Speaking after his side moved through to its second consecutive FFA Cup final with a 5-1 semi-final hammering of South Melbourne on Wednesday night, Arnold threw his support behind embattled national team coach Ange Postecoglou, insisting Australia would qualify for next year’s World Cup.
As revealed by NewsCorp on Wednesday, Postecoglou will quit his post as Socceroos coach next month, regardless of whether his side defeats Honduras in the intercontinental playoff to make Russia.
But Arnold was reluctant to make comment until the man himself confirms it.
“I haven’t read anything or seen anything where Ange has come out and said that,” Arnold said.
Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold says he is confident the Socceroos will qualify for the World Cup and hasn’t thought taking over as national team coach.Source:AAP
“So at the moment I think it’s, not innuendo, but it’s not real unless Ange has come out.
“I’m a true supporter of Ange, I think he’s done a fantastic job.
“They will qualify, I truly believe they will qualify. And we need to, as a country and as journalists and as football supporters, get behind them and support them the whole way because we need them to qualify for the good of the game.”
Arnold was an assistant to Guus Hiddink at the 2006 World Cup and took over the role for a period after that tournament, guiding the team to the 2007 Asian Cup, where it lost in the quarter finals.
But Arnold – now a two-time A-League championship-winning coach – hasn’t entertained the possibility of going back for a second crack.
“I haven’t even thought about it to be honest,” he said.
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“I’ve just been focusing on this game tonight and now I focus on the Wellington game. I haven’t even thought about it.”
After his side’s win at a wet and wild Lakeside Stadium, Arnold advocated moving of the FFA Cup final to the weekend before the start of the A-League season.
Sydney led 2-0 at half time and even though South made it 2-1 shortly after the break, Arnold always felt his side was in control and is now rapt to be in the final again.
“It’s a great concept, the FFA Cup,” Arnold said.
“It gives opportunities for clubs like South Melbourne to play on the big stage and gives the A-League clubs the opportunity to win another trophy.
“For us it’s all about winning trophies at Sydney, for me it’s the most important thing.
“We take every game seriously, we work hard at training every day to prepare ourselves to win. Every game we go into we expect to win and tonight was no different.”