FIFA World Cup Qatar: Graham Arnold slams critics after Socceroos’ historic win over Tunisia

After the Socceroos defeated France 4-1 in their World Cup opener, the critics were in full swing as coach Graham Arnold came under scrutiny.

Sections of the media, former Socceroos, football pundits and fans criticized the team’s performance as Arnold’s tactics were questioned and some called for his sacking.

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However, following the Socceroos’ incredible 1-0 win over Tunisia, Arnold responded with a simple message in his trademark classic style.

“Who cares?” Arnold said after the game when asked about his message to his critics.

“You’ve never trained. I didn’t see anyone criticizing me, but I think some of them have never been to a World Cup.

“So I don’t listen to her. They have no impact on my life.”

Graham Arnold and his players thank their fans after beating Tunisia. Recognition: AP

Arnold is the first Australian-born coach to lead the Socceroos to a World Cup win.

However, he has stressed that the Doha campaign is not about him, it is about his nation and its football fans.

“It’s a moment that they will remember for the rest of their lives,” Arnold said.

“I just want them to enjoy it.

“That’s what I said to the boys before the game: Let’s put a smile on the nation’s face.

“There’s one or two teams that bring the nation together and that’s the Socceroos and the Matildas.”

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Arnold said fans of other sports and sports teams jump on board and follow the Socceroos during a World Cup.

“When the Socceroos play the World Cup, AFL fans, rugby league fans, they become football fans,” he said.

“I can imagine there’s partying at home, there are a few hangovers in the morning.

“I won’t have one.”

In a poignant moment after the win against Tunisia, Arnold grabbed all the members of the team and staff and gathered them in a circle to give a stirring and emotional speech.

“When I gathered the guys in a circle after the game, I said to them: ‘I’m very proud, but we haven’t achieved anything at the moment,'” said Arnold.

“We can talk afterwards about a win that hasn’t happened in 12 years, but we’re here to go as far as we can.

“That one game is over and I don’t want any emotion from the players, I don’t want them to sit all night looking at social media and all that stuff.

“It’s about sleeping well, resting well and preparing the mindset for Denmark.”

Should the Socceroos defeat Denmark on Thursday (2am AEDT), Arnold will achieve what only Guus Hiddink – his long-time mentor – did in 2006 by reaching the knockout rounds at a World Cup.


Socceroos win first World Cup game in 12 years

Socceroos win first World Cup game in 12 years FIFA World Cup Qatar: Graham Arnold slams critics after Socceroos’ historic win over Tunisia

James Brien

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