Monday, 20 August 2012

Nearly Done For 2012 - South Melbourne 1 Dandenong Thunder 2

Detective John Munch's legendary despondency has
 apparently infiltrated my efforts on this blog
and made them even more depressing
Steve from Broady hated the last match report blog. So, just for this week, maybe, we're taking a slightly different approach, back to the old slapdash ramshackle efforts. Steve said that the segmented approach made him feel even more depressed by my efforts than usual, being able to visualise the resigned (and implied? inferred? Detective Munch has screwed me up on the definitions of these after a recent episode I saw of Law and Order SVU) shrug of the shoulders after the end of each section.

Me, I personally blame the team for me taking that direction. But there's just three more weeks and one more dropped point or so, and we can go about forgetting another forgettable season. How appropriate that we'll likely be done and dusted at this coming week at Northcote City Hercules, the little team that could, the team whose relative success we'd try to take for ourselves, not realising that you can't just take that sense of camaraderie and spirit off a club, that for the most part you have to make it and earn it yourself.

Is there a little switch somewhere that we don't know about? We started like a house on fire, then disappeared for a 30-40 minute spell, before inexplicably turning it on again towards the end. I had no idea where that impetus came from. I'd almost rather we had not turned it on again. It just creates further confusion and angst. If I was a neutral, I perhaps would have said that was the best game all season, with an ebb and flow, attack and counter attack, and the game played in the right spirit.

But I'm not a neutral. Like most of my readership, regardless of the teams we support, and regardless of how much I love soccer as a sport, I am a partisan supporter of the game. I have my team, and when they lose, or have another frustrating season, the spectacle provided by a good game is little comfort.

Full credit to Dandenong - they were outplayed at the beginning of the match and at the end, but they dominated us in the middle section of the match like no team has at Lakeside for a long time, and found something to get themselves over the line at the end. They're a very even team across the park.

The coulda, woulda, shouldas will be out in force again. What if Gavalas' positioning for Thunder's first goal was better? What if Burton did even a little better with his pint blank range shot late in the match? What if we had tried to take the initiative at 1-1, when we were under the pump, instead of waiting and waiting and waiting.

Then again, what if Thunder had scored either or both of the chances they had cleared off their line? The game would have been done and dusted much earlier. That's the harsh reality of playing that kind of game. Still, we did make them look like an average team at times.

Lastly, the game was well officiated. Such a nice change.

P.S. I'm actually not particularly pleased with how this post turned out, but there's no taking that back now. I suppose there are worse things in life than to have penned a(nother) substandard blog piece. I just can't think of what that might be at this stage.

In other news
  • The under 21s managed to eke out a 3-2 win. Baggio Yousif managed to net a hattrick, but who created all those opportunities?
  • Check out Thunder's running track celebration later on SMFCTV or the youtube highlights. Bit sad that we gave them the opportunity to do that though.
  • I'm one of the few that seems to have adjusted well to the new stadium layout - most others I speak to just can't seem to get a feel for it.
  • I went to the Oakleigh - Melbourne Knights game on Friday night, which only made me angrier with our season. There's one consistently good team, being the Thunder; there's also Green Gully, who no one likes or watches but who can be counted on to get far; and there's the majority of the rest of the league who range from inconsistent at best to incompetent at worst, and for whom the fact that there are three extra spots up for grabs gives them an undeserved chance at playing finals and maybe even winning the title.
  • Francesco Stella is apparently trialing with Rangers. The Scottish four tier it may be instead of the first, but we wish the stepover king well in his attempt to join a pretty famous club down on its luck. But then again, he's been in that position before...


  1. More John Munch, please.

  2. Found the original exchange I was referring to:

    Hotel Manager: What you're inferring is preposterous.
    John Munch: Implying -- you did infer what he implied. And on the bright side, you did infer correctly.

  3. "The under 21s managed to eke out a 3-2 win. Baggio Yousif managed to net a hattrick, but who created all those opportunities?"

    Let's see. His first goal was a smart lob over an advancing keeper following a magnificent and precise 40+ m diagonal ball over the top to him, from one of our defenders.

    His second came after a receiving a pass from a midfielder on the left, before commencing a 25m mazy solo run past a few defenders and into the box, before cooly slotting past the keeper .

    His third was a sharp first-time finish from about 6 yards after a brilliant cross from the right by a young 16 year old who came on as a substitute.

    I could (and probably should) name the 2 players that directly provided the assists (and the other player that was involved in the lead up to Baggio's mazy run for his second), as it is obvious you did not watch the game given your question implies all 3 goals were created by a single player. Instead I will give you the opportunity to ask your mate to "fess up", so that you can correct your misleading (deliberate?) inferences, and give credit where it is deservedly due.

    Report whatever you want to report when your mate deserves accolades but dont blatantly report mis-truths that undeservedly credit him for other players excellent play.

  4. I was not inferring that Anthony Giannopoulos provided those assists, rather that score sheets alone shouldn't make a player's entire reputution, even a striker's. Baggio Yousif did quite well in this game, and I don't begrudge him his hat-trick, nor his surprise senior appearance last week. I'm just curious (as is the Kiss of Death, and others) as to why he got game time against the Knights, after having played in the reserves, while 'Gia' got no game time in the reserves and sat on the bench for the entire senior match. The same sorts of questions come up at lots of clubs.

  5. Speaking for myself however (that is, not for the Kiss of Death), you do have a valid if indirect point. No more 'Gia' boosting for the rest of the season from my end unless its absolutely warranted, as while I very much doubt that it has any impact on what the coaching staff do, it doesn't benefit Anthony, nor does it do a positive service to the rest of the players in the under 21s squad who are trying to break through to the senior squad.

  6. U21's are great, yada, yada. Who cares?

    More Munch!! Extra credit for a fictional character who appears in L&O, The Wire, Arrested Development, The X-Files, Seasame Street, and more.

    * for South/WWF fans, some quality Hulk Hogan vs Richard Belzer action

  7. Anon, if we only we could hire John Munch as coach - think of the inspirational team talks he could give. And, oh! The post match press conference. One can just see after another dodgy loss at Green Gully, Munch saying of the ref or crappy goalie, that 'there should be a special level of Hell for this pus-sucking, gangrenous, malignancy of a mental amoeba!'


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We've had a lot of fun over the years with my freewheeling comments policy, but all good things must come to an end. Therefore I will no longer be approving comments that contain personal abuse of any sort.

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