Arnold: Six Caltex Socceroos spots up for grabs for AFC Asian Cup
The next three weeks will be pivotal for Caltex Socceroos hopefuls, with coach Graham Arnold revealing there are around six spots up for grabs in his AFC Asian Cup squad.
Arnold is expected to name his squad in three weeks’ time for the tournament in January.
It gives every player one last chance over the next few weeks to press their claims for a spot in the squad as Australia looks to defend the title they won on home soil in 2015.
READ MORE: 'Uniting a Nation': FFA unveils unifying brand identity for Caltex Socceroos and Westfield Matildas
READ MORE: 'I need to do the business': Boyle desperate to feature at AFC Asian Cup
AWER’S AWARD: Mabil wins global award for refugee work in Kenya
“I’ve probably got six spots at the moment, six places where there are questions marks,” said Arnold on Tuesday at the unveiling of new a new logo for the Caltex Socceroos.
“The players have got three weeks to show me and nail down that position. We will name the squad around the week before Christmas and it will be clear to everyone.
“There’s a spot in every [position]. It’s up to the players to show their performances, to show their form and to show their qualities.
“I expect their standards to be high, we expect them to come into camp 100% fit. We are monitoring everything they are doing at the moment. There will be no surprises.”
Hyundai A-League stars pressing their claims
Arnold has been keeping a close eye on performances of players in the Hyundai A-League and admitted there are a host of names in contention to make his squad.
“The boys in the A-League are doing exceptionally well,” he said.
“Brandon O’Neill, Craig Goodwin again, Adam Taggart, although he unfortunately got injured but he’ll be fine…Chris Ikonomidis, the list goes on and it’s exciting times.
“The style we expect to play is with a lot of energy, a lot of legs and the young boys are coming.”
Settling into the new attacking style
Since he took the reins following June’s FIFA World Cup, Arnold has so far had just the three camps and three matches with his squad to implement his attacking approach.
Even in such a short time, Arnold has been impressed with how quickly the players have adapted to the style, confident it will help bring out Australia’s best in the UAE.
“If there was one surprise [from the first two camps] it’s just how quickly the boys have taken the information in because we’ve completely changed the style of play and it takes a lot of energy the way we expect to play.
“All it took was two or three training sessions on the pitch.
“They bought into what we expect from them and went out and put in two fantastic performances. I’m extremely excited to coach this group of players and we’re looking forward to the Asian Cup.”
The Caltex Socceroos' first pool game is against Jordan on January 6.
23s show good signs against tough Tigers team
Australia U-23 National Team Head Coach Graham Arnold believes Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Malaysia U-23 at the Shah Alam Stadium close to Kuala Lumpur was the ‘perfect’ preparation for his squad leading up to Friday’s 2020 AFC U-23 Championship Qualification opener against Cambodia i
Aussies Abroad: Ryan sends Brighton to FA Cup semi-finals
Caltex Socceroos goalkeeper Mathew Ryan was the penalty shoot-out hero for Brighton and Hove Albion as the Premier League side beat Millwall 5-4 on penalties (2-2 after full-time) in an electrifying FA Cup quarter-final tie overnight. The 26-year-old former Hyundai A-League st
Aussies Abroad: Heartbreak for Mooy, Leckie as Milligan extends winning run with Hibs
A couple of Caltex Socceroos were involved in thrillers overnight while there was a midfield battle between two Aussies in the Championship. Read on for our full wrap of Caltex Socceroos in action on Sunday morning (AEDT). Aaron Mooy played 90 minutes as his Huddersfield To
Arnold takes positives from first friendly as U-23s continue crucial camp
Australian U-23 national team head coach Graham Arnold said his squad could take plenty of positives away from their friendly against Malaysian top-flight side Petaling Jaya City FC on Thursday evening, despite incurring a 2-0 defeat. In oppressive conditions in Shah Alam clo