Tim Cahill and Daniel Arzani get ready for a training run. Picture: Getty Images
Tim Cahill and Daniel Arzani get ready for a training run. Picture: Getty Images

Kewell: The two ‘Roos who must play Peru

THE end of a great Socceroos career is near for Tim Cahill and while I don't believe there is room for sentiment at a World Cup, it is time for Timmy to be unleashed in Russia.

We need him on the pitch because I genuinely think he can do damage.

In this do-or-die game which will be the Socceroos' hardest of the World Cup, I would consider playing Timmy from the start and perhaps changing the formation by starting with two strikers.

Only Bert van Marwijk and the conditioning staff know Timmy's fitness levels, but he is smart enough to get by for at least an hour.


If not from the start, then Timmy should play a significant impact role as a win and potentially goal difference will come into play.

The thing you'll get from Timmy is if the balls drops loose inside the box, he'll pounce.

It's a big call changing to a 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield, but I would try something completely different. It would catch Peru off guard and the Peruvians are down on confidence and can lose their cool.

Arzani and Cahill muck around. Picture: Toby Zerna
Arzani and Cahill muck around. Picture: Toby Zerna

The France and Denmark performances were excellent. We were just lacking in that final third, but that's been lacking for a long time because we don't have what we used to.

Our holdup play hasn't been great - I felt sorry for Andrew Nabbout as the lone striker, it's very hard to do.

We were spoiled with Mark Viduka up front, the big target man you knew could hold it up for you or score himself.

Timmy's smart enough to drop into those little areas and get involved. I like Tomi Juric and I would start him. If adopting two strikers, Robbie Kruse and Mathew Leckie are also capable of starting up front.

We need to take more risks, which is why I'd like to see Melbourne City's Daniel Arzani start.

Mile Jedinak, Mathew Leckie and Cahill. Picture: Toby Zerna
Mile Jedinak, Mathew Leckie and Cahill. Picture: Toby Zerna

Leckie has got wonderful energy - up and down all game - makes runs, and gets into so many unbelievable positions where he can take defenders on around the 18-yard box. But he won't go for the kill.

He might try and take the last player on one in four times, passing backwards on the other occasions. I don't want to see that because I know Leckie has got the pace and power to keep going.

If he feels tired, just imagine how tired the left-back is, because Leckie's full of power and pace.

Even if he fails nine or 10 times, doesn't matter. It's the 11th or 12th time you make or create that decisive opportunity.

Great wide players love taking on a defender. That's what they're born to do - beat their player, put a cross in or get a shot off depending on where they are.

Once the confidence is up, they can become unstoppable.

Arzani is a natural attacker. Picture: Toby Zerna
Arzani is a natural attacker. Picture: Toby Zerna

When Arzani gets the ball, he's a natural attacker. He says I'll drive it and every opportunity he has got this campaign he caused them problems.

He was a bit slack in getting back and he needs that fitness. But people like to see someone attacking, getting in the defender's faces.

They're the players who can break the game open, get the fans on their feet and against Denmark you could sense the opposition drawing further back.

The Socceroos were unlucky not to win, largely due to Arzani.

In 25 minutes, he forced a save from Kasper Schmeichel, whipped in a dangerous cross and almost had an assist.

He should have either kept his shot high, in the top corner, or gone low for the far post so if Schmeichel gets his hands on it, he maybe parries it and any good striker should be there. I'd back Timmy to be there, maybe Juric too.

I would have loved to have worked with the attackers in Russia during my Crawley Town off-season, I would have been proud to do so. Maybe in 2022.

That killer instinct in the front third will determine whether the Socceroos make it to the Round of 16. That's assuming France do us a favour against Denmark.

Allez Les Bleus. Go Aussies!