The Ancelottery can’t help but find Perth Glory’s continual inability to win the toilet seat perpetually enjoyable. Their failure to ever register a win against North Queensland Fury; the signing of Nicky ‘Vidal Sassoon’ Ward; their epic capitulation in last year’s grand final after Mr. Tumble took a comic tumble; the subsequent discovery that referee Jarred Gillette’s girlfriend was on the payroll; Shane Smeltz winning the crossbar challenge; Andrew Nabbout’s handball hi-jinx, the red card issued to knuckle dragging’s Steve Pantelidis following his perfectly legitimate foul on Nabbout; the oddball refereeing of Jarred Gillette (again!) that helped Melbourne Victory reach the semi-final; and of course Steven McGarry’s feeble attempt at banter.
For all this anguish we should be thankful, it’s why they’re the A-league’s “benchmark club”.
As regular readers of this blog will no doubt testify, we’re in no position to criticise people for not being very good at their job, however Glory owner Tony Sage and hatchet-in-chief Jacob Burns are more than happy to dish it out to hapless whistleblower, Jarred Gillette, following his part in Perth’s elimination on Friday night.
“He’s ended our finals campaign and I don’t want to sound like sour grapes, but he’s got to be accountable for some very, very poor decisions out there for both teams,” Burns Cashmere John’d after the game. “I don’t understand how he can make such poor judgments once again” - clearly Burns hasn’t seen too many of Jarred’s games this season.
Tony Sage is in a right old hot funk too and has asked the FFA “not to appoint Gillette to any Perth games at home for safety reasons”.
“I am angry (about) the shocking refereeing decision” tinkled the multi-millionaire. ”He should not have done our game in the first place. If you read social media comments coming out of Perth, if I was Jarred Gillette I wouldn’t want to come here anyway,” stated Sage on behalf of Tourism Western Australia.
But decisive action has never been a strong point for the FFA, so it will come as little surprise to discover that for one of the finals, they’ve once again turned to a referee who thinks that this is a goal kick. Bravo FFA!
Over in SAdelaide, it would appear that the mood right now is one of grasping confusion. Basking under the title of want-away goalkeeper, is Reds stopper Eugene Galeković. Not surprisingly Eugene has been less than keen to commit to two more years of tutelage from Michael Valkanis - a head coach who has returned just two wins in ten attempts.
Talking to a group of reporters an angry Galeković outlined his concerns about the club, most notably that all footballing matters should be decided by an unspecified group of “football people”.
“The main thing is football people need to make football decisions at this football club,” whelped Galeković without drawing breath. “I think football people should just make those decisions - leave that for just football people. If there aren’t any football people at this football club, maybe they’ve got to bring in football people.”
You’re right Eugene! Better to leave it to the experts. Expert “football people” like… erm… Craig Foster. What a relief!
Well done to the Unicorns! Six months ago an object of our mockery and ridicule, they’ve emerged from the shadow of The Del Piero Effect™ to win their first ever serving tray in their inaugural season.
All praise Tony Popovic, who during the course of the campaign has managed to inexplicably transform Tarek Elrich, Michael Beauchamp, Mark Bridge, Shannon Cole, Nikolai Topor-Stanley and Labinot Haliti from a dysfunctional rabble of goal-shy rejects into a well-oiled football-winning machine. Quite an achievement.
We are of course contractually obliged to cloddishly point out that the incredible win will always be slightly less incredible due to a certain amount of rule bending, backhanded favours and payments thrown their way by the 23-carriage FFA gravy train. Having said that, the serving tray still takes some winning - especially with Tahj Minniecon in your squad - so congratulations to you Poppa.
But as Sydney news outlets fawn at Poppa’s feet like adolescent groupies, only with less dignity, The Ancelottery prefers to focus on the weekend exploits of a different young man. A young man who grew up with the lofty ambition of being a pro-gamer, but chose instead to give it all up and settle for a job as Morwell Heart Head Coach.
After conducting his usual 10 minute pre-match YouTube homework on the opposition on Friday afternoon, Cashmere John’s Morwell Heart travelled to Bluetongue Stadium on Saturday to take on Central Coast Marinaters, with the hope of continuing their impressive winless away record. And continue it they did, with stylish aplomb.
When Heart stopper Patrick Gerhardt elbowed a goal-bound shot off the line in the first half of their tie with Central Coast Marinaters, referee Jarred Gillette sent off Gerhardt and awarded a penalty, as the laws of Association Football dictate.
It was a decision which left Cashmere John baffled and confused; so much so that he (worryingly) “blew up”, directing a half-time expletive explosion at Jarred Gillette, which duly earned him a red card in the process.
“The reason (why I whinged to the referee) was a few people from the Marinaters told me it was never a hand ball,” the perma-tanned one explained whilst the Marinaters coaching staff sniggered in the background. “Every week we’re getting decisions against us,” John excused, before summing up, “I feel that they’re not up to standard.” Unfortunately, he didn’t confirm whether he was discussing the referees or his players.
But hey ho Heart fans, being an also ran isn’t so bad! “When we did play well we played some of the best football in the league,” trilled Cashmere John, basking in the warm glow of intermittent, moderately-paced, unsuccessful football. And you’ve only six months to wait until you can try and avoid the spoon all over again. Oh the joy!
In the winter of 2012, Cashmere John, the bestest youth team manager in the land who hadn’t actually won anything, was given his big break. As a reward for his incredible coaching talent and his even more incredible perma-tan, Morwell Heart entrusted him with the keys to the canteen at Bundoora. With the backing of many respected figures within the game, as well as Scott Munn, he started to try and develop the side “to win the league”. “You saw last year our consistency wasn’t quite there,” Cashmere John stated, as he quickly set about fixing any inconsistencies.
Ten months on and Morwell’s transformation is complete. Under his excellent tactical stewardship, Heart have finally found the consistency that Cashmere John claimed they were lacking - failing to win a single game outside of Melbourne this season, scoring an average of 0.45 goals per game in the process.
Cashmere John once professed whilst applying his FakeBake, “John van’t Schip set a platform for this club. I learnt a lot under John. I learnt how to react after certain defeats.” Tutelage he put into full effect in a entertaining Sunday afternoon rant: “I thought it was a poor performance from the referee. Our players were upset about (the penalty) and the Roar lifted - but it’s no excuse,” he excuse’d after the game.
But Cashmere John shouldn’t despair! At The Ancelottery’s last count, Heart need just five points from their final away game to make the elimination finals and with Kris Griffiths-Jones (or any other A-league whistleblower) officiating, who knows what’s possible?
Over in the harbour city another A-league team are displaying an equally fine level of consistency, albeit in a different way. Despite their best attempts to kick and harangue their way down the Fair Play ladder by picking up a balmy 6 red cards in their last 5 away games, The Del Piero Effect’s Bling FC look set to assault their way into the finals. Taking 20 points from a possible 23, the Sky Blues still have every chance of lifting the toilet seat despite being 22 points behind the Unicorns. Maybe Graham Arnold has a point after all?
It may not come as a surprise to you that The Ancelottery is not good with money. Whether it’s the extravagant purchasing of naff footballing merchandise, the hefty overdue library book fines, or the extortionate “Grant Brebner Coaching Academy” monthly membership fee - each results in the same thing… every trip to the hole-in-the-wall is a “insufficient funds” lottery. And so, as The Ancelottery embarks on the adventure of securing an unsecured personal loan from ‘Big Steve’, we’ve empathy for the financial officer of embattled A-league club, Central Coast Marinaters.
For in Gosford, according to The Australian’s Ray Gatt, a deeply unpleasant shower of financial simpletons are busy dismantling the local football team. If a restructure of its ownership fails, and cashed up English businessman Michael Charlesworth doesn’t invest the GDP of a small developing nation, the cash-stricken Marinaters could be “in jeopardy”. Further to this, players and staff have not been paid, a Melbourne consortium has been looking at relocating the club to Geelong (as @AdamPeacock3 would say, #PrayForTheSauce) and perhaps most distressing of all is the news that Primo Smallgoods will not be bringing it’s unique brand of mis-labelled pork products back to the BlueTongue next year.
However, suits at the FFA insist that rumours of the club’s embarrassing financial situation have, like The Ancelottery’s appalling weekend exploits at The Bat & Ball Hotel, been greatly exaggerated. ”Central Coast Marinaters have been going through some different issues,” A-league boss Damien De Bohun harrumphed. ”From our perspective, it’s just something that (will) get resolved very quickly.” Unfortunately De Bohun didn’t quite clarify how hand-scrawled I.O.U.s can make mortgage repayments or be exchanged for groceries at the local IGA.
Meanwhile Marinaters coach, Graham “happy-go-lucky” Arnold - who has impressed all and sundry in recent years by transforming a team of unwanted no-hopers into a team of battling tired no-hopers - isn’t happy. He’s upset at the completely unreasonable demand of playing 4 games in 21 days. ”Physically we have got 19 players and it’s been tough to push 19 players,” he bleated. “The expectancy level of what they are doing (is too hard) for well paid professional athletes”, he almost whinged, before going on to show an incredible knowledge of the human anatomy… “They are just out on their feet. They are off their legs,” he actually said.
In other coaching news, Mike Mulvey’s Believe It Or Not! has consulted his Big Book of A-league Certainties and stated that his side will ”100 percent qualify for finals”, and that his confidence is “based on the facts.” Presumably choosing to ignore the fact that (a) Roar still need positive results from their two remaining games to make the top six, and (b) since he’s been in charge, Roar have lost more games than they’ve won.
Stand-in Perth Glory coach Alistair Edwards thinks that his side are the “benchmark club in the competition” and “always have been.” We couldn’t agree more Alistair - as long as the benchmark isn’t concerned with such petty things as tactics, playing style, attendances, facilities, youth team development, community engagement and success.
Finally, Ange Postecoglou will take charge of the A-league invitational XI Superstar All Stars entertaining 5-4 loss to Manchester United in July. Voting has now opened and you can register your selection here. We’d like to remind you however, that it’s neither big nor clever to vote for Terry McHack. You have been warned.