Word of the Week: Believe
By Vinnie Venezuela
As I was on my way to work in a bit of bumper to bumper traffic thinking that this is what ‘touch - tight’ defending must feel like, I noticed that the sticker on the car in front of me had the word “Believe” emblazoned in red and white. I then realized I was behind a Melbourne Heart fan. That’s when I chuckled.
But I chuckled only because I can’t think of a group of supporters that has been waiting so patiently for its team to deliver on its promises. Happily, Melbourne City scored its first win for a while on the weekend. Sure, maybe it was a soft penalty that got them the goal, but you know what they say about small steps.
It has to be said, however, that as far as playing football goes, Melbourne City has always come out to give it a crack and it remains a team that is full of promise, particularly on the counter.
I even have to admit that sometimes, when watching Aaron Mooy hover in that Melbourne City midfield and then play one of his sweet through balls, I almost see an Australian Pirlo in the making; albeit with pasty skin and a bad haircut.
The important thing is that Melbourne City needs to actually believe in itself and build confidence from the victory that was such a long time in coming. The 1-zip win over the Roar is also a boost for van’t Schip whose tinkering paid off and gives him some welcomed breathing space after the shellacking City copped against Wellington last week.
“Believe” is also my word of the week on the back of Socceroo’s coach, Ange Postecoglou announcing his provisional squad of 46 for the Asian Cup. Talk about getting you just a little bit excited about receiving an invite to the biggest football party in Asia this summer!
Surely, that announcement has got to make each player on the list want to lift just that bit more. Then, after he settles on the final squad, the intensity will go up another notch. By the time the party actually starts and Ange has watched ‘Spinal Tap’ with the boys, let’s face it, we are going to “eleven” on the dial.
It’s this that gives me hope.
Yes, things went pear shaped in the recent friendly game against Japan and the backline caved. Sure, it was only Super Tim who scored and more work needs to be done on coping with teams that “press” us back.
But that’s ok. Ange will address the issues and his players will deliver. Having them in camp prior to the tournament will make a difference.
Though Pim Verbeek and Holger Osieck were both experienced coaches who fulfilled their contracts and got the Socceroos to World Cups, they were possibly too detached from the spirit that made the team tick. Perhaps their need to be pragmatic increasingly hindered their ability to keep the squad passionate and ‘fired up’.
Ange is the man for the job because he blends his insight of the game with a real sense of what it means to play for the shirt. And precisely because he has as much to prove as his players, the national team will ‘turn up’ when it matters.
Just like the guy with the Heart sticker, Socceroo fans have to ‘believe’.
The Four Diegos