Saturday, February 14, 2009

Melbourne 4-0 Benny Hill Select XI

Something very strange happened to me during the course of this match. After the first couple of goals I wanted Melbourne to really thrust in the knife and keep twisting. I wanted no quarter. In a fit of masochistic bloodlust I was urging Melbourne on, watching in delighted horror as they, once more, ritualistically put Adelaide to the sword.

I'm a bit concerned about the perverse pleasure that I gained watching the slaughter orchestrated by Carlos Hernandez, Archie Thompson, Danny Allsopp and co. It was just like watching that terrible grand final again. The same utter capitulation in the Reds midfield, the same magnificent performance by the home team, the same beautiful balls played through to their strikers by the man in the hole. Only difference was, this time we waited until later in the match before one of our players got sent off. And the (aggregate) score of the loss? 6-0.

So, why did I want to see Adelaide fail? I think I can justify my feelings like this: The greater the loss tonight, the more likely they will also fail against Queensland next week and not have to play Melbourne again in a grand final. Better to get the humiliation over and done with. Let's start thinking about next season, and let Melbourne and Queensland battle it out for the championship. At least that is likely to be a competitive game.

The funny thing is, I'm not really put off by this result. I'm not going to boycott the match next week. I'll get my membership next year, same as always, even if we make it to the grand final and lose 10-0. I've come to terms with the fact that Adelaide are Melbourne's whipping boys, it's starting to feel like that's just the natural order of things. In the same way that night follows day and death follows life, Adelaide will cop a hiding whenever we play Melbourne. It's inevitable.

There's all sorts of things I could say about individual performances, but I don't think it's necessary. Pretty much 'fail' marks across the board. As for Vidmar, here's what he had to say after the match:

"It was an absolute disgrace... We owe the world an apology. Politics is what I put it down to. There's too many people at this club with hidden agendas... This club will never win anything until you get rid of that crap."

See this Fox Sports article for more... and here's a link to the interview audio.

Apparently, he also referred to Adelaide as a 'piss ant town'. I'm thinking he'll be on very very thin ice after this outburst - not being privy to the machinations inside the club it's hard to know what he's on about and whether he has reason to say these sorts of things. If it's just the sound of a man under pressure finally exploding then perhaps it's best for the future if Adelaide look to another coach, but if his criticism of the club is merited then the problem is deeper than the coach and the players.

Anyway, more on this when we know more about it... stay tuned kids.

I'll sign off on a positive note: well done to the Adelaide United fans that made the trip over. Well done for supporting until the end, and, especially, well done for the messages of support and solidarity for the victims of the bushfire disaster. You've done your club proud.

Highlights of the game.


Anonymous said...

Bring back Agostino!

john said...

Hi Bill

I feel for the fans of Adelaide United.

I don't really understand what is going on inside the club. I don't understand why the pain for Adelaide United and its coaches - perhaps the top performing club in Australian sport - makes these community leaders feel that they have the right to... to what? Behave like they can't get beaten?

My concern - I think I share it with you - is that Adelaide will now come back and win the Grand Final and believe the damage done to the sport by Dodd and Vidmar - the lack of respect they have shown to a better team - was justified.

According to Fox Sports the name calling and bitterness between the players of both teams was appalling last night.

Nunny said...

Good on Vidmar. He obviously loves the game, the club and just wants the team to perform better.

While it may not have been the most appropriate way to get things changed for the better, at least he is doing something. I don't believe for a minute that it was his only attempt to get through to people, as he said it has been going on for weeks. Things have obviously changed between the last two performances and those in the Asian Champions League. We look like two completely different teams.

If you put things into perspective and think globally, Football in Australia, while improving, is currently piss-weak. In the context I am not offended by Vidmar's 'piss-ant-town' comment. Adelaide is small, Adelaide United is even smaller. It's just how things are and thinking anything different will only delude yourself. It would be very easy for players to get too big for their boots. The players are probably getting interest from other clubs during the recruiting season. People looking to move up in the football world will be thinking of themselves rather than the team.

As for the game:
I really don't care about the result. We were never going to beat Victory at home with nothing on the line. I just hope that the team regroups and performs well in the remaining games. Perhaps it was the wake up call we needed?

Guido said...

Bill, I am heartened that you will renew your Adelaide United membership next year.

I've known of Melbourne Victory supporters that after Melbourne's poor season 3 didn't renew and stopped going to the matches.

Supporting your team through the highs and the lows it's what being a fan is all about!

john said...

Love the new name for your site Bill

john said...

Hi Nunny
I hope this was an unplanned outburst. A fair few people in the A-League are going to be cheesed off if it turns out Viddy did this to gee-up his troops.

he has just given ammunition to Adelaide's AFl community - who had been running scared.

Bill said...

Thanks for the comments everyone. Nunny - hopefully you're right in that the comments by Vidmar were a wakeup call to the players. If anything good could come of this whole shemozzle, hopefully its that the boys play out of their skins on the weekend. Guido - I'm an eternal optimist, somewhat unrealistically so at times. A little thing like my football team playing like crap isn't going to stop me from believing that things will change! As you say, support through the lows as well as the highs. And John - it really hasn't taken long for the soccer haters to jump all over these evens. You only need to look at comments on the Advertiser articles to see the joy some people are taking in AU's demise...