Graham Arnold and hardman Kevin Muscat were named as potential
Australia coaches on Thursday after Ange Postecoglou failed to
allay fears he'll quit even if the Socceroos qualify for the
Postecoglou declined to confirm or deny reports Wednesday that he
planned to walk, either before or after the Socceroos face
Honduras in a critical home-and-away play-off next month for a
place at the 2018 Russia tournament.
Local reports said Football Federation Australia boss David
Gallop was one of those unaware of Postecoglou's intentions
before the reports broke, leaving him furious as he scrambled to
find out the facts.
The Australian newspaper said Postecoglou had become increasingly
restless, fed up with criticism from the media and public after a
string of mediocre results, and wanted to get back into club
It said a lucrative deal with a Chinese Super League club opened
up for him several months ago, but it fell through.
Brisbane Roar coach John Aloisi told reporters Thursday he'd be
surprised if criticism had driven his close friend and mentor to
"He must have his reasons. That's all I can say," Aloisi said.
"Everyone wants to go to a World Cup as a player, as a coach, so
he must have his reasons why.
"It's a bit of a shock. But still, we haven't heard if it's 100
percent true or not."
- 'It's not innuendo' -
Sydney FC coach Arnold, seen as a frontrunner for his second
stint with the Socceroos, said it was "not real" until
Postecoglou himself confirmed he was leaving.
"I haven't read anything or seen anything where Ange has come out
and said that (he's leaving)," Arnold said.
"So at the moment, I think it's not innuendo, but it's not real."
Veteran striker Tim Cahill said he was disappointed the story was
overshadowing the Socceroos' 2-1 win against Syria this week that
set up the Honduras clash.
"It is just speculation," said the 37-year-old, who scored both
goals in the extra-time win.
"I feel that this angle, the day after the biggest game in
Australian soccer to qualify for a fourth consecutive World Cup,
is not needed. Especially now."
Along with Arnold, Melbourne Victory coach Muscat is considered a
potential candidate, but the lure of taking a team to the World
Cup would probably attract high-profile overseas candidates.
The Sydney Morning Herald said the FFA had a seven-figure budget
to hire the right man, should they qualify for Russia.
Those already linked to the job include Iran coach Carlos Queiroz
and Italian Gianni De Biasi, who was previously approached about
taking over, according to the Australian Broadcasting
Portugal's Queiroz, a former assistant coach at Manchester
United, helped Iran qualify for Russia with room to spare, while
De Biasi is at Spain's Deportivo Alaves after six years with
Australia have had foreign coaches in the past, including
Dutchmen Pim Verbeek and Guus Hiddink, along with Germany's
Postecoglou took over after Osieck's sacking in 2013, and signed
a five-year contract that is due to expire after next year's
Under the former Brisbane Roar coach, Australia exited the 2014
World Cup at the group stage but they lifted the Asian Cup, their
first major trophy, the following year.