Gombau's 'don't quit' plea to Postecoglou

Josep Gombau has added his voice to a chorus imploring Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou to remain at the helm and lead Australia at next year's World Cup in Russia.

Josep Gombau

Source: Getty Images

Postecoglou is set to make a final call on his future this week after talks with his FFA paymasters, chairman Steven Lowy and CEO David Gallop.

His deliberations whether to hand over the baton, or remain and see out his contract, have been a top talking point for over a month, competing for air time with Australia's qualification clinching win over Honduras last week.

The 52-year-old has promised to clear the air and provide clarity ahead of the World Cup draw on December 1.


And newly appointed Gombau, in unison with many other influential figures in the game, has no doubts he should stay on.

A part of Postecoglou's inner sanctum, first as Olyroos coach and then as a Socceroos assistant, the newly-appointed Western Sydney Wanderers mentor said: "I really hope he stays on and takes the team to Russia.

"He's done so much hard work with the players over the years and he deserves to be there, just as much as they do.

"That would be the best outcome for the squad and the country.

"He has the trust of the team and there's a strong connection built up since he took charge in 2013.

"It's obviously a personal decision for him, I just hope he decides to remain because he still has a lot he can offer and much to aim for.

"Going to a World Cup is something special for any coach, and I'm sure Ange will factor all that in making up his mind."

Gombau made is own pivotal decision late last month  in quitting his dual Olyroos and Socceroos roles and  accepting the offer to become Tony Popovic's successor at Wanderland.

And, as the fates would have it, his second game in charge will be an "emotional" return to face his former club Adelaide united on Sunday.

Gombau's two years at Coopers Stadium included back-to-back A-League finals appearances for the Reds and and brought an FFA Cup triumph before he departed abruptly in July in 2015, with two years of his contract to run.

The ex-Barcelona Academy boss went on to spearhead the expansion of Spanish great David Villa’s DV7 Soccer Academy in US, before taking over the Olyroos last year.

He has now almost come full circle, and said of an Adelaide return which seeps sentimentality: "Of course it means a lot to me.

"I have tremendous memories of my time there, a lot of friends there and I'm looking forward to it. I'm sure it will be quite emotional.

"It wasn't an easy decision to leave there. It was the first place I worked in Australia and the club and the city hold a special place in my heart."

Gombau is looking to duplicate the same type of swashbuckling attacking ethos at the Wanderers that made him so popular with Reds fans.

But he knows it may take time, as he assesses the strengths and weaknesses of a new crop of players inherited from Popovic.

He is pleased with the squad at his disposal and is unlikely to look to strengthen until next season.

"The way we want to play, particularly out from the back, it's going to be a process," he said.

"It's not something we can change from one day to the next.

"But we will try to instill the style as quickly as we can, while at the same time trying to stay very competitive.

"I don't want to use this as an excuse .... because what's important is to be winning games."

Gombau played down the significance of having three fellow Spaniards in the playing ranks - Oriol Riera, Cejudo and Raul Llorente.

"Of course it's good to have Spanish players because of the communication. 

"But for me it's the same with all my players.

"I'm sure that's not the reason Western Sydney approached me as a coach, just because of the Spanish players.

"For me, every play at the club is the same ... it doesn't matter where they are from."

Watch the FIFA World Cup, Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, Dakar Rally, World Athletics / ISU Championships (and more) via SBS On Demand – your free live streaming and catch-up service.
Have a story or comment? Contact Us

Watch the FIFA World Cup, Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, Dakar Rally, World Athletics / ISU Championships (and more) via SBS On Demand – your free live streaming and catch-up service.
Watch nowOn Demand
Follow SBS Sport
4 min read
Published 21 November 2017 at 3:22pm
By Dave Lewis