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Prominent Australian rules football commentator and former player Robbie Slater delivered a superb drive-by on longtime colleague Mark Bosnich, in an explosive article in The Daily Telegraph.
Slater, who worked alongside Bosnich for years on Fox Sports’ coverage of the A-League, took umbrage at the goalkeeper great’s calls for Socceroos manager Graham Arnold to be sacked if the team does not automatically qualify for this year’s World Cup in Qatar.
In the process, he attacked Boschich’s “mind-boggling” views of Slater’s close friend Arnold, but also claimed that “Bozza” had “let people down for a very long time.”
“Calls this week from former Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Bosnich that Arnold should be sacked if Australia don’t qualify automatically and are forced into a sudden-death playoff to make the World Cup are outrageous and off target,” Slater wrote.
“Bosnich insisted it was not a ‘personal attack’ on Arnie, but given the difference in approach when he was [former Socceroos coach Ange] Postecoglou in the same position, how could it be otherwise?
“The reason it has become personal is mind-boggling, given that Arnie played a huge role in bringing Boschich back to Australia after all his well-documented issues in the UK.”
Slater’s attack on Bosnich included claims that he “didn’t seem interested in playing for Australia” despite him, Slater and Arnold all being part of the Socceroos setup in the late 1980s and 1990s.
“A good example was our two-legged tie against Argentina to qualify for the 1994 World Cup,” Slater wrote.
“Bosnich played the first leg in Sydney, where we drew 1-1, but didn’t fly to Buenos Aires for the second leg in a must-win game.
“Let’s just say it didn’t impress a lot of his national team-mates and it still doesn’t today.”
Slater has opened up about the non-existent relationship he and his former Fox Sports sparring partner have today, saying he ‘hasn’t heard from him’ since Bosnich left Fox to join Stan Sport following the former’s loss of A-League rights. .
Since September, Boschich has been working on the streaming service’s Champions League coverage.
“Perhaps Bosnich’s attack on Arnie is an indirect hit on me considering I haven’t heard from him since he left Fox Sports last year,” Slater wrote.
“We used to talk to each other on a daily basis but since he moved to Stan Sport – where he works with people he didn’t seem to like a year ago – he cut off all contact with me.
“For me, it’s a character flaw, but he’s been letting people down for a very long time.”
While Slater’s attacks on Bosnich predictably caused a stir, another claim he made in the article was quickly dismissed.
Slater, a vocal critic of coach Ange Postecoglou during his tenure as Australia coach between 2013 and 2017, claimed “not once have we [he and Bosnich] say he [Postecoglou] should be sacked before the playoffs leading to the 2018 World Cup.
“For some reason Bosnich doesn’t want Arnie to have the same chance,” he wrote.
However, Twitter user Jason Calleja was quick to prove his claims wrong, unearthing a September 2017 Fox Sports article in which Slater claimed just that.
??????? https://t.co/vz2LjHY9qK pic.twitter.com/PDrEISZG96
— ALM (@TheRealALM) February 6, 2022
“I’ve seen enough,” Slater wrote.
“Ange Postecoglou has had his chance to lead the national team and now is the time for a change before the Socceroos have to go through a series of qualifying play-offs to get to Russia in 2018.
“Holger Osieck and Pim Verbeek didn’t have the luxury of finishing third; at this point in their two campaigns, we were home. Verbeek had done it with games to spare.
“We keep hearing that the road to Russia – the journey and the process of development – is more important than going to the World Cup.
“Sorry, we are on a road that leads nowhere. »
Bosnich, too, had called for Postecoglou to face the axe, just as he has done for Arnold in recent weeks.
Sydney Morning Herald journalist Vince Rugari quickly unearthed the proof.
So much for that actually. It only took me a Google search to find that Bozza had also suggested that Ange should have been sacked if the Socceroos were forced into the play-offs.
But no, it’s personal! https://t.co/rchrGB4K6c pic.twitter.com/PN791L0GMI
— Vince Rugari (@VinceRugari) February 6, 2022
Slater’s attacks on Bosnich have been derided on social media since popular memes from the A-League Twitter account posted a screenshot of the article, described as an “absolute sook” with his conduct deemed ” childish and embarrassing”.
Popcorn time on Twitter in Sokkah.
Robbie Slater using his column for a personal hit on Mark Boschich is hilarious. It is also littered with lies.
The same Robbie Slater who was in an elementary school play about the Stolen Generation. https://t.co/SiNCR6oCiE pic.twitter.com/DNBaQCjgbd
— Rory Flanagan (@Rory_Flanagan) February 6, 2022
What an absolute sook is Robbie Slater. fmd. Can someone stick a pacifier on this child?
— Dave M (@jh_70) February 6, 2022
Robbie Slater’s opinion piece is childish and embarrassing. He can’t make his point without launching irrelevant personal attacks on Bozza.
Bozza’s past has nothing to do with his call to fire Arnie. Arnie’s poor performance is why there are calls to fire him.
— Graham’s Gooch (@RunnaLittle) February 6, 2022
And people wonder why Robbie Slater is no longer on our television screens. That’s really low of him. https://t.co/VMk60mL14t
— Nic Rojas (@Nic_Rojas_99) February 6, 2022
Honestly, this article by Robbie Slater is absolutely toast on so many levels.
— Nick G (@ghana3032) February 6, 2022