Wed, Nov 14, 9:42am by Staff Writer
The Socceroos have announced a coaching reshuffle ahead of the first of two friendly matches taking place during the next seven days in Australia with Graham Arnold bringing in former Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe into his coaching ranks.
The move to to sign the experienced coach and former Stoke City midfielder is set to help prepare Australia for the AFC Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates in January 2019.
Lowe was sacked as Perth Glory coach at the end of the 2017-18 A-League season after more than 140 games in charge of the club.
His appointment is one of three changes to the Socceroos’ coaching structure, with ex-assistant Ante Milicic moving to the role of chief scout and goal keeping coach Tony Franken replaced by former Premier League keeper Hans Segers.
It has been an eventful camp for the team with Scottish winger Martin Boyle set to make his national team debut in Brisbane on Saturday night against South Korea despite never stepping foot on Australian soil.
The 25-year-old has played his entire professional career in Scotland and qualifies for national team selection thanks to the fact that his father was born in Sydney.
The Hibernian winger will offer a goal threat that is desperately needed for the Socceroos and he has played more than 100 games in the Scottish Premier League, scoring 23 goals.
Until recently, Martin Boyle had never set foot in Australia. But now the Hibs goal-scoring winger is in line for a @Socceroos call-up in a growing trend in international football https://t.co/YyN5scq0dW | @MaasdorpJR
— ABC Grandstand (@abcgrandstand) November 13, 2018
Boyle is not the first foreign born player to lace up the boots for the Socceroos, with former captain Paul Wade one of a number of players born on foreign soil to don the green and gold.
Others include Archie Thompson, former coach Ange Postecoglou, Robbie Slater, Milos Degenek and youngster Daniel Arzani.
This will be the first time two of the heavyweights in Asian football meet since their 2015 Asian Cup final, which the Socceroos prevailed.
Australia will take confidence from a 4-0 win last month against Kuwait and will look forward to challenging themselves against one of the elite teams in the region.
With a new coach at the helm, the style of play the Socceroos will play is sure to change and Arnold made no qualms about that when quizzed about the matter.
“If I can sort of replicate it, make it easier, I’d say a bit like Liverpool play and Paris Saint-Germain, with three no. 9s,” he said.
Arnold’s ambitions are clear but he faces numerous challenges before January’s Asian Cup.
The Socceroos are lacking a consistent goal threat and an injury to Daniel Arzani has dealt the national team a huge blow.
After an injury at the World Cup Andrew Nabbout has rehabilitated quicker than expected and is in the squad to face South Korea and Lebanon.
— Caltex Socceroos (@Socceroos) November 12, 2018
The winger who now bases himself in Japan was at the figurehead of the attack under former coach Bert van Marwijk but is happy to play anywhere in the front four under Arnold.
Nabbout told the Australian on Monday that he is happy to play anywhere and “I needed to be back for the Asian Cup (in January), so it was something to work towards, made me work a little bit harder.”
Nabbout’s return is a boost for the Socceroos and they will also be buoyed by the news that two of South Korea’s best players Son Heung-Min and Ki Sung-Yeung both won’t be making the trip to Brisbane.
In their most recent international against Panama the spoils were shared with South Korea drawing 2-2 with the Central American side.
Their biggest result of the season came when they defeated reigning champions Germany in Russia by a 2-0 score.
They have since beaten Costa Rica and Uruguay and drawn with Chile and Panama in a number of friendly matches.
The Socceroos usually find another gear at home, but the new system that is will be invoked by Arnold could have some teething problems, particularly in the early stages.
It will also offer a challenge to the opposition, with the only scouting on a Graham Arnold style of game coming from his most recent successful tenure with Sydney FC.
Saturday nights friendly between Australia and South Korea takes place at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium, with kick-off at 7:50pm AEDST.
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