Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Reality check - South Melbourne 0 Hume City 2

"Look at the sky and spot the planes, where would I go on holidays?"
Photo: Cindy Nitsos.
Whatever positive buzz had been carried over from the previous week's win against the Knights disappeared within four minutes of kickoff. If we fall behind at any stage in a game this year, there's little chance we are going to win the game. After nine weeks, you just have to admit that's the way it's going to be.

Sure, there might be the odd goal pulled back for a lucky draw, but for the most part we're cooked when we're behind, no matter how hard we try and how close we get. Luke Patitsas said, and I agree, that most games this year when they've been 0-0 have felt like we've been behind.

And look, the first goal we conceded was comical, but Hume should've scored from that chance anyway. After that, it was the usual: we had a ton of possession and played well enough to earn a goal ourselves, but it wasn't going to happen. You can blame the lack of an actual striker and extra 'unnecessary' passes, but empty nets at the back post and missed headers are opportunities which should be taken by anybody.

The second goal we conceded was even more comical than the first, but since we weren't going to score anyway, Hume putting it away is almost a moot point, unless we end up getting dragged down by that one goal, which in any case would be silly, because a season doesn't usually hinge on a moment in round 9 and not all the other goals you cop.

There are people doing deep analytical dives into the formation and the setup and all that, and good luck to them. I'd join in with my amateurish takes, but I'm just too tired. My solution (and it's not so much a solution as pining for the obvious) is that hopefully when Billy Konstantinidis returns from suspension (and assuming he can play out the majority of a match) we can stop with the makeshift strikers and false nines.

By the way, Billy's initial five match suspension was reduced to four thanks to a guilty plea, so he should be back for the game against Thunder away when league action resumes in a week and a half's time. Whether other potential forward options such as Manny Aguek, and Pep and Gio Marafioti can redeem themselves in the eyes of Esteban Quintas - who had them dropped for poor training ground discipline - remains to be seen.

The Heimlich maneuverer being performed on the field is a new one for me.
Photo: Cindy Nitsos.  
There were some crazy tackles in this game. Not necessarily malicious, but just bizarre. In the first half there was a sliding high-booted kick somewhere between Liu Kang and Johnny Cage. There was one moment where a Hume player inadvertently got his legs caught around (I think) Jake Marshall's head, while Marshall was basically standing upright. Aside from those strangenesses, there worst behaviour for me, which was never called out, was the constant manhandling of Leigh Minopoulos during his half or so on the field. The groping and molestation of Leigh was bizarre, and never went punished.

Speaking of Leigh, there's chitchat going around that he's been appointed as an assistant coach. Strange, if true.

Brad Norton was subbed off 20 minutes from time on Sunday.
Photo: Luke Radziminski.
More immediately pressing is Brad Norton reputedly getting a hamstring injury. That saw Perry Lambropoulos brought on for the last part of the game, which makes you wonder what's going on with Kristian Konstantinidis that he can't even get a run with 20 minutes to go in a game that we're chasing.

Thank goodness that, for the time being, there are three teams in this league doing worse than us. It won't last, but it at least gives us a false sense of hope to cling on to.

Next game
FFA Cup Round 4 against Essendon Royals at Lakeside on Friday afternoon. Not many of us seem to hold any hope that we'll get anywhere near the national stage this year, and that all our efforts should be directed at not getting relegated. Fair enough. Still, you wouldn't want to lose this one, especially against a State League 1 opponent which has only managed to (I think) get one point from four matches, and which has seen its coach (Michael Curcija) resign on Tuesday.

Women's report
It was too damn warm to sit outside and watch the women's game against Heidelberg, so we stayed inside instead and watched the game on the live-stream. Despite there many screens available to us, I think I missed almost every single goal scored in this game. That included the one goal we scored to open the game, and all but one of the five we ended up conceding. I did see Heidelberg miss a penalty, but the game was cooked by then.

It seems like the women's team is in a massive transition phase. No Lisa De Vanna; Chelsea Blissett gone to Young Matildas; Tiff Eliadis retired to more social football; Amy Medwin preparing for a US college gig; and Melina Ayers looking to sign with a lower division US team. Add to that the injury on Sunday to Sofia Sakalis, and things are looking more difficult than perhaps people would've anticipated.

Still, that means someone else has the chance to step-up and make the grade and all those other cliches.

Food report
As often happens, when there are new people on hand in the social club, things take a little longer than you would like just to order something and pay for it, but once that was sorted, I got my burger very quickly because this time they were pre-made instead of being pumped out on order. This was fine by me, and the burgers were solid, but one regular reader was upset that he was unable to get a burger without cheese. I have no idea why the kitchen staff would not accommodate his request, and I have even less idea why he would think that having his complaint posted on South of the Border would make any sort of difference. But here we are, fulfilling this request of his to have the matter on record.s.

Merch report
I am also hearing reports that merch that people wanted to see available was not available yet. This happens. More accurately, this happens every year. Even more accurately, this happens every year despite assurances that it won't happen this year. As I noted on Sunday afternoon, the only person at South Melbourne who has actually managed to deliver on a merch promise in a timely manner is the bloke who got me the hooped socks. Now don't mistake this as me being bitter, because I'm not. I got the item I wanted after a decade long wait earlier this year, and so far as I'm concerned, everyone else can please their Kappa-wearing selves.

Match program
I uploaded the match program from the recent Knights game. You can find it at the usual page.

At the footy
Nothing much happened either at the game I was at on Friday night or whatever live-streamed game I flicked on during the halftime break - I think it was Paco vs Knights.

Around the grounds
I'm calling it now - Altona East is cooked in 2019. The only thing that will save them will be some ridiculous end-of-season restructure, the kind of thing that happens with unnerving frequency in Victorian soccer. And all this after East scored within the opening two minutes from a penalty against recently promoted Epping City. After a sluggish start, the fluoro yellow kitted visitors worked their way back into the game, and scored from a penalty of their own after about 20 minutes. Thereafter the game ebbed and flowed amiably as well as meaninglessly, with a lift in intensity in the last ten minutes of the half. But Epping took control of the second half, scoring early, and never letting East get a chance to respond. Even Epping's profligate play in the box only served to delay the inevitable, which was made even more inevitable when's East's keeper got sent off ten minutes from time and had to be replaced by outfield player. The most excitement on the day was the three or four blokes watching the closing minutes of the Geelong vs GWS match on a phone, who were getting all agitated because they either barracked for Geelong or had a bet on the game. It used to be blokes huddled around a transistor radio, now it's this. Victorian soccer folk change in detail, but not in substance.

Final thought
Very disappointed that Teo Pellizzeri has departed Football Victoria. He'll be an incredible loss to Victorian soccer, but he'll be some other organisation's gain. Even if our official interactions were limited, he was always good to South of the Border with regards to media passes and such, and using some of our better gags during the radio broadcasts. Hopefully we'll still see him around the traps.

1 comment:

  1. Such a lack lustre season on so many fronts.

    Hume were pedestrian to say the least.

    I am looking forward to going to watch (my old team) Waverley Wanderers against Lalor United more than the Essendon Royals match.


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