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Graham Arnold haters, take your bloody blinkers off

21:45 GMT 10/01/2018
Graham Arnold Sydney FC
While most football people recognise the extraordinary efforts of the Sky Blue coach, others continue to criticise without any base

"I don't like Graham Arnold, so he shouldn't be the Socceroos manager."

"Sydney FC play boring football."

"He's already struggled in charge of the national team before."

These are the usual arguments peddled as to why Arnold should not be appointed Australian coach.

But the people sprouting these comments are either biased or blind, and probably uneducated.

Arnold has created an absolute beast in the current Sydney FC unit - a team that rivals Ange Postecoglou's Brisbane Roar as the greatest to feature in the A-League.

While Postecoglou's all-conquering Roar was based on an attacking football system, Arnold has built his side through brilliant recruiting and solid tactical structure.

The Sky Blues foreign players are all among the best in the league, with Milos Ninkovic, Adrian Mierzejewski and Bobo all comfortably among the top five players in the competition currently.

Add in quality Australian signings such as Alex Wilkinson, Michael Zullo, Josh Brilliante, Brandon O'Neill and Luke Wilkshire, and it's clear Arnold's recruiting over the past couple of seasons is the benchmark for any A-League team.

But one important factor about Arnold and his team hasn't really been discussed - and that's the mentality shown by the Sky Blues over the past one-and-half seasons.

You would be loathed to compare Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson to Arnold, but Sydney FC's never-say-die attitude and ability to constantly drag themselves to results reminds me of some of the great Red Devil teams over years.

United under Ferguson were never beaten no matter what stage of the game, and Arnold deserves huge credit for developing the same winning mentality among his Sydney FC squad.

Especially considering how low he and his team were less than two years ago - when they finished the A-League season in seventh and missed the finals.

Arnold was a shadow of the manager he is now - he lacked confidence, belief and even fought with Fox Sports commentator Adam Peacock live on air over his media availability.

After turning to life coach Bradley Charles Stubbs, Arnold was instilled with an 'expect-to-win' mentality, told of the importance of his messages and given an understanding that his demeanour rubbed off on his players.

When Arnold arrogantly tells the media that his side should have won a match more convincingly, it's not for show - it's an honest feeling among he and his players.

The Arnold we are seeing now is the exact reason why he shouldn't be judged for his previous tenure as Socceroos manager - that was more than 10 years ago.

And for the people saying 'Arnie ball' is boring to watch, Sydney FC scored 55 times in the A-League last season, which was six more goals than a Besart Berisha-led Melbourne Victory and a Melbourne City side featuring Bruno Fornaroli.

This season the Sky Blues have scored 38 goals in 15 matches, which is four more than Newcastle and double as much as Victory and City currently, who both have 19 apiece.

If scoring 93 goals in 42 league matches and only losing two games along the way is being deemed boring, then there is definitely something wrong with the people of that opinion.

Arnold has earned his shot at the Socceroos role through an evolution of his managerial methods and guiding his team to incredible sustained success.

And if the FFA decide to go with a local coach, there is no doubt he will be their top candidate.

If you don't like Arnold, you're biased and and you're ignoring the cold, hard facts right in front of your eyes.