- Graham Arnold looks back on Australia’s victory against England in 2003.
- Socceroos angered by Sven-Goran Eriksson comments
- David Beckham was furious at halftime as he trailed by two goals
Graham Arnold has opened up about the insult that propelled the Socceroos to a shock victory over England that left David Beckham furious.
Australia return to London for the first time since stunning Sven-Goran Eriksson’s Three Lions, with the underdogs winning 3-1 at Upton Park.
Arnold was an assistant coach at the time and revealed how pre-match comments made by Eriksson angered the east London visitors.
“I remember reading the paper the day before, where Sven came out and said ‘I’m going to change the whole team at half-time’,” Arnold said. The temperature.
“It upset our players. “Who the hell does he think he is? Does he think we’re bullshit?” We developed the narrative as coaches: “Look, they have no respect for us.” The Australian mentality has taken hold.
Graham Arnold reflects on Australia’s stunning win over England
The Socceroos stunned the Three LIons at Upton Park in 2003, winning 3-1.
“We had top players. Our golden generation. If you look at this generation, you didn’t need to motivate them too much. Harry (Kewell) was calm but he had an incredibly strong mentality. There was no way we were going to lose this match, especially considering the mentality of Viduka and those guys.
The Australians led 2-0 in the first half thanks to a Tony Popovic header and a Harry Kewell strike, and Arnold remembers how a furious Beckham demanded to stay on the pitch.
“We went back up the tunnel and all you could hear was (Beckham) speaking to Sven, ‘we’re not going to get out. We can’t be 2-0 at halftime and go out. “Sven still changed the whole team.
The Australians, meanwhile, had their own plan to stay ahead. “Kevin Muscat came to make sure things don’t calm down!”
Arnold established himself as a national hero during Australia’s miracle World Cup campaign in Qatar last year, where he took the Socceroos to the last 16. Respected French sports publication L’Equipe named him coach of the tournament.
Arnold’s coaching journey has been a whirlwind, but he says the memory of his mother and father inspires him to keep going.
“I always look up to the stars of the national anthem because my mother (Faye) and father (Barry) died when I was young. I know they are up there watching me and helping me. I know they are still proud of me,” he said.
Arnold said the team was exasperated by Sven-Goran Eriksson’s comments.
A furious David Beckham refused to come out at half-time but eventually relented.
“My mother died when I was 20. Breast cancer. She was sick since I was 16, and I went off the rails, just partied, drank alcohol, stopped playing football for a year. She fought cancer at Calvaire (health center) for a year.
“After being unconscious for a month, two days before she died, she opened her eyes, grabbed my hand and said, ‘Graham, you have talent in life, you have something special, Don’t waste it on your party mates.’ Don’t be a bum like them. I’ll never forget. She “conserved” all her energy to tell me that. It still inspires me today.
“I got out of that hospital, pretty much gave up my job as a builder and turned professional. A year and a half later I played for Australia.