Record-breaking Arnold still seeking Socceroos ruthlessness following Bangladesh battering

Subway Socceroos coach Graham Arnold says while the team played well against Bangladesh, he still wants more from them.

Australia put Bangladesh to the sword with a 7-0 win on Thursday night in Melbourne.

They went into the sheds with a four-goal advantage, something Arnold was targeting ahead of the Palestine match in a few day's time.

In his record 59th match in charge of Australia, he praised the group's mentality but explained he was still looking for more goals from the chances created.

“A goal of ours was to get three or four goals in the first half so I could take off three of the older boys [Jackson Irvine, Craig Goodwin and Mitchell Duke] to get them ready for Palestine,” Arnold said. 

“The most important thing for me was the mentality from the boys. If they had a mindset of complacency, then we wouldn’t have had that performance.

“Every player on the pitch put in 100% - they weren’t sloppy at all, which was good.

“We still need to be a bit more ruthless in front of goal. It could have been double figures easily and it should have been. Those things we’ve got to learn to be more ruthless and finish them off.”

Arnold noted the depth that is being built at the Socceroos following the debut of Kusini Yengi.

The forward offers another big presence up front, giving the coach an opportunity to rely less on Mitchell Duke.

Jamie Maclaren showed his quality as well, with the poacher scoring a second-half hat-trick against Bangladesh.

Fullback Lewis Miller continued his run in the Australia team with an assured performance on the right side of defence, with Ryan Strain and Nathaniel also options in that position.

Arnold expressed his delight at the options throughout the team ahead of a packed and important schedule coming up.

“It’s creating that depth. We’ve still got Nathaniel Atkinson to come back. Ryan Strain was outstanding against England. It’s giving these kids the opportunity to get to know the other players,” he said. 

“When I look at the last four or five years, I’ve had to heavily rely on Mitchell Duke because of a lack of big strikers coming through. Kusini was very good when he came on, he could’ve scored, and you can see by his physique that he can cause some havoc in the penalty box.”

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Despite now coaching the most ‘A’ International matches out of any Australian coach, Arnold said he always learning.

He gave the example of the last World Cup qualifying run, where he noticed a drop-off in performance, going from playing at home to backing up with an away match.

Therefore, he has tweaked the schedule to give the players an extra day off in Melbourne before heading to Kuwait for Wednesday’s match, hoping for a fresher group.

“Each time we did that [played home and then away], our second game was average - we dropped points,” Arnold said.

“We drew against Oman away, we drew against China away, we lost to Saudi Arabia away. When I look back at those games and look back on that campaign, it was down to fatigue.

“I’ve got to change something to try and fix that.”

Australia will look to make it two-from-two against Palestine early on Wednesday morning to make a statement in their 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign. 

Graham Arnold: Very proud of the boys | Interview | World Cup 2026 Qualifiers



Palestine v Subway Socceroos
Tuesday, 21 November
Jaber Al-Ahmed International Stadium, Kuwait
Kick-off: 5.00pm (local) / 1am AEDT (Wednesday, 22 November)
Broadcast: Network 10 and Paramount+