Sydney FC have made the long awaited announcement of their new manager, and have appointed former Central Coast Mariners’ manager Graham Arnold it was revealed on Thursday.
With Arnold losing his position at Japanese club Vegalta Sendai, Sydney FC were able to take advantage of the situation and pick up the man who turned down the same role two years ago.
Arnold has been given a three year contract at Sydney FC, which is a remarkable statement for a club that has struggled to hold on to their coaches for any longer than a year.
Newcastle Jets were reportedly also interested in acquiring Arnold, but they ended their discussions with Arnold to appoint Phil Stubbins.
Sydney FC Chairman, Scott Barlow, was keen to insist that stability would be a key to Arnold’s reign and the mandate going forward is to built a team.
“An important part of the selection criteria was ensuring that we could bring somebody on board who we were confident around building long-term," Barlow said in a statement.
After rumours that Arnold would not be seeking out an expensive marquee player the new Sydney manager refuted those allegations straight away.
After being at the Mariners and the success he had there without a marquee many thought that wouldn’t be something he wanted to bring to Sydney but Arnold restated that it was monetary restrictions, not philosophy, that prevented the Mariners having a marquee.
With the decision to appoint Arnold Sydney FC have again raised the proposal of a Center of Excellence which Arnold was a big part of in the Central Coast.
The appointment will no doubt make the rivalry with the Central Coast much more intense with Arnold expected to swoop for Mariners’ striker Bernie Ibini.
There was one odd moment as Arnold tried to endear himself to the Sydney fans stating “One of the dreams I always had from day one when the A-League started was to coach Sydney FC.” A statement seemingly at odds with his refusal to take the job two years ago.
It will be a hard ask for Arnold, with typically high expectations and a weaker squad than those that made the finals this season, Arnold will have to use all his skill to get the results Sydney fans demand.