Word of the Week: Sinking
By Vinnie Venezuela
Predictability is often underrated; some people think it’s boring. Personally, I don’t like surprises and am still scarred on many levels by the ending to the movie The Crying Game.
Of course, the world football equivalent of The Crying Game occurs when a team blows an almighty lead: think AC Milan v Liverpool in that Champion’s League final in Turkey, or when your striker has actually hooked up with the wrong sort of hooker: think Brazilian Ronaldo a few years back and the man-lady incident. No happy ending there.
Personally, I prefer movies like Titanic. No surprises. I was also emotionally ready for the outcome.
Speaking of vessels that are taking in a bit too much water and also messing with our heads, it’s fair to say that Melbourne City fans must still be in cold, hard, shock wondering how the hell they did not beat the Mariners at home. Talk about a sinking feeling.
Forget the rebranding, forget the UAE sugar daddy, forget the guest stint by David Villa, this is a team that needs to dig deep to convince its fans that there will be no ‘groundhog day’ and that it can find the steel to move forward.
Let’s be honest, you shouldn't give away a two-goal lead when you have controlled most of the play.
Watching that game, City clearly had the ascendancy and both of its goals were constructed deftly. Happily for fans, new signing Eric Paartalu scored one and also got the ball to Ramsey whose stinging cross found Dugandzic, who then slotted the ball into the net. Duff was also always threatening.
And even though City has struggled this season to back up in the second half, it actually came out looking pretty good.
Then came Williams miss and though it wasn't quite a shocker it was a “gimme” that should have sealed the game. Marc Marino was also unlucky and another chance went begging.
While the Mariners looked decent and were reasonably competitive, I’m not convinced that they even entertained getting a draw. Trifiro’s goal in the 80th min from a free kick that was retaken after the City wall broke the magic spray line was textbook perfect.
But the Mariners didn't look like they were in a hurry to get another.
In fact, it’s almost as if Central Coast’s lack of urgency hypnotised the City boys into relinquishing the very focus they needed to protect their lead.
Then it got messy and with seconds to go, Mariners’ captain John Hutchinson scored the Lazurus -back from the dead- goal of the week that sunk the City dream.
City has to ‘regroup’ yet again. It has to find confidence, find goals, find defensive focus and find what it feels like to win. It also needs to find more on-field leadership. There is a lot at stake.
Sinking isn't an option. Let’s hope it ends well.