The Gaffa Wins at Monopoly
Coopes’s Ghost WriterWith this Battle of the League Titans and the Gaffa’s application for Melbourne City’s Head Coach in, this game was always going to be a closely fought out encounter. Demonstrating the position’s requirements of “a dynamic and energetic approach, a proven coaching record, and the ability to thrive within a high expectations-based environment”, (one of the three would perhaps help?), how would the Gaffa react? The answer as revealed in his post-match media interview “I wanted to own Regent”. Clearly based upon his Game of Monopoly tactics, Regent Street he wanted and just like Donald Trump, he wanted hotels and everything NOW! Holding his tactical team talk behind closed doors, the question on everyone’s lips was “who was he going to pick as this week’s striker?” With Bet360 not even close, ‘Piccadilly’ (Craig) was revealed as this week’s returning Brazilian centre forward and Legend newcomer, bought in the ‘May fair’ (Mario), started in the centre of midfield. With no further ados and after a quick summary of Saturday’s Referee Riot, explaining the police absence of Andy, Ron and Darren, and a congratulations to new ‘Bow Street’ owner (Eros/Romantic Steve) for surviving his Stag night, the match kicked off. For the first thirty minutes of the half, City monopolised the game. Pressing hard through Mayfair’s ball control and Picadilly’s running, most of the ball was found in Regent Street. First there was a quick move to release Piccadilly on the left who shot just wide. Then ‘Fleet of foot’ Street (Ron W) found himself in a one-on-one with the keeper, but couldn’t quite bring the ball under control to finish off. A lovely move down the right then found the perfect cross over to ‘Kings Cross Station’ (Alan), where the trains weren’t quite working on time tonight, and for once his first touch let him down apparently “skewed by the glare of the floodlights”. Defensively, our unit was switched on from the start. ‘Eust on’ the left, Gid had a cracking game never being more than 10cm away from a Regent forward. Anyone would have thought he was protecting his own ‘Bond Street’ investment before it went under. Similarly, wrapping his ‘Vine Street’ (John M) around their most creative and full of running midfield player, John did an excellent man on man marking job. But with an extra Weetabix this morning, he regularly stole half controlled balls and even had time to drive forward and have a few ‘accurate’ shots. (Yes, even I had to reread that sentence again!!) Following in the same intent, the not so angelic ‘Angel of Islington’ (Ray), lurched forward in the opponents half and attempted what we can only imagine was a forceful tackle … if only the ball was close? The ref pulled out both yellow and red card … and so we waited with baited breath on his decision. Whether it was because it occurred in the darkest shadows of the pitch or his solemn apology to player and ref that it would NEVER happen again, he escaped with just a yellow. Rest assured Monopoly has always been a game of deals, negotiations and revenge, and the latter came two minutes later. A super cross from the right appeared to be destined for Fleet Street’s near post header, but as the goalkeeper came out a clash of bodies saw both players in a crumpled heap. Despite the six stud marks (tattoo) on Fleet Street’s ‘Community Chest’ the foul was surprisingly given against us!! As legs tired Mayfair took a rest and the Electric Company (Maurice) entered the affray, making attacking and defensive spoils as he always does. Then there was the typical 10 minutes of slight panic where we did indeed play our ‘Get of Jail’ free card. Well we did have a police and prison officer with us for this very outcome. Firstly, from a couple of goalmouth scrambles the crossbar and post both saved us – even though the follow up shot must go down as the miss of the century! Rest assured ‘Free Parking’ (The Cat), didn’t have to do anything all game apart from take the goal kicks, assured us he had them all covered (in his dreams!). Hurry back Graham, he’s actually starting to believe he’s Leicester Square’s Schmeichel. And then there was the harmless cross with not an attacker in sight, where the Angel appeared to head past the advancing Free Parking. As the ball went towards the open goal ‘Paul Mall’ managed to rescue the situation and clear the ball to safety. So the score remained 0-0 at half time, with both teams reflecting what could have/should have been an important advantage in this top of the table arm wrestle clash. The second half again started with City dominating. Kings Cross went back into midfield, found his first touch again, and through a packed central defence slipped a lovely ball through to Fleet Street. Whilst Regent Street collectively stopped and appealed for offside on the Piccadilly line, Fleet Street wanted his own headline. So he pounced on the ball and from close range slammed his ‘goal a game left foot shot’ powerfully into the roof of the net. 1-0. Regent Street was officially owned and now we needed to build houses on it. With the game opening up, Park Lane (Martin) recharged his pacemaker and went on a dazzling run form the half way line. Leaving four players in his wake he struck a long range shot, although on this occasion it was comfortably saved by their keeper. Following in his lead, the ‘I’m not taking a Chance’ (Gaffa) stepped into the midfield expanse. Smiling at the Melbourne City scout in the shadows, he similarly unleashed a 20 meter thunderbolt that beat the keeper but went just past the right hand post. Normally this was our toilet break interlude where someone had to go and collect the ball from the other side of the motorway, but not today folks – this was obviously going to be a long second half. More shots followed, as well as more questionable offsides called. But despite their goalkeeper saving shots with every part of his anatomy, the Regent foundations were resolute in defence and happy to rely on their fast break counter attacks. Despite a strong range of substitutes available, was the Gaffa going to throw the dice and risk the game. The answer was no, so the subs on this occasion were left ‘Strand’ed on the bench, although we ALL appreciated your presence – honest. For the last 10 minutes, Regent threw everything forward. Defensively City remained calm, disciplined and very strong. Deep maybe, but plenty of coordinated cover that Regent just couldn’t open up. However, from one Regent Street corner a rebounding ball fell to their centre forward and his rushed goal bound shot was well saved on the line by our Angel of Islington rock. Shortly after this the referee blew for full time. A 1-0 victory that was played hard but in good spirit, heeding the opening game ‘I’m not taking a Chance’ advice … “Regardless of whose side you are on, if you deliberately foul someone from behind, I’ll get you from the nearest sniper’s hill.” An inspired performance and excellent effort by EVERYONE both on and off the park. Gaffa – you have a shoo in for the Melbourne City job (only because there are no other applicants), so good luck with next week’s interview.
|UMM||Memorable moment that I would like to forget (hence Unmemorable) ‘Water Works’ (Ron) screaming whilst taking a very hot shower … preceded by a nudie run with his Legends jacket on!!|
|MMM||Muppet moment – The Angel of Islington (Ray) for trying to head past his own keeper just to enter the 2019 Golden Thong race.|
|BMW BoP||Vine Street (John M) for continuous running in defence and in attack, and for having at least three shots under cross bar height! Your first goal ever for Legends … it’s a coming!!|