Monday, September 17, 2007

Intuiting Round Five

Well when I had a go at analysing our collective results a couple of weeks ago I surmised that we were collectively less accurate than a random generator might be. I think we've improved overall but I'm afraid my own predictions appear to virtually guarantee another result. Rue it when I tip your team to win!

Just to step out of house for a second, for anyone who happens upon this blog, here's a recap. The Blogger's Cup is a tipping competition open to anyone but comprised mostly of people who blog about the A-League, all of whom are linked from here. As far as I'm concerned anyone can still join at the lowest score (ie my score... 3).

The prize is a bottle of single malt Irish whiskey or an A-League ball.

Each week before kickoff of the first game of the round you email or comment your tips for each of the coming round's games. You tip the score as well as a result, as a correct result (draw or winner) is worth a point and a correct result and score is worth three. The scores are tabulated here (and bookmarked on the right near the top of this page).

This is the overall table:
Mike 15
Wes 14
Neil 11
Eamonn 9
Dane 9
Tony 8
Eric 8
John 7
Wayne 6
Jacob 5
Jeccy 5
Cecilia 4
Dave 4
Hamish 3

Special congratulations to Mike for getting a record nine points in Round Four. That record was held by Tony, with only six points, in Round 13 last season, and that six points was matched by Eamonn in Round 2 two weeks ago. You've set a much higher bar Mike.

Jeccy, when you joined this comp, you 'warned' us that you'd get 5 points all season. Congratulations for being the first of us to reach your personal target. It's all cop from here. ;)

Anyway, here's the business.

My tips for Round Five:
Newcastle vs Melbourne:
Draw 1:1

Wellington vs Adelaide:
Adelaide 1:2

Queensland vs Sydney:
The Bloody Roar 2:0

Central Coast vs Perth:
Central Coast 2:0

When I compose my brief prayer to the infinite, which of course has approximately zero impact on reality, it has me considering what we really want from our A-League weekends. Of course we want our teams to win, but as a pretty new (nearly a year - yes that new) fan I can report that one quickly gets the idea that every true football fan has to get used to losing a fair bit of the time and winning (on average) less than half the time, and different values emerge quite rapidly. So apart from our team winning, what do we want?

My own answer is a weekend where all of these boys really show us what they can do. They've all played soccer for years, in parks, schoolyards, at home and on fields. Every one of them was probably best in their class and school. Every one of them has shown enough brilliance to be noticed along the way. They've all had their days of pure class, otherwise they wouldn't be where they are. I want a weekend where all the players are on, get their drilled pieces right, play the coaches tactics without stifling their flair, stick to the rules (ie virtually no free kicks), and just show us what they can do, with no excuses available or required. And then, when all the players and all the teams are the variously oiled machines they're trying to be, I'd like to see the best team win.

This is the Platonic perfection which I think each game intrinsically aspires to, and it is the ideal to which some of us I think, subconsciously or not, compare and judge each game. That is, when we say, "That game was brilliant" or "That game was rubbish," we are making implicit reference to the way a game should be.

Clearly mine is not the only answer, and if anyone else wants to have a go at the question, "What, apart from my team winning, do I want from a soccer game?" do be my guest. I think it's an interesting question, but then again I'm a bit of a nut.

To the infinite, may the games be fair and entertaining this weekend, may there be good sportsmanship on and off the field and may there be no serious injuries.

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Anonymous wayne said...

The irony is the "astonishment" one still experiences from a superb piece of play that should somehow be expected (could, can or should)...anyway enough of potentialities, and onto, err, potentialities... Im with you this round Hamish, and that's scary, because I've been warned, haven't I.

Newcastle 1 Melbourne 1

Wellington 1 Adelaide 2

Queensland 2 Sydney 0

Central Coast 2 Perth 0

To Kalos fila mou!

September 17, 2007 9:30 pm  
Anonymous Wes said...

Here goes my tips for round 5:

Newcastle 1 Melbourne 1

Wellington 2 Adelaide 1

Queensland 2 Sydney FC 0

Central Coast 2 Perth 1

September 18, 2007 7:09 pm  
Blogger Mike Salter said...

I'm pretty sure I've used up all my luck for the entire season on that last round, but here goes...

NUJ 1-1 MV
WP 2-2 AU
QR 1-1 SFC
CCM 2-1 PG

September 18, 2007 10:36 pm  
Anonymous Eric said...

Well perhaps I'm biased, but it's about time Melbourne won... and I think Newcastle is the team to be sacrificed on the altar of Melbourne's Victory.

Newcastle 0
Melbourne 2

Wellington 2
Adelaide 2

Queensland 2
Sydney 1

Central Coast 2
Perth 0

September 19, 2007 8:37 am  
Blogger The Round Ball Analyst said...

Hamish, if you can get your hands on some footage of the real madrid champions league side of the turn of the century....

or alternatively, you could watch the arsenal side since arsene wenger took control, or the barca side of a couple of seasons ago, or the way in which messi ran the show last week...

in other words, not just to win, but to win with style and class.


NJ 0 v MV 1
WP 1 v AU 2
QR 1 v SFC 1
CCM 1 v PG 1

September 19, 2007 2:02 pm  
Blogger Jeccy - for the Roar said...

I may not be travelling particularly well, but my consolidation is that I am not coming last. . . . YET!!


Jets 1 Victory 3
Phoenix 1 Adelaide 2
Roar 3 Sydney 1
Mariners 2 Perth 2

September 19, 2007 5:23 pm  
Anonymous Dave said...

Wow, I think I actually picked up points last week. Still not doing well, but hopefully some trends are starting to emerge and we can get away from all those draws.

Anyhow, here goes for this week:

Newcastle 1 Melbourne 0
I'm still not convinced by the Jets, but they seem to keep fluking it every week. They seem to have settled into a "keep it scoreless and hope for a late winner" mode - just the kind of trap Melbourne could well fall for in their current form.

Phoenix 2 Adelaide 1
The NZers (damn them) proved me wrong last week. But they're now a team that can't be taken lightly. Apart from a few bright moments in the first half, Adelaide seemed to have no clue how to win last week; making this trip across the ditch a very dangerous one for them. Wellington have proven they can get the ball to their strikers, and that could well prove decisive.

Qld 2 Sydney 1
The Roar finally put it together in the West, showing a fair bit of composure and determination to come back from a goal down. Again, they dominated possession; and while Perth were pretty tame up front, their defence was well-drilled. Against Sydney who've had problems at the back, they should be able to do the business. Sydney will however get on the board via Alex Brosque, who loves scoring at Suncorp.

Mariners 0 Perth 0
One goal in four games is pretty pathetic by any measure, and Perth don't seem to have answers to turn that around. The only question is can they hold out the Mariners. I understand Mrdja and Petrovski are under an injury cloud, which could blunt the Mariners' attack; so yet another 0-0 for the Glory looms as likely.

September 20, 2007 1:40 pm  
Blogger Dane said...

Newcastle 1 - 2 Melbourne
Wellington 1 - 2 Adelaide
Queensland 1 - 2 Sydney
Central Coast 2 - 1 Perth

September 20, 2007 3:10 pm  
Blogger Hamish said...

I do feel for you Wayne. Are you going to miss the end of Matildas vs Brazil or the beginning of CCM vs Perth? I'm very glad the Roar aren't playing on Sunday, especially at home. My heart would be torn in two.

September 21, 2007 7:44 am  
Blogger Eamonn said...

Jets 0 Melbourne 2
Wellingotn 1 Adelaide 2
Roar 1 Sydney 1
Mariners 3Perth 1

Matildas 8 Brazil 0

I'm sliding down the table..but I was top for a week...and it was of the bloggers cup.

Not many can say that..hey Cecilia, Hamish and the rest of know who you are!

September 21, 2007 9:53 am  
Blogger Neil said...

Here are my tips for the upcoming round:

Newcastle 0 Melbourne 2
Wellington 0 Adelaide 1
Queensland 2 Sydney 0
Central Coast 1 Peth 0

September 21, 2007 2:34 pm  
Anonymous Wayne said...

Its a tough call Hamish - Matildas are carrying on the tradition of scoring late, CCM have a habit of scoring early against Perth at Bluetongue... watched Brazil the other night on the internet while watching Australia stumble past Canada, they are good to watch, and Marta is fast when she wants to be, a bit like De Vanna but more direct, if thats possible. Are the matildas live on the radio?..ABC perhaps. MAybe I can take in both at once for the first/last part of the games!

September 22, 2007 11:22 pm  

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