Graham Arnold has been linked to a new job. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
Graham Arnold has been linked to a new job. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Socceroos coach linked to shock job switch

SOCCEROOS boss Graham Arnold has been linked to the manager's job at Scottish club Hibernian.

Just days after Australia was knocked out of the Asian Cup, ESPN reported Arnold was interested in the lead coaching role at the Scottish club.

Incumbent manager Neil Lennon was reportedly suspended after an exchange with club chief executive Leann Dempster.

He was not in charge for Hibernian's clash with St Mirren on Sunday, with the club confirming head of academy coaching Eddie May and assistant coach Grant Murray would take charge of the team for that game.

Lennon looks unlikely to return to Hibernian, which would open the door for a new coach to make their mark.

Were Arnold to express his interest in that job, he would have some familiar faces on hand.

Hibernian is the club of Socceroos Mark Milligan, Martin Boyle and Jamie Maclaren, though the latter has been linked to a January move to Melbourne City.

Graham Arnold has been linked to the coaching role at Scottish club Hibernian. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
Graham Arnold has been linked to the coaching role at Scottish club Hibernian. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Socceroos captain Mark Milligan has called on Australia's next generation to take a leaf out of his book when it comes to persistence.

The 33-year-old is undecided about whether to carry on his international career after Australia's quarter-final exit in the Asian Cup on Friday.

If he does retire it would remove the final link to Australia's "golden generation" with Milligan the last remaining player from the 2006 World Cup squad still in the Socceroos squad.

"Thirteen years now I've been here. At the start it was very difficult," Milligan said.

"We had players like (Mark) Bresciano, (Jason) Culina, (Vince) Grella in their prime when I first came in.

"To sort of nudge them out as a 20-year-old was quite difficult.

"Hopefully the young boys can see the time it took me and the persistence I had in sticking around and continuing to work hard. That you do get rewards for that, whenever that maybe.

Mark Milligan is undecided about his playing future. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Mark Milligan is undecided about his playing future. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

"It might be later on, it might come a little bit earlier for some."

If Milligan does call time on his 79-cap Australian career, Arnold believes he will follow in the footsteps of his 2006 World Cup teammates by taking up a career as a coach.

Arnold was an assistant coach to Guus Hiddink in 2006 and says he can see similarities between Milligan and former Socceroos andcurrent A-League coaches Tony Popovic and Kevin Muscat.

"He's a great professional, he works hard and he's a great leader," Arnold said. "Out of this group he'll be one of the coaches.

"You can see those type of people like Popovic and Muscat, those type of players that when they played they'd end up being a coach.

"I'd say out of this group he'd be one you'd say he'll end up being a coach."

Milligan was solid  for the Socceroos.
Milligan was solid for the Socceroos.

Arnold also lauded Milligan's leadership of a team shorn of experience following the retirements of ex-skipper Mile Jedinek and record goalscorer Tim Cahill after last year's World Cup.

"He's a very, very good player. Great leader. It's no coincidence that when he was at Melbourne Victory they did well," Arnold said.

"He was my captain in the Olympic team, and we've had a great relationship all those years.

"Players like him, in North Korea when we had to qualify, last game. Pyongyang. Artificial grass, freezing cold, under-23 team and we had to get a point to get through.

"Then your captain steps up and leads by example, he's great."

- with AAP

News Corp Australia

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