If Socceroos’ Coach Bert van Marwijk’s words are to be taken at face value, the role of Tim Cahill at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Finals may be an emeritus one.
Van Marwijk’s remarks, picked up by the AAP, summed up Cahill’s role succinctly.
“Everybody knows Tim’s situation. I’ve spoken to him a few times. It’s very clear the situation between us,” van Marwijk said.
Cahill has not been a starter in the three friendlies to date and is no lock for the role of starting striker in the next friendly with Hungary.
“Maybe I will let him play for a period,” was the statement coming from van Marwijk.
Cahill played a key role in the fact that the Socceroos qualified for Russia and to his credit, we have not heard one iota of complaint about his prospects for time on the pitch in Group play.
Over the past six months, he has played around 60 minutes of international football, always as a substitute.
Cahill’s record of striking when the moment was large is not lost on van Marwijk. “When I need him he must be ready. We’ve discussed that and he’s ready for that. If it’s thirty seconds or thirty minutes, when I need him he will be ready,” he said.
Van Marwijk has been running the Socceroos hard in Turkey to get them accustomed to playing in hot weather, but he is now easing up so that the players can taper and hopefully, be in top form when they line up against France later this month.
“We will now come into a new rhythm,” van Marwijk said.
The Socceroos are whole following the return to fitness of Tomi Juric, something that pleases van Marwijk immensely.
“I’m very happy that there have been few little problems, that everybody’s fit,” he said.
He then mentioned the role of luck as a contributor to the fitness of his entire squad, as bizarre injuries can happen at any time, so the upcoming friendly with Hungary might find more than a few of the players holding locks for a start against France to exercise caution.