When the Ancelottery endures a break-up (of which there have been many) we like to buck the trend. Unlike most media-hungry D-list ‘celebrities’, we refrain from taking the opportunity to shout complex repressed abuse from the passenger window of a moving car. We don’t demand to keep the Breville Platinum Wizz Mix 600 watt Bench Mixer which has been in the cupboard gathering dust for the past six months. And we definitely don’t go Hackett-ing to 60 Minutes to ‘set the story straight’. Not The Ancelottery, oh no. Dignified silence all the way.
Not everyone can handle a break-up with such warped nobility and logical clear thinking. Look at Bernie Mandic. When Harry Kewell dumped Mandic and shacked up with a new Mr. 10% - James Erskine, we knew it wouldn’t be long before Erskine and Mandic were falling out publicly. What we didn’t know is that Bernie’s “dignified silence” would last twelve months.
Now that Kewell has retreated to a safe distance (15,000km to be precise), Mandic has given what is, as far as the admittedly doltish Ancelottery can discern, a face-saving “explosive attack” about his part in last year’s contract negotiations between Kewell and Sydney FC.
Mandic, like one of those Japanese soldiers who still thinks the War is going on, isn’t ready to just lie-down and accept the blame for Kewell’s financially disappointing return to Australia. Instead he’s been busy telling anyone who will listen about the magnitude of the “staggering” $6.2million playing contract he managed to put together for Kewell, the “rent-free five-bedroom house in Sydney’s lower north shore” and the “additional training” he’d lined up for Kewell’s actor wife, Sheree Murphy. (Read between the lines Sheree).
To prove his maturity, Erskine dismissively retorted, “the deal could have been done by a pair of Labradors.”
But backbiting rancour is like water off a dog’s back to Bernie!
“I take it as a compliment, being compared to a Labrador - one of the most loyal and trusted friends a person can have,” Mandic woofed. ”James Erskine may see himself as one of the most powerful people in the Australian entertainment industry but he has found out that in the world of football he is a mere pissant that no one takes seriously,” he said, before going off to clean up the mess that his loyal and trusted labrador had made in the kitchen.
Considering that this pair are grown, adult men, the Ancelottery hasn’t seen this much dirty laundry since Sara-Marie left the Big Brother house.
Clearly, there’s only one thing for it - get Mandic and Erskine on live TV, Bosschart v. Shannon Cole style, for a ‘celebrity’ cook off - like grown, adult men.
Kati Kabab Rolls newest customer: The Leaping Esky
Former Brimbank Stallions speed-walker, Carlos Hernandez has touched down in “Football-crazy Kolkata” and given a stock unveiling speech that’s served so many footballers well down the years: “It’s absolutely fantastic, a dream come true for me. I’ve been a Prayag United fan all my life, going back to when I was a kid growing up in Guancaste, I always had a Prayag shirt on my back. So, to be here now as a Prayag player is incredible and I couldn’t be happier,” he almost said.
Those of you suffering from withdrawal symptoms of the Costa Rican “world cupper” can watch the imaginatively entitled Prayag United produced video, “Carlos at his room”. Thrill-a-minute stuff it is not.
He’s got a good touch for a big lad
Meanwhile over at Morwell, Football Operations Manager, John Didulica is getting himself in a big old funk. Talking about future Newcastle United cast off, Curtis Good, Didulica gushed, “He’s already big and strong. He’s not scared of a physical battle at all. He’s technically outstanding. He’s got a wonderful left foot. There aren’t too many players in the world, let alone Australia, who are big, strong and have a wonderful pass.”
The thrust of such a suggestion can only be explained by downright stupidity. Unless of course Didulica’s only references are Maycon, Michael Beauchamp and John Aloisi.
Finally, the season has ended. The prolonged nightmare is over.
What’s that? It hasn’t? Well, you could have fooled us.
You see, we came to that conclusion after Melbourne Victory served up the crowning undeniable piece of evidence that they’re simply, well… not very good.
On a moist Saturday afternoon at AAMI Park, Victory showed that this current team is not, and never were, anywhere close to title favourites. As Ed Rooney might say, “Wake up and smell the coffee. It’s a fool’s paradise, and Victory have been leading us down the primrose path.”
As ‘expert’ analysts (and Craig Foster) sit on their leatherette couches and backtrack on their initial asinine viewpoint that this Victory squad is better than nine other A-league teams, the fans are left to rue a season of staggering ineptness. Saturday was just the creme fondant icing on a family size A-league cake.
The game itself followed the usual blueprint. Despite a bright start, the humiliation started soon enough when schoolboy Petar Franjic gave a lesson in schoolboy defending. Franjic wasn’t to steal the limelight though! Hot on the heels of his last brainfreeze in Perth, Matty ‘one-paced’ Kemp, 48, gave a textbook lesson in comically inept defending, proving without doubt that Leigh Broxham isn’t the worst player to ever get a Socceroos cap.
And in case you were doubting this spurious fact, Kemp then threw his toys out of the pram and had a bit of a sulk when he was hauled off shortly before the half time whistle; for Leigh Broxham.
But wait… we know what you’re thinking… surely there would be an obligatory late lunge by an overcommitted, yet tired Victory player which will result in subsequent red card?
Of course there would. The Leaping Esky the offending player this time.
One thing is for certain: there was nothing for even the most ardent Eureka flag waving Victory fan to cheer about. While Jim and Harry optimistically say they’ll pick themselves up and “go to Sydney and get a result”, there is absolutely no doubt about it, this season is over.
The Ancelottery has recently been made aware of it’s developing notoriety as a misanthropic pessimist. An A-league/Melbourne Victory blog, who frankly, should stop complaining about the state of journalism at FourFourTwo, Craig Foster’s unhealthy obsession with everything Barcelona and Andy Harper’s insipid, banal comments.
This view is perhaps not totally unfair, and is possibly a result of our recent Exclusive! ‘Stop the Top Ten Lists’ campaign, which even we’ll admit, has gone on for way too long. (Seriously though, can you stop it now FourFourTwo? Please).
But when push comes to shove, we do actually like football. And we’re genuinely excited about the upcoming weekend. Tomorrow, you see, really does look like being “full of excitement.” For once. And we can’t wait.
Of course, the opening day of the new A-league season is the best time for a lot of football fans, a day when the lesser teams
( Wellington Phoenix) can dream that maybe, just maybe, they might not be as bad as some other teams, and finish 6th.
And what better way to kick off the new campaign than on Fox Sports 2 HD, as the “irresistible force of Newcastle Jets, meet the immovable object that is Melbourne Heart, in a clash that is going to go down in history, as one of the many matches that is on this weekend”.
But Newcastle based hacks have been tackling a different issue this week, as this picture shows:
Can you believe they’re chopping down the fig trees? Just who do the council think they are? We’re right behind you, Save Our Figs Inc.
Discussing the frontpage of this “local rag”, Fox Sports
analyst pundit, Andy Harper, ignored the plight of the 14 street-lined deciduos trees and decided instead to focus upon the “neutron bomb,” otherwise known as the sacking of father and son, Branko and Jason Culina.
That is, we think that’s what he was talking about, it’s difficult to say as he was, “joining dots that aren’t really there.”
We looked to the Newcastle Jets Official Twitter feed for a more considered response but they were too busy ‘favouriting’ such veritable visual delights as “when wogs get stuck in a lift.”
You know what they say Mr. Tinkler? If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.
After Newcastle brush aside Heart, it’s the big one. The Big Blue. Melbourne Victory v. Sydney FC. Or Harry Kewell v. Brett Emerton - if you only believe the media. In fact, we don’t know why they don’t just go the whole hog and discard the other twenty players, and have Harry and Emmo just slug it out in a show of the old ultraviolence.
We hope that doesn’t happen and so does Victory coach, Mehmet Durakovic, who on the eve of the game has made an endearingly naive appeal. “Hopefully, we don’t get bad tackles. We’re all about playing football and that’s what we want to show to the supporters out there. It’s nice to play nice football. Hopefully we don’t get bad tactics.” Or bad grammar.
For a fixture that’s been hyped up to preposterous levels, it’s a bit of an oddity, as it’s nearly always delivered in one way or another.
We’re just hoping that Harry makes a good start in his quest to score 100 goals this season, as he predicted here.
Finally, one person who won’t be making any predictions about the forthcoming campaign is Moron Bleiberg. “What amazes me is that people can live in Tasmania or the Northern Territory or in some editorial room somewhere and they can say Gold Coast will finish last,” the Israeli said. “Until the first few rounds, no one will really know what will happen and everybody who tries to guess is closer to stupidity than expertise.”
The Ancelottery would like to reiterate that we definitely will not be guessing anything. We definitely won’t be saying that Gold Coast United will finish bottom of the ladder. Definitely. 100%.
And there are few funnier comedians in New South Wales than Nathan Tinkler.
Four days out from the start of the new A-league campaign, the rotund funny man, has taken the extraordinary decision to heed the advice of Newcastle Jets’ Advisory Board, and sack head coach, “boring Branko Culina”.
Hours earlier at the A-league season launch, Culina had spoken of how he was enjoying his time at the club under Tinkler’s ownership: ”It’s been terrific, we’re trying to turn the team into a club and it’s on the right track.” Turns out the ‘right track’ is the wrong track for Culina.
But Tinkler hasn’t stopped there, the Jets’ are also looking to fire Branko’s son - knee-knacked, Jason Culina, even though they’ve never sacked Tarek Elrich for his crimes against football.
In a club statement, Tinkler said: “It is highly unlikely that Jason will return to the A-League in the near future, following medical advise (sic). Jason’s injury could mean the Jets are without their marquee player for up to three seasons. While I acknowledge the difficult timing of this announcement, I am confident in the character of the Jets’ players and staff” he said, stopping short of adding “this is no knee jerk reaction.”
Talking on Fox Sports about the sacking,
analyst pundit, Robbie Slater commented, “to say I nearly fell off my chair when I heard is an understatement.” So you fell through your chair Robbie?
Incidentally, Newcastle Jets CEO Robbie Middleby is hopeful that their new ISC playing strip will arrive (and be adorned with a major sponsor) in time for the season opener against Heart. Given that, apart from a brief spell with Centrebet, the Jets have been without a principle supporter since the inception of the A-League, and now have no Head Coach or marquee player, we’d say that was pretty unlikely.
Speaking of Heart, it would seem that their patience has worn thin. They simply cannot wait for Victory to release any more players, in order to sign some new recruits. Instead, they’ve hatched a new ploy to lure fringe players across the Yarra. Their newfound strategy involves them sending unwanted, ankle thwacked Simon Colosimo across to Victory to enlist from the inside. Scott Munn obviously denied the charade by stating that, ”It’s news to me that he’s met with Victory officials, at the end of the day he is still contracted to us.” Heart keeper, Clint Bolton, played along too, saying, “(we) cannot afford to lose him to Victory”. But we see through your petty lies. We know the real reason. And we don’t like it.
Finally, Victory keeper, Nintendo Flappy Velaphi, is set to be sidelined for up to twelve weeks after suffering leg snap. Ante Čović has signed on for a year as an injury replacement. The former Newcastle Jets player of the year will be in the starting eleven on Saturday night, subject to international clearance. See..? It’s all about timing.