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The problem with the news cycle at the moment when most of the journalists are 'over there' and we're all 'back here' keeping the home fires burning, so to speak, is that the traditional newspapers are way behind. For example, FFA's morning news distribution was all about Massimo Luongo so you can expect the excerpts and images to start appearing by around 8am. Meanwhile, back to the printing press ...

We read (again) about how difficult it was for Bert van Marwijk and everyone involved as he informed the four players who were cut from the squad of their fate. We get it. We feel for Brillante, Karacic, Rukayvytsa and Troisi - but the only way to avoid the situation is to pick the 23 from the outset.

And another read on Jamie Maclaren and his aborted Dubai holiday (yes, we all know that by now) and how - on a whim - he took his football boots with him. As you do. Maclaren says his confidence is "sky high" and he always does well when he has a coach who believes in him. 

This piece combines both the reaction of van Marwijk to Maclaren and telling the other four they could go on holiday. 

Tom Smithies with some interesting observations on Daniel Arzani - how he still has much to learn, and his team mates are not backward in letting him know, but also so much potential. 

A similar story here about Arzani from Ben McKay for AAP, who has also spoken with Arzani's Melbourne City team mate, Bruno Fornaroli, about how to deal with the precocious talent of Arzani. McKay also compares him with tennis player Nick Kyrgios.

"Both are blessed with divine talent. Both carry themselves with a certain swagger, a confidence or brashness that some find unpalatable. And the very thing that frustrates is also the thing that makes them elite - the nerve to try the ridiculous, an audacity that presents itself on and off the field. But in a team environment, that's not always appreciated. That same environment - which Kyrgios doesn't enjoy - will spare Arzani the harsh spotlight beaming down on him every second. And the Socceroos hope an absence of that glare will allow him to shine in Russia."

Mile Sterjovski says if you think cutting the squad by four is a time for tension, wait till the players are in camp and 23 men are vying for a starting XI position. “There are players who expect to be starting, there are others fighting to be starting. There might be a few surprises, so there will be tension leading into the first game — and rightly so."

Michael Lynch applies some experience with a caution that results in friendlies might make us feel good as fans, but it might not mean a thing. He mentions the results from friendlies of our opponents from the weekend also.

Fran Karacic

He may have been one of the four who was cut from the Socceroos squad, but Fran Karacic is wanted by Serie A club, Empoli


By the way, Germany left Manchester City's Leroy Sane out of their squad. He was the PFA Young Player of the Year in the Premier League. The great Michael Ballack wasn't impressed. 


Sydney FC has re-signed goal-a-game Bobo for another 12 months. 

While FFA Congress Review Working Group chair, Judith Griggs, starts her one-on-one meetings today, the Australian Professional Football Clubs' Association (APFCA) has issued a statement saying they want a 14-team A-League sooner rather than later. That's fine; former Chairman Frank Lowy said in 2008 there would be a 14-team league by 2011, so better later than never. 

socceroos, a-league, germany, fran karacic, jamie maclaren, daniel arzani, a-league expansion