Graham Arnold reveals the one thing that would’ve convinced him to QUIT as Socceroos coach – and begs Today show reporter not to make him cry by showing amazing World Cup goal
- Graham Arnold believes Socceroos can scale new heights
- Coach signed a four-year extension for $6million this week
- Will see Arnold at the helm for Australia at 2026 World Cup
Socceroos boss Graham Arnold has revealed he would have moved on from the job if he felt the playing squad had achieved their collective potential at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Arnold, 59, extended his coaching contract for another four years in a $6million move on Monday as he looks to guide Australia at the 2026 tournament to be staged in Canada, Mexico and the US.
Speaking on Channel Nine’s Today show on Wednesday, Arnold stated his belief the playing group can once again shock the world in a bit less than four years’ time.
‘I believe we have more to go and achieve, we have a lot of improvement in us,’ he told sports reporter Alex Cullen.
‘You could see it in the players’ eyes [in Qatar], they were so focused and ready.
‘We have created a culture with a real family environment, and the players coming through in addition to what we already have excite me.’
Graham Arnold celebrates with Riley McGree, Craig Goodwin and Mitchell Duke after qualifying for the round of 16 at the 2022 World Cup
Mat Leckie’s goal secured a famous 1-0 win over Denmark and a clash versus eventual World Cup champions Argentina – and it still makes Arnold emotional
He also told Cullen ‘not to make me cry’ by showing vision of Mat Leckie’s unforgettable goal versus Denmark, which saw Australia finish second in their group behind France after a gritty 1-0 win.
In the round of 16, they pushed eventual champions Argentina all the way in a 2-1 defeat.
Arnold reportedly knocked back offers from clubs in Holland, Scotland, England and an Asian nation to stay with the Socceroos.
‘I love Australia and I love Australian football, and nothing in football can ever match the elation, pride and sense of achievement, the entire set-up felt in Qatar,’ Arnold said.
‘The hunger to continue in the role has never been stronger and I know I have more to give to the Socceroos’ program and Australian football, where I want to deliver more smiles for our fans.
‘I approach the next four years with a clean sheet, which is underpinned by a burning ambition to provide more opportunities to our leading emerging and established talent, whilst challenging for major titles starting with the AFC Asian Cup in Qatar next year.
Arnold became a fan favourite and a cult hero in Qatar after leading a Socceroos outfit many considered to be the worst of all time to their best ever World Cup result
‘What Graham and the entire squad achieved under the most challenging of circumstances during the last FIFA World Cup campaign was exceptional, and we are delighted that we have secured his services for a further four years,’ Football Australia Chair Chris Nikou added.
‘Football Australia is ambitious, where we expect continued progress and results from our senior and youth national teams, and through our discussions with Graham over recent weeks, we know our thinking is aligned on the future direction of Australian football and the Socceroos.’
Work will begin immediately, with Arnold pointing to a host of changes he wants implemented to improve Australian football.
He called for more government funding in the area of junior development, a dedicated Socceroos headquarters in Australia and improvements to the A-League to continue the momentum from the World Cup.
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