Sydney FC Chairman Scott Barlow assured fans that even if the club didn’t make the Hyundai A-League finals next season, new coach Graham Arnold’s job would be safe.
Sydney FC Chairman Scott Barlow assured fans that even if the club didn-t make the Hyundai A-League finals next season, new coach Graham Arnold-s job would be safe.
Speaking today at the unveiling of the former Socceroos assistant coach at Allianz Stadium, Barlow said the club was committed to stability in its coaching ranks after appointing Arnold on a three-year-deal.
“An important part of the selection criteria was ensuring that we could bring somebody on board who we were confident around building long-term," Barlow said.
“We think that-s very important for the club moving forward.
"And Graham really stood out on a number of criteria including that one because stability and building for the future and patience are all key to the club moving forward."
Pressed on whether Arnold-s job would be safe even if the Sky Blues missed the finals next season, Barlow offered an assuring word for his new coach and long-suffering fans.
“We-ve been very clear with Graham in our conversations over the last ten days about the goals we set ourselves and on-field performance goals.
“Clearly we want to be competing in Asia and to we must have domestic success to get there. “And Graham is clearly on board with that.
“Having said that, patience is key and long-term planning is key and that-s been important in the conversations we-ve had," Barlow said.
For his part, Arnold said he was excited to be involved in the mooted Centre of Excellence at Sydney FC.
And to be part of a club like the Sky Blues was a huge motivation to sign on for three years. “One of the dreams I always had from day one when the A-League started was to coach Sydney FC," Arnold said in front of a large media contingent.
“It-s great to be back after my short stint in Japan. I am a Sydney boy I played my junior football here.
“I love Allianz stadium, a stadium that-s given me some great memories playing for the national team and working with the national team and of course the finish to the season before last [with Central Coast].
“When that timing was going to occur, I couldn-t answer that, but I truly believe that with the new direction of the club and the appointment of Han Berger to the board, in a football sense it-s shown me that the time is right.”
To work at a club that could afford an international and Australian marquee was something Arnold would relish, particularly after working on a strict budget at his previous club Central Coast.
And he refuted suggestions he was against a big name marquee signing.
“I worked at a club that couldn-t afford a marquee but if you look at what Alessandro Del Piero did for this league and club, it was massive.
“But we have get our due diligence right on the marquee signings. And that-s what I-ve stressed. We need to take our time so we get the right ones.
“But if we get that right, the place for marquee players at this club will be massive.” Arnold added that former Sydney coach - and good friend - Frank Farina had been on the phone to him in the last few days to offer advice on certain players.
The former Central Coast boss has a Hyundai A-League win percentage of 52 per cent having coached in 98 games.
Arnold has lifted silverware in each of his last two full seasons as a coach in the A-League, securing the 2011-12 premiership with the Central Coast Mariners and the 2012-13 Championship a year later. He was also named as the A-League Manager of the Year in 2011-12.
Arnold-s last club was Vegalta Sendai. He parted ways with the J-League outfit in April after a winless six game start to the J-League season.
As a player, he represented his country 54 times scoring 19 goals, and played 453 club games stretching across Australia, Belgium and Japan, netting on 161 occasions.
Arnold added his trademark motivational techniques wouldn-t be changing too much. “We-ve got to have that siege mentality that everyone wants to beat us.”