One of Australia’s greatest attacking threats says the new generation of strikers in the Socceroos have the capability of scaring defences across Asia on the Road to Qatar 2022.
Despite an underwhelming quarter-final exit at last month’s Asian Cup in UAE, the Socceroos’ new, exciting strikers have time to gel and could easily jumpstart Australia’s World Cup 2022 qualifying campaign.
The 95-times capped Socceroo Brett Emerton, who scored 20 times, loves what he sees from the new generation of strikers coming through the national team.
When fit again, Celtic’s Daniel Arzani together with Asian Cup breakout star Awer Mabil can cause mayhem with their pace and trickery on the Road to Qatar 2022.
Add J-League based Andrew Nabbout, the always dangerous Mat Leckie, a fit-again Martin Boyle from Hibs alongside Perth Glory’s on-fire former Lazio attacker Chris Ikonomidis and Emerton predicts a bright future if all can stay fit for the majority of the campaign for Qatar.
What’s more, Apostolos Giannou and, potentially, World Cup 2014 striker Adam Taggart who in the last month moved from the A-League to K-League club Suwon Bluewings, add depth for Graham Arnold.
And this depth could be tested given Australia played an arduous 22 games on the Road to Russia 2018 across Asia and Central America.
There are other options too with giant central striker Harry Sawyer, 22, from the Hong Kong Premier League another who could develop over the next cycle and offer something a little different for the Green and Gold.
Australia at times lacked a cutting edge in the final third in the UAE at January's Asian Cup.
However, with more time under Arnold - who had little time to implement his strategy in the lead-up and who had to plan for life without an injured Arzani plus Boyle and Aaron Mooy's Cup-eve injuries - Emerton feels confident the national team can start to hurt sides.
“Arnie’s brought his own style to the Socceroos and it takes time for the players, I guess, to understand exactly their roles and responsibilities within the team,” Emerton told FTBL.