Socceroos On The Mend As Coaching Choice Narrows

Sir Alex Ferguson and Guus Hiddink won't be taking us to Brazil. So who's left?

Robert Whiteby Robert White

Australia v Oman - FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifier

The Socceroos bounced back from one of the worst weeks in contemporary Australian football history with a 3-0 win over Canada as the race to find a replacement for the fired Holger Osieck is narrowed down to a ‘local’ selection.

After consecutive 6-0 defeats to Brazil in September and France last week, the Socceroos responded to the axing of their German coach Holger Osieck with a positive victory against a hapless Canada at Craven Cottage in London in front of fewer than 4,000 spectators.

There wasn’t a whole lot the 106th-ranked Canadians could do against the Aussies, barely troubling the green and gold as Josh Kennedy, Dario Vidosic and Mathew Leckie all scored in the confidence boosting victory.

The Socceroos saw their 2014 World Cup preparations take a dive last week after the disgraceful French result and the subsequent firing of Osieck, leading to a race to find a replacement just eight months out from Brazil that has now been narrowed down to two home-grown selections.

Removed from contention is the rumoured World Cup super-coach Guus Hiddink and the dream acquisition of Sir Alex Ferguson. Instead, it looks as if the new job will come down to A-League choices Graham Arnold and Ange Postecoglou.

Former keeper Mark Bosnich declared Ferguson as the perfect man for the job earlier in the week, but has since publically announced his support for the two Australian candidates.

“Both are fabulous men. Both have had very good success with their team here, both have been through the mill with younger sides,” Bosnich said. 

“They've both gone and become even better – which is a great sign of a man. It truly will be a toss-up.”

Postecoglou has experience leading the Australian under-20s while Arnold was an assistant to former coaches Frank Farina, Hiddink and Pim Verbeek. Both have highly decorated A-League records.

The decision to anoint an Australian coach may be the less attractive option, but would be the most affordable for Football Federation Australia after the governing body spent some $43 million in a failed attempt to secure the 2022 World Cup. For many, returning Hiddink would be the ideal option- the Dutchman took Australia to the Last 16 in Germany in 2006, one of the few times the Socceroos have been relevant on the international stage.

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Photo: Ryan Pierse, Getty Images.