Updated: Oct 25, 2019
What City fans witnessed last night was a capitulation of catastrophic proportions. A heart-sinking, gut-wrenching performance. But only because we had begun to believe again.
For the travelling fans who flew or drove up from Melbourne to support the boys in our quest for a second trophy, only to be hounded by endless rounds of laughter and mockery from the stands of Coopers’ Stadium, it was an embarrassment. A humiliating experience. But only because we had begun to believe again.
Adelaide were without regular starters George Blackwood, Mirko Boland and Jordan Elsey, as well as depth player Yared Abetew. Even without a key central midfielder and starting centre-back, City put together one of the most toothless offensive displays you’re ever likely to see in a final. Two shots on target all game. Two. And we’re not even going to bother discussing some of the horror misses we witnessed.
Up the other end of the field, Bouzanis was having a shocker. But how often have we said that? Unfortunately, his high-risk, high-reward keeping-style means that he generally remains so inexplicably mistake-prone that Tom Glover HAS to be given an opportunity in the next game. There comes a point where these mistakes become a trend rather than individual outliers, and we’ve well and truly reached that point.
What seems to have hurt our fans the most is that they had opened themselves up to having hope and faith in their beloved club again, perhaps optimistic of a second trophy and of a successful season ahead, and the fact that it was repaid with THAT performance.
City are so very capable of being a strong side this year. We really are. There are so many promising players coming through for fans to be excited about, from Connor Metcalfe to Nathaniel Atkinson to wingers Ramy Najjarine and Lachie Wales.
It seemed as though we were on the verge of turning the corner, but we were instead delivered the most brutal of gut punches.
When previewing the Final, we spoke about success being an important aspect of a club’s identity; something for fans to hang their hat on whilst City is still in its relative infancy in regards to properly developing traditions, cultures and a club-wide, uniting philosophy.
Right now though, we’re a joke to the supporters of other clubs. There are already so many angles that they pursue when slandering us (yes, we realise who we’re owned by and yes, we realise our 30,000 seat stadium seldom reaches even half-capacity) but silverware needed to be something for our supporters to share in and create memories about.
As Jamo said in his post-game speech, there are no excuses for that performance. And there will be no excuses this Sunday either:
There’s a new team on the block. They sourced their name from an online random club-name generator, and they’ve existed for about three months. Incredibly, their meme of an active supporter group, the ‘Western Service Crew’ (who disappointingly don’t offer free roadside assistance to loyal members), embarassingly tried to call our club out on social media this week.
No more excuses. No more false hope. Let’s destroy these pretenders.