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."
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.