Archie waits on Verbeek
Archie Thompson's short-term future with the Melbourne Victory could well depend on the striker's performance for the Socceroos against Kuwait and discussions he has with national coach Pim Verbeek.
Archie Thompson's short-term future with the Melbourne Victory could well depend on the striker's performance for the Qantas Socceroos against Kuwait and discussions he has with national coach Pim Verbeek.
Thompson revealed on Wednesday that he will take guidance from Verbeek on where his better World Cup prospects lie in the next six months and will seek a loan deal in January should the Dutchman indicate that the Asian Champions League is not enough to keep him on the radar.
"I've got Asian Champions League, but I need to sit down, I'm not sure where I'm at in his plans. I have to speak with him and if I have to make the move, or he'd like me to, then I have to speak with Victory and my management," he said.
"But I'm not going to get ahead of myself, I've got to do well in this up and coming Kuwait game and take it from there."
Several other high-profile Hyundai A-League players who are in the running for World Cup selection have indicated they would seek a loan move in January in order to further their prospects.
It was thought that Melbourne's participation in the Asian Champions League, where it will play at least six games between late February and early May, would be enough for Thompson to remain on the radar, but such is his desperation to make the final 23, he is prepared to consider any options.
"Like Pim's recently said, anyone has got an opportunity. But he's said, you have to be playing after the end of March and those guys that are coming to the end of the season, they have to re-assess where they are at," he said,
"I'm gonna get an opportunity to speak to Pim and pick his mind about what he expects of me and what I need to do. But I'm enjoying my football at the moment if I have to look somewhere, I will. I'll speak to Melbourne then."
The Qantas Socceroos' striking ranks are considered to be a lot thinner than they were four years ago with only Harry Kewell and Josh Kennedy considered certainties to make the trip to South Africa. That has given Thompson, who hasn-t played for the Socceroos since last March's Asian Cup qualifier against Kuwait in Canberra, a sniff of a spot in South Africa.
"They've still got great attacking players who can play in any position. There's probably four or five other strikers who are probably leading with Pim's votes and I've probably got keep plugging away," he said.
He said he is willing to play any role that Verbeek envisages for him, but admits that he is best served up front.
"I've adapted my game to not just scoring goals. But I'm a striker and strikers are judged on their goals. I'd love to be scoring more goals, but if I can contribute something else to the Socceroos, then so be it."
"I don't want to go into the Socceroos as an attacking midfielder, because there are so many of them. Wherever he puts me, he puts me. If I'm getting the water for the lads in South Africa and I won-t care."
Thompson admits that the pressure to get into World Cup calculations took its toll earlier in the season, but he has decided he now has to focus on the things he can control.
"I put too much pressure on myself too much after the last couple of games. I took that into the start of the season, and it didn-t help me at all. Just me enjoying the game and having confidence has got me back where I wanted to be. It-s about enjoying the game, which I have and letting my feet do the talking," he said.