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Graham Arnold, Joke or Genius

What do you guys think of Graham Arnold as a coach. I personally feel that he was terrible and I have multiple reasons:

Squad Management
Tactics and Player Selection


To be honest I have never seen a worse preparation for a major tournament than the one Australia had before the Asian Cup this year.

The players were lethargic in all their group stage games.

The players didn't seem to know what to do and communication was lacking in every game.

The passing between players and their first touch was appaling.

It is worth noting that the idea that a long European season wore the players out is bogus as Iran had the same problem, yet seemed fresh. I will admit the conditions may have played a part but a good preparation and acclimatising should have eliminated the problem. In the 2002 WC form example European teams didn't all collapse in Asia with 2 of the top 4 being European. it is a problem that can (and should) be overcome.

Squad Management

Again an area that Australia were probably the worst in the competition. The lack of preperation was an evident problem as partnerships didn;t work at all. Particularly in the defence.

Tactics and Player Selection

Arnold chose to stick with the 4-2-3-1 that had worked for Australia in the 2006 WC, believing it would acheive the same success. Lack of left back was a constant issue in this structure and when Arnold finally came to his senses in the third group game and played 352 with wingbacks he finally profited as in david carney he had a player who could be a catalist in attack while being fairly solid in defence.

My biggest issue however was player selection. The following players should not have played as much as they did:

Patrick Kisnorbo
Brett Holman

Kisnorbo is an Ok club player in England, where size is a must for centre backs. But against fast South East Asian attrackers his lack of pace was exposed and his lack of team unity and his ball watching shown by Iraq's second goal in their 3-1 won over the Aussies.

Brett Holamn was in my opinion the worst player in the tournament for any team (yes, worse than the Malaysians). He lost the ball nearly everytime he had it and if that wasn't enough he squandered many great opportunities to score. In the Oman game, I couldn't count one time where in possession he didn't either lose the ball or spray a shot off target.

Both of these players have good attributes. Kisnorbo his strength and Holman his flair but they cannot rely solely on these attributes for success in International football and must improve their overall games and particularly decision making and consistency.

What do you think?

EDIT: Sorry about the poll problem

:cry: RIP Vincenzo Paparelli. Killed by an AS Roma flare in 1979. :cry:
:cry: RIP Gabriele Sandri. Killed by a Police Officer in 2007. :cry:

at first i was very angry about the asian cup and blamed Graham Arnold, but now i see it differently. I agree that he should go, but not that he lost the tournament. The players didn't perform, they just didn't do enough to win. They seemed to flat in every game, unlike in Germany when they were on form and had a fizz about them, like they were hyped up, they were boring to watch in Asia. I agree completely with what Craig Foster says, we have to use short passing and skill to win games, not by running the opposition to death, Australia just didn't do that. I think Graham Arnold is partially to blame, he made the players play this ugly and terrible type of football. I say he is neither, not a great coach, not a failure either, the only way he is a failure is if you compare him to Hiddink, who was the best thing for Australia, he in my opinion is the most important non-player figure in all of Australia's football history. Also, i disagree that Kisnorbo and Holman played terribly. Kisnorbo played well when he could, for someone who doesnt get the credit of Lucas Neil for doing the same job, i think he deserves. Kisnorbo wasn't great but he didn't make any terrible mistakes. I think Beauchamp is far better than both of them, if Craig Moore was playing, him and Beachump should be the 1st choice Centre Backs. Brett Holman was inexperienced compared to some other players, and for his age and his opportunity i think he did well enough. To compare him to great players such as Kewell, Bresciano, Cahill etc is not fair, they were no better at that age, i think he has a long way to go but will end as one of Australia's starting XI.
I completely agree with you.

We need to play a short passing game.
We try to play an English style and I believe that television companies are to blame there. If you don't have ESPN you essentially cannot watch La Liga or Serie A etc.

With the whole Centre defence thing I agree with you except I do believe Mark Milligan deserves a mention.

I never said Brett Holman would never make it, nor did I compare him to Kewell, Cahill and Bresciano at that age. I agree that with experience he can become a good player. he has natural flair, but I believe that he needs to work on his consistency and ability to play in tight spaces. Against China (before the Asian Cup) he was great, but he had space to play in. He didn't get that in the Asian Cup and was greatly disappointing.

:cry: RIP Vincenzo Paparelli. Killed by an AS Roma flare in 1979. :cry:
:cry: RIP Gabriele Sandri. Killed by a Police Officer in 2007. :cry:

i agree with you definitely about playing styles. Most Australian coaches are were taught English style when they were young so that is what they teach to us, and only the very best players get overseas coaches with better knowledge. I know lots of people that think the Premier League is the best, i think it is a good league, but the overall standard of ALL the teams is quite low. Only some of the best teams like Arsenal, well maybe only Arsenal, play a fluent passing game. The lower standard teams all play like children, kicking and chasing. In La Liga and Serie A at least all teams play intelligent football, even the bottom of table teams, its all about possesion.

And i am sorry, i should have mentioned Milligan. He played very well, he was full of energy it seemed, but he made one tiny mistake, but his performance was good enough to overshadow it. Maybe i was a bit agressive when talking about Holman i know, but i misinterpreted your message, and didn't read it properly. I think he was a bit too eager, he showed that alot as well against Singapore before the cup, he would rush forward, that is one thing he must be able to control, to rush forward at the right time, not to keep going at them, because a skillful disciplined defence can handle it everytime.
I completely agree with you.

btw what line-up do you think we should play?

I think Carney can develop into a left back or Milligan should play there. Until then I believe we should play 3 or 5 at the back.

:cry: RIP Vincenzo Paparelli. Killed by an AS Roma flare in 1979. :cry:
:cry: RIP Gabriele Sandri. Killed by a Police Officer in 2007. :cry:

i really don't know a good line up, i suppose this would be my starting XI assuming all players were fit and in full form.


Keeper- Schwarzer

Centre Backs -Beauchamp, Kisnorbo, Neil (Moore would be in there if he was playing, i don't know whats happening bout him.)

Wing Backs (i count as midfields) -Emerton, Milligan. (i agree with you about that Carney could play there, but im so used to seeing him play way more attacking for Sydney so i just cant say for sure, i would put Chipperfield in, but like Moore, i don't know if he is still playing, or is he injured, u know anything bout them?)

Defensive Midfield - Grella, who else.

Then i would like two attacking sort of players up front in midfield, like Brazil how they had Ronaldinho and Kaka, i would put Kewell and Bresciano, Cahill would probably come on for Kewell at some stage, i don't think Kewell has the pace left in him to play out wide any more.

Up front: The duke, and Aloisi. Also i would like to see Josh Kennedy come back, he was mad in Germany.
Sounds pretty good.

As far as I know Moore and Chippers are both retired from international football.

I am not a huge fan of Kewell in the centre of midfield. He can still beat a man and get crosses in, but I wouldn't start him:

If we persist with a back four I would do this


If Breciano comes on as a right winger he cuts inside. This allows:
Him to support Dukes
Allows Emerton to use the flank

The starting wingers switch.

The middle is an enigne room with three haard working players

Cahill as an impact player
Kewell is the flair player
Bresciano adds spice off the bench :lol:

I would also consider this:

Emerton and Carney are WBs.

Cahill gets into the box for headers.
This team should dominate the middle of the park.
There is a strong areal prescence too and against particularly South-East Asian opposition this team would pose a real threat.

As you can see I like to have impact players on the bench but dominant players to begin with.

Also, who do you think should coach Australia.

I believe Advocaat is OK but can have brain explosions eg. bringing Robben off at Euro 2004.

I know this is completely random but I would approach Johan Cruyff to coach us. He ticks all the boxes:

Dutch (plays similar to, and can continue the work of Hiddink)
Plays attractive football (get more people into the game)
Reputation (''')
Proven record as a manager (Ajax and Barca)

:cry: RIP Vincenzo Paparelli. Killed by an AS Roma flare in 1979. :cry:
:cry: RIP Gabriele Sandri. Killed by a Police Officer in 2007. :cry:

i don't know who should coach us, Cruyff would be great, very high profile, don't know if he would want to. I don't know alot about Advocaat, but i know he didn't do very well with Korea, but i know he has succeeded in other roles. I have a crazy thought as well, i think that we should bring in Luiz Felipe Scolari, coach of Brazil in 02 and Portugal in 06, maybe as a technical coach, just a small role, because he always brings flair and excitement to the teams he coaches, and success. However, i don't know how well he would adapt to Australia, it is much different to Brazil and Portugal, who play very similar football. But yeah, thats just an idea, but who knows, it could work.
graham arnold is a bloody joke australia need to dump him get a good coach like hiddink :D