Socceroos unhappy with Moyes over Cahill

October 4, 2005

Australia assistant coach Graham Arnold has hit out at Everton manager David Moyes for his refusal to release key midfielder Tim Cahill for this week's training camp in Holland.

Guus Hiddink's right-hand man said Moyes' attitude in keeping Cahill on Merseyside was 'quite disappointing'.

'I feel the Socceroos are copping the backlash for Everton's poor form this year,' Arnold said.

Moyes himself is unhappy that Cahill wants to play in Australia's final World Cup qualifying matches - when they play home and away legs against the fifth-ranked South American country next month.

Arnold said Everton is the only club to refuse to release an Australian player for the camp, which is part of the build-up to the friendly against Jamaica at Fulham's Craven Cottage on Sunday and the qualifying play-off.

After discussions with Socceroos supremo Hiddink, Moyes has relented and will now allow Cahill to link up with his Australia team-mates in London on Saturday.

But Arnold was unimpressed with Moyes' attitude.

'Every other club has been fantastic,' the former Socceroo striker said.

'Everton are sticking to the FIFA ruling about not releasing players for a friendly until 48 hours before the match and he (Cahill) will now come into camp in London on Saturday.'

Arnold said other clubs such as Middlesbrough, Liverpool and Birmingham, had responded well to Australia's request.

'(Liverpool boss Rafael) Benitez has been absolutely brilliant,' he said.

'He knows the predicament we are in and he released Harry Kewell early because he knows Harry will receive round-the-clock rehabilitation in Holland.'

Arnold said Kewell could well play a role in the Jamaica friendly.

'He is champing at the bit and I would love to see him on the field,' Arnold said.

'It's a friendly so we can make up to six substitutions but I think it would be crazy to start him.

'He could get a few minutes at the back end of the game - that's what we are aiming for.'

Arnold said the Liverpool midfielder, who was plagued by injury last season and had surgery on a hernia in the off-season, looked good.

'He's working very hard and his fitness has improved enormously,' he said.

'He has a huge smile on his face and is enjoying just kicking the ball.

'It just shows how far his fitness has improved in the last three to four weeks.'

Socceroos skipper Craig Moore, now with Newcastle, is also on the mend with Arnold revealing that the former Rangers' stopper, who has yet to play for the Magpies this season, is visiting a specialist in London on Tuesday.

'He has not played because of the sciatic nerve problem which has aggravated the hamstring,' Arnold said.

'He suffered a relapse last week and I rate him only about 75% fit.

'He has gone to see a specialist in London, either for an injection or a scan but I expect to see him here (on Tuesday evening).

'I am keeping my fingers crossed because Craig is an important member of the squad. Graeme Souness understands the situation.'

Arnold described the injuries to Middlesbrough duo Mark Viduka (Achilles) and Mark Schwarzer (shoulder) as minor and both should be fit for the Jamaica friendly.