Socceroos manager Graham Arnold is moving forward with his preparations for the World Cup in Qatar but admits he’s groping in the dark when it comes to one of his top players, former Celtic midfielder Tom Rogic.
Arnold has arranged a friendly against New Zealand for September and plans to field two sides in that game to give his entire squad a chance to impress. Whether Tom Rogic will attend at the moment is a complete mystery as the Socceroos boss admits he is worried about his talisman, who left Celtic in May after years of service that were not glorious.
Celtic’s Tom Rogic is seen during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Motherwell at Celtic Park on May 14, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
“With the short break between games, I’ll probably field almost two different teams and that gives everyone a good chance then to show me what they’ve got and if they’re ready to go,” Arnold said in Brisbane on Tuesday. as reported by Fox Sports Australia.
“It’s the fairest way. We now have a well-developed squad of 30-35 players struggling to get into a 26-man World Cup squad.
“The best way to give them a fair chance is to play against New Zealand with two different sides, which gives the players a chance to show their skills before we choose the squad and add more depth.”
After Tom Rogic left Celtic, he withdrew from the Socceroos squad for the key qualifiers for personal reasons, but despite his best efforts, Arnold admits he’s completely at odds with what’s really going on regarding Tom Rogic’s participation in the World Cup remains obscure is concerned.
: Celtic’s Tom Rogic celebrates after scoring the only goal of the game during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Motherwell FC on December 12, 2021 (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
“I didn’t read anything, I didn’t see anything… I texted him and got no reply,” said the Socceroos manager.
“I’m worried about Tommy, but I know the PFA is looking into it.”
Over the weekend, there was a suggestion on social media that Rogic could indeed be back training with Celtic as he is keen to maintain his fitness ahead of next in game coming his way. Rogic has already turned down a lucrative contract offer for Indonesian club Persija Jakarta and his career remains in limbo.
With Graham Arnold’s comments, it’s clear that Tom Rogic is at a crossroads and will need to sort out his game situation sooner rather than later if he is to be included in the Socceroos plans for Qatar.
Any Celtic fan will be concerned about this too and will want to hear positive news that all is well with Tom and his family.