Hits and misses in Socceroos World Cup squad

By Bradman Wilson

Sunshine Coast-based Young Socceroos coach John Gorza admits the Socceroos’ final squad has no surprises but a few players could consider themselves unlucky to miss the tournament in Russia.

A few notable inclusions, including Tim Cahill and Daniel Arzani, make up the squad for Australia’s fifth World Cup appearance.

“Obviously there are players who everyone thinks should be there and some that people don’t think should be there,” Gorza said.

“There are probably no surprises or shocks, but there are some individuals who are probably unlucky not to be there.”

Just days out from kick-off, coach Bert van Marwijk has picked the 23-man list of players he wants on the plane to Russia.

Gorza, the Australian Goalkeeping Academy founder, said it has been a difficult time for the squad during the transition period between coaches.

“There’s always going to be a big question on the selection process because compared to Ange Postecoglu, Bert’s got his own way of doing things,” Gorza said.

“His style of play will have a big impact on the type of player that he wants in the squad.

“A lot of times coaches are looking for players that will suit the role that will fit within the playing style of the team.”

Gorza said one of those was unlucky miss out was Japanese-based Nagoya Grampus goalkeeper Mitch Langerak.

“I’m disappointed for him,” Gorza said of the player he coached as a junior.

“In a matter of four or five months he’s gone from second choice to fourth choice.

“You have to ask ‘how does that happen?’ But a different coach will see different things.

“I think he is still in our top three, without question.”

Young Melbourne City forward Arzani had an impressive year in the A-League, despite only scoring two goals for the club.

Socceroo fan Brayden Yates is heading to Russia to support the team during the group stage.

He said Arzani’s inclusion was a great choice from van Marwijk, but he worried if he would even play.

“I don’t see him getting much game time,” he said.

“Nonetheless, I am stoked that he got selected because I feel like just being there in the camp and having that experience at such a young age can only be beneficial.

“Hopefully he gets a run, it can only be good for him.”

Mr Gorza has worked with Arzani in the Australian U-20 team and said he was up for the task.

“I’m pleased Daniel has got the spot,” he said.

“I’ve seen him first hand he is a very exciting player.

“I think he gives us something we have not seen for a long, long time. He doesn’t get fazed, he is very confident and he will go and do his thing if gets the opportunity.”

Defender Bailey Wright and midfielder Josh Brillante are notable omissions from the squad.

“Wright played the most minutes out of any Australian player during the World Cup qualification campaign,” Yates said.

“The fact that he got cut so early was the biggest surprise.”

Cahill will make his fourth appearance at a World Cup.

The Socceroos kick off their World Cup Finals campaign against France on June 16.

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