‘Wow! He’s a kid you could throw into the set up’
LONG-TERM Socceroos coaching aspirant Graham Arnold has a bolt-from-the-blue suggestion as to who Bert van Marwijk might pick for the trip to Russia.
Arnold, who will likely take over the national role after the World Cup, is a big fan of emerging Melbourne City talent Daniel Arzani.
The forward hadn't started an A-League game until three weeks ago against Perth Glory but he already counts Arnold, who saw the 19-year-old in person on Thursday night against Newcastle Jets, in his fan club.
"There's some impressive kids around. Arzani ... wow," he said.
"He's a kid you could nearly throw in (to the Socceroos set-up). He's brave. He's prepared to do anything.
"I really liked the way he stepped up for that penalty.
"A foreign coach might see him and go, 'Wow'.
"An Australian coach might say, 'Maybe he's not ready'.
"I think that will be the difference. All Australian players are on alert that they have to perform to get chosen."
Meanwhile, Arnold says the FFA were right to not pick him for the national team and instead turn to Dutchman Bert van Marwijk to lead Australia to the World Cup.
Arnold believes the Socceroos will be revitalised by the appointment of the 65-year-old, who steered his own nation to the 2010 World Cup final.
The Sky Blues boss was the right-hand man of much-loved former Socceroos coach Guus Hiddink and saw the shock factor first hand in the lead-up to the 2006 tournament.
"I had the experience of working with Guus and seeing that a change in things and how (players) can react to a short-term appointment," he said.
"A guy is walking in there that's been in a World Cup final ... you'll get a very positive reaction like a shock effect to the players."
Arnold said FFA and van Marwijk would be finalising plans to scout players - at home and abroad - for the next five months in the lead-up to Russia. Plenty are in England, led by Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield), Mat Ryan (Brighton) and Ange Postecoglou's captain Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa).
Several more and in his native Netherlands and close by in Germany and Belgium. Much like under Postecoglou, and as Arnold did for Hiddink, every player will be monitored and assessed.
"He will come here to look at the A-League to see what its about ... he'll have his team over there going to watch the Australian boys at their clubs," he said.
"Guus was still coaching PSV at the time but I was doing all the work here. They'll sort it out. They know what they're doing."