For those who weren’t there, the Saints laboured for 60 odd minutes before putting ASW TO THE SWORD (well, not quite…) and claiming all three points in a 2-0 victory on Saturday. Our in-house analysts look back to see what we learned before the weekend’s MUST-WIN DERBY against Sporting Saigon.
Should we go out or stay in the night before a match? Ben Hulbert arrived fresh as a daisy on Saturday afternoon after a rare quiet Friday night only to hobble off after 10 minutes. “Knew I should have gone out last night,” he moaned before making up for lost drinking time over a cool and refreshing can of San Miguel on the side-line. Meanwhile, ol’ Sleepy eyes Sean Boyle arrived at Game On looking suspiciously bright eyed and bushy-tailed before boarding the team-taxi. He didn’t even need a Subway sandwich to put in a highly convincing display between the sticks. “What works for one man, might not work for another,” says Iaian Cambell, the Saints’ official Motivational Coach. This puts the pressure on each individual in the squad this Friday night with a huge six-pointer against Sporting Saigon, a match described by captain-slash-gaffer-by-default Steve Shaw as a “must win” encounter 72 times last week.
Pre-match film selection: Perhaps it’s more about how players prepare before the match? Ben “A Young Bearded Man Stares Intently…” Green found his rhythm as well his mojo after watching Whiplash to put in one of his best ever displays for the Saints. He scored the decisive second goal that finally killed off ASW – cutting in from the left he curled his shot into the top right corner of the goal. Should we all watch Whiplash next Saturday? “What works for one man might not work for another,” says the Saigon Saints official film critic Iaian Campbell. “But whatever you do don’t watch Boyhood—it felt like it went on for years.”
Is Chuck related to John McEnroe? “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!” is to Chuck Marion what “You CANNOT BE SERIOUS!” was to another great east coast American patriot, John McEnroe. But with his two striking partners both off injured and the Saints floundering for “field position” in the second half, a fired-up Chuck was inspirational on “offence”. Yes, he missed his “field goal conversion” (after Aidan McNally was brutally chopped down in the box) but he won the all-important penalty (scored by John Norfolk) after bursting “into the 18” and turning both central defenders brilliantly. But does he need to work on controlling his temper when talking to “the umpire”? The Saints’ Sports Psychologist Dr. Iaian Campbell weighed in with some anger management advice: “Why can’t everyone just keep their %*@#ing temper under control for &*@#’s sake… ”
De-fence! De-fence! Mid-field! Mid-field! We cannot overlook that clean sheet. Mr. Boyle looked rock solid in goals while Simon Finnigan, Sean Campbell and Ian Pavitt all put in impressive shifts in the centre of defence with Iaian Campbell and Max “the Butcher” Oswald on the flanks. More of the same this Saturday please. Our midfielders, Steve Shaw, John Norfolk, James Teague, Ben Hawxwell-Green, Darrell Haines and Sam Green all out in big shifts in a physical draining match. We will need more of the same in suppressing Sporting Saigon who will be upbeat despite losing narrowly to Japan F.C. on the weekend. For those who like a flutter, the Saints’ official bookkeeper Iaiain Campbell will release the odds on Friday night.