– The Phoenix have risen from Wellington’s coffee grounds (or something) to play in Australia’s A-League, and kicked off on Sunday against the Melbourne Victory. It’s a shame for us Auckland footy fans, but the Cake Tin, or Ring Of Fire has it’s now known and football looks like a match made in heaven. There was a decent crowd, numbering around 14,000, seemingly ALL kitted out in cool yellow T-Shirts or scarfs (is it still cold in Welly or wot?), all keen to put those terrace chants learned on OEs to good use.
The Phoenix are made up of New Zealanders, Australians (including the Keano-like Aloisi), and BRAZILIANS no less, and lead by 1982’s Riki Herbert, who’s effortlessly gone from mullet and tight sorts to Casino Royale-style well cut suit. And they can play. Once the nerves had settled, and they’d gone two nil down and fluffed a penalty, they began to play, and started passing it around nicely. The Brazilian Daniel looks like a fine player when not writhing around on the grass, and Aloisi obviously brings great experience. Daniel and then Shane Smetlz headed goals, and we were really unlucky not to get the win, with a couple of fine chances they’ll bury later in the season.
It was really important to get a great start and bury those memories of the Kingz / Knights / whatever being flogged every week at Albany stadium. Riki Herbert really is the man, and his team are all set for a great season – Sunday afternoon on the couch just got really exciting.
– Spurs, spurs, spurs. You go out of interweb coverage for a week, and come back to this pile of shite. Tottenham are fast losing the ‘sexy football’ rep, and consolidating the ‘sexy shoot oneself in the foot’ one. The board is divided on the hugely popular Martin Jol, whose cheery unflappability looks more and more flappable by the week, and went to Portugal to try and lure Seville’s Juande Ramos two games into the season. It’s a typically Spurs dog’s breakfast, and when you’re in that situation, a trip to Man Utd the last thing you need. Surprisingly, we did alright, and conceded only the one 30 yard screamer, and got a dead cert penalty turned down – a typical Old Trafford result.