GRAHAM Arnold has declared he has interest from all over the world as the Socceroos continue to search for a new manager.
As Sydney FC prepare to take on Adelaide on Sunday, Arnold was again asked about links to the national team jobs as the Daily Telegraph reported big interest from New Zealand.
According to the report, which had previously been circulated in New Zealand press, Arnold is “seriously considering” an approach from the New Zealand All Whites while FFA have not approached him.
Goal.com reported that a Middle Eastern country has also spoken to Arnold about taking charge of the national team as the Socceroos job remains vacant.
“When you’re winning and you have success you have interest,” declared Arnold on Friday when asked about how attractive a potential national team job offer would be.
“They aren’t the only one interested at the moment – I’ve had a fair bit of interest from around the world.
“I’m like a player – if a player’s doing well and has success, they get interest. And I’m no different but as I’ve said so before, I have a contract with Sydney FC and I’m just preparing for the game against Adelaide on Sunday.”
Arnold added: “I’ve had no contact with FFA, I can honestly say that. I don’t control the decisions they make. If they haven’t had time to do what they need to do [to find a coach], I can’t control that. I just need to do what I do.”
Arnold’s response comes a day after Fox Sports football expert Robbie Slater lashed FFA’s “faceless men” over their “farcical” pursuit of Ange Postecoglou’s replacement.
“The farcical pursuit of a national coach is ridiculous and embarrassing,” Slater said on Just For Kicks . “We do not have a national coach — we’ve got a friendly in March, we’ve got a World Cup in six months. Pick a national coach.
“We’re using consultants, and I’m hearing — and I’d like this confirmed — we’re paying money to consultants. I’ve heard of Gerard Houllier, I’ve heard of Andy Roxburgh.
“Why? What are they going to tell us about what we need? Don’t we have a technical director, Eric Abrahams? That’s his job to do that, along with Luke Casserly.
“These are the faceless men leading us on a farcical pursuit of a national team coach. We need one and we need one now. We don’t need one now, we needed one a month ago.
“Ange Postecoglou left in November. It’s not good enough on all levels. The FFA, lift your game or change your game.
“People are under pressure at the FFA. They closed their offices over Christmas. Open on the 8th of January. Not good enough — it’s our busiest time of the year.”
CITY CONFIRM YOUNG GUN RE-SIGNING
Melbourne City have confirmed Tasmanian product Nathaniel Atkinson has signed on for a further two years to remain with the club until the end of the 2019-20 season.
Atkinson has become a main contributor for City’s A-League team, being part of the youth team over the last two and half years.
The 18-year-old earned a senior call up against the Central Coast Mariners in early December, and has played in six consecutive A-League matches.
City coach Warren Joyce spoke about the young midfielder’s attributes and character, with the hard work helping as he broke into the first team.
“Nathaniel has shown determination and character to apply himself well at training and break into the first team,” Joyce said on Friday.
“He’s a player I have been impressed by since I first came to the club and he’s worked hard, made sacrifices and demonstrated versatility to play a variety of roles for the senior team.”
Atkinson said he was honoured to extend his contract with City, and said to sign a senior dream has always been his goal.
“It’s an honour to extend my contract with Melbourne City,” the youngster said.
“My first aim was to play for a professional club, and now to have signed a senior deal is a dream come true.”
“I appreciate the opportunity the coaching staff have given me; hopefully I can continue to repay them with positive performances.”
Atkinson will fly out with the team as City battle eighth-placed Central Coast Mariners in Gosford on Sunday night.
— with Michael Thompson