Graham Arnold at the Socceroos' training ground in Doha, Qatar

The Socceroos are set for a tough World Cup, but coach Graham Arnold has them united in self-belief

Just watching football is pressure enough. Taking to the pitch in a stadium reverberating with emotion takes it to another level.

Try being responsible for keeping goal as the world watches on. Or having every facial expression scrutinised on the sideline as every coach does.

Then there’s always the critics, many of them. Too many of them. Most of them, according to most coaches, have absolutely no idea.

As Graham Arnold wrestles with his final selections to take to the pitch against France in the early hours of Wednesday morning Australian time in the nation’s FIFA World Cup opener, the mind games have been obvious in every Socceroos player press conference, perhaps without any of them even realising.

Socceroo after Socceroo has spoken about “the belief” they have in each other, despite there being not many people “out there” who believe in the team. Nobody is quite sure where ‘out there’ is and who is in it – is it just the media contingent? Or the wider Australian public?

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