Word of the Week: Ugly

By Vinnie Venezuela


There is winning ugly like when you play Al Hilal in an ACL final and can’t get the ball out of your own half and your keeper plays the sort of game dreams are made of and the ref makes some dodgy calls. Then, there’s the winning ugly where the game is cagey, both teams are a bit clumsy with their passing, but at least there are glimpses of promise.


Yes, the Victory won a bit ugly in its game against the Roar but there were a few moments where the spumante nearly became champagne and for me that says a lot.


After the Victory-Roar game, I was very annoyed with Mike Mulvey’s tactics and felt that his Brisbane Roar team came out to defend more than it did to play. Brisbane really choked the game up in and around its box and this clearly frustrated the Victory. Maybe a draw was all they wanted.


Interestingly, though it was an ugly game, you wouldn’t have thought that it was a coach-killing event. Mulvey, however, got taken out in a black and orange body bag the next day and, I have to say, I find that even uglier.


As annoyed as I was at the Roar on Friday, I’m not sure Mulvey deserved to go. Apart from the fact that he is dealing with the loss of big players and, you could argue, that it was his failure to replace them adequately that is part of the problem, this guy has won them things. Where’s the little bit of loyalty he deserves? Mulvey, let’s not forget, inherited a squad and kept them at a championship-winning standard. If you think that is easy, ask David Moyes.


To me, this says that something has been brewing behind the scenes for a bit.


Sometimes you do have to move gaffers on, but the trend to dump them sooner rather than later is a bit worrying. While you could make the case that Moyes at Manchester United had to go because the club lost significant financial ground after failing to qualify for Champion’s League football, I think he too had the right to build a team, but we won’t go there. The other thing Man U teaches us is that no replacement can just wave a wand and change things, unless his name is Van Dumbledore.


So take heed Brisbane.


The other big game of the round was the clash of the baby blues at AAMI park where Melbourne City met Sydney. Given that Melbourne City is a vessel taking water, it had a lot to play for. This was an open, attacking and great game to watch for the neutrals and, ultimately, for Sydney who won it. It was ugly for City though and there was more coach killing football played in that game than anywhere else on the weekend. Wielaert, I think, has a lot to answer for.


Happily, Melbourne City, has not sacked its coach and, at this point in time, that is the right response.


Gaffers don’t always have time, but some are deserving of a little more.

The sad irony is that it was Brisbane that taught us that. Just ask Ange.


Vinnie Venezuela

The Four Diegos

This article first appeared on the excellent and must have A-League Live app by Sportsmate.

Copyright Four Diegos Media 1993