‘I thought he was cleaning up rubbish’: Arnold confirms street-smart Socceroos’ Danish discovery


The Socceroos then made their own changes, injecting big-bodied defender Bailey Wright into the fray while taking off midfielder Riley McGree, as Arnold switched to a back five that was able to see out the result – although he dismissed any suggestion that the piece of paper triggered anything other than surprise at how badly organised the Danes were.

Bailey Wright came on for the Socceroos after the note was received.Credit:Getty

“[Duke] handed it to me and I didn’t even look at it. I just handed it back because I was focused on the substitution,” Arnold said.

“I knew when [Cornelius] came on that we had to go to a back five. I always have a plan A, B, C, and D or an E, for every occasion – if you’re down 1-0, or you’re up 1-0, so that we can look at what substitutions [we need to make].

“In that little way, it just showed me that they didn’t have a plan ready. It was an off-the-cuff thing, if they’re having to send notes out to players, that it’s not pre-planned beforehand.

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“We pre-plan those type of things beforehand, so the players know if Bailey Wright comes on, like he did, they knew straightaway, we’re going to a back five, because we’d already done that messaging.”

Duke spoke of the discovery in a social media exchange with a fan posted by the popular A-League Memes account on Twitter.

“Funny enough some of the boys on the bench pointed it out to me … then I picked it up and ran it over to Arnie. I was too focused on the game I didn’t even open it … was scrunched up!” Duke wrote.

If nothing else, Duke’s initiative shows how the Socceroos are prepared to leave no stone unturned, or no scrap of paper unread, in Qatar. It elicits memories of how a similar act of quick-thinking from Redmayne – underpinned by obsessive planning from Arnold’s staff to deploy the ‘Grey Wiggle’ in the first place – helped get them to the World Cup in the first place.

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During June’s decisive penalty shootout at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, where Australia will meet Argentina on Sunday morning (AEDT), Redmayne had spotted that his Peruvian counterpart Pedro Gallese had notes regarding the Socceroos’ penalty-takers taped onto his water bottle.

He then tossed it over the advertising hoardings, robbing Gallese of any insight Peru’s research might have given him in the shootout. He went on to guess the correct direction of only one of Australia’s remaining four spot kicks, and failed to save it anyway.

“If we had notes on our drink bottle and someone saw that, it would have been thrown a long way away,” 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 match of the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League on Stan Sport. Returns for the Round of 16 in February 2023, with all matches streaming ad-free, live and on demand.



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