Posts Tagged ‘francis awaritefe’

Disheartened and smelling like a Frankston bogan

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011


Back in Melbourne Victory’s first season I watched them play four consecutive matches at home and not score a single goal. Last Sunday’s match was worse than that. I have watched Melbourne Victory lose a penalty shootout in a Grand Final. The feeling after last Sunday’s match was worse than that. Last year I watched Melbourne Victory lose the first ever Melbourne derby. Last Sunday’s result was worse than that.

Never have I seen a Melbourne Victory side look so disjointed as it did against Perth Glory. Two weeks ago with nine men against the Brisbane Roar, the Victory showed a spirit not shown in a long, long time. At the time both players and coach labelled the result as a “turning of the corner” and so if we are to continue the driving analogy then Sunday’s effort has to be called a “massive U-turn” that has sent us completely in the wrong direction. It was a result in the end that inevitably cost Francis Awaritefe his job as Director of Football.

The result in many respects flattered the home side with a slightly controversial sending off and a just plain wrong penalty giving the Victory both a man and goal advantage that they didn’t really deserve. When Danny Allsopp made it 2-0 it felt like a hollow lead, although not it seems to the person in the South End who thought it necessary to throw their bourbon and coke into the air, most of which seemed to land on me. Not only was I feeling disheartened about the team’s performance on the pitch but now I also smelt like someone who had just had a big night at the now defunct 21st Century Dance Club.

Even with a two goal advantage it never actually seemed that Melbourne Victory were in the game and when Andrezinho curled in that well-taken free kick it seemed only a matter of time that Perth Glory would eventually grab an equaliser. And with three minutes left in normal time that man Shane Smeltz popped up with the winner after some pretty lax defending left him unmarked at the back post. It was disappointing rather than surprising.

The result left Melbourne Victory in seventh position with only eight points and whilst many have been quick to point out that they are only three points behind second placed Central Coast Mariners it is more the manner in which the team has played so far this season that has many fans calling for the head of coach Mehmet Durakovic with his efforts in the post-match press conference not doing a whole lot to instill any confidence.  It’s not just the team isn’t winning, it’s that it doesn’t actually look like winning.

Durakovic and Awaritefe to launch new era

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

The saying “worst kept secret” is very much overused and at time I have been guilty of using it repeatedly on this blog. With the advent of social media, especially Twitter, it is very difficult for clubs to make a big announcement without the majority of fans already knowing about it. Therefore today’s announcement of the appointment of Mehmet Durakovic as manager and Francis Awaritefe as Director of Football was just a confirmation of what we already knew.

Durakovic has been signed on a two year contract and after Anthony Di Pietro reasons for sacking Ernie Merrick, one would assume a top four finish is the minimum requirement expected of the new man in charge. During his brief stint in charge during our failed ACL campaign, Durakovic showed enough that he could make a good fist of his new job. There was however a touch of a naivety about some of his decision making especially when it came to making crucial substitutions but one would hope come the new season of the A-League that has disappeared.

Whilst many Victory supporters were hoping some kind of big name to lead them into next season but in all honesty who actually thought that this would be the case. It was always going to more likely that Di Pietro and his board would go for the relatively safe option, although untested option of Durakovic. Let’s give him some time and let’s see how he goes.

Even though it was mooted for some time, it was surprising to see now former SBS analyst Francis Awaritefe appointed to the newly created Director of Football position. It is both a bold and pleasing decision by the club as they look in a direction following the end the of the Ernie Merrick/Geoff Lord era. A few months when Di Pietro sacked Merrick I made the comment that in one of blogs for FourFourTwo Australia that he better not fuck it up and to be honest I don’t think he has at this stage. The double signing of Durakovic and Awaritefe also provides a tangible link to the NSL, something that the former regime was at pains to avoid.

The four months until the start of the season can’t come soon enough to truly see how the era of Melbourne Victory will unfold.