Ange Postecoglou the Socceroos best ever manager, says Stan Lazaridis

Comments()
Getty
"He was the manager you would probably go out and die for."

Though playing under Guus Hiddink, former Socceroo Stan Lazaridis believes Ange Postecoglou achieved things Hiddink couldn't and should be seen as Australia's greatest national team manager to date.

Postecoglou stepped aside as Socceroos coach late last year after Australia secured their spot in the World Cup with a play-off win over Honduras, ending a four-year tenure which saw him guide the green and gold to their 2015 Asian Cup triumph.

While Lazaridis was part of the Hiddink's 2006 World Cup squad that progressed to the knockout stages in Germany, the Australian winger wishes he could have played for Postecoglou.

"I think Ange Postecoglou has been our best manager," Lazaridis told Neos Kosmos.

"Ange really took us to a new level. I really wished I could’ve played under Ange, that is the best compliment I can give the guy.

"He was able to achieve things that I don’t think a Guus Hiddink or anyone else could have done. Ange developed a really great team culture and the players played towards his team philosophy.

"He was attacking, he was brave, he backed young players. He was the manager you would probably go out and die for."

Tim Cahill Ange Postecoglou

Lazaridis' praise for Postecoglou coincides with the former West Ham player voicing some disappointment with how Hiddink handled the Socceroos during their 2006 World Cup campaign.

Playing against Italy in the round of 16, Australia had the numerical advantage but didn't make it count with Hiddink preferring a conservative approach that backfired when the Italians were awarded a last-minute penalty.

Despite being one of the Socceroos best performers at the time, Lazaridis didn't play a minute in Germany and clearly wonders what could have been.

Article continues below

"Against Italy when they went down to 10 men we played with eight midfielders," he said. 

"If Guus could’ve been a bit braver and put myself on or put [on] another striker we’d really have gone for it, especially as at that time Italy were playing really narrow.

"That was disappointing. Looking back Guus could’ve done something different." 

Close