Saturday, November 24, 2007

Introducing the new Melbourne team...

... Telstra Dome FC. Or SC. I'm sure they'd much prefer to be called a sokkah club than football club.

In case you live under a rock or refuse to watch free to air commercial news, the last Victory home game was marred by the antics of some Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory fans. I'm not really aware of all the details, so that's as far as I'll go.

As a result, Telstra Dome have implemented new plans to segregate the supporters of different clubs. Melbourne Victory appear to be happy to adjust to the demands of the 'landlord', and are more than happy to adjust to the Telstra Dome demands.
"Melbourne Victory has supported plans introduced by Telstra Dome to provide a new seating plan for visiting supporters for future matches to ensure that any potential confrontation between fans can be avoided."
So, who's running the club? The Melbourne Victory board or Telstra Dome? Who would have thought that the issues currently faced by renters in the housing area would have an parallel of sorts in the A-League...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A complete lack of vision.

I have consistently enjoyed watching Queensland Roar play, so much that I really have adopted them as my second team - after Melbourne of course! Not that I have much of a choice.

As a football fan who lives in Victoria, my only "option" is to go for the Victory. But the (approximately) fortnightly foray to Telstra Dome has become a chore. We are a bore to watch. So it's a disappointment to read that Merrick thinks otherwise.
"I think it's amazing to produce fantastic crowds without getting any wins, so obviously we are doing something right and they enjoy the type of football we are playing."
Merrick - you have got to be kidding me. I can't think of anyone that enjoys watching the Victory play. In fact, I can only think of a few people who actually attend MV matches for the football. South End is too pissed to notice* that there's even a match going on at times. North End are chanting, not-chanting, sitting, standing or whatever they are up to, and I honestly think that only a few of the Gold members really follow the sport outside of what's served to them via the television.

If Merrick and the Victory board think that their figures are due to the football offered by the club, then they seriously need to reconsider what they want to be - a business or a sports club.

Theoretically, it should be both. But if the club is happy with the current gate and happy with the takings from each home match, then it makes sense for them not to sack Merrick, paying whatever's due and hiring a new coach.

A second Melbourne club would offer football fans a choice. It would give supporters, who are currently not in a happy relationship with both Telstra Dome and its tenant Melbourne Victory, a choice. No wonder Miles is adamant that it is not sustainable for Melbourne to have two clubs. Victory wouldn't be sustainable! Its business model seems to depend on it being the only club!

Imagine if there was a second club with a boards who had the balls to clear out the team - coaches AND players. Imagine if they actually took the supporters seriously. And wouldn't Victory hate it if this second team - perhaps the people's team - performed on the park. I would love it - I'd go to the football and actually watch some football. Not what Melbourne Victory are putting out each day.

If Merrick (and I assume the board too) really believes that we like what we see, and that this is why we have such numbers at each home match, well I'd say that he is incredibly ignorant, short sighted and completely out of touch.

*Edit (18/11/07, 6.15pm): It has come to my attention that some members of South End get pissed so they do not become frustrated with what's happening on the field. I suppose ignorance truly is bliss!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Melbourne vs. Sydney

Sorry to those who have been waiting for an update - and with my assignments submitted and exams done for the year I should be writing a little more regularly!

Last night we had "the big one" - Melbourne vs. Sydney. Although I had tipped Melbourne to win (because I always do) I was not confident going into the match. We were undermanned and Sydney were on a bit of a roll. On the day I had deluded myself into thinking we were going to smash Sydney, but once I arrived at the ground and was watching the players warm up my mood changed to worry again.

I think that either team could have won last night's match Melbourne should have won if we consider how they more or less dominated the game, and Sydney had a brilliant 10-15 minute period in the second half when they were bombarding the goal!

Despite the dominance, Melbourne really did finish with nothing to show for it. Thompson had a number of chances and most annoyingly he would cut the ball in to shoot with his left, but he doesn't really have much of a left foot! It's particularly frustrating to watch when the whole team seems to play for Thompson too.

With the injury to Corica, Sydney suddenly looked less threatening. Milligan was pushed a little further up the field (where I think he plays best, making use of his decent passing) and so Allsopp was on him for the rest of the match. It put both of them out of the game, which was perhaps a good thing since Danny hasn't been 100% this season.

Muscat was helping out the defence for the day, so Melbourne had to rely on Brebner and Broxham to work for the ball. I think that if Allsopp had not have kept Milligan quiet, Sydney may have had more opportunities. In the end, Thompson was left to work on his own - something that I really don't think he can do! It's a waste of effort on the team's behalf to get the ball up to him because he's not great at holding on to it or getting the goal! Merrick never plans on taking him off either, look at the bench! Last night we had the mandatory goalkeeper (Langerak), on defender (Berger) and two midfielders (Caceres and Patafta).

It was great to see Muscat in defence. Much like I love to watch Moore play, Muscat is so cool under pressure. I don't think I ever saw Muscat aimlessly boot the ball out of defence. There were a few classy points too, where he'd take on a player. New boy Pace has been great for Melbourne, and last night was awesome with Bridges not being able to do a thing!

Juninho made a huge difference to Sydney when he came on, it was scary to see from the Melbourne perspective. And while Caceres finally got more than 10 minutes, if only he'd use his right occasionally! He's done it before!