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.
FFA congratulates Young Socceroos on AFF U-18 Championship success
Football Federation Australia Chief Executive David Gallop AM has paid tribute to the Young Socceroos, who beat Malaysia 1-0 overnight in the final of the 2019 AFF U-18 Championship in Vietnam. Gallop said the whole squad and coaching staff should be delighted with their achie
Joeys U-17 and U-15 squads in camp at the AIS
Joeys head coach Trevor Morgan has assembled the two age groups at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) this week, as an important part of the development of the men?s football pathway. The U-17 squad is in camp from 19 to 22 August and the U-15 squad from 22 to 25 August,
Young Socceroos lift AFF U-18 Championship after thrilling, late winner
Lachlan Brook hit a late match-winner as the Young Socceroos secured the 2019 AFF U-18 Championship title with a 1-0 victory over Malaysia. Adelaide United forward Brook broke the deadlock in the 79th minute with a delicate finish over Malaysian goalkeeper Firdaus Iman Mohd Fa
Aussies Abroad: Behich makes debut for İstanbul Basaksehir
Caltex Socceroos defender Aziz Behich made his Turkish Super Lig debut for Istanbul Basaksehir but his new side fell to a 3-0 defeat in the season opener against Yeni Malatyaspor. Behich started alongside the likes of ex-Chelsea striker Demba Ba and former Bundesliga star Elje