Former Australia goalkeeper Mark Bosnich has backed Sir Alex Ferguson to take the Socceroos to next summer's World Cup, following the sacking of Holger Osieck last week.
According to the Daily Star's Jack Wilson, Bosnich has tipped his former Manchester United manager to turn around the fortunes of an Australia side who have endured 6-0 defeats to Brazil and France in their last two international fixtures.
Wilson reports the goalkeeper-turned-pundit as saying:
We’ve been throwing around a lot of things but there’s one person that I haven’t heard mentioned – even though I’ve got more reason than anyone not to suggest him.
I’m just being honest and have had experience under him, so know what he’s like – is Sir Alex Ferguson. That name hasn’t been put about, but someone of that ilk.
Australia have won just twice in 10 fixtures in 2013, including a disappointing showing for a developmental home-based side at the summer's East Asian Cup—where they finished below Japan, China and South Korea.
While Osieck's task has not been made easy by Australian football's limited numbers of emerging international-level talent, he simply did not do enough to phase younger players into the line-up after the 2010 World Cup. The likes of Mark Bresciano, Tim Cahill and Lucas Neill, all well into their 30s and now playing outside of Europe, remain established first-team members.
Whether Ferguson would be willing to return to football management to whip the Socceroos into shape is debatable, but there certainly needs to be an introduction of new ideas into Australian football.
Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou is tipped by the Herald Sun as favourite for the manager's role, but there is a feeling that FFA chief Frank Lowy would like a high-profile international boss to take the country to the World Cup—Guus Hiddink has been mooted.
The World Cup next year is the first priority, but Australia will host the Asian Cup in 2015 and will hope to see a new generation succeed at that tournament—at which they have a good chance of success.
There is talent in the A-League in the likes of Mitchell Duke, Mitch Nichols and Aaron Mooy, while the growing Australian community in the Chinese Super League can also offer impressive players in Erik Paartalu and Ryan McGowan in particular.
Whoever comes in must look to some of these names, as well as the few succeeding in Europe, and look to build a side that will take Australia through to 2015. Any success in Brazil next summer would be a bonus.