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.