Ange Postecoglou warned us we'd miss him when he's gone. We miss him already and his seat's still warm.
This will go down as one of the most baffling decisions in Australian football history. Sadly it may well overshadow his legacy of Asian Cup glory, the regeneration of the Socceroos side and its philosophy, and their stand out performances against some of the biggest names in world football.
Already the conspiracy theories have gone into overdrive - did the FFA combine with Fox Sports to drive him out to make way for Graham Arnold to take over? The suggestion is utterly bizarre - if the FFA wanted Arnie in, they just sack Ange and install Arnie rather than try to undermine the coach and make him fail in WC qualification.
Apart from anything, the FFA needs the cash from the World Cup to balance their books. Financially alone, they had to back Ange to qualify.
But there is without doubt behind the scenes tension between Ange and the FFA. By all accounts, he was still fuming over the slapdown when the FFA made him eat his words over supporting players in their wage dispute in 2015.
His autobiography released last year was choc-a-bloc with flashpoints that went against FFA policy too - supporting promotion-relegation and A-League expansion among others which directly contradicted the FFA.
But Ange brought much of the most recent pressure upon himself.
The switch to the back three last March was a key football moment in his reign. Introduced at the last moment, away from home with only 24 hours to prepare the players, was impetuous and flawed.
The subsequent transition period where players got used to the new formation and Ange tried to find the best combination of players ultimately cost us automatic qualification.
And for what? Ange had ALREADY revolutionised his squad. He had ALREADY found his best XI and his best tactics. And now a new coach will tear it all down anyway...
Before March we looked good, although still capable of improvement. After March, with the exception of the Confeds Cup game against a weary Chile, we were constantly shaky at the back until pretty much the final game where it came good.
In football terms, the change meant we overloaded midifield and attack to create more scoring opportunities for our lone striker. Ange had correctly identified that, Cahill aside, our strikers need more chances to convert into goals because, frankly, our strike rate in front of goal was poor.