Socceroos debutant Jordan Bos and Head Coach Graham Arnold took a number of positives away from the Aussies’ two-nil defeat against World Champions Argentina last Thursday.
Bos, who played 28 matches in the left-back position was pivotal in his side’s tremendous League form, despite falling devastatingly short of their second championship after a 6-1 loss against Central Coast Mariners in the Grand Final earlier in the month.
The Socceroos World Cup Round of 16 rematch against Argentina last Thursday was Bos’ first in the Green and Gold.
Although the match was only a friendly, with the Aussies looking to prepare for January’s Asian Cup, Bos found it an incredible learning experience to face competition as strong as the World Champions.
“It was definitely a great experience facing the world champions just getting out there and making my starting debut,” he said.
“Obviously it was hard work against them (Argentina) tough conditions as well but there’s just so much I can learn from it.”
Coming off a strong A-League season, Bos took plenty of confidence into the Socceroos camp with the group of players helping him settle even more into the team.
“Especially coming off the season I’ve had confidence is high when you have that it’s easy to play especially when you’re surrounded by such a class group of boys,” he said.
Despite a shaky opening ten minutes of the game, which saw seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi find the back of the net, the Socceroos were able to find their way back into the game, with Bos almost assisting a Michell Duke goal.
“I saw Duke making the run so I just cut it in tried to put it on a plate for him but unfortunately it didn’t go in.” he said.
Although making his debut, Bos had conflicted feelings about his personal performance, more so after the first half.
“Yeah I think I did alright especially in the first half, the second half maybe not so much,” he said.
“I can take some positives and negatives out of what I did.”
Socceroos boss Graham Arnold took a youthful squad into the camp ahead of the Argentina match, with five players under 22 years old making the list.
Giving young players the opportunity to impress was in Arnold’s frame of mind going into this week’s camp, and despite the two-nil defeat, the manager was happy with his side’s performance.
“Overall the most pleasing thing is there are some kids coming, and we’ve just got to give them an opportunity to be exposed against this type of opposition,” he said.
“I know losing in an international fixture is not fantastic but at the end of the day I couldn’t be prouder of the boys.”
After an impressive World Cup campaign, reaching the knock-out stages for only the second time, the Aussies have been given the chance to face some of the best footballing nations in the word, an opportunity which Arnold appreciates as a learning experience.
“When you’re playing the world champions like that it’s obviously a good learning curve for a lot of people,” he said.
“Although we started the game poorly it’s a learning experience for the younger players that have probably never played in this type of environment before.
“I thought they handled the occasion after the first ten minutes very well.”
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Arnold believes playing against the very best is a position the Green and Gold belongs to be in, and is one of the only ways to get players to improve.
“Everything we do is about growing as a team,” he said.
“We’ve got some youngsters coming through and the only way for them to improve is to put them on the big stage.
“If they’re just playing local football or playing against weak opposition, they’re not going to be able to learn.
“After tonight I think quite a number of them will go home and think we belong, a number of the kids are going overseas now, their careers are only going to go up from now.”
Although team selection was hindered by a number of injuries to attacking players, the way the Socceroos play didn’t change and will continue being that way, according to Arnold.
“The whole message I’ve been driving all week is the Aussie DNA never changes we fight till we drop when we lose the ball but saying that we also need to be better with the ball,” he said.
“It’s about being brave to play and I thought that we played very well.
“We did some good things, good combinations, but we just lacked the final edge at times.
“I changed the system with no wingers available due to injury, but I thought the system was very good and I was very pleased with the performance.”
Australia’s next scheduled match is in October when they face 2021 UEFA Euro Championships finalists England at Wembley Stadium.
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