Before the meeting between Australia and China in Doha on Friday morning (AEST), Graham Arnold faced the media to provide an insight into the progress of the preparations.
As we run up to our Asian qualifying finals opening game, check out some of the key talking points the Socceroos head coach has discussed.
To cope with logistical challenges in preparation:
“We couldn’t train two nights ago because the players were waiting for their PCR tests, but they played club football over the weekend. So I didn’t stress myself, the most important thing was that the boys were fine. It’s about the players and helping them with it, so we had a fun stretch, social distancing at the hotel and doing the right things. It’s a challenge but the most important thing is that we stay positive and that we enjoy our time together – work on it me hard. ”
On the absence of assistant coaches René Meulensteen (tested positive for asymptomatic COVID-19) and Tony Vidmar (due to quarantine restrictions in SA):
“I have great confidence in my staff. Rene is a fantastic assistant. The fact that he can’t be here because he tested positive last week was a blow. Tony Vidmar, who has to go through double quarantine after the Olympics, is a blow, too.” “. But they both still work remotely for me on the zoom calls and we talk and communicate and develop a game plan. The only difference is that I do everything here on site. ”
Graham Arnold is in the absence of Meulensteen and Vidmar. Assisted by Football Australia Technical Director Trevor Morgan
When connecting with new and returning members of the cadre:
“They are in the best of spirits. Just to see the smiles on their faces when they walk into camp and see players they haven’t seen in 18 months – Tommy Rogic, Aaron Mooy, Bailey Wright. See some new players in Callum Elder, Paul Izzo and Ryan Strain, and welcoming them to the Socceroo family. We also see the guys who played great in Kuwait reconnect. That’s the most important thing. “
On Maty Ryan’s fitness:
“Mat looks fantastic. We only had one restart session last night, so I can honestly sit here and say that I haven’t decided on the entire surprise line-up yet. I have to see them tonight in our only tactical session . ” . But Mat looks fantastic, he trained well last night. All the guys were amazing last night. The energy was great and as I said, for me it’s just about coming to this place and enjoying it and making Australia proud. “
When choosing a start XI:
“We’re going to look at the players tonight and the most important thing is the personal conversations I have with the players today to see where they stand and how they feel about this game. Mabil is doing well in Midtjylland, Daniel Arzani apparently.” come in, you can use Jackson Irvine upstairs if necessary. You have (Tom) Rogic there, (Ajdin) Hrustic who can play higher on the field. I haven’t decided on a starting grid at the moment. “
2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar ™ – AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar (Finals)
Australia versus China PR
Date: Thursday, September 2, 2021
Venue: Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar
Kick-off: 9:00 p.m. local time (4:00 a.m. AEST – Friday, September 3, 2021)
Broadcast: Live and Free in Australia on Channel 10 – Pre-match coverage from 3:30 a.m. AEST
The Socceroos’ second game of the upcoming FIFA window will take place on Tuesday, September 7, 2021, against Vietnam with kick-off at 10:00 p.m. CEST.