Eight candidates to replace Ange

Digital artwork for Daily Telegraph
Digital artwork for Daily Telegraph

WHO will be FFA's prime target to replace Ange Postecoglou?

There are plenty of local options but, as proved in 2006 with Guus Hiddink, they are not beyond reaching for a high-profile, short-term fix.

Here are the leading candidates.


The Sydney FC coach would be the hot favourite if the FFA stay with a local coach, and he was reportedly sounded out earlier this year. He has already held the position in both an acting and fulltime role, leading the Socceroos on their ill-fated 2007 Asian Cup campaign before moving aside. He also served as an assistant to Pim Verbeek at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. He has revitalised his coaching fortunes back in the A-League, first with Central Coast Mariners and more recently Sydney FC.


Long seen as a potential national team candidate, Popovic dropped a bombshell in October when he quit Western Sydney Wanderers to move to Turkish side Karabukspor. His time in Super Lig hasn't gone particular well with his side languishing in the relegation zone and the board quitting en mass earlier this month. The stars could well be aligned for a lucrative move back home.


Ange Postecoglou gave his long-time assistant a ringing endorsement recently when the Wanderers job came up for grabs. "I think Ante will be an outstanding coach. I would appoint him at an A-league club, I think he's done a fantastic apprenticeship." The 43-year-old was an assistant manager at both Melbourne Heart and the Wanderers and is certainly building a compelling case. He was also appointed Olyroos coach earlier this week.


The colourful Spaniard has made a big impression on the local game since arriving four years ago. He won the inaugural FFA Cup in a two-year stint with Adelaide United in the A-League and was been in the Socceroos set-up as U23 coach for 18 months before recently taking the role of Western Sydney Wanderers coach.


Divisive, certainly, but there is no doubting his coaching record after making the transition from combative player. Muscat - who played 46 times for Socceroos up until 2006 - has been Melbourne Victory's fulltime coach since 2013, leading them to a famous double in the 2014-15 season and the FFA Cup title in 2015.


The veteran Italian was spruiked as a possible candidate when word got out back in July that Ange may leave. He comes with impeccable credentials on the international stage after overseeing the recent rise in fortunes of tiny Albania. He took them to the 2016 Euros in France before quitting. He is the current coach of Spanish side Alaves.


The Italian is currently unemployed so if the Socceroos are looking for a high-profile short-term fix, then he could fit the bill. While he has never coached at international level, guiding the likes of Bayern Munich, Chelsea, AC Milan, PSG and, of course, Real Madrid, should put him in the reckoning.


And the Socceroos could always revisit 2006 by appointing the Dutchman. Whether he wants to go around a second time is highly debatable.

Topics:  ange postecoglou graham arnold guus hiddink socceroos tony popovic world cup 2018

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