Postecoglou's five favourite Socceroos
They’ve won the Asian Cup and are in a comfortable position with their current World Cup Qualifiers.
Postecoglou has selected 14 squads during his time at the Socceroos and some names appear more often than others.
FourFourTwo takes a closer look at the regulars in the Australian squads, and why Ange puts them there.
Mat Ryan (Selected in 13 squads)
Australia’s reliable shot stopper has been chosen in all but one of Postecoglou’s Socceroos squads, which he only missed through injury. Throughout the 2015 Asian Cup, Ryan played a pivotal role in preventing most teams from beating Australia.
Currently playing at Valencia, Mat Ryan puts confidence into his back four, which ends up flowing throughout the whole team. It’s vital that every team has a goalkeeper who is consistent and stays cool under pressure. Ryan provides that for Australia – and that’s why he is Postecoglou’s first choice between the sticks.
Postecoglou was the manager to drop Schwarzer from the squad and in came Ryan permanently after Schwarzer took that as his cue to retire internationally. Ryan has since beat off competition from Langerak, Federici and Galekovic to retain the No.1 jersey – and it’s hard to see Ryan being replaced any time in the next five years…maybe even 10.
Mile Jedinak (Selected in 11 squads)
Despite his erratic recent appearance rate for Crystal Palace in the Premier League, plus a troubling thigh injury, Jedinak has missed three of Postecoglou’s squads yet remains unchallenged as Socceroos skipper. When playing, he’s instrumental in organising the team on the pitch and providing guidance. Jedinak is composed under pressure, shown at 2014 World Cup and 2015 Asian Cup when he scored crucial penalties for Australia.
The Socceroos have not lost a game with Jedinak in the team since November 2014 and he’s also scored in each of Australia’s last three World Cup Qualifiers, earning his place as one of Ange’s first names on the squad sheet. He’s a complete midfielder who scores goals, performs consistently and captains with confidence.
Jason Davidson (Selected in 13 squads)
Although missing from the Socceroos’ latest squad to take on Tajikistan and Jordan in the World Cup Qualifiers, Jason Davidson has been carving a reputation as first choice left back in Postecoglou’s Australian team.
He’s young, full of talent and has pace to burn. Davidson has competed for the left back position with Aziz Behich but after playing in all three of Australia’s 2014 World Cup matches, and scoring in the 2015 Asian Cup semi final, Davidson has big match experience, which is invaluable and ultimately the reason as to why he gets the nod over Behich more often than not.
At only 24 years old with 17 caps (15 courtesy of Postecoglou), Ange has great faith in Davidson. Jason adds to the team with moments of brilliance up the wing, despite some defensive doubts and that unfortunate own goal against Scotland on his debut in 2012.
He was only excluded from the most recent Socceroos squad because Postecoglou was looking to create depth and increase the game time of inexperienced youngsters. Davidson is sure to be back in the squad when the big games come round. Postecoglou has faith in him.
Tim Cahill (Selected in 13 squads)
As one of Australia’s most successful players, age is no barrier for Tim Cahill.
His incredible aerial abilities and clinical finishing have seen him become an Aussie legend and household name, and even aged 36, he is still a key asset to Australia. He’s excelled at big competitions under Postecoglou, scoring incredible and valuable goals, like his volley at the 2014 World Cup v Holland to level the game up at 1-1.
Postecoglou has managed to get the best out of Cahill in his senior years, but can he last to the 2018 World Cup…and will Postecoglou know when Tim’s time is up – and make the call when it is?
Mathew Leckie (Selected in 14 squads)
Leckie has made every single Postecoglou Socceroos squad and played in every match except the latest World Cup Qualifier against Kyrgyzstan where he was ruled out by illness.
Is he Postecoglou’s favourite player? He’s certainly always reliable which is a brilliant and very attractive trait to have.
While goals have been few and far between, he always adds something to each match he plays, with his key passes proving vital to the Socceroo’s fluidity and his speed on the wing a constant danger which draws defenders to him, creating space for others in the centre of the park.