Graham Arnold to be named new Socceroos coach

Graham Arnold socceroos

Australian football's worst-kept secret will be confirmed today, with Graham Arnold to be announced as the Socceroos long-term, post-World Cup coach.

The current Sydney FC coach has been linked with the post since Ange Postecoglou's shock resignation following qualification for the tournament in Russian Federation, but ruled himself out of the running to immediately take over to focus on winning back-to-back A-League titles with the Sky Blues.

Arnold was briefly Socceroos boss for 12 months following the 2006 FIFA World Cup and Guus Hiddink's departure - mostly in a caretaker capacity - enduring a sorry Asian Cup campaign before reverting back to his assistant-coach role when Pim Verbeek took over.

Barlow conceded losing Arnold was a blow despite the long-term Socceroos coach's guarantee he remains exclusively focused on guiding Sydney to back-to-back A-League titles before taking up his national-team post.

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Since then, Arnold has managed club sides Central Coast Mariners, Vegalta Sendai and Sydney, and despite his time in Japan proving fruitless, the 57-year-old has been overwhelmingly successful.

"It is a very great honour to coach your national team", Arnold, who scored 19 goals in 56 appearances for the Socceroos in the 1980s and 90s, said in a statement on Thursday.

"It feels like I have never left", Arnold said Thursday.

"We'll fight right to the death, same as with the A-League we go into every game expecting to win so we'll give everything we've got", Arnold said.

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FFA chairman Steven Lowy said Arnold was always the No. 1 candidate. "I have been heavily involved in the Socceroos for a long time".

"Arnie is clearly in our opinion the best person for the job, not just the best Australian but the best person for the job", he said. "That person was Graham Arnold". Australia, now ranked 36th, opens play in a tough and daunting Group C against ninth-ranked France on June 16 in Kazan, with later matches against No. 11-ranked Peru and No. 12 Denmark.

Arnold's first major assignment will be Australia's Asian Cup defense in the United Arab Emirates next January.

While the pair have both held coaching roles at Sydney before, a cross-town move would be tough to swallow for both sets of fans, in particular the Wanderers, who lost them on the eve of this season for an ill-fated stint in Turkey.

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"I won't be getting under his feet but I will be cheering him and the team on from the stands".

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