The strangely-timed announcement of Graham Arnold as Socceroos coach following the World Cup turned heads, though perhaps more so due the revelation’s confusing nature.

An awkward press conference was the perfect beginning to the latest installment of the Socceroos banter era (est. 2007).

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Respect for Bert van Marwijk’s upcoming World Cup campaign was iterated several times then reiterated again for added gloss.

Arnold dodged three questions that teetered on discussing the future after van Marwijk, begging the question of why the announcement was made at such an early time.

FFA Chief Executive David Gallop attempted to explain.

“We had a contract ready to go, we didn’t want to have a signed contract sitting around that wasn’t announced.

“It’s difficult to find spots that suit everyone but it just seems right.

“It was important that we put to bed some of the speculation.”

Though the press conference had wholesome intentions, the way in which it ran with such disregard for the upcoming Russian adventure rendered it somewhat farcical.

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But the process “ticked boxes” for Gallop and Chairman Steven Lowy.

“The process narrowed down to an option where we went for somebody who would get us through Russia and then look for a longer term appointment,” said Gallop.

“The two people who were top of the pile were Bert and Arnie, so a big tick to both boxes.”

“Personally I’m really pleased that it is an Australian because it’s important that we appoint someone who has an interest on teams below the Socceroos, the whole ecosystem of Australian football, how the pathway works, where the next generations come from.

“That’s been missing at times in the game’s history, but we know we’re going to get that with Arnie.”

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Arnold played the role of “chuffed new coach” to a tee sitting next to Gallop in the presser.

“It is a very great honour,” said Arnold.

“It’s a job I have always been interested in doing and the timing is perfect for me.

“I know what the job’s about. I know it’s not an easy job, it’s a tough job, but I know I’ll do a great job this time.”

It has been 11 years since the Arnie Asian Cup debacle where the caretaker coach guided the “golden generation” to a massively underwhelming quarter final loss, so what lessons has the Australian learned since?

Admittedly a whole lot.

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After winning A-League silverware twice with the Central Coast Mariners, Arnold came back and did it again by crafting a Sydney FC side amongst the best in Australian history.

There are lingering doubts over his pedigree outside of the humble A-League as these successes did sandwich a failed venture in Japan and underwhelming performances in the AFC Champions League.

But if Graham Arnold has been earmarked FFA’s man for the next four years for some time, why not start the job at this year’s World Cup?

And what will become of Bert van Marwijk if he guides Australia to a fairy-tale final eight in Russia?

With negotiations seemingly circumnavigated around Sydney FC’s final tilt at an untouchable legacy – as talk of retirements and farewells of the Sky Blues’ best gather steam – the timing is perfect for Arnold to jump ship.

It’s just awful for every other party involved.

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Adelaide-based writer, content creator and story-teller. Like one of those determined ants that require a second flick.