Arnold Disappointed At Moyes Stance On Cahill

Australia will gain the services of regular skipper Craig Moore at its training camp in The Netherlands later tonight (Dutch time), but all attempts to persuade Everton to release Tim Cahill early have failed, according to a bitterly disappointed Socceroos assistant coach Graham Arnold.

Australia will gain the services of regular skipper Craig Moore at its training camp in The Netherlands later tonight (Dutch time), but all attempts to persuade Everton to release Tim Cahill early have failed, according to a bitterly disappointed Socceroos assistant coach Graham Arnold.

Speaking from the teams training base in Mierlo, Arnold said that Guus Hiddink has spoken to Cahill-s manager at Everton David Moyes, but they will not release him until the FIFA stipulated release time of 48 hours for a friendly match.

“Guus spoke last night to David Moyes and he (Moyes) said that Timmy needs a break physically,” said Arnold.

“Guus spoke that he needed him here and that this is not so much a physical training camp, it-s more about tactical analysis and tactical structure and that it would be quite a relaxing week leading up to the Jamaica game.

“He (Guus) expressed his disappointment to David Moyes that he wouldn-t release him, because every other club has been fantastic and let their players come in on time.

Cahill is now likely to join the squad directly in London, Arnold stipulating that it would be silly to bring him to The Netherlands on Friday, only for him to travel back to England on the Saturday.

Arnold said that Guus and the rest of the coaching staff were extremely disappointed at Moyes stance, explaining every other manager understood our situation and was willing to help.

“If anything we are copping the backlash here as a nation, going into our two massively important World Cup qualifiers. In effect, we are copping the brunt of Everton-s poor form this year.

“Middlesbrough released Mark Schwarzer and Mark Viduka, who didn-t play on the weekend; Stan Lazaridis from Birmingham; (Josip) Skoko who is not playing at Wigan; every other club from around Europe released their players straight away because their coaches understand what a hard job we have to qualify with the amount of time we use our players and that we have this difficult time and difficult programme.

“They also know that Guus Hiddink is a very experienced international coach and that he would not ‘kill- the players at this time of the year.”

While Moyes has stood firm with his decision on Cahill, Hiddink and Arnold have been more successful with Newcastle manager Graeme Souness in releasing Moore, albeit only after he sees a specialist in London, before flying to join the squad.

“Craig has been training and unfortunately for him he hasn-t played because of the hamstring. He has a sciatic nerve problem and he had a bit of a relapse last week when he was close to getting back to full fitness.

“He is not here at the moment, but we expect him to arrive tonight.

“He has gone to see a specialist in London either to have an injection or to have a further scan looked at. Craig is probably 75% fit and thankfully we still have five weeks to go to the big games, so fingers crossed, because he such a key player in this squad.

“Its imperative he is well treated, well looked after and by the time the South American qualifiers come around he should be 100% fit.”

Arnold also confirmed that Swiss-based defender Ljubo Milicevic turned down the opportunity to be involved in the camp to return to Melbourne and be best man at his brother-s wedding.

“Ljubo Milicevic isn-t here. He chose not to be here,” Arnold said bluntly.

“I had two conversations with him, one obviously to tell him he was selected in the squad and he then told me he had another commitment to be best man at his brother-s wedding, which was obviously a little bit disappointing.

“I gave him three to four days to think about it and he got back to me and said that it (his brother-s wedding) was something he couldn-t miss.

Arnold though said Milicevic-s decision to turn his back on the Socceroos at such a critical time, wouldn-t rule him out of contention come November.

“No I don-t think we could rule anyone out. It-s well documented we have quite a few injury concerns, with Craig Moore and Tony Vidmar, who have hamstring injuries and Tony Popovic with a calf strain, so we do have issues at the back there.

“I think getting so close to the big games, it would be quite stupid to rule anyone out at this stage.”

On a more positive note, Arnold said that key strike weapon Harry Kewell was looking very good in training and is a chance to play in Sunday-s game.

“Harry is here and is working very hard. He is looking very, very good I must say,” Arnold said in a very upbeat tone of voice.

“His fitness has improved enormously and he looks much stronger and he keeps walking around with a huge smile on his face and is enjoying kicking the ball around. He will be doing every training session here with the group.

“I think Harry is champing at the bit to get on the field. We would love to see him on the field and the benefit of a friendly game is that you can make six substitutions instead of the normal three and I think it would be great to see him on the pitch.

“It would be crazy to thrown him on and start him straight away, but when the game slows down a bit and we are maybe looking at the backend of the game to hopefully get him into it.”

Arnold also confirmed that Middlesbrough pair of Mark Schwarzer and Mark Viduka, who missed their side-s match against Aston Villa last Sunday, should be okay to play against Jamaica, while Tony Popovic and Tony Vidmar will be monitored until later in the week to see if they are any chance of playing in the game.

In the absence of his main central defenders Moore, Popovic, Vidmar and Milicevic, Hiddink will have to make do with a makeshift central defence with the possibilities including Lucas Neill, Jon McKain, Michael Thwaite and Jade North, while Simon Colosimo has played a lot of football there in his earlier days as a central man in a back three, as another option.