Pim Verbeek's future unresolved
Posted: 18 March 2010 Time: 16:13
Just how speculation surrounding the future of Australia coach Pim Verbeek will affect the Socceroos going into the 2010 World Cup remains to be seen.
The Dutch tactician is only contracted up to the end of the competition, but with the Asian Cup finals scheduled for just seven months after the global show-piece, some Australian players have voiced concern that the coach's future be sorted out soon.
But neither the coach nor the Australian Football Federation seem keen to resolve the issue, though Verbeek says discussions are ongoing.
Reports suggest however, that the 54-year-old is keen for a return to club football after the World Cup.
"What I have read about the situation is only speculation," Verbeek said. "We are discussing the position.
"There is no doubt that I would like to have it resolved before the World Cup so it does not become a distraction and always the subject of discussion. But, for now, everything is speculation."
Verbeek has been a hit with the side since taking over from caretaker bosses Graham Arnold and Rob Baan, who had been in charge follow the 2006 World Cup in Germany when Guus Hiddink led the Socceroos to the second round.
He was not first choice for Australia, who had tried to lure Dick Advocaat to the post, but he has done all that has been asked of him, steering the side through a potentially tricky Asian qualifying campaign for the World Cup and easily qualifying the team for the 2011 Asian Cup.
But he has rubbed some players up the wrong way with his strong criticism of the quality of the country's domestic football, the A-League, while fans think he is too negative and stifles the country's football.
He plays a similar style to former Bafana Bafana coach Joel Santana, two holding midfielders and one striker, with slow build-ups from the back.
But he does bring vast experience having coached the South Korean side between 2006 and 2007, as well as Feyenoord in his homeland Kyoto Purple Sanga in Japan.
The Socceroos have won 15 and lost just 4 of his 27 matches in charge to date, including a 2-1 success over Netherlands in Eindhoven, as well as wins over World Cup opponents Ghana (1-0), Japan (1-0) and Republic of Ireland (3-0).