Socceroos set for post-Postecoglou run

Steve Larkin

When Ange Postecoglou got in the driver's seat in October 2013, he thought the Socceroos were running on empty.

At a media briefing before the 2014 Brazil World Cup, Postecoglou stood before a whiteboard, texta in hand, and drew a fuel tank.

An arrow points to nearly full: this, he says, is the so-called Golden generation. The only Australian team to make it out of a World Cup group, in 2006.

He draws another arrow, nudging empty: this, he says, is now. The Socceroos are running dangerously low.

Four years ago, Postecoglou's job, his duty, was to fill the Socceroos' fuel tank.

And just how far could he take the Socceroos for a World Cup run in Russia was the end-game.

Of course, Postecoglou, appointed for five years until the end of this World Cup, isn't there.

He got out after qualifying. Left the engine running. But with how much in the tank for the Russian run?

Postecoglou coached 49 games - 22 wins, 12 draws, 15 losses.

He delivered the 2015 Asian Cup, qualified for both the 2014 and 2018 World Cups.

And he must be credited for using 59 players in his tenure, 22 of whom will be in Russia, along with newcomer Daniel Arzani, a post-Postecoglou addition.

But from Postecoglou's starting side in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, just four players remain: captain Mile Jedinak, Tim Cahill, Mat Ryan and Mathew Leckie.

Of that line-up in Brazil, only one has retired - Mark Bresciano. What of the rest? What of those Postecoglou picked for Brazil with an eye on Russia?

All are still playing. But all now can't make the Socceroos' squad.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

Australia's starting line-up at the 2014 World Cup, a 3-1 loss to Chile.

* Mat Ryan. Still first-choice goalkeeper, still just 26-years-old

* Ivan Franjic: Has recently joined Perth Glory, his fifth club since Brazil

* Alex Wilkinson: The Sydney FC mainstay appears unlikely to add to his 16 international caps

* Matthew Spiranovic: Now playing in China after an A-League stint with Western Sydney

* Jason Davidson: Still just 26, has been at five clubs since Brazil, the latest on loan in Slovenia

* Mile Jedinak: Incumbent captain.

* Mark Milligan: Regular starter, going to a fourth World Cup.

* Mark Bresciano: Retired after Brazil following an esteemed 84-cap international career

* Matthew Leckie: Regular starter

* Tommy Oar: Another 26-year-old struggling for a football home, at his fourth club since Brazil

* Tim Cahill: Going to his fourth World Cup