FOX Sports football expert Archie Thompson has pointed to Ange Postecoglou's departure as Socceroos coach as a possible reason behind Tim Cahill's shock exit from Melbourne City.
Cahill announced on Wednesday morning he had cut ties with the A-League club effective immediately with the Socceroos legend leaving in search of regular football ahead of the 2018 World Cup.
Australia's record goalscorer made just one start this A-League season at City, with Thompson believing Postecoglou's departure as coach has left Cahill without a guarantee of going to Russia in six months.
"I don't think it [was about] tension," Thompson told Fox Sports News 500.
"He came back to the A-League to play regularly and to play in the [World Cup] qualifiers. He's done both of those, got us to the World Cup and now it's purely about game time.
"Obviously he's not getting game time with City and now that Ange [Postecoglou] isn't at the helm anymore, his spot isn't guaranteed. He has to play regular football. I'm surprised he's left now but it had to happen because he has to play regular football."
Thompson himself fell victim to a new national team coach coming in, with the former Melbourne Victory striker a Socceroos regular under Holger Osieck when they qualified for the 2014 World Cup.
Once Postecoglou took over from Osieck, Thompson was among a host of Socceroos veterans who were quickly phased out in favour of a younger crop of players. Among those moved on were Mark Schwarzer, Brett Holman, Lucas Neill, Luke Wilkshire, Sasa Ognenovski and Thompson. The only experience Socceroos veterans who remained were Mile Jedinak, Mark Milligan and Cahill.
"Spots aren't guaranteed now," Thompson explained.
"I was part of the team that qualified for Brazil and then Holger went out and Ange came in and there were six or seven squad regulars who didn't get a look in.
"I think that's behind Timmy's decision because Ange isn't there anymore so he'll need to be playing regular football for whoever comes in [as coach]."
Thompson added on Cahill's club future: "I haven't spoken to him so I don't know if he's [spoken to other clubs] and I don't want to go speculating.
"But it's Tim Cahill, he'll have a few options to go to. I think now he probably wants to spend time with his family to weigh up the situation … he probably can't move right now because the transfer window isn't open yet.
"He could play anywhere. Unfortunately for himself, McCormack, Kamau and the other attackers at City are playing really well so he couldn't get into their side but anywhere else he could probably play.
"He has to weigh up whether [his next club] will be in the A-League, whether it will be in Asia or in Europe. But he has to play regular football because it's an important five or six months, especially because Ange isn't at the helm.
"Whoever comes in [as new Socceroos coach] they're going to be looking at players playing regularly and that's why he's made the decision he's made."