After exiting the World Cup with just one point to show for their efforts, the Socceroos have inevitably sparked debate as to where Australia's national team is heading.
Drawn in a group containing France, Denmark and Peru, the Socceroos were always at long odds of progressing to the knockout stages.
But therein lies the problem for departed Australian coach Ange Postecoglou, who is adamant the national team needs to shed a status of always batting above their weight.
"We still want to be the underdog," Postecoglou wrote in a piece for Players Voice.
"We want everyone to know that eight times out of ten we will be beaten by the very best, but that does not mean we can’t knock them off.
"After all we are Australians and we fear no one. Just like in 1974. But that’s where we have it wrong. In 1974, those men were underdogs.
"So why have we not progressed? Why do we still want to be underdogs? Why do we value our competitiveness above everything else?"
Postecolgou led the Socceroos throughout a difficult qualifying campaign with his ambitious playing style drawing criticism as Australia scraped to Russia thanks to a play-off win over Honduras.
Resigning not long after securing World Cup qualification, Postecoglou isn't against a defensive framework for future Socceroos sides to work off but believes the team can no longer revert to being underdogs.
"If our way forward is to rely on our defensive stability and competitiveness, then let that be our blueprint," he wrote.
"But we must shed our inferiority complex.
"The problem with always being the underdog is that it is a sign you haven’t improved."
Incoming coach Graham Arnold will be charged with leading a new generation of Socceroos forward, and they must pick themselves up quickly after the World Cup as they look to defend their Asian Cup crown early next year.