Socceroos fans criticised Graham Arnold’s tactics after Australia were humbled 4-1 by France on Wednesday morning (AEDT) in their World Cup opener.
The Socceroos took a shock early lead through Craig Goodwin’s wonderful finish and had the defending champions rattled in the opening 20 minutes.
A number of Socceroos fans were unhappy with Graham Arnold’s tactics on Wednesday
Les Bleus’ class, however, eventually shone through as Adrien Rabiot and Olivier Giroud turned the game on its head within four minutes, while Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann ran rampant.
Mbappe added a second after the break, before Giroud completed his double to draw level with Thierry Henry on 51 goals as France’s all-time most prolific goalscorer.
Rabiot’s equaliser appeared to unsettle Australia, with the gameplan that had served the Socceroos so well in the first quarter of the game seemingly abandoned.
And a number of Aussie fans appeared disgruntled with Arnold’s approach.
Craig Goodwin gave Australia a shock early lead with a wonderful finish
But their joy soon evaporated as Adrien Rabiot (right) headed France level
Before Olivier Giroud put the defending champions ahead four minutes later
‘Really liked Harry Kewell on comms,’ tweeted AFL journalist Riley Beveridge.
‘Very insightful throughout and a clear, audible disdain for Graham Arnold’s football.’
A Socceroos fan described ‘Appointing Graham Arnold as coach was the worst thing to happen to this country’, arguing that ‘We struggled qualifying and we are going to get ripped to shreds.’
Harry Kewell sounded far from impressed with Arnold’s approach on commentary
One Socceroos fans suggested Australia had gone backward after appointing Arnold
While another even called for him to be sacked before the game against Tunisia
Another fan called for Arnold to be sacked before the game against Tunisia on Saturday, while several others complained about the Socceroos’ negative set-up.
‘There’s no reason why we can’t be ambitious, even against these better nations,’ one wrote.
‘Hoping that 10 behind the ball isn’t the tactic for Denmark and Tunisia, but I reckon I know Graham Arnold better than that.’
Another added: ‘I for one am shocked the Graham Arnold coached team that has been awful for the last four years is still awful. The exciting positive football we were playing under Ange abandoned for this absolute dross that gets worse results.’
Several Australia fans were unhappy with Arnold’s conservative approach on Wednesday
And claimed the Socceroos were worse now than they were under Ange Postecoglou
Arnold’s post-match comments were just as heavily scrutinised, after the Socceroos boss acknowledged the chasm in quality between his team and France.
‘As I said, their [France’s] squad is worth into a billion euros and ours is worth 35 million,’ he said.
‘They have players in top leagues around the world, we don’t have anyone. [It was] A fantastic effort form the boys.’
After the game Arnold acknowledged the chasm in quality between France and Australia
But some fans questioned the attitude of Arnold’s post-match comments.
‘Mentality doesn’t necessarily equal results […] but Graham Arnold strikes me as just happy to be a part of the show. […] Just want a winner in charge,’ wrote Peak A-League podcaster Gerard Lynch.
Others shared his opinion, with one fan noting the interview made him feel like ‘I was listening to my U11s coach after we just lost 23-0 to the league winners’. Another added:
But a number of fans took exception with his comment, perceiving them as too negative
Some fans noted Arnold’s comments seemed to lack any real ambition
‘Graham Arnold’s post match interview exposes everything that’s wrong with the National Team right now. Too much b******t that’s doesn’t reflect the reality of what happened. We beat Peru on penalties & everyone forgot the rubbish we’ve been playing for the past four years.
In the other Group D on Tuesday, Tunisia and Denmark drew 0-0, a result which Arnold feels boosted Australia’s chances.
‘[The] Second game [against Tunisia on Saturday] is a must-win,’ he said.
‘Great the other result is a draw, we are in it the whole way.’