Over the years, Ancelottery has gained a reputation for being a glass-half-empty kind of a blog. Misanthropic. Pessimistic. Even wildly cynical, some may say. It’s a notoriety achieved by being an A-league blog that on face value, doesn’t seemingly like the A-league all that much. A site which, given any chance, will take any opportunity to formulate a tenuous, yet caustic, whinge about Etihad Stadium’s over-zealous security, TV’s ‘expert’ analysts (sic), the static queues for dishevelled half-time sausage rolls or; Leigh Broxham.
Imagine then, Dear Reader, the lack of enthusiasm we displayed last week at the prospect of watching the league’s most under-achieving team entertain Australia’s most underwhelming team. We simply could wait.
To our, and pretty much everyone else’s surprise, a resurgent Melbourne Victory not only outplayed the Mariners, but also held on to win against them on Friday night. This, the very latest in a long line of must-win, make-or-break, do-or-die, so-important-that-FoxSports-have-insisted-on-pre-match-FOX-FIELD-super-awesome-graphics-with-extra-Andy-Harper clash.
“I’m chuffed, but I’m not getting carried away,” cheered Jim Magilton post-game. “I like energy in my team and people who take care of the ball and youthful exuberance,” the Norn Oirish coach explained, as Tom Pondeljak limped sheepishly towards the door.
Of course most fans will now conclude that Victory’s much improved performance means that Magilton is a football genius and that Craig Foster should be filling the kettle and asking Jim if he takes sugar. But whilst The Ancelottery loves a happy ending, we suspect that this story is far from over. In the meantime, we’ll reserve judgement and not get “carried away,” but instead be thankful that for one brief moment, Melbourne Victory FC reminded us that we do, on occasion, actually like the game of Association Football.
Next weekend Victory face another must-win, make-or-break, do-or-die, etc., etc. test of their top six credentials when we face a Brisbane Roar side now firing after Bratwurst loving, Thomas Broich recovered from heel thwack. The Ancelottery would usually predict that the boys in blue might just park their air-conditioned 60-seater team bus in front of the Suncorp goals and wait for Sayed Mohamed Adnan to bore his teammates to death with a series of sideways passes to Ivan Franjic and Matt Smith. But then, that’d be a tad pessimistic.
Meanwhile… over in Morwell… Victory’s Old Boys are doing a very good job of proving that they aren’t, as some people would believe, a “one man team,” by failing to win eight consecutive games with a variety of hopeless individuals out on the park. Speaking to The Age, Carpenters fan and Heart Football Manager, John Didulica completed Heart’s fine transmogrification from go-getting free-wheeling Championship chasers to desperate bottled-it knee-jerk specialists, by pleading, “It’s no use wrapping them (Fred and Matt Thompson) in cotton wool and saying we will save them for a rainy day. It’s a rainy day now.”
How times change.