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New-age Arnie impresses Roos star Ryan

Australian goalkeeper Mat Ryan believes Graham Arnold's increased public confidence and open ambition are boosting the Socceroos.

New-age Arnie impresses Roos star Ryan

Australian goalkeeper Mat Ryan believes Graham Arnold's increased public confidence and open ambition are boosting the Socceroos.

MAT RYAN of Australia saves a goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Asian Playoff match between the Australian Socceroos and Syria at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.
MAT RYAN of Australia saves a goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Asian Playoff match between the Australian Socceroos and Syria at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia. Picture:Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

The transformation of Graham Arnold from stressed-out coach to a confident, positive strategist has not been missed by Socceroos star Mat Ryan.

The Australian goalkeeper got his professional breakthrough at the Central Coast Mariners under Arnold as an 18-year-old in 2010.


Since then Ryan has risen to become Australia's No.1 and is the first choice goalkeeper for English Premier League club Brighton.

Having been reunited with Arnold at the Socceroos, Ryan says it's obvious how much has changed from the coach he knew as a teenager.

"It's always well known that he wanted a good group that always got along well and had a laugh and a joke together but he never used to make reference to it as often as what he does now," Ryan told AAP.

"He's constantly always going back to the idea of doing everything with a smile and enjoying what we're doing, not doubting ourselves.

"That was one thing when I had him at the Mariners which perhaps he did a little bit more of in terms of having doubt or being worried that something wasn't going to work and stressing a little over that."

Arnold's transformation has been well documented, with mental guru Mike Conway and "coach whisperer" Bradley Charles Stubbs credited with allowing the 55-year-old to become more confident in his public dealings.

Conway is in the UAE with the Socceroos and has also been spreading his influence throughout the squad, Ryan said.

That open confidence has been translated to Australia's players for their Asian Cup defence, which kicks off in the UAE against Jordan on Sunday.

Arnold, in company with Conway, has instructed his players to make bold statements about the team's ambitions for the tournament with almost a blanket ban on comments that be construed as doubtful or negative.

Ryan said that open ambition is refreshing and, he hopes, a key to success in the Arnold era.

"There's no point being a footballer if you're not going to enjoy what you're doing," Ryan said.

"I guess he feels when you get your squad talking in such a way where there's such ambition, such belief behind it, he feels that it works best for him.

"Hopefully making that little change or little instruction that he wants us to speak in that way is another little detail for the team which is going to help make us the most successful Socceroos team ever."

AAP


AAP




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