Denmark should be wary of Socceroos, says Graham Arnold

Doha: Graham Arnold suspects Denmark could be selling Australia short, declaring his team are not just “fighting kangaroos” but also have the technical quality to hurt the Europeans in their winner-takes-all World Cup showdown

It is a marked change from Arnold’s rhetoric over the last six months since sealing qualification, having emphasised the Socceroos’ physicality, team spirit and “Aussie DNA” over their actual footballing capabilities.

Graham Arnold thinks Denmark may be selling the Socceroos short.Credit:Getty

But on the eve of Thursday morning’s (2am AEDT) clash at the Al Janoub Stadium, which Australia must win or draw to reach the round of 16, Arnold went away from describing his players as “11 boxing kangaroos” and echoed the comments of winger Awer Mabil in suggesting their opponents might be taking them for granted.

“I think maybe it could be one thing they underestimate us on, and that is our quality,” he said.

“We want to walk away from here [and] it’s not just about being fighting kangaroos or Australians just fight all the time, but it’s also the quality that we can bring as a team as well.”

Yet Danish coach Kasper Hjulmand gave no such suggestion in an engaging half-hour press conference, conducted just before Arnold’s, at the World Cup’s main media centre in Doha, saying he had nothing but respect for the Socceroos. While he didn’t name names, he pointed out that some of their players couldn’t be taken lightly as ball-players.

Denmark Coach Kasper Hjulmand With His Star Midfielder Christian Eriksen.

Kasper Hjulmand (Denmark coach) with Christian Eriksen, star midfielderCredit:Getty

“I expect, as always, a great collective side … they have really some strengths in the team, both individually but mostly as a team, just like we do,” he said.

“We also define ourselves as a very strong unit and a team that works very well together. And that’s what I see. It’s a well-organised football team, they have strength in the organisation and the way they work together, they attack together, they defend together, and they stick to a plan.

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Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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