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This is the Melbourne Derby of no return

Carlos Hernandez (right) of Melbourne Victory contests the ball against Fred of Melbourne Heart, during their round 12 match of the A-League season at AAMI park in Melbourne on Friday, Dec. 23, 2011. (AAP Image/Joe Castro)
Roar Guru
3rd February, 2012
15
1456 Reads

When Anthony Di Pietro took over as chairman of Melbourne Victory, he was given a lamp. This was no ordinary lamp. It was a magic lamp.
He rubbed the lamp and through the flare smoke a genie appeared dressed in Victory navy blue.

“I am the football genie and you have three wishes. If you use them wisely they will deliver to your club unparalleled A-League glory. Once you have used all your wishes I will resume life as mortal human being. What is you first wish Mr. Di Pietro?”

“Mr. Genie, we have just sacked our long standing manager and are conducting a thorough worldwide search to find his replacement. We have a short list but the board can’t make up their mind. Can you please decide for us?”

“Your wish is my command, Mr. Di Pietro”

Mehmet Durakovic emerged out of the haze dressed in a pin-stripe suit.

“Thank you, Mr. Genie. It’s not that I don’t trust you, but I want to make my mark on this club and for that I need a big name player”

“Your wish is my command, Mr. Di Pietro”

Harry Kewell descended from the misty heavens and touched down at Tullamarine Airport.

“You have one wish left Mr. Di Pietro. Now think carefully. What would you like with your final wish?”

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“Don’t worry, Mr. Genie, we have got this thing sown up. It is time to get back in your lamp.”

Four weeks ago, a forlorn Anthony Di Pietro rubbed on the lamp for one last time.

“Mr. Genie, things have not gone to plan. We lost the Melbourne derby and struggled to win a game. It was embarrassing. So we sacked Mehmet Durakovic. Can you please help us?”

“Your wish is my command, Mr. Di Pietro”

Northern Irishman Jim Magilton appeared with his magic “Sweatbox”.

“Thank you Mr. Di Pietro, I am now a free man and I have decided, like Craig Foster, to dedicate the remaining years of my life to the most noble practice of all, football punditry.”

Yesterday, on the eve of the Melbourne Derby, Di Pietro caught up with the ex-genie come football pundit for a cup of coffee.

“Things are going from bad to worse, Mr. Genie. We still can’t win a game, our supporters are disillusioned, Harry Kewell is disgusted and Carlos Hernandez refuses to go into the sweatbox. What did I do wrong?”

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“Mr. Di Pietro, all you needed to ask me back then with your final wish was for some quick midfielders and a couple of defenders. Just look at what Graham Arnold has achieved at the Mariners with a more balanced squad.”

“Mr. Genie, I am very fearful of tomorrow’s derby. If we lose tomorrow against Melbourne Heart our season is over”

“Don’t worry, Mr. Di Pietro, you will be playing against a club that is flat-lining. They are suffering from one of the biggest New Year’s Eve hangover’s ever recorded and their perma-tanned manager has just announced his departure for milder climes.”

“The team you will meet tomorrow will be different to the one that comprehensively beat you in the ‘Christmas Cracker.’ Madaschi has gone to Korea, Matt Thomspon is injured, Dugandzic and Behich are off with the Olyroos and even more importantly Heart have never won a game without their talismanic captain, Fred.”

“A draw will not help either team. This really is the derby of no return.”

“Mr. Genie, I’m really impressed by your punditry skills. Does this mean we will win tomorrow?”

“I’m afraid not. Because your midfielders keep losing control of the game”

“By the way, I’m sorry about giving you Mr. Magilton and his sweatbox. It was just me playing a practical joke on Robbie Slater and Craig Foster.“

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Athas Zafiris is on Twitter @ArtSapphire