Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold
Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold

Arnie backs new Roos boss

FOOTBALL: Sydney FC boss Graham Arnold fronted the media to discuss his side's Australia Day big blue clash with Melbourne Victory but instead was inundated with questions about Bert Van Marwijk's appointment as Socceroos head coach.

Arnold had been considered a frontrunner for the position before the FFA broke the news on Thursday that former Netherlands and Saudi Arabia boss Van Marwijk had been appointed.

The Sky Blues manager was supportive of the Dutchman's installation and backed the FFA's decision as a 'great appointment.'

"He comes with a lot of World Cup knowledge. Knowing the Socceroos inside out from playing against us twice in this campaign," Arnold said.

"When you do your homework as a coach, you don't just watch one game before you watch them four or five games before you actually play them so no doubt his knowledge is very high in our team and I think it's a great appointment."

When quizzed on his reasons for ruling himself out of the race for the job, Arnold cited his responsibilities at Sydney and an intention to honour his commitment to the A-League champions until at least the end of the season.

"I have a job here to do at Sydney, I have a contract here at Sydney FC and you know I've got a commitment to the players and the club, I'm here definitely until the end of the season," he said.

However, the former Socceroos caretaker coach indicated he maintains an interest in the role in the future - with Van Marwijk only appointed to a short-term contract to take the green and gold to Russia.

"I'm a very proud Australian. I do feel that it's a job that is always any coach would strive to do and I'm no different to that," Arnold said.

Bert Van Marwijk announced as new socceroos coach:
Bert Van Marwijk announced as new socceroos coach: "The Caltex @Socceroos are delighted to announce the appointment of Bert Van Marwijk as our new Head Coach." Picture: Twitter

Arnold backed the current Socceroos backroom staff, which remains almost entirely in tact despite Postecoglou's departure, as a helpful tool for the incoming coach - whose Asian pedigree and knowledge of the squad will make his job considerably easier.

"If it wasn't anyone outside of Bert it would've been much tougher. The knowledge that he would already have about our players and let's not forget that we have a great staff in and around Ange Postecoglou, and those staff are still there except for one in Peter Cklamovski. But Ante Milicic who has served so well alongside Ange for 20 odd games and for four years will have huge intel for Bert. So the knowledge will be high and as I said it's a great appointment," Arnold stated.

"He'll want to bring in an assistant with him. I won't be part of the staff at all for Russia. I've ruled myself out completely I did that last week and I'll be their number one fan though."

"It's going to be interesting to see if he changes anything and how he handles everything especially with the personnel and tactical side of things so it's an exciting period I think. Ange did a fantastic job to only lose one or two games in the whole qualifying series."

"He's got a lot of experience in international football and I think the FFA have made a great appointment."

His press conference, which was dominated by a bombardment of Van Marwijk related questions concluded with an assertion by Arnold that he had received no further contact from the FFA, as well as an admission that he has recently turned down interest in his services from elsewhere.

"Since the last time I had contact with them I haven't had contact with them anymore."

"I made my intentions clear that I wanted to stay at Sydney FC until the end of this season… What happens after that happens after that. It's not just FFA, I've had offers from all around the world, and I've knocked a few back in the last week and there's plenty of things to think about."


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