It is safe to say that the Australian World Cup qualifying campaign has not gone to plan.

Having to play Syria in a couple of playoff games wasn’t what anyone expected or had hoped for back in 2015 when Australia started on the road to Russia. As badly as it has all gone, the Socceroos are still on the brink of qualification for the World Cup.

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Nothing is guaranteed in football and should the Socceroos go down to Honduras then they will be kicking themselves for not qualifying automatically with Saudi Arabia beating them to second place and making a return to the World Cup.

It would be unforgivable and halt Australia’s progress as a footballing nation. No one expects Australia to win a World Cup but qualification is a must should the interest and growth in Australian football continue to grow. With the hopes of a fourth consecutive appearance at a World Cup hanging by a thread, now is the time for a precise plan forward.

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Speculation over coach Ange Postecoglou’s future hasn’t done the team any favours and has left them looking rudderless and in a slight freefall. The results confirm that, which is why regardless of whether the Socceroos qualify a long-term strategy needs to be put in place. It seems that the inevitable parting with Ange Postecoglou is going to happen sooner rather than later. What is desperately needed is leadership and certainty. When doubt manifests itself within a change room there is very little chance of success.

With the emergence of Aaron Mooy on the biggest domestic footballing stage in the world now is the opportune time to build the Australian team round the 27-year-old star. That would drive the team forward and ensure the Socceroos stop getting in their own way.

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Mooy has proved he is more than capable of mixing it with the best in the world and that is why Huddersfield sit tenth in the Premier League. They are currently sandwiched between Watford and Newcastle, but have the opportunity to take advantage of the fact that both the Magpies and Hornets clash later on in the month in a game that has Newcastle favourites in the soccer betting tips to win and could result in Mooy’s Huddersfield leapfrogging them both.

Mooy is enjoying an incredible debut season in the Premier League and it is hard to imagine Huddersfield would be climbing the table without him. Without a doubt, he is the player capable of giving the Socceroos that spark again.

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The Socceroos look a bit limp and could use a talismanic player to help right the ship over the coming months. The narrative can change very quickly with qualification to the World Cup in Russia next year but it wouldn’t necessarily fix the underlying fundamental problems.

It is high time for wholesales changes as the rebuilding gets underway. Any manager coming in to take the Australian job will have a squad that is more than capable of competing in world football. Right now those players aren’t being utilised properly and it almost seems as if everyone is waiting in anticipation of something breaking before any action is taken.

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