Saturday, 18 February 2017

Deflated - Port Melbourne 4 South Melbourne 0

No Michael Eagar, who would be out for two weeks with a knee injury received against Bulleen on the Monday night. No Brad Norton, who pulled up sore from the Bulleen game. Tim Mala out of action, too, not sure why. An underdone Kristian Konstantinidis in at right back, uitlity Liam McCormack at left back, and Carl Piergianni at centre back. Then we got kicked out of the far side of the ground by security man Arthur Akritidis, and things only went further downhill from there.

(And yes, as a media pass holder I could have stayed there, but that's not the point is it? Why are patrons barred from what is the best viewing spot at this ground? It's not like they don't have security there. It's not like other clubs stop people from going next to and behind the benches. )

Forgive me if I don't pontificate in my usual way about tactics - being behind the goals we were nominally attacking in both halves was not ideal for either where the interesting things happened, let alone my sub-par vision staring into the darkness.

The first goal we conceded, it seemed like no one bothered to mark anyone either on the wings for the crosses, or for the man sitting by himself in the six yard box. Then there was the chance they had where they somehow headed the ball down into the turf and over the bar.

What did we offer in return in the first half? A lot of possession, but zero penetration. Crosses which missed Milos Lujic, and because of the way we play, no one else was there to make a difference. Oh, and we called for handball a million times, hoping for the ref would bail us out.

Second half, and we let Andreas Govas do the thing that Andreas Govas does better than anyone in the league, namely launch a bomb from distance. Why or how he was allowed to have that much room is anyone's guess.

The rest of the game has become a blur. They scored twice more and hit the crossbar, while we switched things around personnel wise for little improvement. Trying to walk the ball in is a problem, no support for Lujic is a problem, bad crossing is a problem - and yet none of these are new problems.

Getting done over by a team half made up of South discards and rejects - Alan Kearney, James Karvelis, Francesco Stella, Andreas Govas - was the cream of the humiliation cake. Getting done over 4-0 by a team that had reputedly not even had a shot on target the week before was the cherry on top of the cream of the humiliation cake.

Just one slightly fortunate point from our opening two games, against opponents predicted to be nowhere near finals contention. Not much of worth to hold onto from this game in particular. It'd be easy to get hysterical, but as it was the whole experience was so deflating that there was nothing worthwhile getting angry about. Also, it's only round two, so you know, things might get better.

Or they might get worse, and wouldn't we all look foolish for getting carried away now instead of then?

Next game
Avondale Heights at Somers Street on Saturday night.

Dear Sir and/or Madam (I am not a crackpot)
I am disappointed - nay, disgusted - with the decision by persons at FFV to no longer produce an online NPL and NPL 2 video highlights package.

The original move to create such a highlights package and make it accessible via youtube was to me one of the smarter things the FFV's media department had done in recent memory. Each week, most of the previous round's action, usually watchable, was condensed into a ten minute or so package crammed with goals and incident from beginning to end.

But now it seems that approach was far too convenient for the audience. Now Savvas and Dave and I and all the other dateless wonders who pay attention to this miserable competition will have to trawl through the internet each week, looking for each NPL club's highlights individually, except for the A-League youth teams' games, because I don't see their participation in the NPL as valid.

Others meanwhile are angry that South is no longer screening its SMFC TV programme on the pay television community channel Aurora. Frankly, I reckon that decision is long overdue. If you wanted to put something on in the more obscure part of the media, that's where it was.

When SMFC TV was on Channel 31, which is accessible by nearly everyone with a television, it made perfect sense. Now I understand why the show was moved - Channel 31's digital licence was set to expire (and is hanging on for grim life). In addition to that, South had not only invested a fair chunk of money but also much ideological currency into the idea that this venture was an important part of the club's (modern) public face.

But what kind of public face can you have when you pick the most obscure corner of television on which to promote your product? Yes the internet is a bottomless chasm of information sources and competing ideas, but its inefficiencies in this case are so superior to Aurora.

Despite the pay TV industry itself having successfully manufactured the idea in the wider public sphere that everyone has pay television, the reality is that Australia's subscription television uptake is only about 30% of households.

And while I'm (perpetually) annoyed at the way FFV and South have used the stats from FFV's Facebook live stream against Bulleen, one can still note that those kinds of ventures have a greater chance of reaching existing and new audiences than most of the alternatives.

I'm more aghast that the club has stopped providing full length editions of South Radio, now breaking it up into bite size segments. This move totally misses the point of what made South Radio listenable - rather than the overly slick production values of the rest of our media efforts, the podcast had a looser, more personable feel.

I'm not saying it was great, but part of its charm - perhaps even the main thing I liked - was that the long-form version of South Radio was everything they don't teach people at media school.

Which, if I'm being honest, is seeing things through my moderately lo-fi aesthetic lens. But that's part of this blog's charm, too, no?

Frozen Tears news!
I don't know when, but apparently Jon Powers of Frozen Tears has remastered Frozen Tears' 'South Melbourne' song. Wasn't it fine the four different ways it was?

Aping Robert Christgau, badly

Around the grounds
Stop me if you've heard this one before
Went out to the John Farnham Retirement Tour This Is It Stadium on Saturday afternoon in the hopes of seeing bad soccer, something worse than what I'd seen the night before. Mission accomplished. Before that though I had three blokes at the gate stare at my media pass like a dog being shown a card trick, as Bill Hicks would say. Got there early enough for a hamburger before the 3:15 kickoff, but for reasons which will never be known this game didn't kickoff until 3:29 - it's a good thing that NPL 2 West isn't a real comp like the NPL proper, or else someone might care and do something about it. Nothing of any note happened for the first half hour. In fact so much nothing happened that one started reevaluating all one's life decisions even more intensely then usual. Then Georgies managed to get behind the Werribee defense, cutback, bundled in for 1-0. A second goal for Georgies right on half time was neater, but also worse - a free kick on the edge of the box played short, cutback, tap in, 2-0. The second half was marginally more interesting, not that the visitors did anything to make it so. They pulled one back from their first proper chance in the 92nd minute, but that's all they could do.

Final thought
Thank goodness this game didn't reach a million views or clicks or subliminal retinal imprints.


  1. I wonder how an outsider would attempt to understand the dynamic of the club.

    On the one hand, you have a club whose board are executing a broad strategy to strengthen, broaden and commercialise the South Melbourne brand. Whether it is through incremental progress (polished web site, social media presence) or fundamental change (social club) its clear the club sees the need to grab the publics attention to legitimize the succesful execution of this strategy.

    On the other hand, we are still talking about a football club whose aim is to actually field players who are expected to win. Whilst the players look underdone atm, it is the carelessness of certain mistakes (rodanovic has made a few blunders) which leaves me worried as at the end of the day of you don't win, it is very hard to strengthen the club. Perhaps the added pressure of a-league preparation is proving too strong a burden for the players?

    1. I don't buy the 'pressure' argument. Everyone has pressure in any occupation and if you fail to deal with it you are out. I'd say our loss was largely attributed to the lack of cohesiveness in our makeshift defense and less fit defensive players.
      We've come back from results like this in the past (Richmond and Bergers away last year) and the team is basically last years championship winning team so we know we have a group of winners. Lets see how the next few rounds go before we get nervous

  2. It took 2/3 of lsat season for CT to see sense and play the team the way everyone could see was the way to go. Now he's back to the usual nonsense. CT out!!!

    1. ???? We were all asking him to start Minopoulos with Lujic last season and when he did we saw change. And Mino is starting this season.

      What is the usual nonsense? You must be an expert coach to have figured it out in 2 games.

  3. 100% need to bring back the longer format of SouthRadio. One of the best things the Media team did, due to its light hearted nature. Especially circa 2014 with Franky's player interviews.

  4. I think its not so much what CT is doing as opposed to what the other teams are doing. Epifano has been very tightly marked in both games - no space and hardly any time on the ball.

    What CT needs to do is figure out...if nick is being tightly mark - who is therefore more open, and ise this player and this space to change the attack.

  5. Saw on Corner Flag that CT attributed the loss to lack of effort. Hope that's only for the sake of public consumption, and that internally there's also tactical adjustments made.

    1. great way to lose a dressing room...

    2. As long as he's already said to their faces, I have no problem with CT saying it to the media afterwards.

      Is a broad stroke. If players can't take that collective criticism, then they should stop playing in a part-time professional league.

  6. Bit early for the blowtorch, we had a shit night in front of goal, they had a great night. They handled the wind better than we did as well.

    Saw Brunswick City give up a 90min equalizer to a 10 man Ranges on Sat, doubly entertaining as Bruno was ref.


  7. Someone must have gotten Bruno a red card for Christmas.

    1. Amen to that. Still, it required someone being almost flipped over directly in his line of sight to make him use it.


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