Sunday 2 April 2006

No Future

If I had any idea how to edit the template of this page you'd be looking at black now. In mourning for the Melbourne Football Club 2006 season. Born: 5.10pm, April 2 and died 7.45 the same day. Tonight's performance was final proof, as if we needed it, that this team are not Premiership material. Not today, not tomorrow, not next week and not next year. Thank god I live close to the Dome so that I can get home and whinge about it on the internet before I settle down.

First things first Carlton were a better team. Not that they were particuarly good but we were slop of the highest order. The first quarter was probably the worst game you'll ever see in your life but there was life in it. Especially Aaron Davey who kicked the first two goals and was running around with purpose. Which is more than can be said for Bargearse Pickett who I inexplicably invested $5 on being the first goal kicker. Probably the worst bet I've ever made and I've bet on Fitzroy. He was taking minutes to get from one end of the field to the other. I don't give a fuck what we're paying him, he's lost it and should be studying the Sandringham train timetable closely. By half-time it became clear that this wasn't a case of shaking off the pre-season cobwebs before coming home and winning by ten goals, not only were we in serious trouble but Carlton were legitimately giving it to us. 1.6 in the second quarter said it all. With the ball continuously being turned over in the midfield and across CHB we couldn't rely on Ferguson and Carroll to keep the Blues out all night. When they did eventually crack, after a particuarly spirited performance by the worst groomed man in football, there was nothing to drag it back up front save a few cameo performances by Aaron Davey. Robertson and Neitz hit the post three times between them in the 3rd quarter but it's a farce to expect that had one of those goals gone in it would have saved us. Especially given the generally awful tactics we were employing - the trend of not having any idea how to clear a ball from a kick in has escaped the rule advance that taught the rest of the league how to do it and led to even more constant pressure on the backline. A backline which, despite the result, did not want for Alistair Nicholson AT ALL. The reintroduction of Jared Rivers in a fortnight should reinforce it even more, but sadly for Nicho and his legion of fans he's got no role to play anymore. He might be able to show up and do his ritual demolition job on Matthew Richardson but that's about it.

We were killed across CHF all game, which is no surprise given that "alleged future captain" Brad Miller had been sent back into defence with absolutely no replacement for him up front. If Ben Holland is in the side and can do the CHF job then go ahead and shift Miller wherever you want but if you're expecting Paul Johnson to do anything up front you've got a long wait ahead of you. 1 kick and three frees against says it all - if you picked him in your Fantasy Football team this year you might want to reconsider.

So, congrats to Carlton. I don't begrudge them anything, they've got top youngsters and a decent gameplan. They might go far but it won't be this year. I especially don't begrudge their supporters a victory or two, one day we'll be all the be in the same situation they have been and you can't help but have some compassion for people who have watched their once proud club being battered for the last five years. We, on the other hand, are living in a cycle of recycled players who are past their use-by date, club legends on their last legs and workhorse players whose best days passed them two or three years ago. We're not going to win anything with Ward, McDonald and Brown in our team. But this is Melbourne, we probably wouldn't win anything with Judd/Black/Pavlich and A. Jakovich either.

And now, the votes. There's going to be more than one person amongst these who doesn't deserve squat.

5 - Aaron Davey (good enough)
4 - Nathan Carroll (given the amount of times it came down there he did well)
3 - Colin Sylvia (put his body in harder than most of his midfield colleagues combined)
2 - Brent Moloney (I'm struggling here)
1 - Cameron Bruce (No, really. That's the cheapest one vote ever)


It's round one - you work it out Poindexter.

And if you think Brad Green gets a vote for being on the recieving end of 20 handballs and not once going in for a hard get for four quarters then you can stick it. Either get him back in the forward setup or get ready to flog him to another club at the end of the year because we won't get anywhere with soft performances like that. Bruce was 75% down the same road but redeemed himself slightly late on and fell into the votes due to the lack of contenders.

Next week, Footscray fresh off a 115 point win over a team that was supposed to be better than what we lost to tonight. Then hot Premiership contenders Adelaide. Then reigning Premiers Sydney. Fuck this season and fuck it NOW. Lucky the membership tent was going wild outside the ground because nobody's going to buy one now after watching that. I can already see hundreds of people on the phone to their bank tomorrow screaming about how their credit card was stolen and how any transactions made on Sunday were by somebody else. We might be the only club ever to go down in members after Round One.

Positives: Footy, it's good to have you back. Now piss off again.
Negatives: Surely you jest?

For those of you who are counting our last legitimately hard fought comfortable win against a half decent team was against North Melbourne on June 5th, 2005. Our last decent win against a Premiership contender was against the Crows on Friday May 6th.

It's going to be a long year. Too long. I can't take another five months of this crap.

P.S - If the fact that the team ran through a banner that talked about John So didn't explain exactly why all Cheer Squad Members should be beaten to death then nothing ever will.

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