Arnold, Mus­cat in frame as Aussies brace for new coach

The Nation - - SPORT -

GRA­HAM Arnold and hard­man Kevin Mus­cat were named as po­ten­tial Aus­tralia coaches on yes­ter­day after Ange Postecoglou failed to al­lay fears he’ll quit even if the Soc­ceroos qual­ify for the World Cup.

Postecoglou de­clined to con­firm or deny re­ports on Wed­nes­day that he planned to walk, ei­ther be­fore or after the Soc­ceroos face Hon­duras in a crit­i­cal home- and- away play- off next month for a place at the 2018 Rus­sia tour­na­ment.

Lo­cal re­ports said Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion Aus­tralia boss David Gal­lop was one of those un­aware of Postecoglou’s in­ten­tions be­fore the re­ports broke, leav­ing him fu­ri­ous as he scram­bled to find out the facts.

The Aus­tralian news­pa­per said Postecoglou had be­come in­creas­ingly rest­less, fed up with crit­i­cism from the me­dia and public after a string of medi­ocre re­sults, and wanted to get back into club coach­ing over­seas.

It said a lu­cra­tive deal with a Chi­nese Su­per League club opened up for him sev­eral months ago, but it fell through.

Bris­bane Roar coach John Aloisi told re­porters yes­ter­day he’d be sur­prised if crit­i­cism had driven his close friend and men­tor to con­sider leav­ing.

“He must have his rea­sons. That’s all I can say,” Aloisi said. “Ev­ery­one wants to go to a World Cup as a player, as a coach, so he must have his rea­sons why. It’s a bit of a shock. But still, we haven’t heard if it’s 100 per­cent true or not.”

Syd­ney FC coach Arnold, seen as a fron­trun­ner for his sec­ond stint with the Soc­ceroos, said it was “not real” un­til Postecoglou him­self con­firmed he was leav­ing.

“I haven’t read any­thing or seen any­thing where Ange has come out and said that [he’s leav­ing],” Arnold said.

“So at the mo­ment, I think it’s not in­nu­endo, but it’s not real.”

Vet­eran striker Tim Cahill said he was dis­ap­pointed the story was over­shad­ow­ing the Soc­ceroos’ 2-1 win against Syria this week that set up the Hon­duras clash.

“It is just spec­u­la­tion,” said the 37year-old, who scored both goals in the ex­tra-time win.

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