Socceroos bolters be aware - Bert will be in town

New Socceroos boss Bert van Marwijk is expected to arrive in Australia later this week and his message, as he gets a first taste of the A-League, is likely to be that as far as World Cup selections are concerned, anyone can make it.

Could that mean a place for some outsiders who would have hitherto been thought unlikely? Youngsters such as Melbourne City's Daniel Arzani, Newcastle pair Dimi Petratos and Riley McGree, or Sydney midfielder Josh Brillante?

Title-winning coach Graham Arnold certainly believes that anything is possible once a fresh broom sweeps through the Socceroos' house.

Contrary to those who expect him to rely on experienced players to set up a tightly organised team, van Marwijk might be prepared to gamble on youth or untried faces if they impress him enough between now and May, Arnold says.

"There's some impressive kids around. That Arzani (a standout in Melbourne City's 2-2 draw with Newcastle), wow.

"He's a kid that you could nearly throw in, he's brave, he's prepared to do anything, I really liked the way he stepped up for that penalty," Arnold said of Arzani's first A-League goal, against the Jets last Thursday..

"A foreign coach might see him and go 'wow', or see someone else, where an Australian coach might think he's not ready or maybe it's too soon.

"I think that will be the difference. All Australian players are on alert that they have to perform to get chosen."

There are a handful of obvious exceptions, players such as captain Mile Jedinak, midfielder Aaron Mooy and goalkeeper Mat Ryan, to name a few

But with 23 places up for grabs in Russia and an entirely new coaching team, players who were either on the fringe, used and then discarded by Ange Postecoglou or just never considered by the former regime will be striving to put themselves on the radar.

Arnold played in the Netherlands and Belgium for seven years in the 1990s and knew van Marwijk there. He also worked extensively with Dutch coaches Guus Hiddink and Pim Verbeek in the national team set-up, so he has a fair idea of how they work.

The Sydney coach was closely linked with the vacant Socceroos post but ruled himself out once he knew it was going to be a short-term appointment.

In the circumstances he believes van Marwijk is an excellent choice, and says he will bring a fresh pair of eyes and no prejudices to his selections.

If players are performing he will consider them, regardless of where they play, Arnold says.

"He will judge every player on their performance, on their quality and it won't matter who it is, he will select the best team that is going to win us games at the World Cup.

"The whole thing is that he is going to view everyone and make quick decisions and get advice. At the same time he has got that great staff that Ange had around him, plus Mark van Bommel and maybe another coach."

The fact that he led Saudi Arabia in two games against the Socceroos in recent qualifying makes his transition a lot smoother, Arnold believes.

"Bert would already know the players, when you coach against a team, you don't just analyse one game, you analyse four. He would know clearly the system we play, our players, where they all play.

"I think he will come here to look at the A-League to see what its about. He's probably already got some Dutch contacts as well, he will have his team over there going to watch the Australian boys playing with their clubs.

"That's what we had with Guus, he was coaching PSV at the time, I was doing all the work here and we had Johan Neeskens doing the European scouting.

"They will sort it out, they know what they are doing."

The appointment of van Marwijk produced groans in some quarters simply because he was from the Netherlands. Australian soccer has had a love affair with all things Dutch this last decade, with mixed results.

But Arnold believes that the influence of men who have played for or coached the Oranje has been largely beneficial.

"I think what they have brought is structure. With the coaching licences and the way the game is played, the principles are important.

"It doesn't matter for me so much about formations, whether it's a back three or back four or whatever. It's about principles, how you defend, where you press and what you do with the ball in your build up and how you attack. I think they brought that in.

"It started way back with Guus in 2006 ... you are getting people who have a lot of experience in world football. Is it good thing? 100 per cent."

This story Socceroos bolters be aware - Bert will be in town first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.