Five key moments in ex-Australia coach Ange Postecoglou's career

Ange Postecoglou quit on Wednesday as Socceroos coach a week after Australia beat Honduras to qualify for 2018 World Cup.

Published: 22nd November 2017 01:37 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd November 2017 01:37 PM   |  A+A-

Former Australia coach Ange Postecoglou | AP


SYDNEY: Ange Postecoglou quit on Wednesday as Socceroos coach a week after Australia beat Honduras to qualify for next year's World Cup finals in Russia. 

AFP highlights five key stages in Postecoglou's career.

Coaching success

Greek-born Postecoglou, 52, came to Australia aged five and went on to have a winning career at South Melbourne Hellas, first as a player and then as a coach. 

He was appointed national youth coach and then had outstanding success in the national A-League, winning back-to-back titles with Brisbane Roar in 2011 and 2012. 

He was made Australia head coach in October 2013 on a five-year contract, replacing German Holger Osieck just seven months out from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Praise for win-less World Cup

The Socceroos were drawn in a tough group in Brazil alongside holders Spain, the Netherlands and Chile. 

While losing every game the transitional Australia and Postecoglou were praised by home fans for the quality of their football and competitiveness, prompting some pundits to predict the coming of a new Golden Generation of footballers in the national team ahead of hosting the 2015 Asian Cup the following year.

Socceroos win Asian Cup

Postecoglou has a reputation for rebuilding teams and undertook massive and much-needed surgery to transition an ageing and under-performing national team. 

He was ruthless in moving players on and in their place he brought in a new generation of young talent -- Mathew Leckie, Mat Ryan, Trent Sainsbury, Aaron Mooy, Tom Rogic, Robbie Kruse, Massimo Luongo and forged them around new skipper Mile Jedinak and the veteran Tim Cahill. 

Postecoglou's greatest coaching achievement was preparing Australia to win the 2015 Asian Cup on home soil. 

The Socceroos lost 1-0 to South Korea in the group stage but eliminated China and UAE in the knockout rounds to reach the final where they downed South Korea 2-1 after extra time.

Criticism over tactical switch

Postecoglou has overseen a difficult World Cup qualification for Russia 2018. 

The Socceroos lost only two qualifiers overall but missed out to Japan and Saudi Arabia on automatic qualification and were forced into two home-and-away ties with Syria and Honduras to book a spot at a fourth straight World Cup. 

The national coach was criticised for his persistence in playing an ambitious 3-4-3 lineup, seen by many pundits as being too cavalier and not sufficiently cautious or pragmatic for a qualifying campaign. 

The players struggled with the new system with the back-three defence often exposed while chances went missing at the other end of the field.

Stunning exit after job done  

The day after the Socceroos beat Syria in the World Cup qualifier in Sydney, news came out that Postecoglou would quit after the Honduras playoffs even if the national team qualified for Russia 2018.

Postecoglou neither confirmed nor denied the bombshell report leading to intense speculation over his position as national team coach. 

Among the reasons given in the report was his disenchantment over the relentless attacks from critics. 

Postecoglou confirmed the speculation in the aftermath of beating Honduras 3-1 in Sydney for Australia's fourth consecutive World Cup finals appearance.


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