Ange Postecoglou quit his job as Socceroos coach early on Wednesday just seven days after leading Australia to the 2018 World Cup in Russia next summer.
The 52-year old coach told a press conference in Sydney that he was going because of the enormous strain the position had placed on him personally and professionally.
His decision will hardly come as a surprise though, given the immense amount of pressure put on the coach after Australia failed to qualify automatically.
The Socceroos were instead forced to overcome both Syria and then Honduras in playoff matches in order to secure their spot in Russia.
Postecoglou has been in charge for four years, during which he led Australia to the 2015 AFC Asian Cup and qualification for both the 2014 and 2018 world cups.
His decision now leaves the Socceroos without a head coach just six months before the start of the tournament next summer, with Australian football executives admitting they were puzzled by the timing of the decision.
Players were quick to pay tribute to their departed coach.
Just want to say thanks to Ange for everything he has done for football in Australia and me personally. He gave me my shot with the national team and I can never forget that. The belief and confidence he’s instilled in this team that will keep us on the path to great things. ?? pic.twitter.com/p99kzKXuRL
— Trent Sainsbury (@Tsainsbury92) November 21, 2017
Thanks to Ange for giving me my opportunity to do the thing I've always wanted to do and represent my country, also the way he has changed the way people look at Australians playing football. I wish him all the best in the next chapter in his life ???? pic.twitter.com/PrLtTgjYRv
— brad smith (@bradsmith_94) November 21, 2017
Congratulations to Ange on a successful 4 years as @Socceroos coach. Making a huge impact on and off the pitch for Australian football. Also – Two World Cups and an Asian Cup ?! Thanks for giving us players the hope and belief of playing for Australia ????
— Ryan Edwards (@redwards_17) November 21, 2017
Fans were also thankful for Ange’s contribution.
?I wish he stayed. He’s been an invaluable asset to the @Socceroos, helping the national team grow and develop its identity.
I don’t think many Socceroos fans wanted to see Ange out, just his tactics altered. https://t.co/UnvmGFHEu6
— Jordan Kounelis (@JordanKounelis) November 22, 2017
Who is surprised Ange walked away – should have been celebrated the way he forecasted Australian Football internationally. He was strong in his beliefs and never deviated. A real leader.
— Marty Pask (@mpask) November 22, 2017
Thank you Ange Postecoglou. Good job. #socceroos
— D A Cairns (@da_cairns) November 22, 2017
Others, though were left puzzled by the timing.
Ange qualifies for World Cup.
Ange quits. Who does that?
All that stuff about changing style of play to beat the big team at the WC – then you quit before you actually play them.
— Kevin Airs (@KevinAirs442) November 21, 2017
Ange Postecoglou resigns.
A grand shame.
— Daniel Garb (@DanielGarb) November 21, 2017
Sad to see you go Ange.
i think you deserved be at the world cup with the @Socceroos.
Oh well surly it's Graham Arnold job should he want it.
— Zanzibar_bb_Mcfate (@philolausGbruno) November 22, 2017
While some started thinking about possible replacements.
— William Borg (@Karshuin) November 22, 2017
— J Georgiadis (@jgeorgiadis35) November 21, 2017
— Liam Moss (@LiamMoss9) November 22, 2017
Big Sam? Really?