Aloisi and Popovic asked about Socceroos job should Arnold not return

Australian football great and Western United boss John Aloisi said Graham Arnold should stay on as Socceroos head coach if he wants to, but admits he would jump at the role if it became vacant.

Arnold’s contract ended when the Socceroos’ golden run at the FIFA Men’s World Cup was ended by Argentina in the round of 16 and he is now on holiday before discussing his future with Football Australia.

He was repeatedly evasive regarding his future while in Qatar with FA yet to complete their post-tournament review. Arnold, however, appears in the box seat to lead the Socceroos into the next World Cup cycle.

Arnold’s men were just the second Socceroos outfit to advance to the knockout phase, following the 2006 squad, and the first to win two games at a single edition which came with two consecutive clean sheets.

Western coach Aloisi, who won last season’s A-League Men championship, has never hidden his desire to one day lead the Socceroos, but was adamant Arnold deserved first dibs.

“Look if Graham Arnold decides not to stay on (I would be interested),” Aloisi told reporters, with Western due to visit Perth Glory on Saturday.

“Because if he decides to stay on they should give it to him because he’s done an incredible job, great World Cup.

“And I’ve never hid away from that, my ambition one day is to coach the Socceroos. 

“Now whether that’s in the near future or distant future, I hope one day that I’m able to do that. It’s always been a goal of mine. 

“But at the moment, my main focus is on Western United and making sure we get another win on the board.”

Victory head coach Tony Popovic has also been consistently linked with the Socceroos job, including when Ange Postecoglou took the reins in 2014.

The former Socceroos defender also has aspirations of one day coaching the national team, if the opportunity arises.

“It’s an answer that I would answer the same as when I was a player,” Popovic told reporters on Friday ahead of Victory’s clash with Macarthur FC on Sunday.

“When I was a young player, I dreamt of playing at the highest level, dreamt of playing for Socceroos and I’m very fortunate that I was able to play at a World Cup and play at the highest level.

“Now that I’m a coach you know if you dream one day to coach the Socceroos, there is no greater honour.

“But that’s not something that I’m thinking about today. We’re delighted and proud of what the Socceroos have done.

“Graham will decide in his own time what he wants to do, but we’re focused really on Macarthur and getting Melbourne Victory consistent.”