I've already given my rant on the performance of the Australian football team in the Asian Cup where we managed to beat Thailand, draw with Oman and lose to Iraq and Japan. It was pathetic but I had already put it behind me until today when I checked out the daily football e-mail put out by The Guardian that had been sitting in my inbox.
Taking the piss is "The Fiver's" trademark and the Aussie footy team definitely deserve it from time to time. But what amazed me was that they actually named a Gencler player, Nick Carle, and in the process take the piss out of Genclerbirligi and the Turkish league. Impressive.
Every second summer, there's a major international football tournament for England's footballers to embarrass themselves in before blaming everyone and everything except themselves and their own misplaced arrogance. Of course this means that every second summer there isn't a major international etc and so on, forcing the Fiver to look elsewhere for big-headed prima donnas to pour scorn on.
Today's search took us to Australia, home of Alf's Bait Shop, Yahoo Serious, baby-eating dingos, flamin' galahs, didgeridoos and VB-drinking bludgers, where we were surprised to discover that a Sheilaroo has beaten Frank Lampard's world record for the lengthiest, most self-pitying whinge ever howled by a footballer.
It's not that much of a shock when you consider the fact that at this year's Asian Cup, the Sheilaroos performed an impersonation of England that Rory Bremner himself would have been proud of. Before it started they arrogantly bigged up their chances of winning, once it got under way they played like a particularly inept pub team, and long before it ended they crashed out on penalties in the quarter-finals.
However, despite getting sent off in his side's quarter-final defeat at the hands of Japan, midfielder Vince Grella has been quick to point out that none of this was his fault, blaming the Asian Football Confederation, Japan striker Naohiro Takahara, the referees, the weather, the antics of Australia's opponents, the press and the price of fish in Indonesia for his side's myriad shortcomings.
"He made such a fuss, it was like I'd broken his leg or something but I barely touched him," said Grella of Takahara, as a rattle, a Barbie doll and an Optimus Prime action figure came sailing out of his pram. "They all had a bad attitude. I've written the names of Oman, Iraq, Thailand and Japan down. And I'll be tying that note to my little finger, so it will be payback time when we meet again," he continued, waving a sheet of A4.
There was more. Finally showing the kind of passion that was conspicuous by its absence from Australia's Asian Cup performances, Vince continued banging on like a dunny door in a hurricane. "I don't know what they had against Australia but it was a joke," he spewed. "When Iraq scored against us they were jumping around like kangaroos - that's taking the pi$$. Oman scored a goal, then they go and celebrate in front of the Green and Gold army ... that's taking the pi$$. Then Japan called us a bunch of wrestlers before the game," he added, trash-talking like Hulk Hogan prior to the Royal Rumble.
"They were winding us up and, as an honourable nation, their people should be ashamed of the conduct of the national team. They drove me insane with their remarks, I'd want to kill them before the game even starts. The way they acted wasn't in the spirit of football. We have players in the best leagues in the world and I don't even know the names of half their team," he harrumphed, gazing at Nick Carle.
And the Fiver's two cents? Perhaps if the Sheilaroos had taken the time to learn a bit more about their opponents, they might have figured out how to beat them and not become a laughing stock for moaning about referees, Japanese players doing Skippy impersonations and the sun being too shiny.
EDIT: Just saw this reply in today's "Fiver"
"While fully in agreement with the trashing of Australia's dismal Asian Cup effort and Vinnie Grella's dummy spit (yesterday's Fiver) may I be the first pedant to point out that as a true-blue Aussie, Vincenzo would be banging on like a dunny door in a cyclone and not, as you stated, in a hurricane. These generally don't occur in the southern hemisphere (water running down the sink the other way etc)" - Tom Foster.
And then another:
"Vince Grella needs his eyes tested. He obviously didn't see 11 Japanese little fingers with notes attached after the World Cup game in 2006. At 1-0 down, Tim Cahill dismembered a Japan forward in the box and, incomprehensibly, the ref didn't give a penalty that would probably have made it 2-0 to Japan. Cue Cahill trotting up the other end to make it 1-1 to start of the Sheilaroos' comeback" - George Town.
And yet another:
"Re: Vince Grella's planned vendetta (yesterday's Fiver). Given Thailand's recent military coup, Japan's wealth and military power and the fact that the last man to look for payback on Iraq hasn't fared as well as he would have liked, should the good people of Oman be expecting a Rambo-style assault any day now?" - Alan O'Brien.