EXCLUSIVE: Foreign the way to go

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Rocky10
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EXCLUSIVE: Foreign the way to go

Post by Rocky10 »

EXCLUSIVE: Foreign the way to go

Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer has added his backing to the impending unveiling of an overseas thoroughbred as Australia’s next coach.

Careful not to denigrate the deeds of stand-in-man Graham Arnold, the 34-year-old shot-stopper described the decision to bounty hunt a Guus-Hiddink-syle dream weaver as ‘a step forward’ for the national team as it bids to put the angst of the Asian Cup to rest.

Schwarzer, who has also committed himself to the campaign to qualify for South Africa 2010, conceded Australia are on a steep learning curve in the region and need to quickly restore the lustre to the Socceroos brand before the protracted qualification path for 2010 begins early next year with the first of six World Cup qualifiers in 2008.

“A big name foreign coach will help take us forward – it will be good for the team and good for the game’s growth and profile in Australia,’’ he said from his home in England’s north east.

“A well known import, whoever it might be, would bring a different mentality and a different approach and by definition would have more experience in dealing with big name players on a regular basis.â€￾

Though no fan of Hiddink’s bedside manner, as revealed in his book ‘World Cup Destiny – From Sydney to Stuttgart’, Schwarzer is nonetheless grateful for the Dutchman’s brief dalliance with the national team.

“Having him at the World Cup and before that was a leap forward for us – it took us to another level,â€￾ he added. “His knowledge was invaluable.’’

With the names of Dutchmen grenache Advocaat, Pim Verbeek and Brazilian-born Iraq Asian Cup hero Jorvan Vieira being linked with the job, Schwarzer may hot have to wait long to discover Arnold’s successor.

But he has no preference.

“I’ll leave the speculation to others,â€￾ he added.

According to the keeper there was never any doubt in the players’ minds that Arnold’s shelf life would expire after Asian Cup – no matter how Australia performed.

“It was always the plan, as the players understood it, to bring in a big name manager after the Asian Cup,â€￾ he revealed.

“That was what he told us and the way it was explained to us. As far as we’re concerned it wasn’t any kind of secret.’’

Schwarzer was unable to reprise his World Cup qualification penalty shootout heroics during Australia’s grating exit against Japan at the quarter final stage in Hanoi – and he admits Australia fell ‘well short’’ of expectations in the tournament.

“We went in as favourites and we backed ourselves to go all the way,â€￾ he said.

“But we came up well short. The conditions were a factor but the truth is we didn’t play to anywhere near our potential – and when that happens you get punished. And we did get punished.â€￾

“It was particularly painful for – that was the first shot out I’ve ever lost in my career.â€￾

“The tournament showed that you can’t take anybody for granted and that reputations count for nothing.â€￾

Schwarzer said he was ‘frustrated’’ by some of the gamesmanship and amateur dramatics displayed by Australia’s opponents – Oman, Iraq, Thailand and Japan.

“Play acting seems to be in vogue in Asia, some teams specialise in it – it’s bad for the game but we saw a lot of it,â€￾ he said.

“It’s something you’d want to see removed from the game – but it’s now become a big part of world football.â€￾

He will be back in Australia for the September 11 friendly at the MCG against Copa America finalists Argentina, despite rumours some disaffected senior players might boycott the game if Arnold remains at the helm.

Ane he sees no immediate threat, not from club-mate Brad Jones, 25, nor Reading’s young gun Adam Federici, to his national team spot, on the proviso his form doesn’t slip at the Riverside, where this could be his last season after over a decade with the Premiership club.

As German giants Bayern Munich hover with intent, Schwarzer revealed: “I’m not switched off to the prospect of a move. I’m in last year of my contract and there hasn’t been an agreement yet.â€￾

“It’s been shown that club’s policy in past has been to let things drag on a bit, there have been discussions but we’re no nearer to finding a resolution.â€￾

“It’s flattering when you are linked with a club like Bayern, but I’ve heard nothing concrete and I’ll just get on and do my best for Middlesbrough.â€￾

ozzie owl
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Big Name Coach

Post by ozzie owl »

We need a proven coach at the highest level to harness the side.

zola
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Post by zola »

Its been said for ages and we all agree. Just waiting for them to do something about it and get a real coach. Doesnt look like it'll happen for a while still.
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