Sunday, November 29, 2009

So who still hates Archie Thompson?

This was shouted out by a man who sits one row behind me on my left after Thompson had scored his second goal.

He's quite aware of the group I sit amongst that is unhappy with Thompson as a player and as the marquee - someone will semi-regularly yell out, "Archie! You're shit!"

Reading the paper and watching highlights of yesterday's match, it's somewhat (ok, very) frustrating that Thompson is portrayed as a player who is deserving of being considered for the Socceroos squad. The Australian public seem to think that a player who scores a couple of goals in a match is a good player. They fail to realise that Thompson is lazy and needs the whole team to play for him in order for him to be effective.

Gone is Danny Allsopp who worked all over the field – patching up the gaps that occurred in the midfield in defence, gaps which have become more apparent this season. Without Allsopp there is no longer a hard-working, self-sacrificing player in the Victory attack who was the perfect alternative to the generally idle and selfish player that Thompson is.

The number of times that Thompson has been offside this year has been ridiculous. I suspect that if there was a statistic that totalled the distance that each player was offside, Thompson would have it in the bag with the most metres. That he’s rarely slightly offside is an indication him not working for the team – he’s out of play and he’s of no use to the team. Sometimes the ball will head out in his off-side direction. Instead of letting the ball go for a throw-in deeep in the opposition defence, Thompson chooses to become involved in the play – giving the opposition a free-kick further up the field than if he had chosen to let it go.

Do you really want such a “player” in your national team?

So he scored a couple of goals last night. Whoop-de-doo. Those goals were a credit to Ward and Kruse – the quality of those passes to Thompson was outstanding. As Fox Sports news were only replaying Thompson’s goals I had a chance to appreciate those passes. They were perfect.

But the media doesn’t seem to recognise the quality of the pass. It happens often that the goal-scorer is the celebrated one. Unfortunately in this case, Thompson is the one being celebrated – a player who does not deserve to be in the national team, but with the media coverage causes the public to believe that he belongs in the national team! A preposterous idea!

The worst thing is that football is still a misunderstood sport here in Australia. So much of the focus is on scoring goals. It's a mindset that will take a long time to change, having had so many decades of AFL as the primary sport - a sport that is high scoring and where 'booting' the ball up the field is OK. Football is a different kind of sport. The Australian public will need to recognise that it's not AFL on a square pitch, and that there is much more to being a footballer than scoring goals that are served up on a silver plate.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Reasons for my lack of blog presence

I remember being an Honours student in a microbiology lab when I started writing here. I don't think this blog was a procrastination method of mine, I used to have a procrastination list and I don't recall this blog featuring on it.

But I had a hectic time at uni last year - final year, and I decided to really work my arse off. The effort was worth it in the end, I ended up with awesome marks and I also ended up wondering why I hadn't put this kind of effort in earlier. Part of it might have to do with the environmental engineering course having more civil eng subjects in the earlier years, so I just didn't care for it. Even in an integrated subject we had last year, I still feel asleep during a lecture on pipelines.

Of course, it's only natural that I am currently working on civil infrastructure projects. Designing pipelines.

How do such tragedies happen?

Well, it's quite simple really.

  1. I wanted to do a PhD but didn't have the H1 average required to know that you can start a PhD. Yes, I know H2As can normally get you in, but I like certainty.
  2. Like all (I suppose) final year eng students, I applied for graduate positions.
  3. Like most final year eng students, I was successful in gaining a graduate position. I was notified in Semester 1. During exams. With only a week to take up or decline the offer. I was stressed. I wanted certainty. I took it.

So there you go. Is there a moral to this story? I think there is - work harder in your early years of uni so that you have a better idea of your capabilities. That way, come final year you won't be so shocked with the high H1 average in Semester 1. And when all your marks are high H1s in semester 2, you won't be going, "Damn," because you only just found out you have stupidly high marks and can start the PhD.

At least the past 11 months in engineering design/consulting have proven that I don't enjoy it. So when I start the PhD (I won't officially know until mid-December) I won't be wondering what consulting is like.

Last year I was genuinely busy, this year I've hated my job - and it's hard to write when you're unhappy with things.

Bu now have a future to look forward to (although it will be a long 6 weeks until I have confirmation of Future To Look Forward To), so I might be happy enough to start blogging again.

Of course it would also help if I stopped falling asleep during A-League matches because they're boring. And we all know what happenned as a result of me falling asleep in civil eng lectures...

You seem kinda familiar - have we met before?

Oh, you're my blog! I knew that we had met before.

September, October. Two whole months and I haven't done anything here.

Let's face it - the A-League has turned into complete crap this year. I think it was always crap, but this year definitely blows.

And so I have neglected my blog. What's there to write about? I can't pretend that it's a great game - it's not, and it irritates me that the Fox Sports commentators aren't more honest with what they see. But I suppose they can't say it's a shit game - after all they want people to be watching it.

I still attend MV matches, but I can't wait for the second Melbourne team to come along so I can cancel my MV membership without feeling like I'm abandoning the sport.