Crushing Victory

Geelong Advertiser Monday 19 February 2007, p. 37

‘IT was an historic occasion which will never be repeated in a Grand Final,’ the Victory’s coach Ernie Merrick said last night. The Scottish coach was linking his team’s win and Archie Thompson’s individual heroics. And he did crack a smile at last, but appeared as if he had been Superbowled after the game. ‘In Scotland we drink beer, here the players have been pouring it over me,’ he said. Merrick added that if we try to stand still we will go backwards and that he expected to make an announcement about an exciting new signing in the next few weeks. But he thought that the team had been threatening a performance like that all season. ‘Tonight we put it all together.’ Thompson reminded every one that he had predicted that Victory would win the league at the start of the season and recently he has been talking about a hat-trick in the Grand Final, but even he was blown away by the five-goal effort. He praised his fellow striker Daniel Allsopp. ‘We have been working well together. If one of us is down, the other gees him up and gets him going,’ he said.

Adelaide players Ross Aloisi and veteran striker Carl Veart struck the wrong note by concentrating on refereeing decisions. ‘Those were the two softest yellow cards I have ever seen and we copped two bad offside decisions,’ Aloisi said. Veart was even more cutting. ‘The three blind mice could have done a better job out there,’ a comment which will bring him into scrutiny by the football authorities.

Coach John Kosmina was more diplomatic, though he thought Kevin Muscat got off lightly when he avoided a booking for his tackle on Diego in the second minute. Behind his larrikin exterior Kosmina has been an excellent lightning rod for United. Diverting pressure from the players by his antics and his willingness to challenge the media, including myself, when he asked me what was wrong with Adelaide’s ‘goal’, a nice way of getting round explicit criticism of the officials. But it was Victory’s night and the last word should be with Muscat. ‘Our character shone through. Even if all the decisions had gone against us we would still have won that game, only the margin would have been different.’

Shopping Cart: