The Legends had a back to the wall performance the previous week to edge the defending champions SC Gjoa 1-0. This week they would be playing the league’s whipping boys Doxa Legends, who had conceded 27 goals while scoring 1. Unfortunately the Legends have a long history of playing down to their opponent’s level, and in this case they took that history to heart. Despite talking about making simple passes & playing aggressively, virtually every Legend appeared to be playing for the first time. Misplaced passes, ill-advised long balls, poor ball control, the full portfolio of bad play was in evidence. Virtually nobody was spared this affliction. Indeed it took until midway through the first half before CPR finally broke the deadlock, good work on the right leading to Nizam passing the ball to Venkataraman whose weak but accurate shot resulted in the first goal. Soon after, the unthinkable happened. A Doxa player launched a most speculative of shots, with the wind doing the rest to beat Telly Vamvouris and give the home team a shock equalizer. Just when it looked like the Legends would slink in to half time tied, the usual yeowman’s work by fullback Hahn produced a good cross that was superbly dispatched with a header by Mckeown.
The entire squad was well aware of the putrid first half display, and all were in agreement as to how to remedy the situation. Being more vocal, making simple passes, getting the ball first, these are the genomes from which all good teams are built. Naturally the moment the team stepped on the field all these thoughts disappeared and CPR picked up where they left off in the first half. It was starting to look like a monumental upset might be on the cards before Solinas launched a chip into the top corner. Not content with stretching the lead, he proceeded to taunt #17 who had been that most odious of Over 36 players, the physical hothead crybaby. Naturally the opposition responded to Solinas’s uncharacteristic gibe as if he had cursed out their whole family. The thin skinned handbags resulted in dual bookings for Solinas and one of the opposition (ironically not #17 whose shenanigans were causing all the problems).
Once the foolishness calmed down Doxa made it clear that their focus would be on attacking, leaving 2 defenders at the back for the rest of the game. Almost despite themselves the Legends scored two more goals, Pattinson calmly slotting Enticott in for his customary smooth finish while Casanova’s ball squirmed through the legs of a lonely defender to allow Mckeown to stroke the ball home. Amongst these goals was a comedic smorgasboard of offside, weak shots, good goalie saves and poor decision making a mockery of the Legends unbeaten record so far. Mercifully the final whistle blew to put the game out of its misery.
It may seem churlish to treat a 5-1 victory in such a derogatory fashion, but the fact is the Legends are comprised of solid footballers. Physical errors are inescapable but mental errors regarding schoolboy basics grate. The Legends played to perhaps 25% of their potential, and will need to do a lot better next week to avoid losing their 100% record.
|The Legends general play needed subtitles and piano music given how poor it was
Competition: Doxa FC Legends, League Opposition
Location: Van Buren High School, Deepest Queens (borderline Long Island)
Conditions: With Joaquin merely a whispered rumour it was a lovely brisk evening but a strong wind on the field
Fans: 0 (middle of nowhere didn’t help)
Goals: 1-0: Venkataraman Assist Nizam
2-1: Mckeown Assist Hahn
3-1: Solinas Assist D’Andrea
4-1: Enticott Assist Pattinson
Yellow Cards: After successfully winding up the opposition Solinas received a deserved booking (although there shouldn’t be a need to wind up a team that had scored 1 goal & conceded 27 before the game regardless of how bad the attitude of 1 or 2 of them were).
Red Cards: None
Mike D’s aka No Shows: None
Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Paul Vale & Simon Mckeown. Make sure to respond to the evite in a timely fashion boys, it throws off game planning/minutes when people unexpectedly arrive
”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: With plenty of playing time to go around, no injuries to speak of
Old Man of the Match: More appropriately for this week it was who sucked the least. No discussion after, but Tony Vamvouris gets an honorary mention for staying in his lane and making simple passes
Old Man of the Bar: None.
El Presidente (new award for Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): None
Statistic of the week: The prolific Mckeown now has a record of 3 consecutive games scoring to start a career, beating Steve Pritchard. If he turns out as productive he will a key member of the Legends. Speaking of ‘prolific’, Venkataraman ties D’Andrea with most career goals for the Legends at 14.
Team Bar Showing: 2 out of 17 (12%)
Team Bar Night: 1 out of 5. The combination of late start time & playing in the wilderness reduced the post game attendance to just two members of Tier 1
Team (No new profiles this week): Telly Vamvouris (GK), Ollie Roberts (DF), Mark Resnik (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Pete Hahn (DF), Steve Roberts (DF), Paul Vale (DF), Simon Mckeown, Tony Vamvouris, Ante Simic, Ugo Solinas, Tom Pattinson, Manohar Venkataraman, Willian D’andrea, Manuel Casanova, Rich Enticott, Hakan Nizam