Bolters! Sydney FC's Socceroos hopefuls
There's been lots of news articles in the past week talking about our Australian players and their hopes of going to Russia. There's a very strong chance that we will have at least someone there representing us. This can act as a catch all thread for Socceroos speculation and news articles.
Today it is Zullo who is declaring his wish to go:
IT was far from a consummate demonstration of the A-League, and Michael Zullo only hopes he did enough to pique the interest of new Socceroos coach Bert van Marwijk.
The in-form Sydney FC left-back and 10-time Socceroo has his hopes pinned on a return to the international stage at the World Cup in Russia. A shot at a first recall in five years wasn’t helped by Wellington’s abysmal display in Friday night’s Sky Blues win.
Spotting quality amid a 4-0 thumping rife with Phoenix defensive errors was something Zullo conceded wouldn’t be easy for the new coach.
“It was probably a game that would have been hard for him to judge the quality of the A-League on, because the gulf in quality between Wellington and us was huge,” Zullo said.
“It probably wasn’t the greatest game to watch.
“But we can only play who’s out there in opposition to us, and we thoroughly dominated and got the result we needed.
“You can’t really do much more than that.”
Zullo is one of a few Sydney players in the frame for a Socceroos recall, with Josh Brillante, Alex Wilkinson and Luke Wilkshire all knocking on the door for March’s away friendlies against Norway and Colombia.
The 29-year-old will be competing with overseas-based Alex Gersbach, Aziz Behich and James Meredith for the role but felt there was no disadvantage in doing so from Australia’s domestic league.
“If you’re playing in the A-League, especially in a World Cup year, it has to be something that is an aim for you,” Zullo said.
“It’s as a result of good performances with your club that you put yourself into contention for the national team.
“That step isn’t as far away as it used to be — the gap in quality between overseas-based Socceroos and domestic-based Socceroos isn’t as large as it used to be.
“It gives opportunities for everyone playing week in, week out in the A-League. It gives them a chance to get back in there.”
At AAMI Park on Saturday, Zullo will face another hopeful a decade his junior in Melbourne City’s Daniel Arzani.
It’s taken the 19-year-old five starts in a breakout January to be widely lauded as Australia’s potential World Cup X-factor, particularly given his fearlessness and sharp passing and dribbling.
“I quite like him as a player,” Zullo said.
“I’ve watched him the last few weeks. It’s always good to see some good young Australian players coming through because we seem to have a shortage of those at the moment, to be honest.
“But he’s still very young in his career, in the A-League he’s only five or six games deep.”
I think Zullo is more consistent than Gersbach but maybe not as flashy?
Behich isn't a bad player but I rate the above both better than him.
Probably a good summary. The only thing I'd say is that you're maybe comparing him to the Gersbach who left Sydney?... His play might have developed significantly in 2 years in Europe?
Don't think Zullo will be there. We must be the only country in the world with a surplus of LB's.
Young Alex & Behich would be the 2 I would take.
Zullo & James Meredith could consider themselves hard done by and then there is Callum Elder, Brad Smith (if he gets back playing after his injury) & Craig Goodwin (more of a winger but can play LB).
It wasn't so long ago that Matt McKay was shoehorned into the position!
Gersbach was apparently pretty terrible for Rosenberg this season which was why he got loaned out. Not sure how his Lens form has been. Behich is playing regularly at a very good level. He probably deserves to be the starting LB but i think the argument for backup LB is an interesting one. Zullo is the most solid and dependable. Gersbach is the biggest talent. Meredith is playing regularly in the championship but Im not sure how well hes going. Think Elder is getting some good minutes in League One. Or Brad Smith...
O'Neill and Brillante are both in superb form but midfield is the one area we've got options of a lot of players playing in decent clubs.
Feel like of all the hopefuls the most likely would be Wilkinson. Phenomenal form and the defensive leader we need. Him and Sainsbury feels like our best CB partnership.
On Jurman's form for both club and country there's no way he won't be starting. He's been one of the stand out players for the Socceroos for the last 12 months. I'd love Wilko to go, but I think it's highly unlikley he'll push Jurman to the bench, if he even makes the team.
I think Brilliante is the Sydney player most likely to get the nod.
---------------------------------"This is where I come to cry."- Millhouse
I have to agree that Wilkshire would be in with a good shout.
I just went through transfermarkt and did searches for 1st & 2nd Nationality Australian, RB preferred & 2nd position and apart from the obvious choices (Risdon, Degenek, Wright, McGowan) there is nothing there unless you take a punt on an absolute unknown.
There are only 2 players playing at a "decent" level but both have been capped at junior level for Croatia & Wales respectively so not sure if that rules them out or not:
Fran Karacic who plays at NK Lokomotiva in the Croatian top tier. Born in Croatia, has an Australian passport but has never lived here.
Gethin Jones, former Everton junior who now plays for Fleetwood Town in League 1. Born in Perth but has lived in the UK for more than 10 years ago. Has been approached by the FFA previously.
Further to Wilkshire's case is that Bert would be looking at the present not the future. You'd rather back the guy with 80 caps and prior World Cup experience over trying to bring in someone like Karacic or Jones.
Wright's been getting very good reviews playing RB in the Championship. To me it seems to make an incredible amount of sense to make Wright and Wilkshire the RB options
I'd be taking Wilkinson, even if I do think Jurman and Sainsbury is the most likely starting combination.
I don't know how it'll work with van Marwijk being a short-term appointment but I'd also take Brandon O'Neill along for the ride. He probably wouldn't play but it'd be good to give him the experience ahead of a spot in the 2022 squad if his development continues on the current trajectory
Wilko would definitely be the most likely to get a callup. Been there before and the best CB in the A-League.
With the season finishing so far out from the WC it's already unlikely Bert will pick many if any HAL players. Even then he'll only pick the best, which realistically won't be many given the poor standard of the league this season.
Brillante has gone off the rails of late so any chance he had would pretty much be blown away. Zullo and Wilkshire too have been inconsistent and there are other options overseas. O'Neil wouldn't have a chance in hell of making it.
I'd say there will be no more than 2 players in teh HAL in the final squad.