thumbnail Hello,

Australia manager Sir Alex Ferguson? Cue the search for Holger Osieck's replacement

After parting ways with Holger Osieck, a crucial appointment looms for Australian football's governing body. Goal Australia examines the potential replacements

The king is dead. Long live ... anyone else.

For most of the last two years, other than the moment Josh Kennedy's late header hit the back of Iraq's net, many Socceroos supporters would have gladly put the man who washes the green and gold shirts in charge rather than watch Holger Osieck continue to sabotage Australia's footballing future.

But relieved as we all are to see the back of the German, it can't be just anybody who gets the job now.

Football Federation Australia's next appointment is crucial to the future of the game in this country. Despite their men securing qualification for the past two World Cups, FFA arguably got it wrong with both Pim Verbeek and Osieck, neither of whom had the courage or conviction to effect real change.

Aurelio Vidmar has the unenviable job of trying to restore some pride against Canada at Craven Cottage next week.

After that, it will be open season among the media and supporters until a decision is made.

There will be a clamour for a local man to get the gig, but the A-League's best and brightest - Ange Postecoglou, Graham Arnold and Tony Popovic - should not be forced to drink from this poisoned chalice.

Instead, Lowy needs to dip into his Westfield millions and bring in an expensive, highly qualified human shield to begin the salvage operation before handing over after the World Cup.

The favourite, Guus Hiddink, should perhaps be overlooked, because he is synonymous with the very generation we are trying to put out to pasture, unless he unequivocally commits to moving on the heroes of his previous tenure.

If it's Dutchmen we're interested in, perhaps another former Netherlands coach in Dick Advocaat, who left PSV Eindhoven at the end of last season, could be tempted out of retirement.

Marcelo Bielsa, successful with Chile and Athletic Bilbao, is charismatic, dynamic and available. He has the presence and reputation to shake things up and carry the players, fans and press along with him. But language could be an issue.

Gerard Houllier has been mentioned in dispatches by some, but the Frenchman, always a more natural technical director than manager, with noted health problems, lacks the energy required and is the wrong fit.

Fatih Terim, who has previously worked wonders with Turkey, was recently relieved of his duties by Galatasaray, is on a short-term deal with the national team and could be an inspired left-field choice.

Since the 6-0 defeat to Brazil and the last round of speculation about Osieck's future, two viable options in Roberto Mancini and Gus Poyet have gone off the market, the former replacing Terim in Istanbul and the latter taking over from Paolo Di Canio at Sunderland.

With that in mind, and while giving the issue all the deliberation and due diligence befitting it, the FFA must move relatively swiftly to nab the appropriate heavy-hitter.

Depending how deep Lowy wishes to dive into his Scrooge McDuck swimming pool full of dollars and cents, one manager in particular boasts the aura and achievements to make him all but unquestionable to players and pundits alike.

Currently engaged in leisure pursuits, such as watching the questionable fare being produced by his successor at Old Trafford, FFA could do worse than get in touch with a certain knight, originally from Govan, Glasgow, but late of Stretford, Greater Manchester.

After all, the Melbourne Cup is coming up next month, perhaps Lady Cathy would like the idea of eight months in the Australian sun.

Stranger things have happened. And 'Australia manager Sir Alex Ferguson' has a nice ring to it.

Goal Australia now has its own and account, so for all the latest news and features on Australian football follow us by clicking on the above links

Related

From the web