Robbie Slater rips Aussie legends after Socceroos stun Denmark at World Cup

Robbie Slater, pictured here alongside Craig Foster and Mark Bosnich after the Socceroos' victory at the FIFA World Cup.
Robbie Slater has taken aim at Craig Foster and Mark Bosnich after the Socceroos' victory at the FIFA World Cup. Image: Getty/SBS

Some of Graham Arnold's greatest critics have officially joined the Arnie Army after the maligned Socceroos coach took Australia to unforeseen World Cup heights. But close mate and former teammate Robbie Slater is not wearing the about-face.

Australia stunned the football world with a 1-0 win over Denmark that pushes the men in gold through to the last 16 in Qatar – an achievement few saw coming after the Roos were thrashed 4-1 in their opening group match against France. Arnold came in for heavy criticism following that defeat, with the likes of ex-Socceroos Mark Bosnich, Craig Foster and even ex-Wallaby Peter FitzSimons leading the charge.

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But after engineering victories over Tunisia and Denmark to beat the odds and finish second in one of the World Cup's toughest groups, Arnie appears to have won them over.

"Graham Arnold's at the centre of it. He did an amazing job today, amazing job in the last couple of games," Foster said on SBS as the coach embraced his players at full-time. "He made all the right decisions against Tunisia and he's done it again today."

Bosnich added: "You know, during the qualifying period he did come under a lot of criticism, including from myself and, at that time, it wasn't looking good for him that he got two points from a possible nine. He stuck through it and a lot of credit must go as well to Football Australia and (CEO) James Johnson and his board for sticking by Graham.

"It would have been very easy to let him go that time. They did (stick by him) and kudos to all of them. It's an absolutely fantastic victory. Massive congratulations to the Socceroos…minor miracle being there, proper miracle now…superb achievement."

Graham Arnold, pictured here celebrating after the Socceroos' victory over Denmark at the FIFA World Cup.
Graham Arnold celebrates after the Socceroos' victory over Denmark at the FIFA World Cup. (Photo by Eric Verhoeven/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Robbie Slater takes aim at Graham Arnold's critics

But Slater was unimpressed with the about-face from Arnold's harshest critics.

"Arnie's written himself into history. No Australian coach has won two games at a World Cup, kept two consecutive clean sheets and had a team score in every game," Slater told Yahoo Sport Australia. "It makes you squirm watching people (on TV) this morning who tried to get him sacked after the Saudi Arabia (World Cup qualifying) game.

"They're now saying it's a good decision they kept him but they were desperate to get him out. It's unbelievable to hear what they're saying now."

The FIFA World Cup 2022 is on SBS and SBS on Demand.

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