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Everything posted by Grapeviney

  1. Grapeviney

    The Soccer thread

    I managed to get the Spurs Cup game on TalkSport the other morning. Not sure if it's blocked for league games, as in previous seasons. Agree about the lack of coverage, especially when SBS and Viceland were both showing the same news services on different channels the other morning. If they're going to grab the rights and not show the preliminary rounds, pass it on to someone else, as they've done with EPL and CL.
  2. Grapeviney

    The Soccer thread

    I’m back from my European soccer adventure. 6 games in 3 cities taking in 3 competitions. It was everything I hoped it would be and more; some of Europe's best stadia, big crowds, intense atmosphere, and Spurs in good form for the most part. Game 1: Spurs v Inter @ Wembley This was an important game, not just for Tottenham but for me, because if Spurs had lost then the forthcoming fixture against Barca – to which I also had tickets – would have been a dead rubber, and I was hoping for a big crowd at the Camp Nou. Disappointing crowd at Wembley, just 55,000 in, and Spurs supporters I spoke to said they’re sick of Wembley and waiting for the new stadium to open. Good game but with few real opportunities for either side, until Eriksen hit the winner fairly late on. Spurs 1-0 Inter. Game 2: Arsenal v Spurs @ Emirates One of the craziest sporting experiences of my life. The fun began outside the stadium pre-match, where large groups of Gooners and Yids, separated by large number of cops, hurled abuse at one another and taunted each other with disparaging chants. Funnily enough, many of Spurs most wicked chants are still directed at Sol Campbell, even though it’s been close to 20 years since his defection from the Lane to Highbury, with Spurs supporters singing that they’re going to throw a massive party when he dies! The stadium was full and I’ve never heard noise like it. All game, there was just this constant din, louder than the 90,000 crowds we had at this year’s finals, and it escalated as each side surged forward in what was an electrifying contest. Arsenal scored inside 10mins thanks to a penalty, and could have had another 2 or 3 goals in the minutes soon after, as Tottenham looked all at sea in defence, and it was only thanks to some ripper saves from Lloris that the game wasn’t all over by the 20-minute mark. Tottenham then got 2 in quick succession against the run of play to take a half-time lead, but the Gunners were on song after the break and netted another 3 for a 4-2 win. Watching the other mob celebrate those second half goals was incredible; it’s not like kicking goals here, where everyone goes up for a second, cheers, and then sits back down. There they jump up and down for 2 or 3 minutes, waving their hands wildly in the air, and it’s just bedlam, an incredible expression of joy the likes of which I haven’t seen before, with smoke bombs going off, fans getting arrested, and a number of mini-melees on the pitch. To cap it all off, I was sitting in the Spurs section, and when we scored and led, our section was riotous. It was just crazy! All game there was just a deafening wall of sound, and the media commentary afterwards was that it was a classic North London derby that did justice to what is a long and bitter rivalry between these two sides. Arsenal 4-2 Tottenham. Here's Spurs fans in full voice after Eric Dier's first half goal to level the scores at 1-1 Wild scenes as the Gooners celebrate their second half comeback. Game 3: Spurs v Southampton @ Wembley After the intensity and energy of the Arsenal game, this midweek game with an 8pm kick-off was akin to playing Freo at 4.40 at Docklands on a Sunday arvo, and the struggling Saints had just sacked their coach that week. Spurs didn’t really have to get out of 2nd gear for this one, and the only blight on the game was our inability to keep a clean sheet, something which has been an issue all season. Stadium was less than half full, unfortunately. Tottenham 3-1 Southampton. Game 4: Espanyol v Barcelona @ Espanyol Stadium. This fixture was a late addition to my schedule, and one which I had high hopes for, as it’s the Catalan derby, and as the Espanyol stadium only holds 40,000, I expected it to be a sell-out. There’s no love lost between these two teams, as Barca are historically associated with the Catalan independence movement, while Espanyol are traditionally aligned with the Spanish state. But the Barca supporters section was completely empty! Part of the reason for this is that these sorts of games are beneath them – it’s one of the most lopsided derby records in European football – and also the supporters’ antipathy towards anything to do with the Spanish government carries over to their cross-town rivals. This sentiment was on show a few days later at the Camp Nou game against Spurs, where large numbers of supporters held up signs demanding independence and protesting the continued imprisonment of Catalan political leaders. Anyway, getting back to the match at hand, it was a night for Messi, who kicked two stunning free kick goals as Barca cantered to a 4-0 win. Espanyol 0-4 Barcelona Game 5: Barcelona v Tottenham @ Camp Nou A dream come true at football’s most famous cathedral, as Spurs scored an 85th minute equaliser to progress to the knockout stages of the CL. The official attendance was 70,000, but it felt and sounded like 85k+, mainly thanks to the thousands of Spurs supporters who made the trip over. The Barca fans were very much bemused by the antics of the opposition mob. Aside from a very noisy cheersquad-type section at one of the ground, the Spanish tend to be a lot more reserved in their support, whereas the English don’t stop chanting all game. Aside from conceding an early goal, Spurs dominated the match, as they should given that Barca was basically playing their second squad as they’d already sewn up top spot in the group. Messi started on the bench and didn’t have much of an impact when he came on, but the noise which greeted his arrival onto the pitch was incredible, and every time he gets the ball there’s just this immense anticipation that anything’s possible. You can almost feel the fear in the opposition defence as he runs towards goal. The noise of the Spurs fans in those final minutes after levelling the scores and then post-match was unbelievable. They were seated behind a wire fence at the very top of the outer stand, and the Barcelona police made them stay there for 30 minutes after the game while the local fans cleared the area. Even outside the ground and away from the arena, you could still hear them chanting non-stop in celebration inside the stadium. Spurs fans chanting the Dele Alli song before kick-off. Barca fans welcome the introduction of Messi in the second half. Game 6: Real Madrid v Rayo Vallecano @ Santiago Bernabeu I had no real interest in this game other than to visit the stadium. Real have obviously gone to poo since Ronaldo’s departure, and so it proved in this fixture, which I think they won 10-2 last year. Not so this time around, and after scoring easily in the first 15 minutes, they never really looked like doing it again despite dominating possession for most of the game. Rayo actually almost equalised with the last play of the day, and the local supporters jeered for much of the second half as they expressed their displeasure at what was a half-hearted effort at best. The Bernabeu is an incredible stadium, though, and the stands are so steep they actually advise people who suffer from vertigo not to sit in the top tiers! Despite the home team’s fall from grace, there was still a good crowd in and the atmosphere was great. So all in all, it was another sensational few weeks on the road, and I don't regret forking out the money for premium seats at most of the games I attended. In fact the only thing I do regret is that I wasn't back at Emirates yesterday morning for Spurs 2-0 League Cup win over Arsenal, which had 2 classy goals from Son and Dele. Over the course of my two trips, I've seen 8 games for a total of 25 goals, so I've been blessed on that front too. Now comes the hardest part of the holiday - paying it off !!
  3. Grapeviney

    The Kobe Farmer Thread

    This is one to put on the watch-list. Won the B&F this year for the Mandurah Mustangs in WA a few weeks ago - in their Year 8 team. Don't know too much else about him at this stage... except that he happens to be the son of the Wizard. Wish we had a pic of him like we did of a very young Billy Stretch, but this will have to do for the time being. Updated Photos:
  4. Grapeviney

    The Soccer thread

    In the main stand (same side as the benches), I think on the 2nd level. That ticket alone is costing nearly as much as my MFC membership! The whole trip is costing a small fortune, especially the seats, but I’ve decided to go all in and have also now got a ticket to next week’s Spurs-Inter game at Wembley! So 5 games in about 19 days. Fly out on Monday, and will post pics when I can.
  5. Critics are raving about it. "If you only listen to one Josh Mahoney interview this week, make sure it's the Demonland one." New York Times "Unmissable." TV Week "This is Andy and Grapeviney at their very best." Cosmopolitan
  6. Grapeviney

    The Soccer thread

    After the success of last summer's travels, Grapeviney's European Football Odyssey is on again! I'm stepping it up about five levels this time around, thanks to a contact in London who can score tickets to just about any sporting contest you care to name. Stop 1: North London derby @ Emirates. Got a seat in the Spurs section! Stop 2: Spurs v Saints @ Wembley. Should be a win. Stop 3: Barca v Spurs Champions League @ Camp Nou. In all likelihood a dead rubber, but it's Champions League, at the Camp Nou! Stop 4: Real Madrid v one of the crap teams @ the Bernabeu. The gloss is well and truly starting to come off Madrid, but have always wanted to visit the Bernabeu. So 4 games in 14 days - god bless midweek football. Not expecting much, result wise, but am jumping out of my skin at the thought of the derby v Arsehat in particular, and still not quite sure how i scored a ticket to a sellout game, let alone in the away section seat in what would be a very small allocation of tickets for Tottenham fans (I think this guy gets seasons tickets from members who can't attend). Wo0o0o-h0o0o0o0 !!
  7. Grapeviney

    2019 Fixture

    It will be interesting to see whether the MFC opts to forego the 2020 QB home fixture, thus locking in the 1 public holiday home game per-season that year and thereafter. It makes sense to do it now (then), while all 3 clubs are up and about and we're likely to play well-attended return games against both teams during the transition period anyway. 2019: No public holiday home game 2020: ANZAC Eve 2021: QB etc
  8. Grapeviney

    Farewell Jesse Hogan

    A reminder not to post rumours, innuendo and the like, whether it's true or not. Even alluding to something without explicitly stating it can you get you and Demonland in legal trouble. They also have the potential to hurt Jesse and the club. All such posts will be removed. "I saw it on Ricky Nixon's twitter account" is not going to hold up in court.
  9. Grapeviney

    Farewell Dean Kent

    Not really. He's played 9 games in 2 years. Put the shoe on the other foot, and ask yourself what you would be willing to give up if we were trading him in? Answer: Not much.
  10. Grapeviney

    Darwin game to be dumped?

    Hearing from extremely reliable sources that the MFC is looking to get out of the Darwin part of the NT deal. Club has no issue with the Alice component and was very happy with this year's 'Heart of the Nation' game. But the humidity of the Darwin match and the flow-on effects the following week is considered too high a price to pay. The AFL is apparently - finally - willing to schedule us for a bye after the Darwin match, but this would mean the Darwin game needs to be played earlier in the season (in these middle rounds), which ruins the whole concept of the Doug Nicholls / Heart of the Nation / Alice game, which both club and league are backing to the hilt. MFC and AFL have already met on the issue, with more talks to come.
  11. Grapeviney

    Farewell Jesse Hogan

    Panicking about something that hasn’t happened yet and may not happen at all seems pretty foolish to me.
  12. Grapeviney

    2018 Player Reviews: # 39 Neville Jetta

    As recognition for his work in the community, Nev’s been invited to a function acknowledging Victorian youth leaders where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be in attendance. Back pocket royalty meets British royalty.
  13. Grapeviney

    The Soccer thread

    Never looked in doubt, Macca! As you say, Man U have some serious issues and the heat is right up on Jose. I celebrated the end of footy season by watching a soccer triple-header on Saturday night, the Hammers v Man U televised game, then Spurs at Huddersfield followed by the Chelsea-Liverpool clash. Hazard is on fire at the minute but the last minute equaliser from Sturridge was a beauty, and worth a watch if you haven't already seen it.
  14. Grapeviney

    Farewell Jesse Hogan

    When Jesse first burst on to the scene with that great game under lights against the Tigers, we told ourselves that the only way we would keep him long-term was to win games - to become a good side that played finals and was a premiership contender. It seems counter-intuitive that after enduring the tail end of the miserable years and our slow but steady rise up the ladder, he's going to jump ship to another basket-case of a club just as we're coming good and about to fulfil our promise to him. I trust the club to make the best of the situation, but I'll be sorry to see him go if that's what transpires. Jesse was one of the first pieces of the puzzle to be put in place for the rebuild, and it feels somewhat surreal to think that we might end up doing it all without him.
  15. Grapeviney

    Casey Demons v Box Hill Hawks - VFL Grand Final

    Only for a handful of pathological supporters. The rest of us are celebrating a wildly successful season.
  16. Anyone else been following the extraordinary events in Adelaide the past couple of days? Woodville West Torrens were about 8 goals up against North Adelaide in their Preliminary Final over the weekend. North Adelaide came home with a wet sail and eventually won the game by 5 points. Problem was, they had 19 men on the field for some of that time, during which they scored 1.2 - enough to change the outcome of the game. The 19th player was taken off the ground before Woodville had a chance to call for a head count, which would have seen North Adelaide lose part or all of their score. Woodville then appealed to the tribunal, which last night slapped North Adelaide with a massive fine and docked them 8 premiership points for next season. But the score stands and North Adelaide will play in the GF regardless. The one-man tribunal decided that while the most appropriate outcome would be to replay the game, he didn't have the power to make that ruling. He said: "I'm of the view that as this was not deliberate, a reversal of the result is too savage a penalty." It's a staggering outcome and if I was a Woodville supporter I would be absolutely filthy. It shouldn't matter whether it was accidental or deliberate, North Adelaide had an unfair advantage and it helped them win the game. The SANFL have a lot to answer for here as they could have adjudicated the matter and made the proper ruling, but instead palmed it off to the tribunal. Can you imagine if we lost this weekend's match under the same circumstances? I would burn down AFL House...
  17. Latest entrant: Maverick Weller. This one looks particularly painful. http://www.afl.com.au/video/2015-06-14/viney-slams-weller-in-fierce-tackle
  18. Grapeviney

    Lord Nev - the t-shirt

    Thanks to the good folk at Carlton Draft, Lord Nev has finally been recognised as back pocket royalty.
  19. Grapeviney

    The Jack Viney made me cry thread

    I'm starting to think Ablett deserves his own separate thread here, just to acknowledge how often Viney beats him up. The Gary Ablett Can't Stop Crying Thread .
  20. Grapeviney

    The Soccer thread

    These are the teams of my childhood, too, Macca, and while I've been always a Spurs supporter, I did have a little dalliance with Leeds back in the Gordon Strachan days, Gary Speed etc. Tottenham will be thereabouts again this year but can't see us challenging for the premiership - we're just a step below the likes of City and Liverpool in the talent stakes. I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that the owner's 'no big spending' policy will have us treading water as a top 6 side whose main aim each year is to qualify for CL. It's funny, I was watching the Spurs - Watford game this morning and Watford were pressing hard with Tottenham 1-0 ahead. At times like that, I would normally pray to the sporting gods to not let the other team score, but I made a conscious decision to let it pass, thinking to myself that I need to save my prayers for Friday night against the Cats. Sure enough, we conceded 2 in about 5 minutes!
  21. Grapeviney

    Farewell Jesse Hogan

    Why would Freo offer him 7 x $1.5mill when you think he's worth less than half that at Melbourne? You can't pretend he's a superstar at one club and an average player at the other. There's 31 pages of drivel in this thread, and only a handful of posters who really understand the substantive issue, which is how - and if - we can accommodate the 3 KPFs. Trading Hogan to resolve that issue, if it is one, is a fair way down the track right now. At this stage, I'm with @binman and think it can work, especially on the bigger grounds.
  22. Grapeviney

    Losing Jack Viney

    Mate, if I answer those questions, Jack won’t trust me to drive past him in the future. I just can’t risk the relationship we have. Sorry.
  23. Grapeviney

    Losing Jack Viney

    Just saw Jack so I’ve got a bit of an update. I was driving and he was walking so I didn’t get a chance to speak to him. But in the split second that I drove past him, he didn’t seem to be in any discomfort. He wasn’t even looking at his feet. Will try to write more later.
  24. Grapeviney

    Robbie's Goal of the Century

    Remember the ridiculous hype over NicNat's so-called 'point of the century'? Well what about this ripping goal by Robbie against Richmond at the 1.50min mark of this tribute video? He's out of position in a marking contest in the centre of the ground, effects the spoil and prevents a certain Tigers mark, keeps his feet and is first to the ball, sharks it over an opponent, streams through CHF and dobs it from outside 50m. As Bobby Skilton says in the commentary, it's football at its very best. NicNat sharked his ball from the ruck - look at where Robbie was in the contest, and how quickly he regains his balance. Amazing.