Drawing West Asian nations such as Jordan will require a new group of 'big' leaders in the Socceroo squad as they negotiate the Road to Qatar 2022 in hostile places such as Amman and Kathmandu.
The draw for the second round of World Cup qualifiers was made in Kuala Lumpur tonight (Wed).
The Socceroos were drawn in Group B along with West Asian nations Jordan and Kuwait, plus relative unknowns in Nepal and Chinese Taipei.
Jordan has historically proven difficult at home for the Green and Gold in front of their passionate fans in Amman.
Former Socceroo defender Rob Cornthwaite told FTBL that for an Australian team without experienced heads such as Mile Jedinak and Tim Cahill, this will be an especially difficult path.
“With a young squad you probably want to avoid some of the difficult trips, and in the past, the Socceroos have struggled in West Asia,” the former A-League, K-League and Malaysian League central defender told FTBL.
As Cornthwaite notes, this World Cup qualification path will begin with a younger and fresher national team under the wily Graham Arnold.
Playing in places such as Katmandu, Amman, and Kuwait City, plus in Chinese Taipei will be the making of this younger group.
“It’s time for them to step up now.
“There’s always been that big personality in the group or that big player.
“Maybe now we’re going to see the next big star emerge as a leader who steps up.
“You look at a Trent Sainsbury, and he’d be primed to take over that kind of role.
"Mat Ryan as well.