Who Should Make the Cut from the Turkey Training Camp?
Bert van Marwijk has had to work hard to quickly win the respect and support of the Australia squad.
The Dutchman’s previous achievements in the game – which include taking the Netherlands to the World Cup final in 2010 – meant his short term appointment was greeted with a fair amount of support but it’s crucial that he can get his players to run through walls for him.
It appears as though the work that van Marwijk has put in is already yielding results. He showed his tactical knowledge and ability to get his message across to his players when making immediate changes after Australia’s 4-1 defeat against Norway and his attention to detail has continued to shine through in the pre-World Cup training camp.
Van Marwijk and his coaching staff are putting the preliminary Socceroos squad through their paces in Belek. The initial reports are that the players are very impressed by what they’ve found but for some it’s all going to end in disappointment.
The new Socceroos manager has some tough decisions to make in the not too distant future in terms of which players will be part of his squad in Russia and will unfortunately miss the cut. So, which fringe players should van Marwijk make sure to take?
Ange Postecoglou knows this current crop of Socceroos players better than anybody and he’s advised van Marwijk to take the veteran Tim Cahill to Russia.
The 38-year-old has served his country with distinction on the pitch and still knows the way to goal when given the chance. He’s unlikely to start the first game against France (you can back him to do just that at $6.00 with Palmerbet if you disagree) but we think Cahill should make the cut.
Van Marwijk is able to rely on him if required off the bench while his experience and motivation in the camp will be another plus.
From one extreme to the other. While Cahill is the oldest and most capped player in Turkey, 19-year-old Daniel Arzani is yet to play for the Socceroos. And yet, we think he deserves a place in the World Cup squad.
International managers have often taken a risk by adding young, untested players to their World Cup squads and while it doesn’t always pan out, Arzani is worth a punt.
The Melbourne City midfielder can play through the middle or out wide and his dribbling ability means he is the sort of player van Marwijk can turn to if and when the Socceroos are in need of a goal.
Lack of experience is the main concern but players have to be given their head at some stage and taking Arzani could be seen as an investment in the future of the Socceroos.
Arzani and Cahill are likely to be used off the bench if in Russia, and it’s the same for Dimitri Petratos.
Van Marwijk is surely going to start with two defensive midfielders sat in front of the defence. That will hopefully make the Socceroos tough to break down but they’ll need some pace and creativity to be effective on the counter.
That’s where Petratos potentially comes in if and when the first choice options behind the striker don’t work. The 25-year-old has scored 10 goals since returning to the A-League from South Korea and looks a decent bet to score against France at $13 with Unibet.