As the date ticked over to January 1 on our George Nelson Vitra Night Clock, the over-sized window adorned with a glittering-sign reading “Transfer” creaked open, sparking yet another stirringly tedious month of uncorroborated speculation. A month where according to journalists, fiction becomes fact, and where cash-stricken desperation becomes a disastrous January of losing players to the highest bidder.
Central Coast Marinaters chairman Peter Turnbull reckons there’s no place for man-boy Tom Rogic at Blue Tongue Stadium anymore - instead he wants to send him to Reading to pick bench-shaped splinters out of his behind. That is, just as long as the EPL outfit can wrangle him a visa and stump up the necessary 500,000 shiny beans. According to Fox Sports, “the only outstanding issue is Rogic’s final agreement to the move, with his advisers believed to be weighing up the football considerations”. Like, at what point the Marinaters are willing to fly you to training?
Rogic isn’t the only Marinater set to be subjected to watching burly men barge into each other in search of yet another aerial dual. Pride Park will be the place to watch Maty Ryan buttery hands flapping at crosses, if Tribal Football are to be believed. Michael ‘Theoklitos’ Theo could teach him a thing or two about impressive English championship debuts.
One hobbit who won’t be going anywhere is Marco Rojas, aka the #KiwiMessi. “I’m going to be here until the end of the season,” the pint-sized winger muttered today. “I’m not really worried about the money,” Rojas added as shiny-suited half-father/half-Mr. 10% Rojas Snr. knocked on Anthony Di Pietro’s door.
Meanwhile, after Gui Finkler’s long-term injury, folks on twitter are pretending that Ange seriously wants to re-sign ultimately disappointing if somewhat likeable Harry Kewell, a story constructed using the putting-two-and-two-together-rumour technique.
Aziz Behich’s Mr. 10% really knows how to make the Morwell wing back feel worthless, insisting that, “there are no offers on the table, there are no negotiations, offers, contracts anything – (Aziz’s) got another year at Heart.”
Finally, The Australian EXCLUSIVELY reveals that pressure’s Craig Goodwin, Unicorns’ Aaron Mooy and Brisbane hatstand Erik Portaloo® could all be off somewhere. Where you ask? Nobody seems to know, however expect people purporting to represent them to start pedaling each of them all over Europe, Asia and any other league with a better reputation than India’s Premier League Soccer.
Filmed in front of a live audience at 8pm on a Friday night, the I’maMelbourneVictoryBigWipeoutSurvivorCelebrityBrotherIdol contestants are now down to ten! And the show just keeps on getting hotter as the contestants battle it out to win the ultimate prize - a new contract!
Regular viewers will remember last week’s episode, when elderly contestant, Tommy P, was sent packing with a commemorative carriage clock and a Mehmet Durakovic pin badge, ever to be remembered simply as, “the guy who went out first.”
Who will fall by the wayside this week!?!
(Cue dramatic montage sequence)
After last week’s horror show in the Sydney Immunity Challenge, all eyes are on eBay Luzardo’s efforts to convince a hostile crowd that he’s not the Kyle Sandilands of the current series. Paired with a new partner, it’s only a matter of time until this ‘Intruder’ is evicted.
Next up is Diogo Ferriera who seems to have nicely avoided the “Pit of Leigh Broxham’s ability”. He’s playing it safe, very safe, but will he have the social game to go all the way?
BAM!!! A contestant’s down! What a hit! Last year’s winner, Marco Rojas, will be seeing a procession of bright pink Manny Muscats cha-cha-cha-ing around his head a good 18 hours after being hit at 100kmph by that elbow! That will surely rule him out not just of this competition but also Young Talent Time.
Meanwhile Brazilian defender Fabio better learn the forgotten art of defending, and fast, otherwise he’ll be blubbering down the barrel of a lens at Morwell Heart!
Bookies favourite, Grant Brebner, has done his chances no harm (mostly by not playing) but is banking all his money on his ability to win over guest judge, Craig Foster, with his British accent and agricultural style of football. Hoof!!
And there are suggestions, although possibly from every other A-league team, that Matty “one paced” Kemp should be handed a contract.
But no! In a dramatic turn of events, it’s an amazing double eviction!! Jean Carlos Solorzano and Carlos Hernandez are both sent packing back to Costa Rica! It’s an unbelievable outcome that absolutely has nothing to do with the program makers cutting their budget for I’maMelbourneVictoryBigWipeoutSurvivorCelebrityBrotherIdol 2: Fear of the Unknown.
Coming up next week:
Having navigated the INSURMOUNTABLE WALL (of visa issues),Julius Davies has his eye firmly on the prize. Plus, we have an exclusive preview of next year’s newest contestant! Now that he’s wiped the dribble off of his bib, we have an exclusive chat with former Clive Parmigiana’s nursery contestant, Adama Troare! All this and more, as Victory try to address the alarming trend of actually winning games! Don’t miss it!
The Ancelottery knows all about anti-climax. Anti-climax is our middle name. The harrumphing noise of disappointment. The pitying look of dejection. All that hope and promise, followed by the inevitable come down and empty words of solace. And of course, the more ardent the expectation, the more frustrating the bathos. Or so we’ve been told.
Buoyed by last week’s win over the league leaders, all the midweek talk was of “momentum” and Victory actually trying to gather some. For the first time in a long time, fans had some hope. As it turns out, it was false hope.
Jim Magilton’s men took to the field with second placed Brisbane Roar for their very latest ‘must-win, do-or-die, make-or-break, win-at-all-costs, so-important-that-FoxSports-have-over-emphasised-website-related-super-awesome-match-of-the-round-preview-with-Mel-McLaughlin’ fixture, trying to forget about their recent appalling record at the Suncorp Stadium; a record as bad as anything ever released by Peter Andre.
Victory adopted, what in football circles is known as the Ardiles plan; a daring, exciting plan where the forwards attack with the kind of gung-ho, cavalier bravado usually reserved for pimply teenagers during schoolies week; while the defensive quartet attempt to simultaneously build sandcastles, blow bubbles and stop goals. (Outside of football this plan is sometimes known as an Awful plan.)
Melbourne started the game as they meant to go on; by covering their eyes and counting to 42 while Besart Berisha slalomed around four stationary witches hats dressed in fluoro, and rifled a shot past Ante Covic.
Hot on the heels of this historic brain-freeze, Fabio, Princess, eBay and the confused schoolboy that still answers to the name of “Petar”, maintained their all-round flakiness to let the worst haircut this side of Mango Hill nip in for the second.
And just when we thought there may have been a way back into the game, the boys in day-glo concocted an even more outrageous way of failing to win, this time by treating us to the side-splitting slapstick sketch of eBay Luzardo hacking down Eric Portaloo®. Tee-hee! How we laughed! My, how we laughed.
But speaking post-game, Jim told us to “look at the positives”, so look at the positives we shall:
1. Victory didn’t get as mauled in the second half.
2. Harry Harry Kewell and Marco Rojas-he’s-a-winger did well throughout, causing Ange Postecoglou to later describe himself as a “grumpy old bastard.”
3. The Leaping Esky won the crossbar challenge with a strike that was hit so hard it was accompanied by a cartoon-style “THWACK!!!”. (However this did result in the expenditure of his weekly allowance of energy and therefore result in him going back to the difficult business of moping around the centre circle for the rest of the game.)
And 4. Leigh Broxham didn’t get on.
Victory now face the biggest must-win, must-win of all must-wins when they face Gold Coast United next weekend. In any other league it’d be a relegation battle.
Some people, over the course of the last week, have been very busy in Robina. No more so than the town’s resident handyman. Poor old resident handyman was hard at work removing the Gold Coast United FC nameplate outside Skilled Park Stadium in order to make way for the stadium’s official new signage: ”Sit Down Comedy Club FC”.
The debut act on the bill was Miron Bleiberg and the Two Clives, a tumultuous trio who, in The Ancelottery’s opinion, relied on absurd comedy far too much. (Those requiring evidence of this fact need only look at their signing of U-S-A! midfield man, Alex Smith.)
To summarise their act in full:
One of the Clive’s (the fat one… sorry, the really fat one) pulls a prank with Miron, smacking him across the face with a wet fish and appointing a seventeen-year old debutant to wear a piece of elastic around his bicep for the forthcoming fixture.
Miron endorses the idea, asks “what time is it, Eccles?”, but then goes on to call the act “ceremonial” - “He will toss the coin, then he will ask Kristian Rees which way to go, and then Kristian will tell him what to do.”
Clive (the really fat one) makes an off-the-cuff riff and suspends Miron.
(CUE AUDIENCE BOO AND HISS)
Miron takes off his false leg and resigns!
Clive (the not as fat one) informs Miron that he can’t quit because he’s already been fired, and that the parrot’s merely ‘resting it’s eyes’.
In a show of self-referential, self-deprecating humour, Clive (the really fat one) says that he has a ‘dirty fork’, that the A-league is “a joke” and that soccer is a “hopeless game.”
(AUDIENCE SHUFFLES AWKWARDLY)
Clive (the really fat one) sensing he’s lost the audience, backtracks quickly and says, “I like soccer. Wibble.”
(AUDIENCE SHUFFLES EVEN MORE AWKWARDLY)
Clive (the not as fat one) delivers the biggest laugh of the night when he says, “I’m sure Miron’s got no more to say”. Yeah right!
(AUDIENCE TITTERS KNOWINGLY)
We never thought we’d say this, but here are a bunch of individuals that almost make Melbourne Victory look like a club with a well-planned future. Almost.
You have to hand it to Nathan Tinkler. The audacity of the man. You see the recently appointed Newcastle Jets owner has taken it up himself to change his clubs jersey from their usual dreadful gold offering, to an exact replica of Barcelona’s kit. How dare he break a whole six years of tradition!? The portly millionaire is relying upon world renowned kit manufacturer ISC, to undertake the job. Let’s hope they can cope with the demand.
Tinkler took a dictator-type approach and imposed the new change without any form of consultation with anyone. Not that The Ancelottery is complaining - we’re pleased that we’ll never have to witness the horrible kit clash between Central Coast & Newcastle again. And next year during the Jets v Gold Coast game, if you squint really hard you might briefly think you’re watching El Classico.
But wait! You’re too late. The A-league already has a Classico. Fox Sports commentator and all-round knobhead, Andy Harper, dubbed Friday night’s game between Adelaide United and Melbourne Victory as the A-league “Classico“ (don’t forget this is the man who once described Travis Dodd as a “spawning salmon” and once likened a Carlos Hernandez goal to taking “baby from a candy”). Whilst it wasn’t a bad spectacle, The Ancelottery hardly thinks that the fixture has escalated enough for it to be compared with Barca versus Real Madrid.
Somewhat predictably, Victory lost the game and lost their chance of finishing fourth on the ladder. A decent crowd witnessed the match and there were some encouraging performances (Marvin Angulo in particular). However, recent re-signees Pondeljak and Kemp, rewarded Ernie Merrick with a pair of dreadful performances. The defeat was particularly galling when Brisbane brushed aside Gold Coast 4-0, just 24 hours later. If only we could have won. If only.
As a consequence Victory now have to travel to the Gold Coast for the first elimination final. Talk of a venue change from the much criticised Skilled Park is rife, however it would seem unfair to take Gold Coast’s home final away from them. They finished above us on the table and therefore deserve it - no matter how bad their playing surface is. Or how much of a tool their coach is.
One team that we wouldn’t mind seeing Victory up against in the finals series is Wellington Phoenix. After witnessing their game on Sunday against North Queensland Fury, we realised that they are still playing in the 1970s…
Obviously digital cameras haven’t quite made it over there yet.
The young lad, Marco Rojas was impressive again (remember him? He’s the one who tore us apart at the cake tin). He’s out of contract at the end of the season and is attracting a fair bit of attention from preying clubs. Merrick needs to get on the phone with offerings of digital cameras, roo meat and a decent wage. That should do it.
Victory go into the finals with a genuine belief that they can beat anyone (don’t forget that we’re the only team to have beaten Brisbane this year). And with returning players getting fitter by the day and such strong, passionate support, we’re the team that everyone wants to avoid. Let’s make it count boys.