Saturday, 14 May 2016

Frustration - South Melbourne 0 Pascoe Vale 1

Even if I had said that according to the laws of probabilities we were due for a loss, and it doesn't negate the fact that losing still sucks, no matter how mcuh you psychologically prepare for it. Losses being comparatively rare nowadays compared to some of our worst periods during the post-NSL era doesn't make things any easier; on the contrary, it stings even more.

Are there good times to lose? Probably not, but there are better times to lose than any others, and most would take a loss here if it meant that mistakes were learned from for the important games coming up. Are there good ways to lose? Again, probably not, but one would probably prefer a side to go down fighting, against adversity or through sheer bad luck than have to put up with such a mediocre attempt to achieve what was expected of you when the situation was so much in our favour.

We had it all laid out for us. The indirect free kick for a back pass (which I maintain was a good call though I'm willing to allow for a different interpretation); the red card, which saw Pascoe Vale play with ten men for 70 minutes; and the penalty which had we scored would have likely seen us take all the points.

Instead the People's Champ run of penalty scores came to an end, and we spent the game reminiscing about how great the Palm Beach game was, sending in poor cross after poor cross, wasting corner after corner, and refusing to adjust tactically - especially not seeking to support the tightly marked Milos Lujic.

Even after that, there was the Pascoe Vale keeper dropping even innocuous efforts on goal, and yet we were seldom there to make the most of those opportunities. Indeed the longer the game went on, the less likely we looked like scoring.

Credit to Pascoe Vale, who played for a win even with only ten men, who looked more dangerous than we did and not just because they were counter attacking, but because their shots had some sort of venom and purpose to them. They also managed the clock brilliantly, using up as much time as the referee would allow.

For South only Nikola Roganovic in goal could be said to have had a good game, even if he didn't probably know much about how he made some of those saves. Every other outfielder, even those who came off the bench, generally failed to make an impact on the game. Whether it was just one of those days or the sign of a deeper malaise we'll see in the next month or so.

Next week
Green Gully away on Saturday, to complete the first half of the home and away season.

Stretched at the back 
Defender Luke Adams has been called up into the New Zealand squad for the upcoming OFC Nations Cup, which spans from late May until mid-June. One assumes he will be present at a pre-tournament camp before that, which could see him miss as many as three or four weeks. With Kristian Konstantinidis suffering from some sort of injury, it will be interesting to see how the side gets re-shuffled - especially in that crowded part of the schedule where we have cup matches to play as well.

Nick Maikoussis farewelling the NPL, as South prepares to enter A-League
Willing and able (so long Stinktown!)
South Melbourne director Nick Maikoussis was a guest on the Mark van Aken hosted Daily Football podcast, making the case for South 's ambitions to the enter the A-League. Now before anybody gets upset (just wait a second, you'll get your chance), this was not as I understand it a South initiated burst of attention seeking, but rather part of a weekly series where this podcast looks at those who may be interested in putting their hand up for A-League licences should the opportunity to apply for them ever come up again.

For those who listened in (not me), the things that stood out from this discussion were the claim we would get an average crowd of 12,000(!), calling ourselves a franchise (which lead to the chant on Friday 'we're just another franchise'), and describing the NPL as a lifeless competition - which while certainly arguable, is interesting to hear from a director of the club who has to sell the league and our club's role in it to sponsors and such. Still, credit to Maikoussis for taking off some of the PR filters I suppose.

Anger is a gift (but keep the receipt just in case)
So the one-time capo of the one-time leading Melbourne Victory terrace group Blue and White Brigade - one Adam 'Tunna' Tennenini - earned the ire of South fans and assorted well-wishers (and he'll note that not all of them were Greek) on Friday by unleashing a pretty full on tirade on Facebook in response to the latest bout of discussion on South's A-League ambitions.

(And before we continue, I'd like to say that I understand where he's coming from even if I disagree with his reasoning, but he's really going about this the wrong way by giving into base emotion, instead of attempting to rise above it all)

The tirade - displayed here - was eventually deleted, but the internet being what it is, there was little chance that the screen-grab was going to disappear into the aether (update/correction - it has come to my attention that the post was made on Tennenini's 'private' Facebook, and that the post still exists there - nevertheless, the point that once something has been published on the net, it never really dies, still stands - something which we should all keep in mind. Tennenini has also claimed since that it was a private joke intended to wind up some of his Greek mates, a claim which had begun circulating several days ago, but one which people are rightly skeptical of, including myself.)

Now unlike some others who displayed genuine outrage, faux outrage, fauxrage and 'I can't believe it's not outrage!', I was neither surprised nor disappointed by Tennenini's comments, as they are in line with his beliefs on these matters stretching back a number of years - though I've always wondered if there's been some sort of personal slight he's suffered at the hands of South to come up with nonsense about us being an unrepentant mono-ethnic club hiding in plain sight, with only people like him being able to see the 'lizard people' interior beneath our human skin.

Because of that, I decided instead to provide a series of increasingly monotonous and unfunny tweets on the matter while killing time on the train on the way to a hipster burger joint on Clarendon Street.
Your correspondent did (eventually) manage to note the irony of Tennenini actually having participated in the self-evidently mono-ethnic Hellenic Cup for Essendon United back in 2010, including having played against that The Great Satan of Australian Soccer. Seems like his principles have their limits, or perhaps he reasoned that being a team-player was more important that night.

Still, in amid the mostly pointless mud-slinging of both sides, it was well spotted (by SMFCMike) that Tennenini is a currently serving referee, even having recently refereed NPL under 18s matches; meaning that Tennenini could be in contention to officiate games involving clubs that he believes, if we are to take the relevant post as reflecting his most honest opinion, shouldn't exist in Australian soccer.

While one would be very reticent to allege these views would ever find their way into being enacted into his refereeing duties - and having marshaled at matches Tennenini has played in at the Corporate Games several years ago, his teams were among the best behaved and organised - it's still an astounding thing to say for a referee, especially one with the profile he has gained over the past decade.

Many of the protestations fell into the usual tropes of bitter vs new dawn, although some were more sensible and flavoured with the personal touch of those involved with South who are not Greek, and at least got closer to the heart of the matter (even if indirectly); that just because some people have an idea that clubs like South still act like they're in 1959, the reality is far from that; and besides which, shouldn't clubs be allowed to change and evolved over time anyway? (and isn't that inevitable?)
Though Umberto Eco notes in his essay on 'inventing the enemy' that these ways of understanding are ‘the prerogative of poets, saints or traitors’.

To be honest, rather than the broad thrust of Tennenini's argument, I'm most interested in just one of his remarks - that on his being willing to abandon the A-League should 'Hellas or any mono-ethnic club' return to the A-League, with the further assertion that many others would also do the same.

This is an argument which I have not seen made, and certainly not so vociferously, for a long time - and even back then it was my perception that it was never that widespread even in its heyday of the earliest years of the A-League. What's strangest about making such a boast is that in all likelihood there will never be a time where we will be able test this theory out in a practical sense. (those of you who think South's entry to the A-League is as good as imminent or inevitable can just skip along a few paragraphs).

Through various practical machinations and ideological mutterings, it has been made fairly clear by FFA that South Melbourne is not destined to ever be an A-League team. Because of this near irrefutable fact - prove me wrong, uncaring universe - bleatings like Tennenini's promising to abandon the A-League and Australian soccer are at best postured idle threats, and at worst postured caricatures of forum discussions from 2005. One could of course be tempted to wade in and take down each argument one by one, but the arguments have so little relevance to the way most people go about following and talking about Australian soccer that they come across as quaint.

It does say something though for the insecurity which still persists among some followers of the A-League, that even eleven years down the track and with all that's passed, there are people who still think it's worthwhile to get angry at this stuff! Still, it would be interesting to find out how widespread this point of view is - and how willing those who hold this belief would be willing to act upon it. Indeed I noted, only half-joking that,
Though the internet's own 'jgrb' did make the salient point that,
Now the question then becomes how would one go about enacting this experiment? Suggestions are most welcome, as the best that I could come up with was an idea so ludicrous you'd need another set of A-League franchise owners as well as another Australian soccer TV deal to make it happen.

As to the consequences, well, one could only hypothesise as to how these things may turn out. My preference would be for someone much more more talented than me to write some speculative fiction on the matter; I'd do it, but I'd be too torn between writing something vaguely plausible, and something that would see Australian soccer suffer the same fate as the Montsou mine after Emile Zola's anarchist Souvarine blows it up because he thinks that only by starting from scratch (and by that I mean really starting from scratch, not the comparative half-asred A-League re-boot) can we have any chance of setting up a proper and just society.

Don't mind me, I've just been reading some work by that nihilist romantic Chuck Pahlaniuk.

The eternal battle for street cred (let's not end up back at Kappa snap pants)
Old chum Chris Egan wrote a piece on last week's ROY HAY'S ORIGINAL MELBOURNE DERBY, which sent the blood flowing to the groinal area of Knights fans and upset some South people. But what was the main point of discontent? Egan's description of South fans being middle class by virtue of being snappier dressers. Some people thought that broadly speaking we were just as scungy as Knights fans. Not that I want to start a bad fashion arms race or anything.

Attention Lou Z! (re: match programmes)
You sent me an email a couple of weeks back about lending me some match programmes for the purposes of scanning. Unfortunately, when I tried to reply, I got a 'postmaster fail' message. If you could either send me the same email from a different email address, or come see me at a game, I'm sure we could arrange something. Cheers.

Moreland vs Hakoah, Dockerty Cup, 1956 (a historical digression)
I went to ACMI on Wednesday to see a short archival film, called 'Australian Notebook No. 3'. The first part of this newsreel (which had no sound, even on the original film), contained a demonstration of fly fishing; the second part contained a segment on a pilot returning to Essendon Airport having flown non-stop from Fiji; and the third part contained footage of a soccer match.

The soccer match was between Moreland and Hakoah, playing in the semi-finals of the 1956 Dockerty Cup. The game finished 1-1, with Hakoah winning the replay. The footage of the soccer match, which went for about two minutes, showed the two teams entering the stadium, with action mostly from one end (mostly scrappy play and lofted balls) and some crowd shots. The footage was of surprisingly good quality - it had been digitised from degraded 16mm stock, but there are also other better copies from which one could get even better quality conversion.

Unfortunately getting the film out to the wider public, especially online, is very unlikely. While anyone can access the film at ACMI's Mediatheque facility, the copyright of the film is such that there's very little chance of it being put online on either ACMI's or the National Film and Sound Archive's online channels. In copyright terms, the film is classified as an 'orphan' - there are no details about how the film was sourced, let alone which company could possibly be classed as owning the rights to the film.

The best we could probably hope for is to get a limited licence on behalf of the FFV Historical Committee (of which I am a member), which would allow us to use the film for private use. Nevertheless it was a delight to see the film, especially because the game was played at the Showgrounds, and I can't imagine there'd be much footage from soccer matches played there; there is also the novelty of seeing Victorian soccer of that era on film in any capacity.

Final thought
I lost my USB key - here's hoping that someone has handed it in to my university's lost and found, because it has most of my work on it. :(

First update - I think I remember now where I saw it last.

Second update - found with the help of an Adelaide City supporting security guard.

Several people noted on Friday night that Kosta and Blue Thunder security were no longer in charge of security at Lakeside. While some folks noted that perhaps our poor performance was due to some sort of curse was placed on the club by Kosta, it's only on this Sunday morning that this writer remembers that Kosta was a former Pascoe Vale player...


  1. Two things.

    One, who was that supporter screaming non stop during the second half! As I never normally venture to that end of the grandstand, I a not sure if he is always that vocal.

    Secondly, how would that moron Tunna deal with an FFA cup meeting between South and Victory?

  2. On Tunna's comments. I don't see his comments just being about South, they are clearly a swipe against the very concept of an ethnic club. Also there is nothing that annoys me more than seeing terms like mono-cultural and mono-ethnic being thrown around. People completely misusing the terms. It makes me wonder, do new dawners have a handbook which lists terms to use?

    On the Benito Mussolini looking Tunna himself, I've only ever had interactions with him via the MV forum. The few times he has got into these types of conversations he has definitely always been very anti the ethnic clubs having a role in a national league, but his previous remarks have usually been around expressing frustration over 'bitters' not falling in line with supporting Victory and A-League. Never seen him go after the very concept of an ethnic club though. Its bizarre given he was a diehard Brunswick Juve fan growing up.

    1. Fair point on it not being just about South, of course easily applicable to several clubs. But considering both the stick we get from some people (internally and externally) for 'selling out' our Greek roots, as well as the simple fact that is easily observable if he'd bothered to turn up to a South game that we are not a mono-ethnic club (whatever the hell that means), a focus on how his comments related to South on a South blog seemed to be the way to go on this one.

      On the Brunswick Juve thing, Tunna gets quoted in this old piece by Michael Lynch

      in which talks about not being able to feel any connection to Knights or South because of the ethnic thing. Fine, I can accept that - but at no point is there mention made of the fact that he was a Brunswick Juve fan, which could be as legitimate reason for not supporting or feeling attached to Knights or South - if South went bust I don't think I could find a connection to any other team, let alone a long time rival.

      Like yourself though, I'd like to know if his comments actually do apply to Brunswick Juve as well.

    2. Like if you go back 11 years

      his commentary on these matters was a lot less shrill.

      "I admire the passion that the Hellas suporters have for their club. Its the very reason why they are still in existence.

      However, the A-league IMO is the best thing ever to happen to Australian Football. Sure, there are flaws but its a new product... With anything new, you are bound by some teething problems. These things can and will be rectified. You sceptics out there. I hope you grow to love it, I really do. Its the only way forward."

    3. He probably felt more free to say what he really felt in his little echo chamber on facebook, not expecting someone to screenshot it lol.

      This whole thing though is a window into a weird phenomenon amongst the new football brigade, where the most ardently anti ethnic club people are actual ethnics. Its also not confined to any particular community, I've seen Croats, Greeks, Italians, Macos etc partake in the ethnic bashing. It's like they are over compensating.

    4. Somehow doubt it, he's aware of his own profile - which makes it all the weirder.

      Spot on about the ethnics bashing ethnic clubs though - while the discussion among a lot of fans has moved on and evolved on these matters, there are those Greeks, Cros, etc who not only seem to over compensate, but perhaps also betray a fear that should somehow our clubs make a comeback, that the people who stuck around won't forget who said what and when.

  3. I can empathise simply because in the 90's that was my thought process to a large extent.

    Why I changed my views and others haven't, well I haven't been able to crystslize my thoughts.

    I think a combination of my leftist beliefs and a contrasting conservative thought process must be factor.

    1. I also understand, but when a supporter or defender of the A-League has to resort to inflammatory or racist language to prove how inclusive the A-League is, it creates a sort of tear in the Australian soccer space-time continuum. They forfeit the moral high ground they are so desperate to maintain as leverage over the 'bitters'.

    2. You don't have to scratch too far into the veneer of the broadbased/multicultural clubs to find racism and hate.

  4. Hopefully the Historical Committee can overcome the obstacles and make the Hakoah v Moreland footage available online some day. There must be someone up the chain in Aussie football admin that can get this done.

  5. Classic franchise customer comments by that Tunna malaka....."if these greezy wogs Hellas are let back in then I'm off blah blah.." What sort of die hard fan thinks of abandoning their club because of who their opponents may be? Probably bored with MV nowdays and needs a convenient excuse to piss off.

  6. One of the saddest things is how much hate the is between old and new soccer. 15+ years ago I could never imagine myself hating any other soccer fan regardless of who they support. Now I hate a league fans but I equally hate the ex south npl fans (eg oakliegh) just as much. This is a terrible state of affairs for soccer in the state as the older fans very isolated and trapped. I for one have also lost my love for the Socceroos as they no longer represent my soccer, rather they represent the FFA. The future doesn't look bright, but as long as my south are still playing, I'll keep following them.


  7. More importantly... I think the 2nd half of the season will be very different from the first. We've been the luckiest team I've ever seen. How many games now with an opposition send-off? That was atrocious against Pascoe, I don't know what CT was thinking by his tactical inactivity.

    1. I neglected to mention in the post that CT wasn't in charge on Friday, as he was in England visiting his ill father. Not sure if it was Marshall or Xynas in charge on Friday night.

    2. Kimon Trimboli16 May 2016 at 10:56

      Didn't make this one, first game Ive missed in a while but thanks Paul(as always) for the recap.

      We have had an incredible run of playing against 10 men lately however at times we do tend to be tactically stale in the last third of the park and dont seem to know how to take advantage of the situation. Not sure what is to blame and would love to hear peoples thoughts.

      My observation is that we tend to sit back a little, with more time on the ball, and look to counter with a fast break rather than use the extra man to push up the park through the centre. Our back line struggles to re-set in time to counter a quick run up the flanks and if I see another blue shirt lift his hand up to call offside, while his man is 30 meters away and running on goal I may have to throw a souvlaki or two in anger :o).

      Entertaining season so far and a couple of challenges in the next 3-4 weeks ... hoping for a decent FFA cup run to top of a great year also.

      Loving the vibe at South and so glad I reconnected with my club after all these years in the wilderness. Last week was my first visit to Sommers St in many many years and i quite simply LOVED IT!!!!!

      Had a couple of scotches and a cevapi, saw the boys thump a handful of goals against the Cros and reminded myself what it means to truly enjoy beating another club.... what a "franchise" cannot, by its very definition, provide.

      MelbCro - if you are reading this, mate I truly hate Melbourne Knights and beating you brings joy to my heart... not because of ethnicity or geography or anything like that, purely because you are our nemesis and no truer derby exists in this sport... In the same breath I respect you and your club and your supporters for the passion you bring. Im sure beating us would give you the same joy??

      Sorry for this long winded waffle, just really loving my soccer at the moment...

  8. The position of "if these effnic clubs ever get back into the National League then I'll stop following the game in this country" Has to be the dumbest threats ever made.

    Just goes to show how "important" these types of people think they are...

    1. Also a great role model for their inclusive and tolerant league.

  9. Where is Phitzgerald Mbaka, what was the point of signing him if he isnt going to play?

    Any rumours of any new international signings in the transfer window


A few notes on comments.

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.

Still, if your post doesn't get approved straight away, it's probably because I haven't seen it yet.

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