Guus Hiddink to manage Australia again?

Despite securing qualification for the 2014 World Cup, Australia have sacked manager Holger Osieck – prompting rumours of a return for Guus Hiddink

Holger Osieck's reign as Australia boss is over after a 6-0 friendly defeat to France - which was their second successive 6-0 loss, after being destroyed by Brazil last month.

The 65 year old was no longer considered to be the right man for the job, and Footballl Federation Australia chairman Frank Lowy said of the sacking: "The decision is based on the longer term issues of the rejuvenation of the Socceroos team and the preparations for the World Cup and the Asian Cup.

"FFA has set a strategic objective of having a highly competitive team in Brazil and then handing over a team capable of winning the Asian Cup on home soil in January 2015. We have come to the conclusion that change is necessary to meet those objectives. I thank Holger for his contribution to Australian football and wish him well in his future endeavours."

Whilst a number of Aussie's have been linked with the role, including Graham Arnold (Central Coast Mariners), Ange Postecoglou (Melbourne Victory) and Tony Popovic (Western Sydney Wanderers), a much bigger name throughout world football has been linked to the vacancy - Guus Hiddink.

The 66 year old Dutchman is currently without a job having left Anzhi Makhachkala in July, and is now reportedly looking for a return to international management, and a subsequent return as Australia manager could be on the horizon - despite speculated interest from Poland, Denmark and even Hungary.

Hiddink took charge of the Socceroos between 2005 and 2006, leading the team to their first World Cup in over 30 years, and whilst there are critics that say Australia shouldn't go back to a former manager, Hiddink has the managerial ability to help meet their objectives in both the short and the long term.

Some of the concerns stem from the idea that Hiddink will choose to persevere with players from the 2006 World Cup squad, such as Lucas Neill, Mark Bresciano and Brett Emerton, when they need to harness the young talent coming through like goalkeeper Mat Ryan and forwards Robbie Kruse and Eli Babalj.

Should Hiddink make his intentions clear that he will embrace the new generation of Australian players, then his appointment should be something of a no-brainer. But with Australian football needing change, any indication of reverting to players from almost eight years ago should be alarm bells for the FFA, and given Graham Arnold's previous failure as the Socceroos boss, Postecoglou appears to be the right man for the job, particularly considering Popovic's inexperience.

image: © Maarten Dirske

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