THE PRE WRAP – Round VII
For the Philosophical Marngrook Follower
What a week it’s been in Football Eddie. Here we are, nearly a third of the way through the season and coming into the byes. And what a season it’s shaping up to be. Let’s have a look at the Eight Point Brigade. These are the teams that certainly have a mathematical, albeit, remote chance of squeezing into the bottom half of September is they lift their win rate and things go their way above for them. (You mean if they say their prayers and put a shilling in the plate on Sundays Wrap? – Ed)
Out along Melrose Drive it has been suggested that the Essendon Locum Coach may need to review his medication. None other than Matty Lloyd – after three matches – had placed Bomber T on a pedestal. (Or should that be mounted on a pedestal Wrap? – Ed) He’d pointed out that The Same Olds were Numero Uno in all the KPIs this season, whereas under the previous regime their 2013 ranking ranged from mediocre to thereabouts. Some malicious scallywags along Puckle Street were even suggesting that there might not be room for The Golden Child when he returned from his sabbatical. Malicious and ill founded. The Bombers have since joined MH370 and gone missing. It may only be a temporary thing, but the signs aren’t promising.
Another disappointment for Season 2014 has been The Striped Marvels. Out of debt, a team in the VFL, a new surface and clubrooms at Punt Road and record membership. The Jungle Drums were beating out the message across the Deep Woods, all the way to the Tough Waterside Bars of Morristown – BIT – BIT – BIT – and The Tiger Army was on the move. Somewhere along the way they’ve lost their mojo, their laplaps and their Self Belief. It is not a pretty sight. With three of their A Team sidelined – Rance, Deledio & Maric – they’ve been grossly exposed. They have The Catters OTR next Sunday then a break. They haven’t given up on September yet, but they’ve dropped a couple – well, maybe just to The Bulldogs – that they expected to win but their draw isn’t too bad. It’s going to be a tight run thing, and they haven’t got their attacking game flowing yet. A percentage in the high 80s is not helpful, and reflects their lack of scoring options.
The Western Sydney Experiments – they’ve plucked a couple of scalps out of the blue – including Crosstown Rivals Sydney – to find themselves out of the Cellar and into the mix. Leon Cameron’s coaching has developed a Self Belief but they still tend to fade when challenged. The Appalling Football League has fixtured (New word Wrap? – Ed) them to have every opportunity to sing their song about coming from The West Side Of The Town, and they’re grabbing it with both hands. Will be at the tail of the bunch leading into the home straight but will have run out of wind well before the line. Next year they’ll be a little bit older, little bit wiser, a little bit bigger and a whole lot bolder.
The Sons of The West finished off last season full of confidence and after a couple of early setbacks this season were going like a German Band. They’ve hit the wall after their two wins and looking very much a work in progress. Sorry Bulldog Faithful, staying out of The Cellar may even be an ambition too far.
Meanwhile, The Silvertails – everyone’s favourite schadenfreude – have had the reality check they had to have. They may even be over the worst of it. Time will tell of course, but the paperboys along La Via Lygon are hitting the high notes and the bunting is at full mast.
Percentage is going to play a crucial role in deciding who makes it through to the chopping block this September. The Dons are positive – 105% – which puts them a win up on all the others who are all in the 80s. (Maybe a couple of wins up; percentage is hard to build from herein – Ed) Interestingly, they’ve all kicked around 500 points. It’s in defence that they’ve been slathered. Here’s the points against:
Essendon 484 = 80.6 points a game. 9th best defence in the comp at this stage – the best is Port Adelaide with 426 points scored against it. Definitely a pass.
Richmond 564 = 94 points a match. Without the lapse against Hawthorn it would have been 89.2. Still not flash. Rating P for porous
GWS 590 – Porous
Footscray 609 – Over 100 points a match. Positively spongy
Carlton 617 – Spongy minus
The Bombers highlight thus far would have to be their blitzing of North & Carlton, and giving TRP a serious run for their money. Their lowlights? Being dismantled since their bright opening. First they were demolished by Freo, then taken on by a fast-running, risk-taking St Kilda before – with the Whole Football World watching – coughing up a 6-goal lead to The Goalless Pies to go down by four.
The Tiges’ highlight would have to be a few blistering quarters of football & hanging on to hold off a Fast Finishing Carlton. (It could just as easily been their lowlight – Ed) Their lowlights, being blown away by The Suns in the Last Quarter, letting The Bullies back in after wresting the lead from them in one of their blistering quarters of football, and last Sunday’s eclipse by TRP.
The Titanics started off with an upset win over Sydney and an impressive win over a Bewildered Redleg Outfit. Apart from that they’ve done naught, including being comfortably beaten by Fellow Experiments, the Suns. No real lowlight. They’re on track for a new club with a debutant coach.
The Doggies highlight for a young team would have been the ability to re-group after getting off to a slow start. Their Famous Victory over The Toothless Terrors right up there. They’ve been thereabouts since then, but their season lowlight would have been letting Carlton get back on the Winning List.
The lowlight for The Melancholies stands out like the Light on The Hill – going down to The Dees; their fourth successive loss. The aftermath of which exposed the club to a deal of unwanted press and social media examination. Their highlight? That’s easy: stringing together successive wins – one of those against The Highly Fancied Kings of the Big Game in a thriller.
Where will they be after their next three matches?
Essendon Footscray (Docklands) – Brissy up there – Sydney under cover. Should win two – at 4&5. In with a chance. (Could win three too Wrap, if they sort out the Coach’s medication – Ed)
Richmond Geelong (MCG) – Melbourne (MCG) – GWS up there. At 4&5 but still behind The Bombers on percentage unless they get their attack organized and their defence tightened.
GWS Port up there – WCE over there – The Tiges up there. Could lose all three. At 2&7 they’re making it tough for themselves
Footscray Essendon under cover – Melbourne away – GCS on the Metricon Ride. On present form could win one, maybe two at a pinch, but unlikely. At 3&6 would need a miraculous form reversal.
Carlton C’wood (MCG) – St Kilda under cover – Crows at THOF. Will need to beat three teams above them to go 5&4. Let’s give them two wins. I’m sure they’d take two wins. At 4&5 they’re just alive.
Is it just us here in the Wrapcave, or is there a distinct generation gap between old coaches and new coaches. Coach Brewery’s antics in the box and his esoteric messages via Post Match Pressers & interviews have you guessing. Without sound, it’s not possible to report what he’s saying to the players, but the body language says ranting. Paul Roos is another one. His body language is positively deflating. These Redlegs have had the bejesus belted out of their self-esteem, both on the field and in the media. They don’t need their coach belittling them at the huddle the way he did to some of them last round. And if it can be queried – as has been done publically – why Mickey The Maltster took on the coaching job at Princes Park, surely we are also entitled to ask why Paul Roos, who was so equivocal initially about taking on the job at Melbourne, finally succumbed. Was it for The Grand Old Flag? Was it because his Heart Beat True For The Red & The Blue? When asked on Fox Footy’s On The Couch back in July 2013 what his feelings were about wanting to taking on the job at Melbourne he replied “Yeah, I don’t – I’ve said that. …. As silly as it sounds, I think the Melbourne coaching job is a reasonably attractive proposition – if you want to coach.” Doesn’t quite make the grade for ours as a Heart Beating True For The Red & The Blue. What about you? More like a head summing up a reasonably attractive proposition? Us too. We were particularly taken by the silly as it sounds bit.
Now for those who live perpetually on The Grassy Knoll (And you don’t Wrap? – Ed) Come on Ed, this is serious stuff. As I was saying, for those who live perpetually on The Grassy Knoll, it’s a given that the Melbourne CEO, Peter Jackson, was sponsored by the Appalling Football League to get the Melbourne Demons back on the winning list and the club house in order. Could it possibly follow that the need for a high profile coach of the calibre of Paul Roos was identified as part of the solution? And that he was shoehorned into the coaching position by an offer he couldn’t refuse? That’s just a theory of course, but from where we’re sitting we see more consultant than coach. Or maybe we’ve been indelibly inoculated by the Alan Killer Killigrew/John Kennedy/Norm Smith school of coaching. (you left out Ronald Dale, Wrap – Ed) When it was all about The Jumper and how many times you could put your life on the line for it. Not about reasonably attractive propositions.
After enduring five years of Tuesdays With Terry, The Long Suffering Punt Road Faithful must be watching Dimma’s Dissection with that feeling of déjà vu all over again.
It was all smiles around at Jellymont House when the Ayatollah chucked in the towel. (I thought Mike Fitzpatrick’s face was going to split from ear to ear announcing his departure – Ed). And never mind a new broom – have we got a new industrial strength vacuum cleaner or have we got a new industrial strength vacuum cleaner at Jellymont House? He’s said he’s going to roll up his sleeves and sort out all those long-standing grievances that have put the Appalling Football League on the nose with the just about every stakeholder in Our Great Game. (Surely not the food & beverage vendors Wrap – Ed) And crikey, has he got the wheelbarrow in front of him? Under threat from the Roundball Code, The Tasmanian Football Factory Quandary – who gets the cherry on the Apple Isle? The EFC supplement scandal is still simmering, too many country & suburban leagues are battling to field teams and provide facilities, financial equalization is a huge issue, falling gates, the random fixture & rolling venues debacle. To play or not to play on Good Friday – whether to have a night Grand Final – or more matches on school nights? These are agenda items that would make cleaning out the Aegean Stables full of the muck Andreas left behind a truly Herculean task. Good luck Young Gillon. And good riddance Great Helmsman. Your work here is done.
Not everyone is optimistic about the arrival of New Broom McLachlan. This came down the wire from that sleepy bayside hamlet of Ocean Grove.
Holy Cow … I reckon that was possibly the worst recruitment decision in Australian sporting history. What in the world the Commission was thinking (other than, “now, let’s make some REAL dough), I have no idea.
I really thought they’d seize the opportunity to take a breather from ‘divide and conquer’ and appoint a man of the people (Cookie) to restore some goodwill.
Any chance of bridging the Grand Canyon-esque gap between the Administration and the Patrons is now nigh impossible. I mean, this is the man behind the man that sold the soul of the game in the first place! If the punters think they’ve have had a hard time under Demetriou, wait ’till they get a load of this guy. Little Lord Fauntleroy’s people skills are right up there with Hannibal Lector and Stalin. Make no doubt he’ll keep squeezing every drop out of that sponge but.
Goodbye AFL. Hello country football.
Interesting comment, maybe from someone closer to the action than us here deep in the bowels of the Wrapcave. Maybe Young Gillon was just following orders and now that the Ayatollah’s out of the way we’ll see a more liberal attitude. He’s certainly making the right noises. Although it should be noted that a fart still stinks, even if the noise brings a smile. Maybe that’s why The Commissioner was beaming.
Interesting stat has been emailed in from Hong Kong Hawk – whenever Geelong beat Hawthorn the effort appears to drain them and they lose the following week. And their eight Point win reverts to just a plain Four Point accumulation. (Did you have that stat in front of you when you tipped The Tealers last week Wrap? – Ed) No Mr Smartypants, I tipped them on merit. If you haven’t seen Port coming you haven’t been paying attention.
The Melbourne Victory have been dudded again. This time it has cost them their place in the A League finals. We saw the replay of the incident in the penalty box, and while we don’t get to vote for the Academy Awards, we reckon we can pick a good piece of acting when we see one. If this was a stage Mark Milligan should be playing opposite Kylie Minogue. This is the second time in as many weeks that The Vics have been treated abdominally, so the question surely arises, why do they keep coming back for more?
But enough of my gabbin’. Let’s see who’s going to be left in the mix after Round VI.
The Mighties v The Miseries for tonight’s Pipeopener on the G. Daisy Thomas & Mickey the Maltster v Carringbush. The Pies are hot, and even through they’ve found a pulse around there at Visy Park, it won’t prevent them getting a pounding tonight. Bucks has got The Boys building into an outfit that can make a fair reckoning of itself. Coach Brewery seems to be doing the same at Princes Park, but he has a bit of a way to go. The Apprentice trying to out coach the Master will be a highlight of this contest. And it’s our thinking that it will be the Master who succumbs. Carringbush. And we’d be disappointed if The Monochrome Army boos Daisy Thomas. Mickey The Maltster we can understand, but not Little Daisy, surely. (They’ll be too busy adopting Marley Williams to worry about Daisy; this kid’s going to make his mark – Ed)
The Mayblooms v The Seagulls for Saturday’s early one at THOF. The Sainters dropped their match over under the Long White Cloud. The Mustard Pots were off song but still won by 11 sausage rolls. Sorry Sainters, we can’t see it. Hawthorn, and you can put the rent on this one.
The Orangemen v Port Adelaide up in The Dead Heart. Port Adelaide on a recruiting drive to find the next Byron Pickett and Burgoyne Brothers. Easily. And if it the rain’s stopped up in The Alice they’ll kick The Sweep. The $1.04 is not stunning, but it’s the best accumulator going around right now.
The Pride of South Australia v The Fuchsias on the Not Quite As Picturesque As It Used To Be Adelaide Oval. Both sides going in unchanged. One with a winning team, the other with a losing team. The one going in with the winning team is at $1.06. We’ll tip them on form but keep our hands in our pocket by instinct. Neither side imbue with confidence. The Chardonnays.
The Gliders v The Labradoodles under cover on Saturday night. The Human Hamstrings have regained Hocking & Goddard. And they’ll be smarting from their performances over the last few weeks. The Labs only managed to retrieved Laurie Levy’s hat on duck opening. If The Flat Track Bullies have any pretentions of September Glory they turn their season around with a hefty win. The $1.30 looks inviting, but let’s see if they’re worth trusting before we risk any hard earned on them; The Sons of The West can play a half decent Game of Footy when they put their minds to it. The Hammies, but not with confidence after their last few outings.
The Brissy Lions v The Sydney Swans up on The Gabbatoir on Saturday night. The Bloods should win this one, and win it well. A bit of transition seeing The Hyphen omitted. And Buddy jarred his knee getting out of his car the other day. The return of Reid & Jack is fair compensation. The Maroons are still all over the shop, although their Break Through win should give them some heart. The Swans, and the $1.18 is as close to a Mortgage Buster as you’re going to get this round.
The Shinboners v The Current Buns on the Shifting Sands for the early on Sunday. Danger game for The Enigmatic Shinboners. Fair dinkum, they’re more up and down than the Macaulay Road Gasometer. Normally we’d tip them on form, but that Famous Victory in The West may have taken a fair bit out of them. And The Metermaids have got a full list. It’s tempting to promote The Sunbeams to Roughie of The Round, but we’ve been told we don’t show enough faith in the Galloping Kangaroos on more than one occasion. What the heck, The Kangas to Come Out To Play.
The Corio Handbags v The Endangered Species on The Paddock That Grew for the middle match on Sunday. Look at it this way. Who would you rather face – 10 Tigers or The Angry Phantom? You’d take the 10 Tigers every time, wouldn’t you? The Catters will win of course, but the way The Striped Marvels respond after an uncharacteristic start will be the turning point of their season. They’ll need to avoid a percentage blowout at the very best. And to challenge the 3rd Favourite for this year’s Flag along the way. Actually, they’ve given The Moggies a run for their money recently and, with Rance & Lids back, may even do so on Sunday. But it’s hard to see Geelong dropping this one. They will be over their shellshock from their trip to the City of Light. It was a clear wake-up call. Unable to change up a gear – as has been their trademark over the years – they were torn to shreds in defence. And it’s been a long time since that’s happened. Hawthorn couldn’t do it, and they’ve got one of the most accomplished attacks this game has ever seen. It’s time to say it: Attila The Hun is alive and well and residing at Alberton Oval. (You predicted the rise & rise of the Hinklyites from memory Wrap – Ed) A chastened Tyrone Vickery and the sharpshooting Aaron Edwards will certainly make a difference up forward for The Toothless Terrors – as will the bolstered midfield. The Bagmen have them out at $5.50, which makes them tempting, but seeing Motlop & Simpson returning for the Pivotonians quells any urge to sponsor The Marvels as The Roughie of The Round. The Hoopers in a real tussle.
The Western Wedgies v The Barry Crockers for The Derby. Both sides suffered shock losses last round, and both sides are looking a bit subdued after roaring starts. Both regain some key players, but the weighting there favours The Visitors – Barlow, Ballantyne, Silvagni & Hannath v Glass, Butler, Hurn & Tunbridge. And playing three matches in Perth also weights the balance in favour of The Mauve Miasma. Oh, and don’t think they wouldn’t have had an earful from Roscoe over the week. The Shockers to close the gap to three in this the XLth Western Derby.
Good tipping, and even better punting.
And remember, if you read it in The Wrap you’ll know it’s not crap.