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Beth Orton - Stolen Car [1999] (yewtu.be)

I had heard some of Beth Orton’s songs from her first album but it was only with the release of the second album, Central Reservation, that I really got into her. I went in a trip to Perth, Western Australia and had some time on my hands.l, So I went to check out some tunes in a local record shop...

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I listened to the whole of this album off the back of this post. Ferocious band.

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Thanks for commenting. What’s are some Glen Hansard tunes you would recommend?

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Yeah, they have been releasing the odd thing here and there over recent years.

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Today, I went to an event that was part of the Arsenal Australia (official supporter’s club) national gathering. By chance, Joe Montemurro was at the venue, so I got to meet him briefly.

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He was the coach for the A-League All Stars against AWFC on Friday. Apart from that, he said he’s taking a break after finishing with Juve, but also that he’s going back to Italy in a few days. I don’t know why. He also said he has a few offers. The rumour mill has it he might be in line for the Matildas after the Olympics or maybe the Italy Women.

You might find this interview illuminating.

Aesecakes, (edited )
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Here’s my report from the game on Friday night.

The Build-up:

It was part of “Global Football Week” here in Melbourne, which basically is a private promoter (I think) bringing out AWFC, Spuds and NUFC.

Spuds and Newcastle must have got on a plane the morning after the final game of the Prem season. Ange was at a lunch at the MCG on Tuesday…40-ish hours after the final whistle. Happily, the Wed night game ended 1-1, with Newcastle winning a shootout. I didn’t go, of course.

Friday was a double-header. The opener was Newcastle playing A-League Men All-Stars. Hilariously, all the senior players, except Trippier, had left already, so NUFC got annihilated 8-0. 😂

The official attendance was about 42K. Although my ticket would have let me see that game, I had to go for a work trip in another city, so I ended up going straight to the stadium from the airport. I arrived about 1 hour before kickoff of the women’s game. From footage I have seen, it looks like the men’s game had fewer people. I saw a number of Newcastle people leaving after their match. On the other hand, A LOT of Arsenal fans were still arriving…so maybe there were 25 to 30K in a 45-50K seat stadium.

Pre-match for the main event included a rendition of The Angel, with some singing from the “active” area behind the goal, but not so much elsewhere. The noise level in my bit was quite low but that’s to be expected, I think. It was probably better than when I saw AFC lose to Auxerre in a CL group game at Highbury, though!

The Game:

Image of stats for the game

Arsenal had good possession and pressed ALW, who found it hard to move out of their half. ALW had some OK moments moving through midfield and their greatest attacking threat, at times, was on the right with Cortnee Vine. A Matilda, she plays club football for Sydney FC, but she is really good and could have moved to Europe or the US after the 2023 WC. I think she surely will for next season. She was up against McCabe and it was a pretty good dual, with Vine holding her own. Katie put in some typically meaty challenges, even in a friendly.

From memory, Catley, Russo, Viv Lia and Pelova came off at half time for Maanum, Fox, Goldie and Lacasse, with 4 other subs in the second half. With Russo being subbed, the second half had less goal threat as we had no-one up front to offer it, with Stina not on the trip. ALW had a golden opportunity to equalise at the end, with the player through on goal being thwarted by a very good save from Williams.

Not really the goal fest I was hoping for, but possibly to be expected for a variety of reasons. The arsenal.com match report will tell you more.

Other random points about the game.

  • Viv Lia was impressive. Got past her marker a couple of times for cutbacks/crosses and of course the great assist for the goal.
  • The other, younger players all had decent games, Reid got POTM, Williams (GK) came on for her first appearance
  • Goldie looked OK when she came on. Good to see Kuhl back, she was decent.
  • It was nice to see the runs Russo makes off the ball, which you can’t easily see on TV
  • Former Arsenal coach, Joe Montemurro was in-charge of ALW. Former AWFC goalie, Lydia Williams, is retiring after the Olympics, so this was probably her last game in Melbourne. She got a great ovation when she was subbed by Joe, just before half time
  • Whenever Eidevall appeared on the big screens, he was booed
  • I was there to see Bouhaddi’s debut!

The Impact

Putting aside the question about how wise it is to play a friendly on the other side of the world, rather than giving the players time off, the impact that the game had here was pretty big. The Matildas are the most popular national sports team in Australia and having 3 of them in the Arsenal squad is a big deal. This was the first women’s All Stars game ever, catching up with the men, who have been doing it since 2013.

There were a lot of Arsenal supporters on the streets the whole week. I was told that 4,000 turned up for an open training session on Thursday. The day after the game, there was a meet and greet at a football clothing store not far from where I live with Catley, KCC and Foord. People were queueing up before dawn for the 10am start. I also joined a couple of the Australian, Arsenal Women chat groups to see what was going on and there is a huge amount of chat/support there.

Arsenal are trying to make their fanbase outside of the UK feel like they can be part of North London, too. I think that they did this pretty well over the past week for us far-flung supporters in this part of the world. I expect to see a lot more AFC colours around here, in the future.

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On the bright side, Kolašinac won the Europa League.😝

Aesecakes, (edited )
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Putting aside the questions about whether Arsenal Women should be playing in Melbourne on Friday, seeing as they are here, I have my ticket and am looking forward to it.

The funny thing is that NUFC are playing A-League Men as the curtain raiser. It’s going to be a weird atmosphere I think because I imagine most/all Newcastle fans will leave…I’m not getting there early that’s for sure.

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That’s happening right now.

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Happy days. Newcastle just beat Spuds in a shootout.

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Another fun fact I saw is that Jorginho is also the equivalent of a Knight in Italy, a Cavaliere Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana, or Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, the country’s highest honour.

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AND Cedric is also a Portuguese Knight of the Order of Prince Henry.

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