Socceroos, we need to talk: Five players in Ange's spotlight

Guy Hand looks at five Socceroos likely to go one-on-one with Ange Postecoglou some time this week as the new man in charge addresses some key national team issues
Ange Postecoglou said he hadn't picked up the phone to any player, no matter how senior, before naming his first squad, but promised talks with Socceroos players during the training camp leading up to next Tuesday's Costa Rica friendly in Sydney, as he looks to change style and personnel ahead of the World Cup finals.

Discussion topic: Will he still be captain? And will he even be in the new coach's starting 11?

As well as a history of shifting out the old guard in previous jobs, Postecoglou also doesn't mind changing captains. The latest was Adrian Leijer for Mark Milligan at Melbourne Victory – suggesting Leijer wasn't necessarily going to be a lock for his starting 11. Neill does favour playing the ball out from the back, and at his best, could feature in Postecoglou's system. The problem is he's been some way below his best recently. The subtext of any decision to replace Neill will be clear. If he loses the captaincy, he won't be a guaranteed starter under Ange. A fascinating week awaits.

Discussion topic: Is he fit? How will he fit into Ange's system?

Cahill had a hamstring/upper thigh issue in his last MLS game for the season. So whether he is fit enough to play is the first question. Then where does he fit within Postecoglou's system? His value to the team is clear. But his role has been varied down the years. An impact player under Guus Hiddink. A regular starter and saviour under Graham Arnold and Pim Verbeek. A lone striker under Holger Osieck. Could Cahill be given more of a licence to roam - Mitch Nichols-style – under the new coach? Or is he better at the point of the attack?

Discussion topic: His lack of match practice. If he is playing regularly, could he be the team's fulcrum?

Australia's brightest talent, Rogic is barely featuring at Celtic in the SPL, having made just three league appearances this season, two as a substitute. The 20-year-old is potentially the Socceroos' most important player towards the 2015 Asian Cup and the 2018 World Cup. Postecoglou knows how many young players' development is stunted by bad club moves. He has stated Rogic must play regularly at club level to feature internationally. Rogic appears a player most likely to benefit under Postecoglou. It will be interesting to see if the coach starts him – something Rogic rarely managed under Osieck.

Discussion topic: Can he be the long-term answer in the problem left-back position?

Unlike Rogic, here is a 22-year-old playing every week in the Dutch top-flight in a position desperate to be filled at national team level. Davidson had been given just three goes for his country – twice as substitute. The son of former Socceroos great Alan, Davidson is an attacking left-back, who interestingly spent some time training with the Victory under Postecoglou over Christmas last year. He looks exactly the Ange prototype fullback. Few will relish the clean slate offered by Osieck's sacking more.

Discussion topic: Is he a better bet at right-back than long-time choice Luke Wilkshire?

Postecoglou knows the capabilities of Franjic – a critical and often underrated component of his championship-winning Brisbane Roar sides. Franjic has been moved further forward this season for the Roar, and has been arguably the A-League's best player over the first five weeks. Leaving Wilkshire out leaves no doubt that Ange wants to see Franjic at this level. Barring injury, he'll play. Starting Franjic would also send a broader message. Perform in the A-League week-in week-out, and you can play for the Socceroos. Ange is no Pim Verbeek on this issue.

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