However Arnold’s Socceroos made a mockery of that repute, placing 5 objectives previous them with consummate ease – the identical quantity as Oman had conceded of their earlier 15 matches in complete.
It is not typically coaches have a smile on their face after such a disastrous loss, particularly when it comes only a few days out from a significant event.
Nonetheless, Dutchman Verbeek nonetheless has an plain tender spot for Arnold, if not Australia too.
“Arnie was all the time a implausible buddy, to begin with, and as a coach he was the perfect man beside me as a result of he is aware of soccer very effectively,” Verbeek mentioned.
“He was in Europe, he was working already with huge coaches, however now in fact he did very effectively with Central Coast, profitable the league, he did very effectively with Sydney.
“You possibly can see the way in which [the Socceroos] are taking part in. That is the way in which Arnie likes to play soccer – attacking, arduous working.
“I am very happy with him. I used to be happy with him earlier than the sport already. I’ve all the time been happy with him and I actually hope he can be profitable.”
Verbeek suspects he can be, having come away massively impressed with among the more moderen additions to the Socceroos crew.
Not one of the 5 goalscorers – Andrew Nabbout, Chris Ikonomidis, Awer Mabil, Milos Degenek and Jackson Irvine – had been even taking part in professionally when Verbeek was coach of Australia and all of them are aged 26 or beneath.
“They introduced in some new, contemporary legs … some gamers I’ve by no means heard of and so they did very effectively,” he mentioned.
“All credit score to Arnie and his employees and in addition to the crew as effectively.”
The Socceroos open their Asian Cup defence on Sunday towards Jordan in Al Ain.
Verbeek has some recommendation for them, in addition to the opposite group B groups Palestine and Syria, in the event that they need to keep away from the identical troubles Oman had towards Australia.
“Do not give free kicks away and nook kicks – that is one, as a result of they’re too sturdy with that,” he mentioned.
“Hold the ball within the crew greater than we did.
“We gave the ball too simply away – additionally the credit score for Australia, in fact, they put us beneath strain however should you lose the ball so simply, that can be a second they’ll assault and assault and they’re going to create possibilities and rating objectives.”
Vince is a sports activities reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.