‘We need an answer’: Fascinating Dub Zone debate ignited by rumours of Matildas coach’s exit

WATCH: The Dub Zone panel discuss Tony Gustavsson's future, with rumours swirling of his reported interest in departing the Matildas head coaching role

On the latest episode of Dub Zone, an engrossing debate took place regarding the future of Matildas head coach Tony Gustavsson, with rumours of an exit to rival national teams circling. Watch the discussion below.

The excitement around the Matildas is palpable ahead of their friendly series against Olympic Gold medallists Canada, off the back of their historic run to the Women’s World Cup semi-finals. 

Yet it’s head coach Tony Gustavsson who has stolen the headlines in recent weeks due to ongoing speculation around his future, initially linked with the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT). 

TILLIES TRACKER: Perfectly timed Liverpool milestone sets up Matildas story to watch this week

However, with Chelsea’s Emma Hayes confirmed as the new USWNT boss, Gustavsson is rumoured to have been interviewed for the role of the men’s Swedish team head coach to  replace the departing Janne Andersson, according to reports from Swedish newspaper Sportbladet. 

When asked what he’d like to see out of the Matildas in their upcoming fixtures, Dub Zone panellist Pellizzeri said he’s seeking clarity over Gustvasson’s future with fears that the ongoing reports could be a cause of distraction. 

 “No more suspense,” he said. 

“I think we all saw the story this week that Tony Gustavsson has been attached to the Sweden men’s job. Credit to him – it’s a good gig to manage your national team of your home nation, men or women. 

“But we need an answer. Are (you) staying until the end of the Paris Olympics, serve out your contract and then go?

“Maybe announce that. If you want to go and use your current position as leverage to try and find a job in international or club football somewhere else, maybe leave. 

“Go be a free agent. Do it in the open market. Stop using the Matildas to use this position for something else. 

“Let’s just get an answer and move on so that we don’t have every media opportunist coming in and saying ‘let’s attach Tony Gustavsson to this job or this job. 

“It’s our national job – it needs to be held in the gravitas it deserves.” 

However, Matildas great Alicia Ferguson said a manager capitalising on their current job to find a move elsewhere isn’t anything surprising. 

“Don’t all coaches do that?” Ferguson asked. “Try to shop themselves around and negotiate?” 

Pellizzeri responded: “After hosting this World Cup we should hold ourselves as a nation in the esteem that we’re not going to let coaches do this to our prize national job right up there, equal if not a greater gig than the Socceroos job.”

“Look I don’t think even the players even think of it as deeply as that… he’s done a great job performance-wise,” Ferguson replied. 

“Paris (2024 Olympics) is the focus of this four year cycle. It’s the end focus so any other discussion around it I don’t think matters too much.”

Pellizzeri concluded the discussion by calling for a contract extension if Gustavsson has no intention to leave. 

“What about an extension? If the players are fine with him, why not give him an extension until the end of the World Cup and then there’s no reason for thinking about ‘what is my next gig on the open market’.”

As it stands, Gustavsson is contracted until the Paris 2024 Olympics and when asked about the various reports, he restated his commitment to the squad. 

“I’m passionate about the Commbank Matildas and, as I have stated before. I’m fully focused on qualification and participation at the Paris 2024 Olympics,” he said.

“Our team’s journey towards this goal is my primary focus and commitment.”