The Socceroos then made their own changes, bringing strong defender Bailey Wright into the fray while knocking out midfielder Riley McGree, while Arnold switched to a back five who could see the result – though he rejected any suggestion that the piece of paper caused anything other than surprise at how badly organized the Danes were.
“[Duke] gave it to me and I didn’t even look at it. I just gave it back because I was focused on the substitution,” said Arnold.
“I knew when [Cornelius] came up that we should go to a back five. I always have a plan A, B, C and D or E, for every occasion – whether you’re 1-0 behind or 1-0 ahead so we can look at substitutions [we need to make].
“In that little way it just showed me they didn’t have a plan ready. It was something obvious, if they have to send notes to players, it’s not planned in advance.
“We plan things like that in advance so the players know that if Bailey Wright comes, as he did, they immediately knew we were going to a back-five, because we’d already done those messages.”
Duke spoke about the discovery in a social media exchange with a fan posted by the popular A-League Memes account on Twitter.
Funnily enough, some of the guys on the couch pointed it out to me…then I picked it up and handed it to Arnie. I was too focused on the game, I didn’t even open it… was rumpled! duke wrote.
If anything, Duke’s initiative shows how the Socceroos are willing to leave no stone unturned, or leave no piece of paper unread in Qatar. It brings back memories of how a similar act of quick thinking on the part of Redmayne – aided by obsessive planning by Arnold’s staff to deploy the ‘Grey Wiggle’ in the first place – helped them get to the World Cup in the first place.
During the decisive penalty shoot-out in June at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, where Australia will meet Argentina on Sunday morning (AEDT), Redmayne had seen his Peruvian counterpart Pedro Gallese have taped notes about the Socceroos’ penalty takers to his water bottle.
He then threw it across the billboards, robbing Gallese of any insight that Peru’s research might have gotten him into the gunfight. He then guessed the correct direction of only one of Australia’s remaining four penalties, yet failed to save it.
“If we had notes on our drinking bottle and someone saw it, it would have gone a long way,” Redmayne said at the time. “I knew how much it meant to the boys and it was a kill or be killed moment.”
Watch every game of the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League on Stan Sports. Returns for the Round of 16 in February 2023, with all matches ad-free, live and on demand.