Archie: Overlooked but not forgotten
Thompson, 35, was left out of the national team camp for last night’s friendly at Allianz Stadium by former Victory boss Ange Postecoglou.
The new Socceroos manager’s reign began with a 1-0 with over the Costa Ricans, with Tim Cahill’s 69th minute header enough to seal a second successive victory for Australia.
Thompson has been capped 53 times for the green and gold with a total of 28 goals, just one behind joint leading-scorers Damian Mori and Tim Cahill, who levelled with the Socceroo legend after his goal last night.
The striker was disappointed to be excluded from the squad but admits he can understand why Postecoglou did not pick him for the last round of internationals in 2013.
“I’m disappointed, but I’m sort of taking the line as Ange has got to look at other players,” Thompson told Morning Glory. “I’ve been working with him for the last 18 months and he knows what I can do.
“Obviously there’s some young guys he wants to see and that’s the line I’ve taken with the decision.
“I just gotta keep doing what I’m doing because the team’s not picked yet and there’s still a few months to go.”
Lucas Neill was awarded the captaincy for last night’s game and beyond, something that Thompson admits was a no-brainer.
“Every time I have been part of the Socceroos team Lucas has been an unbelievable leader,” he said.
“It would be hard to take the captaincy band off him now, especially when it gets so close to the World Cup. But you can’t rely on one player to be a leader out there, everyone has to step up.
“I think that’s what Ange will drum in to the guys, we need all 11 players to want the ball and be leaders out there.”
As well as a new manager, the Socceroos will have a new face in goals for the World Cup in Brazil next year following Mark Schwarzer’s retirement, which Thompson was shocked to hear but fully understanding of the decision.
“He’s been a great ambassador for the Socceroos,” ‘Thompson said. “He’s been an unbelievable player, probably one of the best Socceroos in the history of the national team.
“Just his dedication and professionalism have been second to none. It’s disappointing to see him retire but he has his reasons about it and if it was the right time.
“There’s a lot of travelling that’s involved with the national team and being 51 years old it’s hard to pull up from the jet lag from long flights.
“He’s gone out on his own but he’s also put the national team first before his own professional career. In itself that tells you he’s a great professional.”