becomes a little bit of a job. But when it’s your own country, it means a hell of a lot and I’m sure Arnie and all the boys will make the most of it,” said Postecoglou, who took Australia to the 2014 finals before stepping aside shortly after the team qualified for the 2018 tournament.

‘Go there and try to upset the big guns’

“It’s a great honour to lead a country at a World Cup, particularly when it’s your own.

“We always go there to make an impact – so let’s hope the boys can make an impact.

“We go there and try to upset the big guns.”

Though the Sydney-born Arnold has helped guide the Socceroos during the 2006 tournament and the 2010 qualification rounds, the 2022 World Cup finals is the 59-year-old’s first as head coach.

Under Arnold’s guidance, the Socceroos’ international performances have been a mixed bag.

Australia crashed out in the quarter-finals of the 2019 Asian Cup while defending its title.

Australian coach Graham Arnold watches training at his squad’s base in Doha, Qatar. Photo: Getty

But during the Qatar qualifiers, the team prevailed against Peru thanks to Arnold’s bold decision to substitute goalkeeper-captain Mathew Ryan for Andrew Redmayne, who produced a stunning performance in the decisive penalty shootout that earnt him the ‘Grey Wiggle’ title.

‘Golden generation’ ex-Socceroo Harry Kewell sang Arnold’s praises, congratulating him for pushing through some tough matches.

“We’ve got a good manager. I like Arnold, I’m not gonna lie. I think he’s done well,” Kewell said.

“He’s had a hard time through the qualifications but qualifying for the World Cup is not easy.

“I think we’ve taken it for granted for so many years but now it’s completely different. It’s competitive. It’s a lot tougher for us to qualify, so I take my hat off to this team, I wish them a lot of success and I hope they go out there and enjoy it and do us proud.”


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