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About robbiefrom13

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    Mighty Demon

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    Mann Flower Jakovich Jurrah Watts Salem
  1. Seems there are some who would "dream of recruiting him". Dangerfield? Roos? Hinkley, etc etc. Lot of interest... Dangerfield has first-hand experience, from this year, of how Watts could strip him of the ball and deliver... This IS, clearly, about how we judge people. Watts is a larger-than-life PERSON, and has attracted opinions like a magnet ever since he curved in that first goal for Sandringham. I think he has a charismatic presence, and the Moloneys, Neelds, Joneses of the club have never understood his particular differentness. But, in their unimaginative focus on what they themselves were, they couldn't accept and embrace the obvious excellences he brought, in skill, intelligence and human culture (morale - like Gawn). Some would say a club needs such people in the goldfishbowl. Some historian once observed that nobody studying American History had any idea whether or not Abraham Lincoln balanced the budget; nobody cared either, because he abolished slavery. Lots of illegitimate children, I've heard, to coloured women - starting to get criticised now, but not really what his place in history really is either. Well, Watts' contribution to the club has been woefully handled since day one. His leads have been ignored forever, and you say he can't mark overhead - I remember a lot of last-line-of-defence marks he's taken late in the quarter. But, even since we have all known he is the absolute best finisher in the team, still they ignore his leads into space. Jones as much as anyone. Watts' place in the history of MFC is going to be recognised as a lost opportunity; and while there'll no doubt be criticism of his application, the story of how he was not boosted up by being USED to the maximum, not recognised for what he was, is going to be clearer and clearer over time. I'll bet it will be coupled with the criticism of Jurrah's "defensive skills", which drowned out appreciation of what he did bring - unmatched goal-kicking - and general kicking - instinct and prowess. It is so disappointing to see diversity at MFC being flushed away in the general trend to right-wing thuggery that is ascendant in the western world today. So disappointing. I'm old, and I remember different times. I wasn't going to have any more to say on Demonland, but, boy some of the flat denial of the obvious is provoking.
  2. Just for a bit of fairness, too, Watts may not be the best tackler, but he gets down back at the exhaustion end of quarters and games, and saves goals. Like he did within seconds of his final goal on the QB. He has done that for several years, many times. I have wondered if he was asked to, probably was I suppose, though he doesn't seem to get much credit for doing it. He works very hard, and if you look at any vision of end-of-quarter huddles in the godawful Nield days you'll see Jack intently listening and egging his team-mates on. He is an eminently positive element in the club, and it is just not speaking truthfully to characterise him as a lazy and self-satisfied downhill skier. On here too often we didn't value Jurrah as the unique and very talented creative/offensive player he was, with post after post criticising his defensive work. Might as well bag out Ricky Jackson's ruck work. Or Petracca's tank. Etc. Armchair critics do a wonderful job explaining what they don't rate; reminds me of a lovely anecdote Horowitz told about his father-in-law Toscanini. The great conductor had just done Beethoven and as soon as interval was over he was going to do Mozart - but before he could get to the pit he was bailed up by a society dame who launched into her analysis of what was lacking in Beethoven. Finally unable to listen to any more, Toscanini interrupted, saying "Madam, what you think doesn't matter." Well, rude, yes, but he was obviously right as far as Beethoven goes. Some people assume their own expertise when there is nothing to support it, and they have no shame splashing their ignorance and inanities around. Demonland is not full of supporters; it's full of know-alls who dismiss and slander athletes doing stuff most of these critics cannot understand and have only ever dreamed about. Spout their hairy-chested nonsense shamelessly. So what if the club does get a good deal when they cast Watts aside? Are we in Nield's camp, not seeing them as people? It is a disgrace to cast off a loyal servant who faced up to gorillas in the ruck week after week, surprising everyone with his resilience and effectiveness when so out of his weight, only to end up injured - at which point we are callously and ungratefully hop into him and his failings, completely disregard what he says publicly about his own strong preferences, when he's thrust into the spotlight by the club; and we start haggling over the body and what we might get in the aftermath, even before he's gone. And dignify it with calling it a "forum"! Nah, shout your abuse at my back, and yes, I'll close the door as I leave. I say, shame on the lot of you!
  3. I'd hold them accountable for the morale of the players, too - their level of confidence about the club. Not all good signs, at this stage, in my opinion. Trengove had to go, but that is such a disappointment: we all wanted a fairytale. Too much reality is not good for us, as T.S. Eliot said. We had all the injuries, too. Roos would have wanted arms around the players around then, I think - but Goodwin does it differently; it was in the context of injuries (theirs, and the whole team's) that he made his statement dropping Salem and Watts. I suppose we must wait and see what he does in the trade period, but by then we'll know pretty clearly how he sees his players. One thing a lot of posters on here have said that I do not think is justified is that the players "got ahead of themselves", believed it was in the bag, and so on. It is equally possible that the mental issue that undermined their performances at times was not over-confidence, but rather fragile confidence. Undermined even, is my fear. The area of players' mental strength can be a key part of the coach's contribution. Neild thought taking a scythe to the players was going to help, and it didn't. You headline the weaknesses and you tear the guts out of the place. Build, Simon, build I wish you would, and not tear down...
  4. Tell that to James McDonald, Brad Green, Jack Trengove, etc etc. You can take full responsibility for "where you're at" without presuming to control everything that's going to happen to you. Jack's intelligent - he would not make the silly assumption you appear to be making. Being intelligent and realistic is not being passive. And presumptuousness is not = being active or "proactive", either.
  5. In Viney's case, Viney was surely a big part of the answer. But obviously others too, like Misson, would have had voices in this. I wonder if any of these others tried really hard to push the point that Viney that was rushing his return (surely everyone could see he was)? I wonder, was there some sort of collective denial going on? I remember a weather forecaster telling me that after abuse for a few wrong calls, forecasters had a dog of a time resisting the urge to say anything at all doubtful was "probable rain". People making calls that have an element of prediction about them respond to perceived pressure, and are driven by the wishes of those they answer to, she told me. People deciding when a player can resume may well be under that kind of pressure, especially in an environment like ours, on the brink of a long-anticipated rise back up the ladder. If that sort of bending-to-pressure has been going on at MFC this year, we need to unpick that pressure. whatever it consists of, surely it rests with Goodwin as head Coach to moderate the unwise decision-making of those who appear to have tried too hard to please. He should be telling them to follow their own judgment, fearlessly, professionally... The real worry would be if Goodwin himself is the source of the pressure that club officials and players appear to have been responding to with bad decisions. Goodwin has come in with a bit of an aura as Roos' man, but what if he hasn't got the wisdom needed to manage all of this anticipated rise? So I wonder what Goodwin is putting out as the culture of the club. Players returning from injury too soon seems a new feature of our team. Watts and Salem going back to Casey and hitting people looked to me like two guys trying to adjust - and for sure it was not in line with their natural instincts or natural strengths. Were they trying to win back favour in what they understood was the wanted way? Do we see a misguided club-wide pattern of trying to be tougher regardless? We really have gone to the MRP far more frequently since Goodwin has been in charge - has that been just coincidence? I wonder what Misson would be saying privately about the reasons behind these too-early returns, and about his role in making those decisions? From the Clarence St end I watched North players repeatedly manhandle an obviously lethargic (read, no energy) Watts, every time he went for the ball, and Watts looked to me pretty [censored] off that the umpires gave him no protection. Not that he shouted and so on - he just looked at the umpires, every time as the North players went away. In my thinking at the time, I was unimpressed that the coach did not move him, or at least get someone in to support him by blocking, evening up the contest, etc. Bloody-mindedness, upstairs, I thought. In the end, leaving him to flounder and lose was as though the selection mistake bringing Watts back underdone, and failure to deal with a problem during the game, was deflected/defended by scapegoating Watts; and I couldn't see what was gained by publicly dumping on him afterwards either - it was as though something OTHER than getting the best out of Watts (and the team) was the over-riding concern. Do we have a Mark 2 of Nield starting to show? Maybe Misson will choose to leave, as often happens under a change for the worse in management. Certainly Misson must be feeling a huge lot of frustration and loss of credibility over the second half of our season. He must be very dirty on the pressure added to the injury issues by the number of suspensions. Maybe this will have just been a big learning year for everyone, no long term harm done. People in the club must be asking a lot of hard questions. But we started the year dreaming of emulating the Bulldogs from last year - in the event it has been the unravelling Bulldogs of 2017 that we have mirrored most.
  6. Stef Martin found it hard at Melbourne. I saw him once with the guys at Fed Square, looking very ignored and detached. Look at him now. Watts seems to struggle to get into the rhythm of the job, as though on some level an outsider. My speculation about Watts centres on this. What is going wrong? Jurrah was pretty much the same, with that never-ending injury. I saw a game a few years back where Jones marked just forward of centre and looked around for options. I posted on Demonland about it at the time. Watts led to centre-half forward, clear in front of his man, and Jones ignored him. Shortly afterwards, Jones kicked it to Watts, in a huge amount of space out near the boundary except that his man was wearing him like a glove, and the ball ended up over the boundary - as it was always going to. Kick not to advantage etc. At the time I thought, Jones doesn't really like - or understand - this guy. And now he is chucking him under the bus (Nield's old bus, as I remember it - he certainly didn't like Watts). My speculation: is it the intuitive, the intelligent, the non-grunt guys that we can't incorporate into our team? Maybe we as a club think such guys can't play the game "the way it should be played"? Is our culture a monoculture that fails to get the best out of its different guys? Robbie Flower has always been the top of the pile for me. I'm not here likening Watts to Flower in anything other than being not-the-standard-model. Plenty thought someone as different as Flower was going to be useless - he was scorned by Melbourne supporters around me for his first two quarters, mostly because he didn't look like what they thought a footballer should look like. Ok he turned out to be great from his first game, but plenty of ultimate stars of the game have taken time to come on. Roos had it right - treat them all as individuals, with respect. Watts is no complainer, but how do you feel supporting a club where a loyal employee said "I just wanted to be treated as a human being"? And, this was referring to a time when one of his presumed mates was Jones? Are there things to be learned on the other side of this straining relationship too? Melbourne chucking players under buses in recent years has happened too often for a club with its back to the wall, and we know with hindsight what disastrous results some of those sackings have had. Goodness knows how morale was affected among the "survivors" each time we unwisely threw away a loyal player. If you got no talent, clearly you have to go, I accept that. But if you don't make the most of your talent, before the club says goodbye, what I want to see is the motivators showing some skill. And yet, here we have, yet again, a boot up Watts' arce (just as the bus comes into view) as our deliberately-made-public approach supposedly to motivating what is a skilled, intelligent and multi-talented, committed and apparently sensitive human being... I remain convinced that Watts has it in him to cut the big games apart, using the skill, the speed, and the imaginative flair that we saw when he took off from behind the centre once Oscar got the ball against Collingwood. Watch the vision again, and watch his thinking. and on that occasion his move was honoured by his team-mate, and (slow-motion) moments later it had reduced Collingwood players to their knees, literally. That's what he can do, at that stage of a big game - and nobody else, on either side - saw or attempted the move: Watts used brains, comprehension of the game, beyond anyone on the field. A rare talent, albeit not yet fully harnessed to the team.
  7. Would be a bullet in the foot that might take down a lot more than Jack Watts.
  8. why did he do that? Good decision-maker. Contact-averse, as some on here would say - so, why do that? Trying to get back into the seniors perhaps?
  9. you have to wonder what is the instruction that is being mis-taken by our players...
  10. As a matter of interest, is anyone able to say whether we have ever won a game umpired by Nichols? Free kick count? Who we beat?
  11. Voracious. Respectfully, OD, it is so different. Veracious they aren't, surely?
  12. Labouring a point, but... WJ you rightly command a lot of respect on here, but you put your thoughts out there on a discussion board, and what should other posters do when they find something not quite right? Let it go? - and then there comes that old Demonland chestnut "if you read what I wrote..." The bit of your post that I was commenting on said - There is a group of players who comprise about a quarter of the club's list who were unavailable either through injury or because they were rested (and in Jake Melksham's case because of suspension for the year) and, judging by some of the names of those missing, it will be an essential to get as many of these players up and running as possible if we are going to see major improvement in 2016. They are - 2. Nathan Jones 5. Christian Petracca 6. Chris Dawes 8. Heritier Lumumba 9. Jack Trengove 18. Jake Melksham 19. Ben Newton etc How can getting Melksham up and running this year be an "essential" for the club? I didn't think you should have had him on that list. Melksham cannot be part of "They are.." For a supporters' discussion board to suggest the club should be doing anything to get Melksham up and running this year seemed to me to look like ignoring the decision of CAS. Plenty of others around the AFL appear to be inclined that way - I'd hope we clearly and visibly are not. I thought your post was open to misinterpretation, and could influence somebody's impression of how Melbourne supporters view the CAS decision. Hence I clumsily weighed in. I'm sorry I did - but I still think that on this occasion you posted carelessly, on a point that is not trivial.
  13. yes. Overlooking Melksham's status seems to me to be a mistake suggestive of a wrong attitude. Not saying WJ has a wrong attitude, but his inclusion of Melksham on his list makes it sound like he is not respectfully aware of the enormous black mark against Melksham's name for the duration of 2016. All of us should, in my opinion, be very conscious of MFC having become implicated after the event (quite unnecessarily) in something disgraceful. I wish we'd never recruited any of the 34, and certainly wish we now maintained a very careful distance from Essendon's and the media's attitude to CAS's sanction. Melksham is an embarrassment on our list in 2016; he can offer the club absolutely nothing but shame this year.
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