Bert van Marwijk
Bert van Marwijk

The only man better to take Roos to Russia: Slater

THE FFA have been widely praised for their decision to appoint Dutchman Bert Van Marwijk as the man to helm the Socceroos to this year's World Cup, however Fox Sports' Robbie Slater says there's one man who should have been there instead.

"I will say the one who should be leading us to the World Cup was Ange Postecoglou," Slater said on Just for Kicks.

"I don't think too many people were happy about that but we've moved on… it took us a while to move on. Unfortunately, the disappointment took a little too long but we got there and it's the most logical one."

Van Marwijk's CV speaks for itself. The Dutchman has taken the Netherlands to a World Cup final and steered Saudi Arabia to Russia - meeting the Socceroos twice in the process.

"He's been to a world cup, he is the most logical choice. It is a positive move and people say 'oh we continue our love with the Dutch' because we've had a lot of Dutchies here. In fact, in Holland they sometimes joke, 'if you can't get a job in Holland, go to Australia - you'll get a job.'"

"But it so happens that he was coach of Saudi Arabia. He would have watched the Socceroos five, six, seven, eight times in that qualification process, he knows our players, there was no doubt about it. We're here and we criticise the FFA but this time we give them credit for a smart appointment in difficult circumstances. Could have been done a bit earlier, but we got there."

New Roos head coach Bert van Marwijk
New Roos head coach Bert van Marwijk

Slater's fellow panellist former Socceroo Archie Thompson echoed his sentiments, and added that he believes the added pressure on the players to impress their new boss will breed quality.

"I think it's great that they've finally got a coach appointed," Thompson said.

"I was around at a time when Hiddink came in for Farina and I just felt like it revitalised the team because there was a few players that thought they were already going to the World Cup."

"And I think with the appointment of this guy, all of those 60-odd players who were used in this qualifier have got a real chance of going to the World Cup. So that just means there's a lot more pressure but when you see a lot more pressure, you see the quality come out and I believe with his appointment, the quality will be there."

Daniel McBreen added that Van Marwijk's knowledge of the Socceroos and Australian football will aid him in his quest to get the best out of his new national side.

"I agree with Archie, I think the fact that he's also led Saudi Arabia there and knows our football - he's played against us so he knows our players, our systems, our mentality," McBreen said.

"He's played against us years ago as well, so I think that's going to be a good help for him as well coming in, as opposed to someone who really doesn't know too much about us."

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