Those turning up to see the return of the People's Champ and boo him until their throats were sore were left disappointed. Those turning up hoping to see South secure a much needed three points would have also left Lakeside disappointed. More pity to the latter from me, even if there was ample opportunity for wrestling style gimmicks.
Notable too that there the massive ex-South contingent (across many generations) that was possible in this contest was actually minimised. We outplayed Oakleigh in the first half, and had we had our finishing boots on, we may have gone into the halftime break ahead or level. But we didn't, and Oakleigh - who hadn't managed to create a single shot on target in the first half - still managed to lead at the break because of a ridiculous own goal from Brad Norton.
There was that one moment in the first half where a ball was cleared off or over the line by an Oakleigh defender at a corner, a goal obviously not given to us, and we'll never know what might have been. Looking at the video, the whole phase of play moves so quickly that it's hard to tell. Still, even it would've only papered over the cracks of this season's mediocrity, I would've taken the goal.
After putting in a good performance attacking wise last week thanks to a more attacking setup, we were back to playing to defensive midfielders; or if you were looking at it from Leigh Minopoulos' point of view, we were continuing to play with two defensive midfielders' as per last week, but this time just not executing properly. That was extracted from a discussion the winger/forward/makeshift assistant coach had with some of our fans on Twitter about the playing style.
I don't remember if anyone asked where our midfield disappeared to in the second half - a rank garbage second-half that no-one will ever get back. No sign of Gerrie Sylaidos either, one assumes still on trial at Central Coast. When we had him, we didn't use him or we benched him, and now it seems like we're letting him spend weeks away from Lakeside at a crucial time, while other clubs with triallists are able to use their players on weekends.
Milos Lujic came on in the final minute of the game to a warm reception, and I suppose we should be grateful that it wasn't him that managed to get the second (and ultimately meaningless) goal at the death.
And I should say while I don't agree with the borderline hyperbolic negativity, a chat I had pre-game with Cannons coach and former South boss Chris Taylor, did bring up one truism (of both us and Oaks) worth noting, and which in our case was hardly a secret: that after 4-5 games, you can count yourself unlucky, but after 11 games you gotta face up to the fact that you're probably just not very good.
We should've been aiming for four points from the Thunder and Oakleigh games, and instead we got just one. The next three league games are against Altona Magic, Heidelberg, and Bentleigh. Some might say we'd be optimistic to expect much more than a point from those matches. A good portion of the forum seems to have given up on anything being achieved this year except bare survival.
I just wish that for this season that we were not so bad, even if it was just good enough to be well clear of the bottom three.
But before then, Doveton in the FFA Cup tomorrow, at George Andrews Reserve in Dandenong.
South Melbourne Hellas Sound Bite Machine
So sometime during the second half a stranger was wandering around Clarendon Corner with a phone and microphone shield. Turns out he was some journalism student from Monash University working for Mojo News. A few people seemed to not exactly want to tall to him, but since I'm sympathetic to students looking for survey participants and such for their assessments, I was happy enough to participate when another Hellas fan palmed off the aspiring journo's advances towards my direction.
And besides, apart from my sharing my opinions with everyone whether they asked me to or not, the kid was a journalism student for crying out loud. I mean, talk about a dead end career choice, something which I know all about. Anyway, his first question threw me off balance, which is some accomplishment.
"What does the NPL mean to the community?"The community? The NPL? Do those things even go together? I made the instinctual judgement that he was a naïf and not a troll, and asked him "what community?" to which he said the "Victorian community". The Victorian community? The NPL? Do those things even go together? All I could come up with at very short notice, and hopefully articulated very clearly into his phone/microphone, was "nothing".
Thus it was his turn to be thrown off balance, and the rest of conversation - brief as it was - centred around, "well, if the NPL means nothing to the community, who are all these people here then?" to which my response was "there's only like 500 people here". I wish he didn't leave at that moment so we could expand on the discussion, but he did, and I guess we'll never know what he made of my desultory but nevertheless forthright responses. At least I learnt from the time I did an "expert" appearance for the ABC, and kept my answers brief and quotable.
Anyway, that's my heroic story.
Just in case anyone read the following,
and believed it, I would like to declare that I had no influence on the middle-of-the-road generic '80s playlist that was played over the stadium PA on Sunday. If I did have any influence, I would be playing Godspeed! You Black Emperor's Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada in its entirety, or some such tryhard maneuver.It's great to hear the @PaulMavroudis playlist at Lakeside Stadium today thanks to the @smfc media team. So far there has been Rick Astley, now the Darryl Braithwaite series, up next John Farnham— FB Skippy (@fb_skippy) May 5, 2019
Oh yes, that thing
Me and Ian Syson are back on FNR doing our If You Know Your History show. This time we're live, on Thursdays at 7pm.
Decided against going to see Altona East vs Hoppers Crossing, partly because the weather was looking crappy, but mostly because I didn't expect winless East to put up much of a fight against a ladder leading side. So I ambled down to Ralph Reserve for a battle between two winless sides, Western Suburbs and Hume United, in a game that turned out to be rather entertaining if not exactly good in the conventional sense. Hume took an early lead. Suburbs eventually got enough control of this game to score from two penalties, which made some of the visiting fans a bit upset. These things happen. I also ate a packet of lollies of some sort of provenance and vintage a university faculty's worth of archaeologists and paleontologists would be hard-pressed to date and identify. Also, Altona East won their game.
While working at the Fraser Pre-Poll Voting Centre on Monday in Sunshine, a bloke comes up to me and asked if I went to the South game. Me, not wearing a South beanie that day, yet very recognisable. Him, not wearing South gear, and yet I had no idea who he was. Is this what it's like to be a celebrity?