Anthony Hudson was only ever going to be a short term solution for New Zealand Football.

Even if the All Whites had qualified for the 2018 World Cup it's unlikely that Hudson would have stayed beyond the event in Russia.

But the 2-0 loss to Peru in Lima last week sealed his departure, and he is expected to take up a club role in the coming days.

The All Whites' job was only ever a stepping stone for Englishman.


Appointed at the age of 33, he made no secret of his high ambitions, talking at his first press conference of his desire to coach in the Champions League one day.

It didn't stop him putting his heart and soul into the All Whites, and he bought an unprecedented work ethic to the job.

But frustration soon set in, as he came to understand the realities of coaching the New Zealand team.

He was openly dismayed by the lack of matches for the All Whites in the first two years of his tenure, as well as the attitude of some young players, whom he felt lacked the necessary desperation to forge overseas professional careers.

The 2015 eligibility saga, which saw New Zealand disqualified from the Olympic qualifying tournament, robbed Hudson and a whole generation of young players of the chance to compete at the Rio Olympics, was another setback for the English coach.

Hudson deserves credit for the complete overhaul of the All Whites environment, which has become the most professional in their history.

Hudson drove the appointment of fulltime video analysts, sport scientists and an enhanced medical staff and constantly pushed for more for the playing group.

He also developed the All Whites into a tight knit unit, then genuinely believed they could match it with Peru.


Hudson had the foresight to see the potential of goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic over the established No1 Glen Moss, when few others could at the time.

Hudson also showed faith in the likes of Deklan Wynne and Clayton Lewis from an early stage.

And he helped to get the best out of Chris Wood — though former Leeds coach Garry Monk deserves the most credit for Wood's progress over the past two years — and kept Winston Reid in the fold.

He took a proactive approach to unearthing New Zealand eligible players across the world, which led to Themi Tzimopoulos and Henry Cameron coming into the mix.
But Hudson was also inconsistent with some selections.

The continued absence of Tyler Boyd from the international scene was a mystery, despite the fact the former Wellington Phoenix forward is playing in the Portuguese first division.

Portland Timbers' goal keeper Jake Gleeson was also mostly out of favour, and Hudson's inability to develop a solid defensive midfield option was costly to the end.


His selection of Alex Rufer in March, after he had barely been sighted at the Phoenix, was strange, as was the sudden elevation of Dane Ingham and the last minute recall of Rory Fallon.

Hudson's desire to spread the net far and wide led to caps for an extraordinary amount of players, including plenty that will surely never get near the silver fern again.

In terms of style, Hudson developed a team that was strong defensively and worked hard off the ball, with an emphasis on pressing high up the field.

But the All Whites under his watch also rarely looked comfortable in possession against non-Oceania teams, which was always going to make it hard to compete on the bigger stage.

Possession football has never been a trait of New Zealand sides, but was a stated goal of Hudson's from the outset, and it feels the potential of ball players like Ryan Thomas and Marco Rojas hasn't been realised under this system.