Who Will Start in Goal for the Socceroos?
Bert van Marwijk has some very big calls to make before the Socceroos head to Russia for a crack at the 2018 World Cup.
What is the best formation to get the best out of his new team? Does Aaron Mooy deserve a place in midfield? What is the right blend of attack and defence?
Australia are available at a huge price of $401 with Unibet to win the World Cup. Nobody believes that’s a possibility but if van Marwijk gets things right, there’s a chance the Socceroos will make it out of the group stage at $4.50 with Palmerbet.
That’s a big if though with so much up in the air for van Marwijk.
Among his biggest concerns is which goalkeeper to make his number one. It wasn’t that long ago that pundits were heralding a golden age of Australian goalkeeping with the emergence of Mat Ryan and Mitch Langerak but van Marwijk has claimed the position of Socceroos’ number one is still up for grabs so who are the main contenders?
Mat Ryan (Brighton)
Brighton fans were far from convinced that the club had made the right decision signing Mat Ryan to replace David Stockdale. They’ve changed their tune over the course of the season though.
Ryan has grown into life in English football and is a big why the Seagulls are set to avoid relegation.
The 26-year-old’s club form should make him the Socceroos’ number one (he has 42 caps already) but he let four goals in against Norway recently and still has to prove himself to van Marwijk.
Brad Jones (Feyenoord)
It’s tough for goalkeepers to rid themselves of a reputation for making mistakes. Brad Jones is one of those keepers whose past errors proceed him but the 36-year-old really doesn’t do himself any favours.
Jones was recently at fault for a horrible goal when playing for Feyenoord in the Netherlands. He made similar errors during his time in English football and although he was recalled to the Socceroos squad by van Marwijk, he’ll surely be a squad player at best for the World Cup.
Mitch Langerak (Nagoya Grampus)
If Ange Postecoglou was still in charge of the Australian national team there is every chance that Mitch Langerak would be between the sticks at the World Cup. The former Socceroos’ manager was a big fan of the 29-year-old stopped but Langerak was culled from the squad by van Marwijk.
Langerak may be the first choice keeper for Nagoya Grampus but the poor form of the Japanese team is not helping his chances of forcing his way back into van Marwijk’s plans.
Danny Vukovic (Genk)
After spending most of his career in Australia, Danny Vukovic is now turning out for Genk in Belgium. He’s generally done well in Belgium and clearly impressed van Marwijk as he finally made his debut under the new Socceroos manager on his 33rd birthday.
It’s tough to imagine that Vukovic will do enough to get the number one jersey ahead of Mat Ryan but there is every chance that he’ll make the trip to Russia.