After unsuccessful attempts with a bludgeon, a hakapik, a switchblade, a can opener, explosives, centrifugal force and the power of prayer, The Ancelottery now knows, that there really is more than one way to skin a cat. And so, it would seem, do Strebre Delovski and The Brenton Hayward Show.
At the weekend, both whistleblowers were faced with the unusual proposition of face-meltingly dull A-league fixtures. Where others would let the dour goings-on continue without fanfare or commotion, each of them decided to take matters into their own hands to try to enliven the dismal entertainment.
The Brenton Hayward Show, took a classic approach to wakening up the staid tie between Roarcelona and Newcastle Jet’s - firstly awarding the softest of penalties before closing his eyes, counting to ten, and then issuing red cards to the first two players he saw - sauerkraut-munching Thomas Broich and the hapless Josh Mitchell the unlucky men on this occasion. Predictably, Roarcelona will appeal the Broich decision. And equally predictably, the Match Review Committee will reject it.
Meanwhile at the Allianz, in a game so uninteresting it made 90 minutes seem like 900, Bling FC drew 0-0 with Morwell Heart. Strebre Delovski however, did his very best to provoke proceedings by repeatedly ignoring his assistant, making over-zealous “play-on” gestures, and waving away furious men while jogging in reverse.
After enduring 66 minutes of lawless ankle-hacking, angry man The Del Piero Effect™, decided that the only way to avoid the surrounding mediocrity was to retire to the Bunnings Chair of Soreness. It was a textbook Delovski performance which culminated in him ‘not-noticing’ Fabio’s attempt to remove Ben Garuccio’s leg. A “terrible decision” which left John Aloisi orange faced.
Finally, in other news today, after signing precisely 1.5 good players during his time at Bling FC, football director Gary Cole, has been ordered by Frank Farina to take down his poster of Claudinho, box up his VHS tape of Ricardinho and to make his way to the door marked “Centrelink”. Try to look on the bright side Gary, there are some clubs that will employ any ol’ drongo these days.
Round 3 saw A-league coaches do what they do best - peddle cheap tawdry excuses for their sides inability to take three points. Central Coast boss, Grandpa Arnold, donned his grey overalls and pointed the blamethrower firmly in the direction of Ben “Average” Williams and his sackable refereeing performance, while John Aloisi thought that running around in 29 degrees was an unreasonable ask for well-paid, professional athletes - “it’s too hot” he whinged as Dougie the Pizza Boy took his order.
But neither coach could top Rado Vidosic’s attempted reasoning behind his men’s failure to take three points at The Cake Tin. “This is the place where you can’t really prepare for… the grass… it’s very different,” he said, somehow managing to keep a straight face.
Rado will of course find consolation in the fact that his side gets to play Western Zagreb Unicorns this Saturday, on the plush green turf of SunCorp Stadium, where naked flesh is protected by a soft, cushioning top soil; where the ball bounces right and true, and where each blade of grass kisses the studs of Besart Berisha’s boot as he rolls theatrically over and over.
Speaking of which, The Del Piero Effect™, who was last seen clutching his shin after tumbling over stationery objects, will now no longer be the only Serie A midfielder who stands around the centre circle shaking his head at his peers as the numbers on his bank balance spiral like one of those high speed train station ticker boards you just don’t see any more.
Former Empoli midfielder Vince Grella, 46, is “buzzing” after putting pen to paper on a one-year contract for Morwell Heart. Speaking about the move, Grella cited “two major factors” for the deal: “one, moving back to my home town and two, an opportunity to get myself back on the football map” - copies of which are available in the La Trobe Bundoora Campus Bookshop.
But anyone who’s been around footballers long enough knows that, “two major factors” in football maths is actually three: “For me the number one thing was the conversations I have had with John Aloisi over the past two months. 100%. He was the one that drove me to come back.”
But hold on! Anyone who’s been around footballers long enough knows that, “100%” in football maths is actually ”99%” a few days later. As Justin Mahon points out, ice baths in wheelie bins are the missing 1%. Thank goodness no one bothered to ask Vince about the odds of him managing more than three consecutive appearances!
Meanwhile, with the retirement of the ever dependable, one-paced Danny “nice guy” Allsopp, Melbourne Victory have dipped into the transfer kitty and signed fringe Socceroo goalkeeper, Nathan Coe from Scrabble’s SønderjyskE.
“I coached Nathan in the early stages of his career at various national team levels and he’s not only a committed footballer, but he is also a great character to have in the change room,” Ange Postecoglou said.
“F*ck,” Lawrence Thomas said.
Ever since witnessing Roarcelona put five past a Melbourne Witches Hats XI in an embarrassingly one-sided massacre, The Ancelottery has been sitting in the corner, in the foetal position, rocking gently back and forth, shivering and crying. In fact, lots of crying.
But while we’ve been pondering how Lawrence Thomas managed to misjudge Thomas Broich’s hoofed up-and-under as badly as he did, and why Danny Allsopp took the term “false nine” quite so literally, Ian “Mehmet” Crook has been endearing himself to the Bling FC fans.
Discussing the ironic cheers that met the decision to substitute Terry McHack ten minutes into the second half, Crook made the astounding observation that, “if you’re a supporter of Sydney FC, you support Sydney FC,” presumably forgetting that most Sydney FC supporters don’t actually go and support Sydney FC.
“That’s lock, stock and barrel,” he Cockney-gangstered, before going on to state, “It’s disappointing to see the reaction that there was. It’s not something we want to hear every week.”
The Ancelottery challenges Ian Crook to watch the replay of any Terry McHack performance without booing.
Meanwhile Fair Play’s Vince Grella, has announced his retirement from football by signing for Morwell Heart.
Grella, who once ran around a bit fouling people whilst wearing a Blackburn Rovers shirt, will, according to Heart’s official website, “adopt the mantle of role model and mentor for Heart’s developing youngsters.” Great news for Heart’s youth players as they learn all about how to forge an unremarkable knack ravaged career for some also-rans in Europe, before proclaiming to the Australian press that you’ll never return to the A-league, six months before returning to the A-league. Bravo Vinnie! Bravo!
Despite picking up a paper cut from thumbing the pages of his contacts book, John Aloisi recognised that Grella’s signing, “continues to promote Melbourne Heart’s core values of authenticity, elite performance, community and belief.” You can provide your own joke here.
And finally, the epitome of ‘wantaway’, the original Leaping Esky, has filed the time-honoured “come and get me” plea with the relevant authorities.
“Hopefully I can return (to the A-league), I did not want to leave and me and my family miss Australia. I will listen, the door is open for any team,” Carlos Hernandez told passers by, while John Kosmina checked to see if Kappa can make XXXL shorts.
“I would love to go back to Victory but I think this is difficult,” the portly playmaker suggested, as mounds of tumbleweed rolled across a Kolkata car park and a bell tolled in the background.
Anyway, can someone please make Carlos aware that the A-league visa application process has now changed? All new visa requests must go to:
c/o Rule-bending FFA Fat Cats
From an early age The Ancelottery displayed all the symptoms of the archetypal geek – the thick black rimmed glasses, the ultra-symmetrical Byford Wool Christmas Sweater, the stammering awkwardness, the slightly fusty smell, the exceptional lack of friends – but despite all of this, we never really understood education.
Physics didn’t seem as much as the science of matter and energy, as simply being quite tricky and a little bit dull. Home economics didn’t seem as much as the art of home management, as burning things to a crispy, charcoaled cinder. And evidently, English didn’t seem as much as the matter as being able to sentence construct correctly.
Anyway, the point is, we revered those with more grey matter than ourselves. We looked up to those who carried books and actually read them. We were in awe of those with a yearning for learning. We thought alma mattered. How little we knew…
A fortnight ago, esteemed La Stampa journo - Professor Marco Ansaldo - wrote that the A-league was “a graveyard for football”! A graveyard! Graveyard!! Full of football-kicking corpses!
Well, now that every lumbering striker’s favourite lumbering wardrobe, Emile Heskey, has been offered bags of cash to stand around barging into people at the Hunter Stadium, the egg is clearly on the other side of his spectacles! Read it and weep Professor! In your face collegiate!!
“Emile’s a great signing,” former Socceroo, Stan Lazaridis gushed, “he’s a big name but more importantly he’ll be a great target man for Newcastle. I think he’ll be the best guy in the air in the entire competition” - giving The Ancelottery plenty of opportunity to peddle the phrase the Leaping Heskey if only we could be bothered.
“I think Heskey is going to shock a few people with the technical ability he has… I think some people may get surprised,” Jets boss, Gary the Egg Man babbled - presumably talking about this, this and this.
And Emile isn’t the only one. Brätwurst munching Michael Ballack - who amazingly, is still playing football - has worryingly been “put on the table” to
Western Zagreb Sydney Unicorns.
According to The World Game, Ballack, 48, told “a source” in Germany that he is “excited by the prospect of coming to a great city like Zagreb” in search of a final paycheque. ”He has put other offers to one side because his desire is to play in the A-league,” the same sneaky source said, whilst skimming through the latest issue of Upmarket Tamarama Retirement Villas Monthly.
Addressing the media, Unicorns chief, Lyall Gormless mumbled, ”What we need to do is look at the context of our brand, our club, the culture we’re building and the needs of our playing squad… Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.”
In a fresh bid to convince someone to drive a lorryload of cash to his Fachhallenhaus, Ballack has now “slashed his wage demands” in order to secure a move. Incredibly, Wanderers are still stalling on the ambling midfielder’s quite reasonable $1million-a-year wage demands! Fools!
But another team’s cast off’s are Morwell Heart’s star players! The candy stripes CEO, Scott Munn confirmed that his club have also been in talks with the strolling, slowcoach’s Australian representatives, but that nothing could be signed off on unless, “the world changed tomorrow”.
“Of course we’d want a player of Ballack’s class and quality,” Munn said. “But we have a clear plan and clear demonstration of youth development” - the very same demonstration of youth development that took on John Aloisi, Josip Skoko, Michael Beauchamp, Gerald Sibon, Simon Colosimo, Fred, Clint Bolton, and Paul Reid.
What’s German for Aged Care?