Talking Points: Graham Arnold's squad for Mexico match

Graham Arnold spoke to the media as the latest Subway Socceroos squad was announced for the upcoming international friendly against Mexico at AT&T Stadium on September 10 (AEST). 

Watch the video in the player above or read on to find out more about Arnold's selection.

READ MORE: Subway Socceroos squad named to face Mexico
READ MORE: Our History vs Mexico
READ MORE: How to watch: Mexico vs Australia


Playing in the United States at a FIFA World Cup 2026™ 

I was really excited to be able to come here, to have this fixture against Mexico here in the US, Dallas. A few of the boys can start the experience of what it will be like here in 2026. So for us, it's fantastic to be here and we're looking forward to the match.

Sam Silvera's inclusion and the Boro boys

I was away overseas for the last two and a half weeks looking at players. Being close and seeing them live is a completely different thing to sitting at home watching them on the computer. I've had a great experience catching up with all the boys. Sammy Silvera’s doing very, very well with Middlesborough. I had a meeting with Michael Carrick, everything is really really positive about himself, Riley (McGree) and Tommy Glover there. So, I was able to go and watch a lot of the boys play and they're probably the ones that have been included that were impressive when I went and watched them play, but also, they’re fully match fit, and they're ready to go against a nation that's ranked number 12 in the world.

Silvera's scintillating form

Already, (he's Silvera) probably played 10 games. And, by the end of this September, you would have already played half the season in the A-League (Men’s). So he's doing very, very well. He's playing on the right-hand side at Middlesbrough as a right winger out-and-out, very good. I watched him twice when I was in the UK. It was only a couple of nights ago against Bolton Wanderers. And he's doing very very well but, just think that in the A-League [Men’s] at times, he was a bit hot and cold but he's he seems to be performing more at a good level now.

The inclusion of two A-League Men’s players

If I wasn't short of players in those positions, then I probably would have gone down a different avenue again. I don't want to carry on about this. I want this to be a positive meeting at the end of the day. When A-League (Men’s) is not playing; there’s no match minutes. We're playing a top-12 country in the world that we need players that are fit and got matches in their legs and with the A-League (Men’s) not started again and we've been talking about this for a number of years about how it hurts and damages the September and October windows. The hardest thing for me is having to ring those players and tell them that they haven't been selected and it's not your own fault. It's the domestic league and the structure that we have.

Links to Hibernian and two Championship sides

It was an honour that he rang me and offered me the job, but I’ve got a job to do here. I love coaching my nation and I feel that I have a great job. For me, it's all about Mexico and getting ourselves ready for that and developing and helping the boys here in Australia. I spoke to the owner, yes. And at this moment the timing’s not right. I have a job on my hands here. And my full focus is on the Socceroos.

Cristian Volpato, watching players overseas

I haven't been able to get across to Cristian (Volpato). The window before us is about match fitness, and making sure that the players are ready for this Mexico game. I plan to go after this game against Mexico, back over to Europe and head to Italy to catch up with Cristian and have a good chat with him and his family and to see Alessandro Circati in Parma. I know Alessandro is in the squad, but I think it's good that I get across and meet the club and the manager as well. It was fantastic, the two weeks I had, getting around to see Ipswich play against QPR to see what Cam Burgess can do, he's another inclusion in the squad. You can see (Ashley) Maynard-Brewer is in the squad as a goalkeeper. Another young goalkeeper for John Crawley to have a look at but overall, the kids are doing well. And I'm very pleased with the squad that we've got.

Cameron Burgess' maiden call up

I was impressed with his performance, and we've been watching for probably about 12 months. Yeah, and obviously he's done well, in that 12 months. I would have picked him for the China-Argentina game in China, but he was injured and had to have an operation in the off-season. So our connection and our communication has been there now for a good 10 to 12 months and he fully deserves a call-up. It's fantastic to have another left-footed centre-back. He's 1.96m/1.98m. He’s a big boy, physically strong. He's playing a very good level in the Championship with Leicester. 

Aaron Mooy's retirement, squad depth and tactical adjustments 

Aaron (Mooy) was so valuable to us but these things happen and we've just got to move on whether we change the system to cover that with two sixes with Aaron playing as a single six. We've got some other players that are working hard and doing well overseas at the moment. Aiden O’Neill, Keanu Baccus is doing well, Cam Devlin. Mass Luongo. I've watched him play and he was very impressive with Ipswich as well. And he's got that experience, he's 30 years of age. So these type of players are on the radar, but for this one against Mexico this week, we were looking at those younger boys with some good experience around them in players like Jackson Irvine in midfield. 

Denis Genreau's new role and recent form 

He's doing very well. His role has changed a bit at Toulouse. He's more of a number ten now and in those areas in midfield, whether it's the eight or the ten position, or the sixes we've got quite a few options. We’re quite strong in those positions. Denis is obviously doing very, very well in France, and I look forward to seeing him this week.

The regeneration of the squad from Qatar 2022

I don't think we're experimenting much. There has been a couple of retirements in (Danny) Vukovic and Aaron Mooy. The older players, they've got to keep themselves going. We'll see how far that goes. But at the moment, I'm just focusing on this game against Mexico and the Asian Cup and preparing for the Asian Cup and going there with the expectations to do well for the nation and, obviously, perform well. I think the players that we picked fully deserve to be selected and obviously creating that depth. And the other thing is, obviously, Tony Vidmar is with the Olympic team, and he's got some good young players there that probably I would have looked at bringing in as well, but they've got a job to do qualifying for the Olympics first.

Alex Robertson's omission

Alex is at Portsmouth. He’s getting better and better. I just feel that in that position at the moment, we've got some good depth with Denis Genreau, Riley McGree and these players at the end of the day, it's the selection that we went with. It’s good. 

CommBank Matildas' World Cup success

I mean, how many hours have we got? That just shows you that Football is the most popular sport in Australia, it really does. At the end of the day, football's a world sport, a global sport and when there's world cups on, the whole nation gets behind. It's all about what happens after that. And it's up to the organisation and the government to help.

I've been saying for a long, long time now about the domestic competitions, get in line with the national team, national teams to help us perform better and, but also with the government with helping support us with a home of football. That the game, the sport of football, as shown once again, after the Matildas that it's a very, very popular sport in Australia and everyone loves the game loves the national teams and it was great to see.

Ashley Maynard-Brewer's selection

I had him with the Olympic team in 2021 in Tokyo. He’s a very aggressive goalkeeper, but again at this moment in time, it's about (goalkeeper coach) John Crawley, getting the opportunity to learn and see these younger goalkeepers. It was very hard to leave Joe Gauci out and Lawrence Thomas and A-League (Men’s) goalkeepers but again Andrew Redmayne but again, they haven't played any match minutes at the top, like an elite level. And Ashley is playing every week at Charlton and doing well. So it just gives us an opportunity for John Crowley to get to know him and see what his strengths and weaknesses are and that we can help work with that.

Facing Mexico 

They're ranked number 12 in the world for a reason and they play a very good, exciting style of football. 4-3-3. I've been watching now for at least the last month, they’re well coached so I'm looking forward to a fantastic occasion with probably 65 to 70,000 Mexican fans in the stadium and we know that they’ll be right behind him and it's a great test for us to combat that this week.

It's going to be great to see the Mexican wave live, a real one not a false one or like we do in Australia! It's going to be great. That's the purpose of these games is to give the young boys the opportunity because we can strike these type of games and then next World Cup and World Cup qualifiers and this is where you learn, with the players we can deal with these type of moments and occasions. It's going to be a great, great evening and especially at Dallas Cowboys Stadium, which is going to be unique as well for us. So it's going to be a fantastic occasion for everybody.

Fran Karacic and Ajdin Hrustic 

It's not my job to find the clubs for him but obviously it’s a conversation I've had with him. He's off contract so he's free so he doesn't have to get things tied up in the next 24 hours before the window shots. He's looking for a club and so is Ajdin Hrustic at the moment. So, it's up to their agents to do that, but I'm always in contact with them to help if I can.

Exporting talent to Europe

I think they’re getting the exposure and we probably went through a period there where the pathways weren't developing players. And the opportunities were getting there but Melbourne City are doing well in getting those younger players, giving them game time has helped a lot with those kids and it's all about what's next for them. Jordy Boss, he would have been selected but he got appendicitis. Kusini Yengi, I had him selected as well but he got injured with an ankle injury. He’s out for six to eight weeks. So, the kids are getting those opportunities more and, it's just about playing more, if they can, and at a higher level.

Martin Boyle's return after recovering from knee injury

You’ve got to give the guy full credit. He had the operation in November last year, and nine months later, he's back after an ACL when most players take you know, good 10, 11, 12 months so he's done exceptionally well. He's worked extremely hard off the field to get it done. To get back he’s hit the ground running straight away at the hips. And I'll be honest, three weeks ago, I was contemplating not selecting him. Because I didn't think he'd have this type of games under his belt before we got to this game, but I've been watching him play when he's doing exceptionally well. It's great to have him back in if anyone does deserve anything. It's Boley because he's, he's committed to Australia. He's obviously caught that injury but just before the World Cup, boys love him, we love him, and it'll be great to see him back in camp this week.

Nick D’Agostino first call-up in over 12 months

Jason's (Cummings) is doing well but again, it’s given me the opportunity, this game to give players with match minutes in their legs, meaningful games and the Norwegian League has been going on now for about 10 weeks. So, it gives me the opportunity. Jase knows that he's on the list and these players, Brandon Borrello, exactly the same. The list is getting longer and longer and that's the purpose of doing what we're doing with developing as well as giving players the opportunity for what's ahead of us.

International Friendly

Mexico vs Australia
Date: Sunday, 10 September 2023
Venue: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Time: 12:00pm AEST, (9:00pm Saturday, 9 September local time)
Broadcast: Live on Network 10, 10 Play and Paramount+