Monday, 18 June 2018

From sucker punch to ordinary sucking - South Melbourne 0 Oakleigh Cannons 1

Apologies for this one coming out a little late, and for it being relatively short, and thus almost a placeholder piece than anything else. As you'll see later, I've been sucked in to some other writing duties, plus there's all the the other writing things that I would like to finish, etc.

Look, if there's one certain thing about South Melbourne in 2018 it's that if we fall behind, we're not going to win the game, and we'll be lucky to draw. We're not the kind of team that can break down tight defences which are happy to sit on a lead - at least not until Iqi Jawadi comes back from his injury, and even then - and we're going to rely a lot on getting the first goal. Of course getting the first goal is always the main er, goal, if you like, and if we do manage that and we can coax our opponents to come out and try take us on, I think we might be able to do something in a game.

Last Saturday though, well, 40 minutes of dominance in general play was worth diddly squat when Oakleigh opened the scoring, and speaking of doing diddly squat, thank you very much Andy Brennan for that goal, like a dagger in the heart. Anyway, after that goal we did our other customary thing, which is fall to pieces mentally or near enough to it, and Oakleigh looked like if not world beaters, which they aren't, than at least they resembled something competent. We recouped a little bit, but the taking off Clarendon Corner's new favourite (though I'm still holding off for now) Oliver Minatel for Tim Mala and a strange reshuffle kinda screwed everything up.

Mala gave away a penalty, but it was probably too late by then anyway, and Nikola Roganovic saved it anyway. Not that we would have scored anyway no matter how much injury time was played, but how the referee came to the conclusion that only three minutes of injury time was to be played was anyone's guess. Still that doesn't compare to his decision to do absolutely nothing to dissuade Oakleigh from making stupid tackles early on, which lead to them committing behind the scenes transgressions which also went unpunished.

Anyway, as well as our midfield still being a mess, the forward structure was also wonky. Ndumba Makeche was being played as a lone striker, which is fine, that's the style of the time, but he is not a Milos Lujic type who can hold up the ball against two or three defenders. Makeche is clearly the type of forward who needs to be fed balls to run onto, especially in situations where he can quickly take a shot - something which he seems very keen to do.

The loss was a missed opportunity get away from Northcote and Hume, who both lost on the weekend; we're still only two points ahead of both of them. Conversely, Kingston seem to have found a bit of form, and their win against Port over the weekend saw them go above us.

Next game
Pascoe Vale at home on Sunday, at the unruly time of 7:00PM. That timeslot has been chosen so as to link up better with that night's World Cup broadcast, which kicks off at 10:00PM, and which it is hoped you will watch in the social club. I won't be sticking around for that because public transport dies in the arse after midnight, but at least I might be able to also make the Collingwood-Carlton game beforehand. Probably not the club's intention, but when life gives you lemons, well, you know the rest.

Women's team
Before the men's game, the women took on Alamein. I was still on a tram somewhere along Clarendon Street when the rain came bucketing down and the game had started, and thus missed the first goal which came about 50 seconds into the game courtesy of Melina Ayers. I did get to the ground in time to see Alamein equalise. The game got a bit messy after that, though I wasn't as disappointed by the standard in the first half as some people may have been. Alamein probably should have been in front, but they skied one over the bar from six yards out. The second half was harder to watch, but Ayers and Lisa De Vanna got goals to put us up 3-1 late on, and even a late Alamein goal wasn't going to be too much of an issue to hold out against. The result sees us sit in second, four points behind ladder leaders Calder. The women's next game is against bottom of the table Southern United at Lakeside on Saturday afternoon.

Some very brief thoughts on the quality of the food in the social club
I know that it's not a like-for-like situation, but the food served to those who had booked tables for the Socceroos was light years ahead of the usual canteen fare. Not that it was uniformly superb (except for the roast goat, which was outstanding), but it was a clear step up from the standard menu items. Even the very basic home style food offered on Thursday's social club nights - $20 all you can eat - is better than what you get on a match day, though to be fair, last Thursday I hung around long enough to sample the rather good spit roasted pig cooked by board member Andrew Mesorouni for the non-Muslim and carnivorous members of the squad..

And yes, the club will be showing the Australia-Denmark game on Thursday; not sure about any spit roasts for this week though, but you never know.

Heavy Sleeper 2018
Yes, despite much reluctance on my part, the Heavy Sleeper World Cup diary is going around for another tournament. Check out the Shoot Farken site and its affiliate social media accounts for updates.

Vale Fred Villiers
We forgot to talk about this last week. Sad news, of course, though Fred had a good innings. Later in life Fred's mind had started to wander, including on the one occasion I got to meet him back in 2009. But he still got some crucial points across, about how if we want to get soccer stuff out into the public sphere, we have to be prepared to do it ourselves and we have to be prepared to make the arguments for soccer, because there was and is a status quo which makes assumptions about how little people care about soccer, or how difficult it is to leverage, when half the battle is in overcoming the assumptions of the gatekeepers of our sporting culture.

Around the grounds
Too cold, stayed home and watched Batman and the footy.

Final thought
North Preston and North Heidelberg, oh you wacky kids.


  1. Kimon Trimboli19 June 2018 at 17:40

    Lujic, by the time he returns from the WC, will have missed 9 games this season and will STILL be our top goalscorer for the year...... ohhh mama we're in trouble :(

  2. If we dont pick up at least 6 points from the next 3 games i think we go down. Heidelberg x2 = loss. Bentleigh away = loss. Gully away = loss, avondale away = loss.

    The next 3-4 games will decide our fate.


    This is getting beyond a joke.

  4. Batman on SBS ? Crazy cult viewing

  5. We're going down and the board don't care.
    At least this way Mesorounis kid will get game time in NPL2... maybe that was his plan all along



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