Are Australians or foreign coaches more successful with the Socceroos?

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It seems everyone has a different opinion as to whether the FFA should appoint an Australian or foreign coach to lead the team at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and possibly beyond.

Some find the pedigree and experience of a foreign manager too hard to turn down while others would prefer to see an Australian with a passion for the cause and knowledge of the players lead the side.

Nationality aside a willingness to continue with Ange Postecoglou’s fearless gung-ho approach also appears to be a key factor for many.

With the FFA announcing their intention to wait until February – just five months out from the World Cup to appoint a new Socceroos head coach, the debate will continue with countless coaches likely to be linked to the job.

The Football Sack takes a look whether the FFA would be better to go foreign or local based on records of previous Socceroos bosses.

In total 28 coaches have taken charge of the Socceroos in international matches, 14 of them were foreigners the other 14 locals.

The foreigners hail from as far as Hungary, Yugoslavia and Argentina while the local list includes several adopted Aussies such as Rale Rasic and Frank Arok.

Australians have lead the national team in 150 matches to date winning 81, drawing 26 and losing 43.

This leaves the Australian coaches with a 54% win percentage, picking up an average of 1.

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79 points per game.

Meanwhile foreigners have coached the Socceroos 267 times racking up 130 wins, 63 draws and 74 losses in the process.

This means foreign coaches take away a slightly lower 48.9% win percentage and a 1.69 points per game average.

It’s important to note here that a large number of these matches were friendlies with caretaker coaches leading the side for as little as a single match – Aurelio Vidmar and Rob Baan being two more recent examples of this.

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Looking at competitive results only dating back to Australia’s first World cup qualifying campaign in 1965 results of Australian coaches still edge out those of the foreigners.

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In competitive matches Australian coaches have overseen 116 games, picking up 67 wins, 25 draws and 24 losses along the way resulting in a win percentage of 57.76% and a points average of 1.94 per game.

Competitively foreign coaches took 63 wins, 27 draws and 27 losses from 117 competitive games leaving them with a 53.85% win percentage and a 1.84 points per game average.

Given the many variables such as Australia’s widely varying qualification path and the personnel available to the manager too much cannot be read into this however Australian coaches do hold a slightly stronger record at the helm than their foreign counterparts.

Whoever the FFA do choose will have little time to prepare themselves and the squad for Russia 2018 with the announcement of the new coach expected to come in February.

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Georgia Campagnale
A midfielder for Adelaide United, Georgia will be writing a column before every Reds home game for the Westfield W-League 2017/18 season.

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