The Italian’s Are Coming
M“The Italians are coming; the Italians are coming”. Whispers everywhere, whispers, in a tone that suggested an ominous, detested, yet respected opposition. Background training ground politics and underhand Machiavellian manoeuvres, added tension (educational side road – please view ) … .the Gaffers ‘reported’ ordeals conjured inquisition like scenes…was he gagged, tortured and compromised to keep our training spot?
(It’s ok if you need to share Gaffer?? Did it hurt?)As a newbie I was quickly realizing… an important match? – Noooo!! This is a core rivalry, a vendetta even…….so everybody – get your mind right. United’s fine 1-1 draw had cost Cosa Nostra 2 title chase points and gave reason for optimism. A full crew of Legends trained earnestly on Wednesday scorning the open view afforded the spies; hopefully some of the low-key shit we played lulled them into a comfort zone…. but fuggetabaudat … now it’s Monday, Matchday. A buzzing preparation… NOT. An atmosphere akin to dominoes arvo at a retirement home with the highlight discussion being the benefits, or not, of various underwear. The gaff had a bit to say, mostly to himself, about giving stick back to Masters’ but maintaining temper control. The danger of EX-Socceroo twinkle toes (TT) was highlighted and the ‘not committing to tackles’ approach … (well – it could’ve worked). Masters’ opened stating they had come to play. City were quickly under pressure as the Italians showed steady control, silky touch and an intention to shoot on sight. The nasty underside showed with Juventus players perpetrating niggling fouls. The game settled into a pattern of Juve playing wide, early crosses and shots with City clearing the ball only to see it return. We were sitting too deep and a ‘chase the Juve player game’ was being played in Doncaster’s half – no controlled transition from defence to attack. Changing moment: Ray displayed the grit needed for Doncaster to get a bite, imitating a small angry boulder, he crashed into ‘Tall timber Ivan the Terrible’ felling him and balancing the niggle account a little. Mid half Doncaster settled, Maurice cut in from the left and played a lofted switch ball, to Paul C on the right of 18-yard box, his low strike across goal just missing the far post. Juve countered hitting the bar, and then another shot demanding a low dive from Rick J to prevent a goal. 35 mins Juve strike: TT Socceroo picked up on the edge of the box, no silly lunge from Gaffer- heeding his own advice. TT ably dragged the ball back and lofted an unreachable 20-yard ball into the top corner. HALF TIME – Masters 1-0 City Juve dominant (J shots 11/ on target 6: City 2/ for 1). Looking tough for City. Break: Emotions were high in the interval with: – Ray and Ivan doing some sort of “tall and tiny cuddle fest” only to be warned by Jeremy that tongue swapping was not acceptable behaviour. – Maurice getting all martyr like; apologising and jumping on his own sword. A resounding warm and appropriately sensitive team response told him to … err …STFU Gaff says
- Need to play wider
- Giving it away up front, need to hold it up for City midfield to walk (or on occasion run) to halfway and support
- Slow down and think (OK – understand the think bit … but slow down?)
- Defence out quicker i.e. to run (or even jog) after clearing the ball.
- Andy chasing down the defender on the right. Looking knackered but still finding the calm to step inside 1-2 and low cross.
- Ray for commencing a torrid yet loving relationship with Ivan the Terrible.
- GB – Greedy bastard – Paul Emery for determination, creativity….. only if he got the hat trick.
- Gary’s freekick and
- Micheal’s dive (although this should be viewed as a tactical distraction)
- City showed enormous guts and resolve to claw victory from the jaws of defeat.
- Our collective transition from defence to attack needs work
- Could be forward slow, show fortitude and hold the ball.
- Could be defence grind out the energy move up to support quicker.