Graham Arnold warns social media could ruin Socceroos campaign at World Cup 2022

Coach Graham Arnold has branded social media “shit” and said it could have killed Australia’s World Cup campaign.

The Socceroos are under strict orders to limit their social media use in Qatar as Arnold fears the impact it will have on their mental health.

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That was a lesson Arnold learned while coaching the Australia Under-23 team at last year’s Tokyo Olympics.

The Olyroos shocked Argentina 2-0 – Australia’s first football win at the Olympics in 13 years.

“If I learned one thing from the Olympics, it was that after a big win against Argentina, there was too much celebration,” Arnold told reporters.

“And that celebration, I’m sorry, is social media.

“They do this until four or five in the morning, looking at all the great comments and enjoying all that shit, if I may say so.

“It affects players, it affects their sleep patterns… it’s killing us. Just get rid of it and don’t look at it.”

Graham Arnold doesn’t want Australia’s players on their phones like France’s Antoine Griezmann was. Recognition: EPA

Arnold delivered the same message to his World Cup side just minutes after beating Tunisia 1-0 in Doha.

“It’s something I’ve never looked at, I don’t do it,” he said.

“I know I keep telling you, and you may not believe, that I don’t read – but I know the effect it can have on people.

“And it has a tremendous impact on celebrities, sports stars or whatever.

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“The biggest thing is mental.

“And when it affects your brain, it doesn’t matter how fit you are, how good your technique is or how good your tactics are, they (players) don’t notice it because they’re not mentally ready.”

Graham Arnold takes Martin Boyle into the huddle after defeating Tunisia. Recognition: Mike Hewitt/FIFA via Getty Images

Arnold said the problem is a societal one.

“I’m really glad I played at a time when there weren’t cellphones and magazines that gave ratings out of 10 and things like that,” he said.

“It’s a big deal… I think that’s why players are so mentally strong these days.

“But at the end of the day I have to get my wife off social media, I have to get my kids off social media because in this time and environment it’s almost killing them.

“But that’s how it is now.”

At a glance: Australia vs Denmark

Thursday, December 1, 2 p.m. AEDT.

Al Janoub Stadium, Doha, Qatar

World Ranking: Australia 38, Denmark 10

All-time high: Australia 14 (2009), Denmark 3 (1997)

Lowest rank ever: Australia 102 (2014), Denmark 51 (2017)

Head-to-Head: Played 4. Australia 1 win 1 draw 2 losses

Past meetings:

06/02/07: Denmark 3-1 (friendly, London, England)

06/01/10: Australia 1-0 (friendly, Johannesburg v South Africa)

06/02/12: Denmark 2-0 (friendly, Copenhagen, Denmark)

26/6/18: 1-1 (World Cup group stage, Samara, Russia)


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James Brien

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