|Full name||Graham James Arnold|
|Date of birth||3 August 1963|
|Place of birth||Sydney, New South Wales, Australia|
|Height||1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Australia (head coach)|
|2010–2013||Central Coast Mariners|
|*Club domestic league appearances and goals|
Graham James Arnold (born 3 August 1963) is an Australian soccer manager and former player. Arnold was appointed to work as a head coach of the Australian national soccer team in 2000. After head coach Frank Farina was sacked in 2005, Arnold worked with Guus Hiddink for the 2006 FIFA World Cup campaign, in which they made the second round of the finals. After Hiddink left, he became interim coach of the Socceroos. Arnold went on to qualify Australia's U23 men's national soccer team (nicknamed the Olyroos) for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Arnold then went on to assist Pim Verbeek for qualification of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Arnold went on to take the manager role at A-League club the Central Coast Mariners between 2010 and 2013, where he guided the club to a Premiership and a Championship. He is a member of the Football Federation Australia Football Hall of Fame. Arnold went on to win two Premierships, one Championship and an FFA Cup with Sydney FC. In August 2018, Arnold was appointed head coach of the Socceroos - Australia's senior men's national soccer team.
Arnold holds a number of A-League records: he has managed the second most games of any manager in the A-League (211), he has achieved the second most wins in the competition's history (116), he has the best career winning percentage of any A-League manager (54.9%), he has the best career unbeaten percentage of any A-League manager (81.5%), and he is one of just three managers to have won multiple A-League championships. In 2018 he replaced Bert van Marwijk as Australian coach after the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Arnold Place in the Sydney suburb of Glenwood is named for him.
His daughter, Elissa Arnold, was as of February 2017 partner of Trent Sainsbury, a Socceroo player.
Arnold was a striker who started his career at Gwawley Bay in 1969. He played for them and Sutherland representative teams concurrently until 1979 when he moved to Canterbury-Marrickville in the New South Wales Premier League. He then moved to Sydney Croatia in Australia's now defunct National Soccer League, where he was both the league's top goal scorer and player of the year in 1986. This was followed by a move overseas, where he made a name for himself in the Netherlands, playing for Roda JC Kerkrade and NAC Breda. He also spent time in Belgium with R.F.C. de Liège and R. Charleroi S.C. He went on to play for Sanfrecce Hiroshima in Japan towards the end of his career, before finally returning home to play for the Northern Spirit FC.
Graham Arnold has represented Australia's senior national team 56 times in 'A' international matches, scoring 19 goals (85 caps, 33 goals including unofficial matches and 'B' internationals). He was given his full debut by Frank Arok in a World Cup Qualifier against Taiwan at Adelaide's Hindmarsh Stadium on 23 October 1985. He scored on his debut as the "Socceroos" went on to record a 7–0 victory. His international playing career came to a sad end on 29 November 1997 in a World Cup Qualifier against Iran at the MCG when the score ended 2–2 and Australia was eliminated on the away goals rule after leading 2–0.
Arnold had a cameo role as a coach very early on in his career. He was coach for 2 games while he was a player at Sydney Croatia during the 1989/90 season. However, his proper coaching career started in 1998, when he was appointed player/manager of the Northern Spirit FC. He was the coach for 2 seasons, making the playoffs in their debut season.
He was then appointed to the position of Australian assistant coach in 2000, becoming interim coach in July 2006.
On 6 September 2006 Australia was defeated 2–0 in an Asian Cup qualifying game against lowly-ranked Kuwait. The FFA confirmed Arnold would remain Head Coach through to the end of 2007 Asian Cup campaign.
Australia started their Asian Cup campaign drawing with Oman in its opening Group stage game in Bangkok. Media pressure focused on Arnold and on 13 July 2007 Australia were beaten 3–1 by the eventual winners Iraq in the 2007 Asian Cup. Australia went on to be beaten by Japan in penalty shootout in the Quarter Finals. Arnold then continued in the role as Manager of the Australian U-23 side, qualifying through to the 2008 Olympics.
He was also linked with the manager's position at Bolton Wanderers and Norwich City in England but lost out to Gary Megson and Glenn Roeder respectively. With the appointment of Dutchman Pim Verbeek as the Australian manager, Arnold along with Henk Duut served as his assistant to the national side during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
On 9 February 2010, it was announced that Arnold will take on the position of head coach for the Central Coast Mariners until the end of the 2012–2013 season. Arnold is recognised as one of the A-League's greatest ever managers, in part due to his contribution to the Central Coast Mariners Football Club between 2010 and 2013. At the conclusion of the 2011–12 A-League season he rejected a lucrative contract from Sydney FC and decided to stay on with the Mariners signing a one-year extension to his original contract with the club. In his three full seasons with the Mariners, Arnold guided the club to two A-League Grand Finals (winning one), as well as the 2011–12 A-League Premiership. On 21 April 2013, he guided the Mariners to a 2–0 victory over Western Sydney Wanderers to win the A-League Championship for the first time in the club's history. This success in Australia's top flight ensured that the Mariners secured three successive qualifications for the AFC Champions League in 2012, 2013, and 2014. In 2013, Arnold guided the Mariners to the knockout phase of Asia's premier club competition, in part thanks to a stunning 1–0 win away to Suwon Bluewings in Suwon, Korea Republic just 48 hours after their 2013 A-League Grand Final victory in Sydney, Australia.
Arnold is also recognised for having developed many young Australian talents during his time with the Mariners. Australian internationals Tom Rogic, Trent Sainsbury, Mathew Ryan, Mitchell Duke, Mustafa Amini, Bernie Ibini, and Oliver Bozanic all developed their game under Arnold at the Mariners, and went on to enjoy great careers abroad. Some of Arnold's tenure at the Central Coast Mariners is highlighted in the 2013 fly-on-the-wall sports documentary 'The Code: Life with the Mariners'. The documentary charts the team's 2013 A-League Grand Final winning season, showcasing the culture and unity of the club under Arnold, as well as other characters and contributors at the club.
In the month of November 2013 Graham was a target for a few clubs in Asia, especially Vegalta Sendai in Japan's J1 League. Although interest again raised from the Australian Football Federation to make Graham the national team coach, he always wanted to stay in club football over the national team setup and within weeks agreed terms with Sendai to be the first Australian coach to coach at the highest level in Japanese football. Graham recruited his assistant from the Central Coast Mariners Andrew Clark to join him in Japan. On 9 April 2014, it was announced by Vegalta Sendai that Arnold had mutually terminated his contract after an winless 6-game streak endured by Sendai.
Arnold was appointed as the new head coach of Sydney FC on 8 May 2014. In his first season with the Sky Blues, they were runners-up in the 2014–15 A-League season, finishing second behind Melbourne Victory, and losing the 2015 A-League Grand Final to them.
After the successful 2014–15 season, they saw an unsuccessful 2015–16 A-League season, finishing in 7th place and missing out on the Finals Series. He was, however, able to lead the team to a top place finish in Group H for their 2016 AFC Champions League campaign. They were eventually knocked out by Chinese team Shandong Luneng 3–3 on aggregate in the Round of 16.
Arnold started his revamp of the squad by releasing 13 players in the pre-season. To solve the teams goalscoring issues, he bought in Brazilian striker Bobô as their new marquee to play alongside former teammate Filip Hološko under the new 2 marquee rule. In addition to this, he also brought in 5 Australian players, including Bernie Ibini on loan, Socceroo Alex Wilkinson (two whom have worked with Arnold at the Central Coast) and Danny Vukovic from rival club Melbourne Victory. The season started off with a bang, with Sydney FC defeating their rivals Western Sydney Wanderers 4–0 in round 1. He led the team to a runners-up finish after being defeated 1–0 in the FFA Cup Final by Melbourne City.
Into the January transfer window, fan favourite Matthew Jurman joined K-League club Suwon Samsung Bluewings, while keeper Vedran Janjetović swapped with Andrew Redmayne to cross city rivals, Western Sydney Wanderers after a dispute about not playing after being displaced by Vukovic. To replace Jurman, Dutch defender Jordy Buijs signed. The team was able to go on undefeated for 19 games in the league before eventually being defeated 1–0 in a controversial game against the Wanderers. This defeat only made the team stronger, as they went the remainder of the season undefeated, gaining 19 points out of a possible 21 for the remaining 7 games. His team was eventually crowned premiers after Melbourne Victory was unable to defeat Brisbane Roar, while Sydney had 4 games remaining. Arnold's 3rd season with Sydney proved fruitful, in addition to winning the premiership, the squad had broken multiple records, including the most points in a single season, breaking Brisbane Roar's 2010–11 season of 65 points in 3 fewer games with 66 points, as well as being the only top-flight football team in Australia to stay outright 1st throughout the whole season. Arnold was also named Coach of the Year at the Dolan Warren Gala Night. He ended the season with a 1–1 in the Grand Final, winning 4–2 on penalties against Melbourne Victory, becoming the first manager to win the championship with more than one club. Arnold went on to win the 2017-2018 Premiership, becoming the first coach in A League history to win back to back Premierships.
One of the highlights of Arnold's tenure at Sydney FC was his ability to recruit impactful foreign players to the club. Arnold signed the likes of Milos Ninkovic, Bobo, Filip Holosko, Adrian Mierzejewski, and Marc Janko to the Sky Blues, each of whom made telling contributions to Sydney's success between 2014 and 2018 alongside a raft of key Australian players including Brandon O'Neill, Rhyan Grant, Andrew Redmayne, and Joshua Brillante.
On 8 March 2018, after a vigorous search, it was announced that he would replace Bert van Marwijk as Australian coach after the 2018 FIFA World Cup following his notable success with A-League club Sydney FC, as well as also taking charge of the Olyroos. Almost immediately after Australia's uninspired performance at the tournament reached its climax, Arnold officially took the reins in the box seat of the national team. He opened his account strongly, with his team executing a comprehensive 4–0 win away to Kuwait national football team. In November 2018, Arnold's men were given their first genuine test of what was proclaimed by Australian media as the 'new era' of the Socceroos, drawing 1–1 against rivals South Korea in front of 32,922 fans at Brisbane's Lang Park in a friendly on 18 November 2018. On the day prior to the match, Arnold announced that Socceroos veteran Mark Milligan would be appointed captain for an indefinite period.
His first tournament on his second stint was the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, where Australia, as the defending champions, crashed out in the quarter-finals, where his team began with a shock 0–1 defeat to Jordan before ending the campaign with the same scoreline, this time to the hosts on the same stadium, thus suffered criticisms for the team's poor form in the tournament. Despite criticisms, he was able to guide the Olyroos to a third-place finish in 2020 AFC U-23 Championship, thus qualifying for the 2020 Summer Olympics (delayed a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic), as well as achieving for the first-time ever a straight eight wins in the second round of 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers to reach the third round.
In June 2022, Arnold guided Australia to its fifth consecutive FIFA World Cup Finals appearance, leading the Socceroos to play-off wins over UAE on 7 June, and Peru on 13 June in Doha, Qatar. In the second play-off against Peru, Arnold made a key decision prior to the penalty shoot-out, substituting goalkeeper captain Mathew Ryan for Andrew Redmayne. Redmayne performed strongly in the shoot-out, saving a decisive penalty to help lift Australia to another World Cup; Arnold himself had been subjects of heavy criticism for Australia's under-performance at the third round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification. In the 2022 FIFA World Cup, he led Australia to the round of 16 for the second time after 2006 when he was an assistant coach, following a 1–0 win over Denmark in the last group stage match, making him the first Australian-born manager to achieve this feat, defying all odds and criticism aimed against him. Australia were later eliminated by Argentina after a thrilling 2–1 defeat, despite the Socceroos putting up late scare to equalize. Following the tournament, Arnold was named the best coach at the 2022 World Cup by French sports newspaper L'Équipe and had his contract extended to the 2026 FIFA World Cup, as he urged Australian officials to do more to promote football across the country.
|1985||Sydney Croatia||National Soccer League||28||11|
|1997||Sanfrecce Hiroshima||J1 League||18||6|
|1998/99||Northern Spirit||National Soccer League||28||5|
|Australia national team|
|1||4 August 1985||St George Stadium||Red Star Belgrade||4–1||4–1||Friendly Game|
|2||9 August 1985||Hindmarsh Stadium||Red Star Belgrade||1–4||1–4||Friendly Game|
|3||11 August 1985||Olympic Park Stadium||Red Star Belgrade||4–0||4–0||Friendly Game|
|4||25 September 1985||St George Stadium||China||1–1||1–1||Friendly Game|
|5||23 October 1985||Hindmarsh Stadium||Chinese Taipei||6–0||7–0||1986 FIFA World Cup qualification (OFC)|
|6||3 August 1986||Olympic Park Stadium||Czechoslovakia||1–1||1–1||Friendly Game|
|7||25 October 1986||Mount Smart Stadium||New Zealand||0–1||1–1||Trans-Tasman trophy|
|8||2 November 1986||Parramatta Stadium||New Zealand||1–0||2–0||Trans-Tasman trophy|
|9||23 November 1986||Canton, China||China||0–2||0–2||Ampol Cup Trophy|
|10||11 June 1987||Kyong Ju, South Korea||Chile||0–2||0–2||Korea Cup|
|11||15 June 1987||Suwon, South Korea||South Korea||0–4||0–5||Korea Cup|
|12||21 June 1987||Seoul Olympic Stadium||South Korea||1–1||1–1||Korea Cup|
|13||15 November 1987||Taipei, Taiwan||Taiwan||0–1||0–3||Friendly Game|
|14||15 November 1987||Taipei, Taiwan||Taiwan||0–2||0–3||Friendly Game|
|15||3 February 1988||Olympic Park Stadium||GNK Dinamo Zagreb||1–1||1–1||Friendly Game|
|16||26 February 1988||Bruce Stadium||Taiwan||1–0||3–0||1988 Olympic Games Qualifying|
|17||26 February 1988||Bruce Stadium||Taiwan||2–0||3–0||1988 Olympic Games Qualifying|
|18||27 March 1988||Eden Park||Taiwan||0–1||0–3||1988 Olympic Games Qualifying|
|19||3 December 1988||Macquarie Field||Fiji||4–0||5–1||1990 FIFA World Cup qualification (OFC)|
|20||22 February 1989||Parramatta Stadium||Malmö FF||1–0||3–0||Friendly Game|
|21||12 March 1989||Sydney Football Stadium||New Zealand||2–0||4–1||1990 FIFA World Cup qualification (OFC)|
|22||12 March 1989||Sydney Football Stadium||New Zealand||3–0||4–1||1990 FIFA World Cup qualification (OFC)|
|23||2 February 1990||Olympic Park Stadium||FC Torpedo Moscow||2–0||3–0||Friendly Game|
|24||2 February 1990||Olympic Park Stadium||FC Torpedo Moscow||3–0||3–0||Friendly Game|
|25||10 June 1991||Taegu, South Korea||United States||2–2||2–4||Friendly Game|
|26||12 June 1991||Pohang, South Korea||South Korea||0–1||0–2||Friendly Game|
|27||26 February 1993||Papendaal, Netherlands||Vitesse Arnhem||0–1||0–1||Friendly Game|
|28||16 July 1993||Bersenberg, Germany||MSV Duisburg||0–1||0–1||Friendly Game|
|29||30 May 1993||Auckland, New Zealand||New Zealand||0–1||0–1||1994 FIFA World Cup qualification (OFC)|
|30||18 June 1995||Sydney Football Stadium||Ghana||2–0||2–1||Friendly Game|
|31||13 June 1997||Parramatta Stadium||Tahiti||4–0||5–0||1998 FIFA World Cup qualification (OFC)|
|32||17 June 1997||Parramatta Stadium||Solomon Islands||2–0||6–2||1998 FIFA World Cup qualification (OFC)|
|33||6 July 1997||Parramatta Stadium||New Zealand||2–0||2–0||1998 FIFA World Cup qualification (OFC)|
|Australia||21 July 2006||6 December 2007||15||6||4||5||40.00|
|Central Coast Mariners||1 June 2010||14 November 2013||114||55||30||29||48.25|
|Vegalta Sendai||1 February 2014||9 April 2014||8||0||3||5||0.00|
|Sydney FC||8 May 2014||14 July 2018||142||81||34||27||57.04|
|Australia U23||16 July 2018||28 July 2021||9||5||3||1||55.56|
|Australia||16 July 2018||Present||40||26||4||10||65.00|
Central Coast Mariners
Australia (Assistant Manager)
Graham Arnold has enjoyed a long association with the Olympic Games, having attended four Men's Football Tournament hailing back to Seoul 1988.
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