Australia goalkeeper Mathew Ryan said he would love to work under Graham Arnold amid growing reports the former Socceroos head coach could replace Ange Postecoglou.
Postecoglou walked away from the Socceroos following Australia’s successful World Cup play-off against Honduras in November, and there is speculation that Football Federation Australia (FFA) has offered the job to Sydney FC boss Arnold.
Arnold has dismissed the claims, while A-League champions Sydney FC reportedly warned FFA to stay away from the 54-year-old ahead of the 2018 World Cup.
The former Australia international briefly took charge of the Socceroos following Guus Hiddink’s departure in 2006 – overseeing a disappointing 2007 Asian Cup campaign, while he handed Brighton and Hove Albion star Ryan his debut at the Central Coast Mariners.
— Caltex Socceroos (@Socceroos) December 14, 2017
And Ryan has backed Arnold to lead the Socceroos at the World Cup in Russia next year, where they will face France, Denmark and Peru in Group C.
“Part of being a footballer is being adaptable to teams you’re facing and adaptable to whatever coach,” Ryan told Omnisport.
“We will buy into it regardless of the coach. I have a lot of respect for Arnie.
“He’s definitely someone I would love to be representing Australia under. I think Arnie would do a great job for Australia.”
Arnold is among a host of names linked with the Socceroos after World Cup-winning head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari revealed he had been contacted by FFA.
Jurgen Klinsmann and Sven-Goran Eriksson are also believed to be interested following Postecoglou’s exit.
Asian Cup-winning boss Postecoglou surprisingly stepped down after leading Australia to a fourth successive World Cup via an inter-confederation play-off against Honduras last month.
Ryan, who joined Premier League newcomers Brighton from LaLiga outfit Valencia in the off-season, paid tribute to the 52-year-old.
Nice to rebound with our 6th clean sheet of the season, we’ll keep fighting for that win. pic.twitter.com/tWPb5sLJPi
— Maty Ryan (@MatyRyan) December 17, 2017
“He valued me as an important part of the team,” the 25-year-old added. “Everyone bought into his philosophy.
“He wanted to change the perception that Australia isn’t a football nation, that we can play attractive football. He didn’t fear any opposition, whether it was Tajikistan or Kyrgyzstan, or Germany or Holland, we went in with a similar approach, not changing philosophy. Fear factor was evident under Ange, no excuses.”
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