Wed, Nov 22, 11:29am by Head Editor
It was the announcement that every Australian was dreading and on Wednesday morning in Sydney, it became a reality, when Ange Postecoglou quit his post as Socceroos boss, seven months out from the World Cup.
The 52-year-old, who was in charge when Australia won their only football trophy – the 2015 Asian Cup – was in tears at the press conference in Sydney, in front of a huge media throng.
Football Federation Australia CEO David Gallop – who flanked Postecoglou at the media conference – said that he was “I’m disappointed and still a bit puzzled’’ about the decision but went on to say that “(Postecoglou) gave our fans a sense of optimism and “whatever you do I know you’ll be successful.”
Gallop and the FFA will now begin the search for a new coach, with Sportsbet installing Sydney FC’s Graham Arnold, who was the caretaker for the national team from 2006 to 2007 after Guus Hiddink left the post after the 2006 World Cup.
Arnold, whose Sky Blues team claimed a historic treble by winning the FFA Cup on Tuesday night, is a $3.50 favourite, ahead of Hiddink ($7.50), who’s name always comes up when this position becomes available, and rightly so, given that he achieved the Roos best performance at a World Cup, when the green and gold reached the Round of 16 in 2006.
Spaniard Josep Gombau, who has coached Adelaide United, Australia’s Under 23 side and is the current coach of Western Sydney Wanderers comes in at $10, ahead of the man replaced in the west of Sydney, Tony Popovic, who’s at $13, alongside Melbourne Victory’s Kevin Muscat.
Wednesday’s announcement was the most emotional public showing in the Greek-born coaches 21-year career, which has also included stints at South Melbourne, Australia’s Under 17 and Under 20 sides, and A-League clubs Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory.
Postecoglou managed Australia 49 times, for 22 wins, 12 draws and 15 losses, but perhaps his greatest achievement was handing 23 players their debut in the national team, which is sure to hold the men from Down Under in good stead for the future.
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