Thursday, November 26, 2009

We're Shit And So Are You!

THE TRUTH can be brutal they say. They also say the truth can set you free. Me, I like it when the truth is funny.


And the following quote by Newcastle Jets coach Branko Culina after narrowly losing to the World Cup bound Wellington Phoenix is comedy gold: "We are only a finals team because all the teams around us are pretty shit as well,"

Not only is that quote hella funny and brutally honest but far from setting anything or anyone free, it could cost Branko Culina 10 large. Branko has already stated in a previous infamous press conference that he is only on “50 bucks or whatever it is” so perhaps some of those Jets fans could pass the bucket around.

After each Branko outburst I think to myself does he suffer from “esprit d'escalier”? It’s a French phrase meaning the wit of the staircase. The wit of the staircase refers to the perfect witty response you think up after the conversation or argument is ended. The answer you cannot make, the pattern you cannot complete till afterwards it suddenly comes to you when it is too late. Like when you walk down the stairs or up the stairs after the conversation or argument has ended. Your mind suddenly goes “I should have said that instead!”

I suffer from the wit of the stair case. I have a staircase full of polished jokes, kick ass pick up lines and hook line and sinker rebuttals. But alas on that staircase they remain never to be used at the most opportune time only to come to me as I walk away.

Branko perhaps should leave some of his wit on the staircase. But should he? The Jets coach was only making the same point I made in my blog a couple of weeks back where I  said “rather than being a selling point, the fact that any team can beat any other team on any given day is making the A League predictably unpredictable”

It’s the same message except, I did not say it as eloquently as Branko did.

With some of the on field action leaving a lot to be desired it’s the press conference where most of the quality football action is happening. But not for long it seems.

The FFA has a bad case of the “control freaks “about them this season. Gagging coaches left right and centre, then absurdly suspending my favourite albino footballer Bass Van Der Brink for four games. What was Powder’s crime?  Man handling the referee inappropriately. Van Den Brink only touched the referees arm for less than a second while debating a penalty decision.

Michael Jackson would not have stood a chance if the FFA match review panel administered the recently departed gloved one’s court cases.

Half Time Heroes Issue 4 is online now!  Featuring some of Australia’s best independent football writers with stories on: The Socceroos, A League, Cartoons, Comedy, Satire, La Liga & an Aussie Gringo @ Boca, plus loads more.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Kreas (meathead) Of The A-League

link here
DURING the days of old soccer when the smell of souvlaki would waft around Belmore Oval and teenagers girls would spend 90 mins doing happy laps looking for future husbands, there was a word that was often used to describe the hard man archetype football player. That word was simply “kreas”; it’s the Greek word for flesh or meat.

Think of when the commentator says "That was a meaty challenge..."
You were only called kreas if you were lacking in any football skill, talent or intelligence. The English call this type of player the hard man. Simon Hill famously described the Central Coast Mariners as a team with too many bouncers and not enough DJ's.

The term kreas can also be linked to calling someone a meat head as well. So lacking in any football skill talent or intelligence the kreas only attribute is the ability to take out chunks of the opponents flesh through their so called hard challenges.

Australia has a proud history of kreas football players.

Kevin Muscat is a true kreas. Having the ability to throw stray elbows and stamp on players while they are on the ground and getting away with getting sent off in full view of referees is a talent in itself. While the Fox Sports commentary team suggested that elbowing your opponent in the head is fine as long as it looks like your jumping as well as elbowing. After all Matt Simon made the mistake of jumping with his arms to the side. He basically sent Muscat an invitation to the elbow ball.

Other famous kreas are Ross Aloisi, The Dodd brothers and Paul Wade.

Devoid of any real skill the kreas's job is to neutralise the most creative and influential member of the opposition.
So my laboured introduction comes to the meat of my story. Steve Pantelidis kreas effort on Steve Corica during the Gold Coast -Sydney FC game on Saturday night halted the blings promising start and gave the white shoe brigade an unfair kreas advantage. Kevin Muscat would have been proud seeing one of his former protégés continue on with his good work.

As a Sydney FC fan I think the evenness of this league is very frustrating. Rather than being a selling point, the fact that any team can beat any other team on any given day is making the A League predictably unpredictable.

So the kreas Pantelidis did get some of his own medicine back during the game and I'm sure some other Sydney players got his number. So pencil in the date Sunday January 17 when the two biggest egos of the A-League will meat again at the SFS.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Money is a Fake Muse

I don’t regularly agree with Melbourne Victory supporters but after reading Neil Zimmerman’s blog: Does Anyone Care about Success over Crisis? I found myself nodding in agreement.
Referring to the Gold Coast Circus Neil asked: “Is a club in crisis much more exciting to talk about?
Unfortunately the answer is yes. People prefer watching a house burn down rather than getting a hose and helping put it out. Look at all those flames so red and tall.
Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory are playing some of the most entertaining and exciting football seen in the A League for years.
Instead of getting excited about that, the main news of the moment is the Gold Coast debacle.
The FFA should get out of the Gold Coast. The lesson from all those failed Rugby League and AFL ventures has not been learnt.
It will take many years before any team on the gold Coast is accepted. It’s not because no-one likes football, it’s just that the market is saturated. Rugby League and AFL should be left to fight it out and Football should re-evaluate.Perhaps they should start in the B league and try and grow slowly from there.
The awful mixture of politics and sport is undoing all the good work that the football folks have put in. The subtext of this debacle is that most of the posturing from the professor is due to political grievances with the Queensland Labour Party and Premier Anna Bligh
The other aspect that could be putting prospective fans off is that Clive Palmer has made all his dollars from Mining.
He finds an area to exploit takes what he needs and then moves onto to the next hole. Taking out the earth’s finite natural resources is not going to endear you to one Australia biggest hippie population bases.
The fire twirling, white guy singing blues songs and bongo playing at every party demographic are not going to buy into your Football dream.
Money is a fake muse!!!
The rich billionaire owners now raiding Europe’s top clubs are business minded folks. They are hoping to buy and sell like 80’s movie characters. There are no messiah’s in football except for the true fan and the child that is practising keepy ups until the sun goes down, oblivious to his/her limitations that they will never reach ten.
Jason Culina should be on the phone to his agent asking for a January transfer. “Clive Palmer wrecked my World Cup Dream”. That is the headline Jason and his talent does not deserve.  The enjoyment Jason had in his face for the first month has gone. It has for almost every Gold Coast player except for Michael Thwaite who wears a permanent Andrew Gaze type smile on his face so I can’t tell with him.
Anyway Sydney FC amassed 26 points from 21 games last season. This season the Bling has 25 points from just 13 games. Mark Bridge is living up to his potential and a youngster like Mate Dugandzic is getting me off the coach every time he touches the ball.
But who wants to read those stories when a Billionaire’s house is burning.
Look at those flames so red.............