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!
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.
As those more cynical than us took one look at the A-league fixtures for Round 24, they’d have been forgiven for thinking that the Labour Day game between Morwell Heart and SAdelaide United would be about as appetising as a unseasoned lentil and quinoa salad.
On the one hand you had the rudderless A-league travelling circus troupe, Morwell Heart - a team who haven’t won away from Morwell since roughly ten minutes before time began - facing the rudderless Reds, a team who were fresh off the back of the kind of inept defensive display that only eBay Luzardo could dream of. We were hardly smacking our lips at the proposition. And neither were the two men, a dog and a bored hatamoto security guard who turned up to watch the Reds demolish Heart 2-0.
”We haven’t won coming from behind this season,” John Aloisi proudly boasted. “I take full responsibility,” he cashmered, before going on to apportion some of the responsibility to whistle blower Chris Beath and his gigolo beard: ”He (Beath) slows down the game way too much, he doesn’t let it flow. He talks to a player, has to write everything down, then whenever they get a free-kick it slows it down. It’s not the first time and we’ve already told the head of referees what he’s like and it hasn’t helped, so I might as well not meet with them any more.”
‘Distraught’, ‘devastated’ and ‘gutted’ are the only words that FFA director of referees Ben Wilson can think of today.
If only Heart were playing at Suncorp, Parramatta or Allianz Stadium in the next few weeks, then Aloisi would have a real excuse for their hoofball antics.
Each of the aforementioned grounds will treat their A-league tenants to terrain more suited to the Australian Supercross Championships in their next fixtures. All three surfaces will be regaled with thirty burly men in short shorts bumping into each other on the eve of their respective A-league fixtures, inevitably resulting in games being played at the sort of pace you might expect while making your way through a boggy field in the dark.
Brisbane Roar vice-chairman Chris Fong down-played any difficulties. “We’ve got a world-class home. We are very happy with Suncorp Stadium,” cheered Fong, doing his bit for the promotion of attractive play by staging home matches on a ploughed field.
“We certainly understand that for the round ball game (the pitch) is an integral part of the game,” Parramatta Stadium director Luke Colman said. “The unfortunate thing is the weather and diseases, those are the unknown factors,” he explained whilst punching the words ‘Sydney’, ‘weather’ and ‘influenza’ into google.
Allianz Stadium officials refused to comment on their excuse for a pitch, however Bling FC fans can be rest assured that Terry McHack will be on hand to recreate these heartwarming scenes…
Oh the joy!
If The Ancelottery was asked to compile a list of the world’s greatest tactical intellects we’d immediately be drawn to the counter-attacking genius of Sir Alex Ferguson. Guus Hiddink’s strict ‘no nonsense’ approach would be hard to ignore, as would Pep Guardiola’s school of tippy-tappy eye candy that perpetually leaves SBS cheerleader Craig Foster in a quivering mess. Or maybe we’d opt for some moody defensive arrogance in the shape of Jose Mourinho?
One thing we do know however, is that Kiwi bookkeeper Ricki Herbert, would be nowhere to be seen. And while it’s not The Ancelottery’s place to give advice to our superiors – after all, what do we know about fitness, tactics or Harry Holden’s crazy shirt wearing shennanigans? – Chris Greenacre would do well to take heed.
Talking to the World Game about Ricki Herbert’s legacy following his “extremely shocking” decision to quit as Wellington head herdsman, Greenacre, the new interim coach of the Funix championed, ”If (Ricki) showed his CV to anyone in the world, it’s one to be admired. It’s up there with the top coaches of the world.”
Now we don’t mean to be pedantic, but as John Adshead would point out, Herbert’s ’unparalleled’ CV extends to: twice winning the Chatham Cup, signing referee kissing defender, Cleberson Souza Santos, handing the captain’s armband to Ross Aloisi, signing Glen Moss, signing Nicky “Vidal Sassoon” Ward, playing Nicky “Vidal Sassoon” Ward, co-authoring a football biography described by Salient as, “Not ideal for a fan of biographies”, and expertly guiding Wellington Funix to a last place position on the A-league ladder after letting the playing group decide to hoof it long.
“I’ve had a long and very successful tenure at the club and will always be proud of what I have achieved,” Herbert said as he stroked his 1999 New Zealand Champions Medal. “But all good things must come to an end and it’s time for new coaching blood and for me to move on to new and exciting challenges”. Exciting challenges that will see him advising the board… at Wellington Funix.
His resignation (or promotion if you’re Brisbane Roar) will be a hard loss to take. But Funix fans don’t despair! At least you still have Isaka Cernak.