Perth Glory CEO Peter Filopoulos say the critics have been after Ange Postecoglou since day one and if he vacates the Socceroos role it will leave a huge hole in Australian football.
After beating Syria in a home-and-away World Cup play-off Australia has advanced to another two legged qualifier where they will face Honduras for a spot at Russia 2018.
But News Limited has reported Postecoglou could walk away even if the Socceroos qualify.
In recent months many in the Australian media have questioned Postecoglou’s use of a new formation which has seen the Socceroos play various combinations of three defenders at the back.
After failing to qualify directly for the 2018 World Cup the attacks have ramped up.
As a result, Postecoglou is rumoured to have had enough with a source telling the Herald Sun today, “He is definitely moving on after November".
Speaking exclusively to FourFourTwo, Filopolous, 49, can see why Postecoglou is frustrated and feels the critics have been out to get the Socceroos boss since day one.
“They always seem to know better and yet they have never been prepared to take themselves out of the comforts of their own media chairs and into the hot seat that Ange has sat in for such a long time,” he said.
“This is the time we need to honour and respect what he has done, I fear we will lose him to an overseas role imminently which will leave a huge hole in Australian football.”
Filopoulos was at South Melbourne from 1992 to 1999, first as General Manager then as CEO and along with the then Board was responsible for Postecoglou’s appointment as coach in 1996.
At the time Postecoglou took over from former Socceroos boss Frank Arok and guided the former NSL powerhouse to successive championships in 1997-98 and 1998-99.
The backlash Postecoglou is currently facing is a 180 degree turn to the positive reception the 52 year-old received soon after he became Socceroos boss in 2013 after Holger Osieck was sacked.
While Australia didn’t make it out of the group stage of the 2014 World Cup, Postecoglou coached the Socceroos with a much more aggressive, and possession based attacking philosophy which had fans and media on board.
His bold approach of blooding younger players and attacking at all costs delivered the country its first major football silverware via the 2015 Asian Cup victory.
But, with Australia struggling to qualify for Russia 2018, Postecoglou’s four-year honeymoon appears to be over and Filopoulos believes if he leaves he will be missed.
“Ange did it his way and his legacy will be remembered well into the future,” he said.
“He’s never been one to pay any attention to the noise but is also a strong leader and knows when it’s time to go.
“What he’s been able to achieve has been extraordinary and as a friend and former colleague, I am very proud of his feats.
“I am genuinely excited for his next chapter whatever that may be but I am sure he’s journey will continue along the same trajectory.”