MELBOURNE, Dec 20 (Reuters) - James Troisi, who scored the winning goal for Australia in the 2015 Asian Cup final, has lashed out at coach Graham Arnold after he was left out of the squad for the Socceroos’ title defence in the United Arab Emirates next month.
The Melbourne Victory midfielder has scored five goals in 37 appearances for his country and helped the Socceroos qualify for the World Cup earlier this year, though he was left out of the final squad for Russia.
Former Sydney FC coach Arnold named his 23-man squad for the Jan. 5-Feb. 1 tournament earlier on Thursday.
“In my opinion I believe I should be there,” Troisi told local media on Thursday.
“Not just myself. There’s a couple of boys in this (Victory) team. It doesn’t look like the squad is picked on merit and picked on performance.
“Everyone has their agendas and their favourites and their ideas.
“I think I’ve done quite a bit for Australian football and I’ve got some close friends still involved so I wish them all the best.”
Troisi came off the bench to score the winner in the first period of extra time in Australia’s 2-1 win over South Korea in the 2015 final.
Striker Tomi Juric, who set up Troisi’s winner in 2015, was also omitted from Arnold’s squad.
Midfielder Terry Antonis, a team mate of Troisi’s at Victory, was another considered unlucky to miss out after showing fine form in the domestic A-League.
Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford