Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'Essendon v Melbourne'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • Demonland
    • Melbourne Demons
    • AFL National Women's League
    • Match Previews, Reports, Articles and Special Features
    • Fantasy Footy
    • Other Sports
    • General Discussion
    • Forum Help

Product Groups

  • Converted Subscriptions
  • Merchandise

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


AIM


MSN


Website URL


ICQ


Yahoo


Jabber


Skype


Location


Interests


Favourite Player(s)

Found 43 results

  1. Does anyone remember the 2004 movie "The Day after Tomorrow"? It's one of the greatest films ever made about extreme weather conditions and features a combination of killer tornados, extreme hurricanes, incredible tidal waves, destructive floods and the commencement of a new ice age which just about sums up the forecasts for this afternoon's game and I must add ... in conditions such as those predicted ... anything can happen in a game of footy ... and it probably will
  2. This could only happen to Melbourne. Last Sunday, St. Kilda which had hitherto won just four games this season played a game against Essendon which was also on the same number of wins. The Bombers started as slight favourite and produced a performance that was so monumentally pathetic that it has to rank up there with the phenomenon known as "186" that was visited upon the Melbourne Football Club in 2011. After all, Geelong which inflected that defeat on the Demons went on to win the flag that year while the Saints who vanquished the Bombers at Etihad Stadium last weekend were not long ago considered wooden spoon favourite. They were so limp that they allowed the young Saints 141 more possessions, 23 more inside 50s, double the number of marks on the day (142 marks to 71) and effortless goal after effortless goal and in light of this, their 110-point loss, the seventh worst in their entire history was their equivalent of "186". The only difference was that the Essendon Board didn't sack the coach. Then came the news that Essendon skipper Jobe Watson has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury to join a swag of other household names at Bomberland sitting on the sidelines. Names like Paul Chapman (groin - 1-2 weeks), Adam Cooney (hamstring - 2 weeks), Tom Bellchambers (foot - 8 weeks), Travis Colyer (foot - 6-8 weeks), Jake Carlisle (ankle - 4-6 weeks) and the wonderful Orazio Fantasia (groin - 1-2 weeks). And the oldest man in the game, Dustin Fletcher who was in the game long before many current day competitors surfaced in their maternity wards has been missing for several weeks since he played his 400th AFL game. So the Bombers appear to be at their lowest ebb at the very same time when they face the Demons. They are so down in the dumps that the betting agencies have installed Melbourne as the favourite to win this week's game at the G and that's where the red flag comes into contention. When, in recent history, has Melbourne ever won a game starting as the favourite? Oh you might say that the Melbourne of 2015 is a different team to that of years gone by - that it's been competitive without actually winning more games than, say last year when it had the same number of wins at this stage of the journey. But let's not forget that Essendon still occupies one position higher by dint of its superior percentage (admittedly only by 1.6%). But how different is Melbourne right at this minute to the Melbourne of the past? Much was made of the fact that the team introduced seven new faces for the opening game of the season to go with some of the young up and comers introduced in the past year or so. I was contemplating this very thing in the early moments of last Saturday night's game in Darwin. Of the "seven", only Jeff Garlett and Jesse Hogan were still on the ground, the latter returning after missing a game through hamstring soreness. Where were the rest of the magnificent seven? Angus Brayshaw (subbed off with a neck injury after just two minutes); Sam Frost (missing since round three with a broken toe); Heritier Lumumba (foot); Ben Newton (at Casey coming back from concussion); Aaron Vandenberg (out for a month with a hamstring injury) And where were those young guns with promise who were there for that round 1 victory over the Suns? Jay Kennedy-Harris (at Casey after recovering from a groin injury); Dean Kent (missing since Anzac Day eve with a hamstring injury); and Christian Salem (also missing with a hammy first incurred two months ago and still 3 weeks away). All on top of that season-ending knee injury to Christian Petracca incurred back in February. This all suggests that the team hasn't changed much, that Saturday's game looms as the battle between the Norm Smith curse and the ASADA curse and the red flag has been well and truly raised. THE GAME Essendon v Melbourne at the MCG Saturday, 11 July, 2015 at 1.40pm. HEAD TO HEAD Overall Essendon 127 wins Melbourne 81 wins 2 draws At the MCG Essendon 64 wins Melbourne 45 wins 1 draw The last five meetings Essendon 1 win Melbourne 4 wins The Coaches Hird 0 wins Roos 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Footy Channel at 1.30pm (live) RADIO - Triple M 3AW SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Essendon $2.35 to win Melbourne $1.59 to win THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 12.6.78 defeated Essendon 10.17.77 Round 13, 2014 at the MCG This game produced one of the highlights of Melbourne's dismal 2014 season when a chain of disposals ended with a dramatic last minute mark and goal to Christian Salem to the Demons get up by the narrowest of margins against an inaccurate Essendon after trailing at one stage by 33 points. The lowlight was that it was the team's last win for 2014. THE TEAMS ESSENDON ​ B: Mark Baguley, Michael Hurley, James Gwilt HB: Jackson Merrett, Jake Melksham, Ariel Steinberg, Martin Gleeson C: Brent Stanton, Dyson Heppell, David Zaharakis HF: Zach Merrett, Joe Daniher, Michael Hibberd F: Patrick Ambrose, Cale Hooker, Jayden Laverde FOLL: Shaun McKernan, Ben Howlett, Brendon Goddard I/C: Alex Browne, Heath Hocking, Nick O'Brien, Jason Ashby, Shaun Edwards EMG: Jonathan Giles, Elliott Kavanagh, Kyle Langford IN: Patrick Ambrose, Jason Ashby, Alex Browne, Shaun Edwards, Heath Hocking, Jayden Laverde OUT: Adam Cooney (hamstring), Courtenay Dempsey (omitted), Elliott Kavanagh (omitted), Jake Melksham (hamstring), Jobe Watson (shoulder) NEW: Jayden Laverde (19, Western Jets) MELBOURNE B: Colin Garland, Lynden Dunn, Neville Jetta HB: Jeremy Howe, Tom McDonald, Billy Stretch C: Daniel Cross, Bernie Vince, Heritier Lumumba HF: Alex Neal-Bullen, Chris Dawes, Jeff Garlett F: Angus Brayshaw, Jesse Hogan, Jack Watts Foll: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: Jay Kennedy-Harris, James Harmes, Aaron vandenBerg, Dom Tyson EMG: Rohan Bail, Mark Jamar, Jack Fitzpatrick IN: James Harmes, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Heritier Lumumba, Aaron vandenBerg OUT: Rohan Bail, Matt Jones, Jake Spencer, Jimmy Toumpas (all omitted) NEW: James Harmes (19, Dandenong Stingrays) After team selection on Thursday night, two more Essendon players dropped out with injury - Heath Hocking (back) and Jake Melksham (hamstring). They were replaced by virtual unknowns in Jason Ashby and Shaun Edwards - even more bad news for the Demons who probably did zero homework on these blokes who will no doubt be the stars of the game The game is being billed as the Clash for Cancer and the face of the game from Essendon’s point of view is healed cancer sufferer Adam Ramanauskas. Given the club’s recent history with the illness and the loss of former greats Jim Stynes and Sean Wight and our association with breast cancer awareness, it’s a great cause and worthy of our support. The Essendon team appears to be falling apart with more injuries announced (as above) since Thursday night’s team selection. This is extremely problematic for Melbourne as the Bombers line up appears to be looking more and more like the one they one they put out on the field for the third NAB Challenge game back in March which was played at Etihad Stadium. Remember that? Essendon was coming off two shattering defeats including a pounding at the hands of St. Kilda (ahem). Melbourne had put in a fair performance in Fremantle against the Dockers and followed it up with a win against the Bulldogs in Ballarat. With the Bombers fielding a second rate side bereft of the remaining players among the Essendon 34 who were then awaiting the outcome of the AFL Tribunal decision on the ASADA doping charges, the Demons were raging favourites and a loss to this rag, tag depleted excuse for a football team was regarded as unthinkable. The unthinkable happened. So when the ball is bounced for the opening of the game at the MCG, let’s not labour under any delusions. It’s a danger game for the Demons. Former Bomber Matthew Lloyd has said that he expects the ‘little things’ to tell a big story when the teams meet. “I’m going to be looking at the first two or three stoppages, the effort around the ball, the contests, the pressure around the ball,” Lloyd said. “I think that’s where it all stems from, your confidence comes from all the little things. “The chases, the tackles, the smothers; and the rest just falls into line from there.” The likelihood of rain, strong winds and possible hailstorms promises a scrappy match in difficult conditions and in those instances, it’s the more settled team that wins in the end. I will therefore shun the curses, the red alerts, the history of Melbourne losing games when favourite and tip the Demons to finish on top by 22 points.
  3. This game produced one of the highlights of Melbourne's dismal 2014 season when a chain of disposals ended with a dramatic last minute mark and goal to Christian Salem to the Demons get up by the narrowest of margins against an inaccurate Essendon. The lowlight was that it was the team's last win for 2014. THE TEAMS ESSENDON B: Jake Carlisle, Cale Hooker, Courtenay Dempsey HB: Michael Hibberd, Michael Hurley, Mark Baguley C: Brendon Goddard, Dyson Heppell, Jake Melksham HF: Zach Merrett, Joe Daniher, David Zaharakis F: Jason Winderlich, Patrick Ryder, Patrick Ambrose Foll: Tom Bellchambers, Heath Hocking, Brent Stanton I/C: Paul Chapman, Dustin Fletcher, Ben Howlett, David Myers EMG: Travis Colyer, Cory DellOlio, Elliott Kavanagh IN: Michael Hurley, Jason Winderlich OUT: Cory DellOlio, Jobe Watson (hip surgery) MELBOURNE B: Jeremy Howe, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Colin Garland, Lynden Dunn, Jack Grimes C: Bernie Vince, Jack Viney, Daniel Cross HF: Nathan Jones, Chris Dawes, Rohan Bail F: Cam Pedersen, James Frawley, Jack Watts Foll: Mark Jamar, Nathan Jones, Dom Tyson I/C: Dean Kent, Jordie McKenzie, Aidan Riley Christian Salem EMG: Max Gawn, Dean Kent, Dan Nicholson, Dean Terlich IN: Dean Kent, Jordie McKenzie, Aidan Riley OUT: Max Gawn, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Dean Terlich
  4. "Elevator Driver carry me please Elevator Driver move Elevator Driver carry me please Elevator Driver move Past the stories of confusion To my penthouse of illusion, Elevator Driver" ~ from the song by the Masters Apprentices Teams, like colours, rise and ebb. When Melbourne last faced Essendon it was a Saturday night at the MCG early last year and in an atmosphere of helpless desperation they surrendered to an opponent which had something to prove in the wake of the raging supplements scandal. The mood of the supporters that night was one of anger and loss of hope as the Bombers treated their team to the tune of a 148-point crushing. Callers to late night talk back spoke in agonising terms of how their club and the players had betrayed them - so early in the season, the team was languishing deep in the basement. A lot happened after that night but the pain would persist throughout a season that saw two coaches come and go with little to enthuse the faithful or give rise to any hope that the team could lift itself out of those depths. The club needed something or at least someone to take control of its on field fortunes and to start a process whereby it could see some movement forward and upward. Enter the elevator driver - Paul Roos. He came to the club, rolled up his sleeves and began to work on its personnel, training and preparation, its tactics, strategy, its psychology and its culture and team philosophy. His advent has not come without controversy or criticism as was seen last week from the output of some of the more hysterical types in the media who were lashing the emphasis on defence which saw the team struggle to score goals in the final quarter and a half against Collingwood on Queens Birthday. Never mind that playing ugly has already seen Roos coach such ducklings and transform them quickly into premiership Swans in another time. Never mind that against Essendon, Roos' team was so defensive in mindset that it conceded 14 inside 50s before going into its own attacking circle and were goalless at quarter time - it's second consecutive term without a major score. Never mind because the Demons plugged away, hustling and bustling and thanks to the sterling play of those defenders, led by Lynden Dunn, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta, Col Garland and co dominating in the opposition's half, they had stayed within striking distance. Their efforts were reinforced by the efforts of Jordie McKenzie and Daniel Cross who had specific jobs to do, the Demon defence forced Essendon to butcher the ball under pressure, miss goals and targets and more importantly expend vital energy reserves in moving across the field to counter Melbourne's new found style. And so despite falling behind by 33 points by early in the second half, Melbourne was able to lift its game to the top floor. Inspired by the indefatigable leadership of Nathan Jones, the rising talents of Dom Tyson and Jack Viney, the experience and class of Bernie Vince and on a wave of power ruckwork from Mark Jamar, the turnaround came and the Demons struck the unsuspecting Bombers in the heart. Taking over in the midfield, the opportunities started presenting to the forwards who all played their part and in the end, a couple of unlikely young heroes in Dean Kent and Christian Salem played their part in bringing down the Bombers and signalling another move upward for their club. And you can put it all down to great team effort and another small triumph for the elevator operator. Melbourne 0.3.3 3.3.21 7.6.48 12.6.78 Essendon 2.4.16 5.12.42 8.12.60 10.17.77 Goals Melbourne Kent Frawley Pedersen Watts 2 Grimes N Jones Salem Vince Essendon Zaharakis 4 Ambrose Chapman Daniher Goddard Merrett Ryder Best Melbourne Dunn N Jones Viney Pederson Jamar Tyson Essendon Zaharakis Goddard Heppell Hibberd Carlisle Ambrose Changes Melbourne Nil Essendon Fletcher replaced in the selected side by Kavanaugh Injuries Melbourne Nil Essendon Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Essendon Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Essendon Nil Umpires Justin Schmitt Troy Pannell Brendan Hosking Crowd 44,622 at the MCG In memory of Jim Keays an Australian master musician and a Demon fan who passed away last week at far too young an age
  5. It's a big day for the sport today with Essendon taking the field for the first time since the issue of the SHOW-CAUSE notices on top of last night's results which mean that the Bombers will be in the top eight at the end of the round if they win. I imagine that there are many Bomber fans not happy with the course of the latest events re the ASADA investigation and it might be good policy for supporters to treat them with caution and respect. After all, if we lose today, our players are likely to be served with SNOW-CAUSE notices and you know how we would react to that sort of a ribbing.
  6. THE ALCHEMIST by Whispering Jack This week Melbourne faces Essendon for the second time since the February 7, 2013 media conference dubbed by former ASADA boss Richard Ings as the "blackest day in Australian sport". It is now widely acknowledged that the conference which suggested that there was rampant use in our sport, and in particular the country's two main football codes, of prohibited performance-enhancing substances known as peptides was a desperate ploy by the then government facing annihilation in the federal election due later in the year. Sixteen months later, the government agency charged with investigating the claims, the resource-stretched Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA), has yet to issue its report and, other than one case where a rugby league player volunteered his guilt (and 10 months later still awaits his fate), there is little to show in terms of concrete action against the clubs and players allegedly involved. True, the leagues which run the two codes named have carried out their investigations and in the case of the AFL, it sanctioned Essendon and some employees on governance issues but the excruciatingly long wait for a final outcome, is taking its toll on all who are involved. The view with which I agree based on what I have heard and read about the Bombers' programme and the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) Code to which the AFL is a subscriber, is that ultimately some players from the Essendon Football Club will be penalised for their participation in a plan that went terribly wrong. The Bombers may well have undertaken the project to improve their playing group and its prospects of winning but it seems they might have employed alchemy instead of sports science. Clubs make mistakes. At the same time that Essendon engaged James Hird to take the helm as coach of their club, Melbourne employed Mark Neeld who came with excellent references and a significant role as an assistant to Mick Malthouse in Collingwood's 2010 premiership. Neeld saw the need to overhaul the Melbourne style of play and to bring it in line with the leading clubs, he sought to emphasise the defensive side of the game. He knew his list was brittle and not yet suited physically to the change in style and he didn't resort to the chemistry of the Bombers but instead tried to bring about the change naturally, a process which was going to take years and a measure of patience. In the interim however, he lacked the expertise and experience in the ways of dealing with such a list and was also burdened with a number of other issues during his brief term which he was unable to handle or to overcome. Neeld's failure was ultimately due to a different science to that which led to Hird's downfall*. He failed the simple basics of man management and ultimately this brought his term as coach to an abrupt end almost exactly twelve months ago. So the two clubs, Essendon and Melbourne, will lock horns at twilight on Sunday with different men at the helm, each charged with the mission of bringing renewed energy to his respective club by using a different brand of chemistry to that which was previously tried and which in each case proved to be an abject failure. This is the perfect prescription for an absorbing battle. * I use the word "downfall" which might sound a little strange given that he is currently advancing himself in his education somewhere in the French summer and earning $1m as part of his "punishment" in the peptides scandal but that is the way of the AFL in 2014. I don't believe that he will or should coach in 2015 or beyond for that matter, but of course, that's not my call. THE GAME Essendon v Melbourne at the MCG Sunday, 15 June, 2014 at 4.40pm. HEAD TO HEAD Overall Essendon 127 wins Melbourne 80 wins 2 draws At the MCG Essendon 64 wins Melbourne 44 wins 1 draw The last five years: Essendon 2 wins Melbourne 3 wins The Coaches Thompson 0 wins Roos 0 wins MEDIA Fox Footy Channel at 4.30pm (live) RADIO 3AW SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Essendon $1.35 to win Melbourne $3.25 to win THE LAST TIME THEY MET Essendon 28.16.184 defeated Melbourne 5.6.36 Round 2, 2013 at the MCG It was a disheartened and dispirited Melbourne team that put in a disgraceful and unacceptable performance for a match played so early in the season. THE TEAMS ESSENDON B: Jake Carlisle, Cale Hooker, Courtenay Dempsey HB: Michael Hibberd, Michael Hurley, Mark Baguley C: Brendon Goddard, Dyson Heppell, Jake Melksham HF: Zach Merrett, Joe Daniher, David Zaharakis F: Jason Winderlich, Patrick Ryder, Patrick Ambrose Foll: Tom Bellchambers, Heath Hocking, Brent Stanton I/C: Paul Chapman, Dustin Fletcher, Ben Howlett, David Myers EMG: Travis Colyer, Cory DellOlio, Elliott Kavanagh IN: Michael Hurley, Jason Winderlich OUT: Cory DellOlio, Jobe Watson (hip surgery) MELBOURNE B: Jeremy Howe, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Colin Garland, Lynden Dunn, Jack Grimes C: Bernie Vince, Jack Viney, Daniel Cross HF: Nathan Jones, Chris Dawes, Rohan Bail F: Cam Pedersen, James Frawley, Jack Watts Foll: Mark Jamar, Nathan Jones, Dom Tyson I/C: Dean Kent, Jordie McKenzie, Aidan Riley Christian Salem EMG: Max Gawn, Dean Kent, Dan Nicholson, Dean Terlich IN: Dean Kent, Jordie McKenzie, Aidan Riley OUT: Max Gawn Jay Kennedy-Harris Dean Terlich SHOW-CAUSE In the days and weeks to come, "show-cause" will no doubt become a catchword in AFL circles but on Sunday, it will be up to Melbourne to show-cause to the football world as to why it deserves its respect and recognition. This is particularly so in light of two entirely unrelated matters - the team's last meeting against Essendon in round 2 of last year which resulted in an embarrassing 148-point slaughter that rocked the club to its very foundations and the team's three goal performance at its last start against Collingwood. I doubt that we are going to see Paul Roos address the team in the rooms before the game in the way that Mark Neeld did last year. Roos is too cool a customer for that. I don't expect his team to leak goals like a sieve at an average of seven goals per quarter either. Roos has tightened up the team's defensive structures this year but there are clear issues with his team's attacking side. Notwithstanding, it was an umpiring error that probably prevented his team from going into the final break last week on close to even terms. It is generally conceded that the umpire who disallowed Bernie Vinces goal late in the third quarter did so in error and the Pies were lucky that one or two other line ball decisions went their way but you're never going to win arguing the toss with umpires and, in the end, Collingwood won because it was the better side on the day but Melbourne proved it was at least a ten goal better side than last year. However, in this game, Melbourne needs to show far greater improvement than simply ten goals. The absence of Essendon's leader and major playmaker Tim Watson, will help but (and pardon me for saying this) the jury is definitely out on the effect of the Bombers' problems with ASADA. The dramatic events following the issue of show-cause notices could be a help or a hindrance and we won't know which way it will go until the first ball is bounced. In the past, this team has been galvanised by the difficult circumstances it has faced over the peptides scandal and it should be remembered that the round two triumph was only their second official game after the darkest day news broke and they won their first against the Crows with relative ease as well. Apart from knowing that Essendon is not going to crack easily under pressure, it also is experiencing winning form at the moment having lost just one game since Anzac Day and that was against the in-form Swans. They may not have been all that impressive at times but four out of five aint bad. They might have lost their skipper but they do have Michael Hurley and Jason Winderlich back in the side so it would be a fool who considers them ripe for the picking. Melbourne continues to be well served by its batch of 2014 newcomers and, despite Dom Tysons reduced output when tagged last week, the midfield led by Nathan Jones, Bernie Vince and Daniel Cross as the stopper is making heads turn. This game will be a close heart stopper and Im looking for Melbourne to convert a little better than it did last week. If it doesnt, we can expect a similar result.
  7. This week Melbourne faces Essendon for the second time since the February 7, 2013 media conference dubbed by former ASADA boss Richard Ings as the "blackest day in Australian sport". It is now widely acknowledged that the conference which suggested that there was rampant use in our sport, and in particular the country's two main football codes, of prohibited performance-enhancing substances known as peptides was a desperate ploy by the then government facing annihilation in the federal election due later in the year. Sixteen months later, the government agency charged with investigating the claims, the resource-stretched Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA), has yet to issue its report and, other than one case where a rugby league player volunteered his guilt (and 10 months later still awaits his fate), there is little to show in terms of concrete action against the clubs and players allegedly involved. True, the leagues which run the two codes named have carried out their investigations and in the case of the AFL, it sanctioned Essendon and some employees on governance issues but the excruciatingly long wait for a final outcome, is taking its toll on all who are involved. The view with which I agree based on what I have heard and read about the Bombers' programme and the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) Code to which the AFL is a subscriber, is that ultimately some players from the Essendon Football Club will be penalised for their participation in a plan that went terribly wrong. The Bombers may well have undertaken the project to improve their playing group and its prospects of winning but it seems they might have employed alchemy instead of sports science. Clubs make mistakes. At the same time that Essendon engaged James Hird to take the helm as coach of their club, Melbourne employed Mark Neeld who came with excellent references and a significant role as an assistant to Mick Malthouse in Collingwood's 2010 premiership. Neeld saw the need to overhaul the Melbourne style of play and to bring it in line with the leading clubs, he sought to emphasise the defensive side of the game. He knew his list was brittle and not yet suited physically to the change in style and he didn't resort to the chemistry of the Bombers but instead tried to bring about the change naturally, a process which was going to take years and a measure of patience. In the interim however, he lacked the expertise and experience in the ways of dealing with such a list and was also burdened with a number of other issues during his brief term which he was unable to handle or to overcome. Neeld's failure was ultimately due to a different science to that which led to Hird's downfall*. He failed the simple basics of man management and ultimately this brought his term as coach to an abrupt end almost exactly twelve months ago. So the two clubs, Essendon and Melbourne, will lock horns at twilight on Sunday with different men at the helm, each charged with the mission of bringing renewed energy to his respective club by using a different brand of chemistry to that which was previously tried and which in each case proved to be an abject failure. This is the perfect prescription for an absorbing battle. * I use the word "downfall" which might sound a little strange given that he is currently advancing himself in his education somewhere in the French summer and earning $1m as part of his "punishment" in the peptides scandal but that is the way of the AFL in 2014. I don't believe that he will or should coach in 2015 or beyond for that matter, but of course, that's not my call. THE GAME Essendon v Melbourne at the MCG Sunday, 15 June, 2014 at 4.40pm. HEAD TO HEAD Overall Essendon 127 wins Melbourne 80 wins 2 draws At the MCG Essendon 64 wins Melbourne 44 wins 1 draw The last five years: Essendon 2 wins Melbourne 3 wins The Coaches Thompson 0 wins Roos 0 wins MEDIA Fox Footy Channel at 4.30pm (live) RADIO 3AW SEN ABC ABC Grandstand THE BETTING Essendon $1.35 to win Melbourne $3.25 to win THE LAST TIME THEY MET Essendon 28.16.184 defeated Melbourne 5.6.36 Round 2, 2013 at the MCG It was a disheartened and dispirited Melbourne team that put in a disgraceful and unacceptable performance for a match played so early in the season. THE TEAMS ESSENDON B: Jake Carlisle, Cale Hooker, Courtenay Dempsey HB: Michael Hibberd, Michael Hurley, Mark Baguley C: Brendon Goddard, Dyson Heppell, Jake Melksham HF: Zach Merrett, Joe Daniher, David Zaharakis F: Jason Winderlich, Patrick Ryder, Patrick Ambrose Foll: Tom Bellchambers, Heath Hocking, Brent Stanton I/C: Paul Chapman, Dustin Fletcher, Ben Howlett, David Myers EMG: Travis Colyer, Cory DellOlio, Elliott Kavanagh IN: Michael Hurley, Jason Winderlich OUT: Cory DellOlio, Jobe Watson (hip surgery) MELBOURNE B: Jeremy Howe, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Colin Garland, Lynden Dunn, Jack Grimes C: Bernie Vince, Jack Viney, Daniel Cross HF: Nathan Jones, Chris Dawes, Rohan Bail F: Cam Pedersen, James Frawley, Jack Watts Foll: Mark Jamar, Nathan Jones, Dom Tyson I/C: Dean Kent, Jordie McKenzie, Aidan Riley Christian Salem EMG: Max Gawn, Dean Kent, Dan Nicholson, Dean Terlich IN: Dean Kent, Jordie McKenzie, Aidan Riley OUT: Max Gawn, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Dean Terlich SHOW-CAUSE In the days and weeks to come, "show-cause" will no doubt become a catchword in AFL circles but on Sunday, it will be up to Melbourne to show-cause to the football world as to why it deserves its respect and recognition. This is particularly so in light of two entirely unrelated matters - the team's last meeting against Essendon in round 2 of last year which resulted in an embarrassing 148-point slaughter that rocked the club to its very foundations and the team's three goal performance at its last start against Collingwood. I doubt that we are going to see Paul Roos address the team in the rooms before the game in the way that Mark Neeld did last year. Roos is too cool a customer for that. I don't expect his team to leak goals like a sieve at an average of seven goals per quarter either. Roos has tightened up the team's defensive structures this year but there are clear issues with his team's attacking side. Notwithstanding, it was an umpiring error that probably prevented his team from going into the final break last week on close to even terms. It is generally conceded that the umpire who disallowed Bernie Vinces goal late in the third quarter did so in error and the Pies were lucky that one or two other line ball decisions went their way but you're never going to win arguing the toss with umpires and, in the end, Collingwood won because it was the better side on the day but Melbourne proved it was at least a ten goal better side than last year. However, in this game, Melbourne needs to show far greater improvement than simply ten goals. The absence of Essendon's leader and major playmaker Tim Watson, will help but (and pardon me for saying this) the jury is definitely out on the effect of the Bombers' problems with ASADA. The dramatic events following the issue of show-cause notices could be a help or a hindrance and we won't know which way it will go until the first ball is bounced. In the past, this team has been galvanised by the difficult circumstances it has faced over the peptides scandal and it should be remembered that the round two triumph was only their second official game after the darkest day news broke and they won their first against the Crows with relative ease as well. Apart from knowing that Essendon is not going to crack easily under pressure, it also is experiencing winning form at the moment having lost just one game since Anzac Day and that was against the in-form Swans. They may not have been all that impressive at times but four out of five aint bad. They might have lost their skipper but they do have Michael Hurley and Jason Winderlich back in the side so it would be a fool who considers them ripe for the picking. Melbourne continues to be well served by its batch of 2014 newcomers and, despite Dom Tysons reduced output when tagged last week, the midfield led by Nathan Jones, Bernie Vince and Daniel Cross as the stopper is making heads turn. This game will be a close heart stopper and Im looking for Melbourne to convert a little better than it did last week. If it doesnt, we can expect a similar result.
  8. We owe them big time! ESSENDON Backs Mark Baguley Jake Carlisle Dustin Fletcher Half backs Brendon Goddard Cale Hooker Brent Stanton Centreline Dyson Heppell Jobe Watson Alwyn Davey Half forwards Stewart Crameri Michael Hurley David Zaharakis Forwards Nick Kommer Patrick Ryder Jake Melksham Followers Tom Bellchambers Heath Hocking Courtenay Dempsey Interchange Michael Hibberd Ben Howlett Jackson Merrett David Myers Emergencies Will Hams David Hille Elliott Kavanagh MELBOURNE Backs Tom Gillies James Frawley Dean Terlich Half backs Jack Watts Tom McDonald Tom Garland Centreline Jack Grimes Jack Viney Matt Jones Half forwards Sam Blease James Sellar Jeremy Howe Forwards Colin Sylvia Mitch Clark Shannon Byrnes Followers Mark Jamar Jordie McKenzie Nathan Jones Interchange Aaron Davey Dan Nicholson Jimmy Toumpas Jack Trengove Emergencies Cameron Pedersen David Rodan Jake Spencer In Aaron Davey Tom McDonald Dean Terlich Jack Trengove Out Lynden Dunn (hamstring) Cameron Petersen David Rodan Luke Tapscott
  9. As disgusting and horrible as last week was, if we can somehow win tonight then i will forget round 1 completely and i bet the MFC does too and marches forward. Lets face it, last week was only one match. Yes we have been crap for a long time Yes it was atrocious, degrading, embarassing. Almost soul destroying. But the bottom line is that we can beat the Bomnbers and if we do it will be happy days again. GO DEMONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  10. RESPONDING TO FAILURE by The Oracle Sunday's mind-numbing performance by the Demons was shocking enough but what sort of experience lies in store for the long suffering fans of the game's oldest club? A clue to the answer to that question might have been subliminally implanted in my brain during last week's fiasco by a message they kept flashing up on the main scoreboard which kept saying, "Sleep at the G". I suspect this might have been the creation of some brain child at the club who thought it might be an interesting promotion for the club but thankfully, it's probably been shelved and put away in the same cupboard that contains Mark Neeld's game plan. Anyway, with or without the promotion, there's a fair chance based on recent history, that those of the club's supporters who come along to the G on Saturday night will be well and truly snoozing in their seats well before the half time siren sounds to awaken them from their reverie. All kidding aside, it was a shocking performance by the team to lose first up to Port Adelaide, but is it not possible that the Power are a lot better side than most of us thought and that, even though there's no justification or excuse for it in Round 1, Melbourne was badly in off mode for the game against an aggressive emotion-charged opponent? The Demons have taken some big hits from the top of the club to the bottom, but is one swallow sufficient justification at this early stage of the season to tear the club apart with demands that the President, the Board, the CEO and the coach all fall on their swords Richmond style? Is this the right way to respond to failure? One Demonlander had this to say this week:- RESOLVE LEADS TO VICTORY by MFC1858 I've failed many times and in many ways in life and football but there's so much that we can learn by understanding how we respond to failure. Failure in football is more than just losing matches. What we saw on the weekend was failure, not simply a loss. In today's game there is so much time and effort invested by clubs in ensuring that the skills, strategies, fitness, strength and composition of teams that one could be forgiven for thinking that these are the things which will lead to success if executed better than the opposition on any given day. The reality of the AFL is that all of these aspects of a team's preparation are more or less consistent with each other, being at the elite level. The small differences between teams may see teams lose by a goal or two, or even five. Results like that which we saw are caused by a deficiency in something else. Coach Mark Neeld and Captain Jack Grimes were both shocked at the result on the weekend, but maybe this is because they failed to understand what the critical elements of success in this game are. Confidence & Resolve Successful teams generally win games because they have either superior confidence than the opposition, because they are more resolute or both. Confidence affects the offensive aspects of the game, whereby a confident player will swiftly position themselves in an attacking position when in possession, or move the fall swiftly to such a position. On the other side a team lacking in confidence will hesitate when in possession, both in disposal and positioning. Confidence is somewhat fleeting, and can not be artificially imposed on players or teams, it comes from real outcomes. We often see this as scoreboard pressure - when victory is within reach confidence swells quickly, this causes momentum. The opposite of this is also true, making confidence an element of our game which leaders needs to understand but can't actually control. Resolve concerns the game where the opposition have the ball or the ball is in dispute. A resolved individual will be determined and disciplined in attacking a loose ball, tackling, chasing an opponent or lunging for a smother. If a team's resolve is greater than the opposition, it will accumulate to stifle confidence, and possibly even break their resolve. Once resolve is broken a football team fails, as we did on the weekend. Unlike confidence though, resolve can be developed within a team by its leaders, and this is the role that our coach and captains have at hand. What makes this difficult is that the triggers or stimuli for resolve in individuals differ. Some people respond to criticism and failure with resolve, others respond to encouragement with resolve. It's the old you can do it/you can't do it response. Our leaders should know which kind of approach to take to develop this resolve with every player at the club. Ruthless condemnation to those who will respond to it with resolve, and reinforcement of the strengths which they can do well for those who will respond to this. They then need to apply this personally and as a team with vigour. This is the job of a leader. What our club needs at the moment is not changes in personnel, we've seen first hand this is not the answer to questions of success or failure. Our club needs to develop leaders who genuinely understand what's required, and are motivated to impress this, to demand this resolve from the team. I hope that what happened last week was the wake up call that the team needed, but it needs to be used to develop resolve by our leaders. I'd love to see the same team run out this week with resolve which leads to confidence, success and then, maybe, victory. The supporters appear to agree that wholesale changes in personnel after one game will not solve things. A poll carried out on the site is currently showing only 33% in favour of such changes at the top. THE GAME Essendon v Melbourne at the MCG Saturday, 6 April, 2013 at 7.40pm. HEAD TO HEAD Overall Essendon 126 wins Melbourne 80 wins 2 draws At the MCG Essendon 63 wins Melbourne 44 wins 1 draw Since 2000: Essendon 10 wins Melbourne 7 wins The Coaches Hird 0 wins Neeld 1 win MEDIA TV Channel 7 & Fox Footy Channel at 7.30pm (live) RADIO THE BETTING Essendon $1.10 to win Melbourne $7.00 to win THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 8.10.58 defeated Essendon 6.16.52 Round 10, 2012 at the MCG Underdog Melbourne stunned the football world when it won this game by a goal against ladder leader Essendon which had looked a likely top four prospect. Coach Mark Neeld pulled some great moves including Colin Garland from defence to forward while Jack Watts slotted brilliantly into defence with a best on ground performance. The embarrassed Bombers went downhill while the Demons didn't go anywhere after this result either. THE TEAMS ESSENDON Backs Mark Baguley Jake Carlisle Dustin Fletcher Half backs Brendon Goddard Cale Hooker Brent Stanton Centreline Dyson Heppell Jobe Watson Alwyn Davey Half forwards Stewart Crameri Michael Hurley David Zaharakis Forwards Nick Kommer Patrick Ryder Jake Melksham Followers Tom Bellchambers Heath Hocking Courtenay Dempsey Interchange Michael Hibberd Ben Howlett Jackson Merrett David Myers Emergencies Will Hams David Hille Elliott Kavanagh MELBOURNE Backs Tom Gillies James Frawley Dean Terlich Half backs Jack Watts Tom McDonald Tom Garland Centreline Jack Grimes Jack Viney Matt Jones Half forwards Sam Blease James Sellar Jeremy Howe Forwards Colin Sylvia Mitch Clark Shannon Byrnes Followers Mark Jamar Jordie McKenzie Nathan Jones Interchange Aaron Davey Dan Nicholson Jimmy Toumpas Jack Trengove Emergencies Cameron Pedersen David Rodan Jake Spencer In Aaron Davey Tom McDonald Dean Terlich Jack Trengove Out Lynden Dunn (hamstring) Cameron Petersen David Rodan Luke Tapscott New Dean Terlich (23, Norwood, SA) PROFESSIONALS? by The Oracle The opposing teams both took on opposition from South Australia in Round 1 with dramatically contrasting outcomes. Essendon crossed the border and beat Adelaide (3rd in 2012) by 35 points on its own home patch while nine days later, Melbourne went down to Port Adelaide (14th in 2012) by 79 points at the MCG. This information alone is sufficient to suggest that the unchanged Bombers are set for an easy night on Saturday. Melbourne has made four changes to the side that was bashed by Port Adelaide last Sunday and, on the face of it, each of the changes is a plus for the team. The players being replaced had a minimal contribution to the team effort while those coming in all have the capacity to play important roles for the team. Of course, in order for Melbourne to be competitive (let alone win) against the Bombers, it will need more than just the four newcomers to fire up. It requires an enormous lift all over the park. It needs its players to perform like the highly paid professions they profess to be. The Demons are coming off a six day break while the Bombers should be well rested having last played 15 days ago. Most of their players had a week off before that which makes Saturday's game only their second in 29 days. This could well be the weakness for Melbourne to exploit because, just as it came out looking lethargic and playing that way last week, there remains the possibility that its players have been stung by the reaction to their insipid first up performance. Then there's also the possibility that we've all underestimated Port Adelaide and overestimated the Crows or that the Round 1 results were aberrations. That's it. If Essendon look at the way Melbourne played last week, it should come out this week with supreme confidence. There's no need for an analysis of match ups. If James Frawley comes out and meanders around the park as he did last week, then Michael Hurley will have a field day. Multiply that 22 times but allow for a handful of Demons who put in an effort and it's going to be a slaughter. Time for Melbourne players to come out and look and act like professional footballers. Essendon to win. I make no prediction as to the margin.
  11. It was a major upset last year. If we get up on Saturday night it will be much more than that. ESSENDON Backs Cale Hooker Dustin Fletcher Courtenay Dempsey Half backs Ricky Dyson Kyle Hardingham Jake Carlisle Centreline David Zaharakis Jobe Watson Brent Stanton Half forwards Angus Monfries Stewart Crameri Patrick Ryder Forwards Leroy Jetta Michael Hurley Alwyn Davey Followers Tom Bellchambers Ben Howlett Heath Hocking Interchange Travis Colyer Sam Lonergan Nathan Lovett-Murray Melksham Emergencies David Hille Tayte Pears Henry Slattery In Dustin Fletcher Kyle Hardingham Leroy Jetta Out Mark McVeigh Tayte Pears Henry Slattery MELBOURNE Backs James Frawley Jared Rivers Tom McDonald Half backs Jack Trengove Jack Watts Colin Garland Centreline Jack Grimes James Magner Nathan Jones Half forwards Rohan Bail Mitch Clark Joel Macdonald Forwards Jeremy Howe Brad Green Luke Tapscott Followers Mark Jamar Brent Moloney Jordie McKenzie Interchange Sam Blease Lynden Dunn Daniel Nicholson Colin Sylvia Emergencies Matthew Bate Jamie Bennell James Sellar In Joel Macdonald Colin Sylvia Out Jamie Bennell James Sellar
  12. ENDING THE DAYS OF PAIN by Whispering Jack The media is reporting that one of the Melbourne Football Club's responses to recent intense media criticism in the wake of the team's poor winless record after nine rounds has been to institute a series of meetings for selected supporters where they can question the club chairman Don McLardy, CEO Cam Schwab, Coach Mark Neeld and his assistant Neil Craig on matters relating to all aspects of its performance. I was fortunate enough to be invited to the first of these sessions on Tuesday night and can vouch for the fact that the evening could in no way be described as a "crisis" meeting although that is precisely the impression that many have of the club at present - a club in crisis. It was however, all about the way the club is moving to end the long days of pain it has been experiencing for more than half a decade. From my point of view as a concerned supporter, the one and a half hours were in fact as positive, constructive as they could be in the club's circumstances. The three speakers, McLardy, Neeld and Craig outlined their plans and strategies and made a good fist of reassuring a group of fairly hardnosed supporters that the club is on the right path despite the fact that it sits winless at the foot of the AFL table in a season in which two very young franchises are currently ahead of them (albeit narrowly). I know there are many sceptics but I have to say I was impressed by what the three had to say. McLardy outlined where the club is off the field and this has been well documented. We a positive net asset position despite the loss of a major sponsor. McLardy defended Cameron Schwab and pointed to the red and blueprint which Schwab put together and which has earned praise from the AFL administration. Neeld put together a very impressive presentation. He presented statistics of various indicators to show how his game plan is developing. It's a game plan that's based heavily on defence - not just from back line players but from every position on the field. He pointed out that statistics indicate that only one premiership team in the past three decades hadn't finished in the top four in defensive statistics (Brisbane Lions in 2003 were sixth but in the second half of that season were first). Neeld cited Dean Cox who said the difference between WCE of 2010 and 2011 was that the players adopted and embraced a strongly defensive approach. Needless to say the coach is convinced the tide will turn but it might still take time. Both he and Craig said they were staggered that players were saying they went through their toughest pre season after the new guard took over. They said that in their view, training loads were kept fairly conservatively (to avoid major injuries) and the intensity will be ramped up more during the next pre season. Neeld's view is that many players are brought up with attacking mindsets. The most talented players coming into the TAC Cup system are usually midfielders or forwards. They often remain good attacking players but don't measure up defensively. He found this with many players at Melbourne. He is convinced that the indicators show that his methods are working. Against Carlton, Neeld was happy with the figures both from a defensive and an attacking viewpoint. We were good in a number of areas but during the last quarter when the players were tired, Carlton was able to ramp up the pressure and many of our players reverted to old habits and didn't work hard enough defensively. The easy way to coach would probably have been to follow the same path as Neeld's predecessors, a path that might have brought better results in the short term but would never have given the club a chance to challenge the big boys in much the same way as it struggled against them last year. We all well remember the meaning of "bruise free" and "186" from 2011 even if there were some big moments against the competition's lesser lights. It goes without saying that we can expect changes in the makeup of the team and clearly, the midfield will be the area that gets a fair bit of attention. Craig defended Neeld and his other assistants and pointed to the unbelievable initiation he's had into coaching ranks including the Jurrah situation, the Davey/Mifsud racism furore, the death of Jimmy, the injuries and poor form. Craig also defended Schwab noting that he hadn't seen any sign of interference from the CEO into football department matters (nor McLardy for that matter). Craig was full of praise for the entire leadership group. For all that, Melbourne remains on the bottom of the AFL ladder, and faces Essendon and Collingwood in its next two matches. The days of pain may not be over yet. THE GAME Essendon v Melbourne at the MCG Saturday, 2 June 2012 at 7.40pm. HEAD TO HEAD Overall Essendon 126 wins Melbourne 79 wins 2 draws At the MCG Essendon 63 wins Melbourne 43 wins 1 draw Since 2000: Essendon 10 wins Melbourne 6 wins The Coaches Hird 0 wins Neeld 0 wins MEDIA TV Channel 7 Fox Footy Channel live at 7.30pm RADIO 3AW Triple M THE BETTING Essendon $1.05 to win Melbourne $10.00 to win THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 15.11.101 defeated Essendon 10.8. 68 at the MCG It was a great night for the Demons as the unexpectedly bested the Bombers in all parts of the ground. It was a big night for Melbourne's young midfielders with Gysberts, Trengove and McKenzie in outstanding form and Scully doing well on return. The problem from Melbourne's point of view is that its goal kickers that night were:- Green 4 Jurrah 3 Jetta Moloney 2 Howe Scully Sylvia Watts How many of these players will be in action on Saturday night? THE TEAMS ESSENDON Backs Cale Hooker Dustin Fletcher Courtenay Dempsey Half backs Ricky Dyson Kyle Hardingham Jake Carlisle Centreline David Zaharakis Jobe Watson Brent Stanton Half forwards Angus Monfries Stewart Crameri Patrick Ryder Forwards Leroy Jetta Michael Hurley Alwyn Davey Followers Tom Bellchambers Ben Howlett Heath Hocking Interchange Travis Colyer Sam Lonergan Nathan Lovett-Murray Melksham Emergencies David Hille Tayte Pears Henry Slattery In Dustin Fletcher Kyle Hardingham Leroy Jetta Out Mark McVeigh Tayte Pears Henry Slattery MELBOURNE Backs James Frawley Jared Rivers Tom McDonald Half backs Jack Trengove Jack Watts Colin Garland Centreline Jack Grimes James Magner Nathan Jones Half forwards Rohan Bail Mitch Clark Joel Macdonald Forwards Jeremy Howe Brad Green Luke Tapscott Followers Mark Jamar Brent Moloney Jordie McKenzie Interchange Sam Blease Lynden Dunn Daniel Nicholson Colin Sylvia Emergencies Matthew Bate Jamie Bennell James Sellar In Joel Macdonald Colin Sylvia Out Jamie Bennell James Sellar THE TROUBLES by Whispering Jack It's hard to fathom that twelve months down the track from their last meeting that the two combatants in this game would be at almost polar opposites to each other and that Essendon would be starting as such an odds on favourite to win. The Bombers are sitting in equal top position on the ladder with just one loss for the season (by a single point to Collingwood on Anzac Day) while the Demons have lost their first nine matches of the season. That's enough to make it a lay down misere that an Essendon brimming with confidence will win and win easily and that's how I'm predicting the game to pan out. Part of the question why is already explained above in some shape or form. The type of game that is being instilled into the Melbourne team is radically different to that which applied in past years and the team is not yet ready in terms of make up and fitness to conquer top eight teams in full flight. In last year's encounter, we caught a glimpse of a better Melbourne midfield. It was headed by Brent Moloney who won the club's best and fairest and polled 19 Brownlow votes. Beamer's form has been well down on that and he would be very lucky to have polled a vote at all to this stage of the season. But the better midfielders that night included Jordan Gysberts, Jack Trengove, Jordie McKenzie and Tom Scully, who all racked up good numbers on their possession counts. Two of those players haven't played this year. Gysberts is injured and Scully jumped ship. The so called "compensation" for the latter won't kick in for a while. Other potential young midfielders on the list also languish with injuries and loss of form. So the club's all important midfield has taken a hit just at the time when it's most needed and much development time is being lost. But if the midfield has taken a hit then there's also the matter of the attack. Even with the changes that Neeld's defensive approach entails, the end game is always to score ... at least more than the opposition in any given game. So here is something that the club's harshest critics seem to have missed. Last year, Melbourne's top three goalkickers were:- • Liam Jurrah 40 goals • Brad Green 37 goals • Colin Sylvia 25 goals That's 102 goals between the club's three most attacking playmakers. These players alone directly contributed almost five goals per game between them and I dare say would have been responsible for setting up a few more goals to others on a weekly basis. It's not unreasonable that we should have expected this trio, Mitch Clark and perhaps Ricky Petterd as well, to do most of the team's scoring. Alas, after nine matches we have had very little from the players we might have otherwise expected to contribute to the scoreboard. Instead, we have this:- • Liam Jurrah 0 goals • Brad Green 2 goals • Colin Sylvia 1 goal Now, if you take the three top goalkicking forwards as completely out of the equation as the above figures indicate, it's not likely that a young team with a completely new style of play to learn is going to show very much, particularly if the midfield is also performing at well below its best. Sure, you might say it's the coach's role to get the best out of his players and that will certainly be the case in the medium to long term but after nine games in these circumstances, there's is no reason to do anything other than to cut him some slack. The troubles are by no means over but there needs to be a much greater understanding of Neeld and his team's plight. When it all starts to click the results will be quite dramatic; the club will be in a much better place and the days of pain will be over. But, I don't think we can expect that to happen this week. Essendon by 34 points.
  13. Oh well ... time to mosey down to the G and see if we improve on last week's three quarters of reasonably full on effort. It's a long time since we played out a full game and here's hoping!
  14. ENDING THE DAYS OF PAIN by Whispering Jack The media is reporting that one of the Melbourne Football Club's responses to recent intense media criticism in the wake of the team's poor winless record after nine rounds has been to institute a series of meetings for selected supporters where they can question the club chairman Don McLardy, CEO Cam Schwab, Coach Mark Neeld and his assistant Neil Craig on matters relating to all aspects of its performance. I was fortunate enough to be invited to the first of these sessions on Tuesday night and can vouch for the fact that the evening could in no way be described as a "crisis" meeting although that is precisely the impression that many have of the club at present - a club in crisis. It was however, all about the way the club is moving to end the long days of pain it has been experiencing for more than half a decade. From my point of view as a concerned supporter, the one and a half hours were in fact as positive, constructive as they could be in the club's circumstances. The three speakers, McLardy, Neeld and Craig outlined their plans and strategies and made a good fist of reassuring a group of fairly hardnosed supporters that the club is on the right path despite the fact that it sits winless at the foot of the AFL table in a season in which two very young franchises are currently ahead of them (albeit narrowly). I know there are many sceptics but I have to say I was impressed by what the three had to say. McLardy outlined where the club is off the field and this has been well documented. We a positive net asset position despite the loss of a major sponsor. McLardy defended Cameron Schwab and pointed to the red and blueprint which Schwab put together and which has earned praise from the AFL administration. Neeld put together a very impressive presentation. He presented statistics of various indicators to show how his game plan is developing. It's a game plan that's based heavily on defence - not just from back line players but from every position on the field. He pointed out that statistics indicate that only one premiership team in the past three decades hadn't finished in the top four in defensive statistics (Brisbane Lions in 2003 were sixth but in the second half of that season were first). Neeld cited Dean Cox who said the difference between WCE of 2010 and 2011 was that the players adopted and embraced a strongly defensive approach. Needless to say the coach is convinced the tide will turn but it might still take time. Both he and Craig said they were staggered that players were saying they went through their toughest pre season after the new guard took over. They said that in their view, training loads were kept fairly conservatively (to avoid major injuries) and the intensity will be ramped up more during the next pre season. Neeld's view is that many players are brought up with attacking mindsets. The most talented players coming into the TAC Cup system are usually midfielders or forwards. They often remain good attacking players but don't measure up defensively. He found this with many players at Melbourne. He is convinced that the indicators show that his methods are working. Against Carlton, Neeld was happy with the figures both from a defensive and an attacking viewpoint. We were good in a number of areas but during the last quarter when the players were tired, Carlton was able to ramp up the pressure and many of our players reverted to old habits and didn't work hard enough defensively. The easy way to coach would probably have been to follow the same path as Neeld's predecessors, a path that might have brought better results in the short term but would never have given the club a chance to challenge the big boys in much the same way as it struggled against them last year. We all well remember the meaning of "bruise free" and "186" from 2011 even if there were some big moments against the competition's lesser lights. It goes without saying that we can expect changes in the makeup of the team and clearly, the midfield will be the area that gets a fair bit of attention. Craig defended Neeld and his other assistants and pointed to the unbelievable initiation he's had into coaching ranks including the Jurrah situation, the Davey/Mifsud racism furore, the death of Jimmy, the injuries and poor form. Craig also defended Schwab noting that he hadn't seen any sign of interference from the CEO into football department matters (nor McLardy for that matter). Craig was full of praise for the entire leadership group. For all that, Melbourne remains on the bottom of the AFL ladder, and faces Essendon and Collingwood in its next two matches. The days of pain may not be over yet. THE GAME Essendon v Melbourne at the MCG Saturday, 2 June 2012 at 7.40pm. HEAD TO HEAD Overall Essendon 126 wins Melbourne 79 wins 2 draws At the MCG Essendon 63 wins Melbourne 43 wins 1 draw Since 2000: Essendon 10 wins Melbourne 6 wins The Coaches Hird 0 wins Neeld 0 wins MEDIA TV Channel 7 Fox Footy Channel live at 7.30pm RADIO 3AW Triple M THE BETTING Essendon $1.05 to win Melbourne $10.00 to win THE LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 15.11.101 defeated Essendon 10.8. 68 at the MCG It was a great night for the Demons as the unexpectedly bested the Bombers in all parts of the ground. It was a big night for Melbourne's young midfielders with Gysberts, Trengove and McKenzie in outstanding form and Scully doing well on return. The problem from Melbourne's point of view is that its goal kickers that night were:- Green 4 Jurrah 3 Jetta Moloney 2 Howe Scully Sylvia Watts How many of these players will be in action on Saturday night? THE TEAMS ESSENDON Backs Cale Hooker Dustin Fletcher Courtenay Dempsey Half backs Ricky Dyson Kyle Hardingham Jake Carlisle Centreline David Zaharakis Jobe Watson Brent Stanton Half forwards Angus Monfries Stewart Crameri Patrick Ryder Forwards Leroy Jetta Michael Hurley Alwyn Davey Followers Tom Bellchambers Ben Howlett Heath Hocking Interchange Travis Colyer Sam Lonergan Nathan Lovett-Murray Melksham Emergencies David Hille Tayte Pears Henry Slattery In Dustin Fletcher Kyle Hardingham Leroy Jetta Out Mark McVeigh Tayte Pears Henry Slattery MELBOURNE Backs James Frawley Jared Rivers Tom McDonald Half backs Jack Trengove Jack Watts Colin Garland Centreline Jack Grimes James Magner Nathan Jones Half forwards Rohan Bail Mitch Clark Joel Macdonald Forwards Jeremy Howe Brad Green Luke Tapscott Followers Mark Jamar Brent Moloney Jordie McKenzie Interchange Sam Blease Lynden Dunn Daniel Nicholson Colin Sylvia Emergencies Matthew Bate Jamie Bennell James Sellar In Joel Macdonald Colin Sylvia Out Jamie Bennell James Sellar THE TROUBLES by Whispering Jack It's hard to fathom that twelve months down the track from their last meeting that the two combatants in this game would be at almost polar opposites to each other and that Essendon would be starting as such an odds on favourite to win. The Bombers are sitting in equal top position on the ladder with just one loss for the season (by a single point to Collingwood on Anzac Day) while the Demons have lost their first nine matches of the season. That's enough to make it a lay down misere that an Essendon brimming with confidence will win and win easily and that's how I'm predicting the game to pan out. Part of the question why is already explained above in some shape or form. The type of game that is being instilled into the Melbourne team is radically different to that which applied in past years and the team is not yet ready in terms of make up and fitness to conquer top eight teams in full flight. In last year's encounter, we caught a glimpse of a better Melbourne midfield. It was headed by Brent Moloney who won the club's best and fairest and polled 19 Brownlow votes. Beamer's form has been well down on that and he would be very lucky to have polled a vote at all to this stage of the season. But the better midfielders that night included Jordan Gysberts, Jack Trengove, Jordie McKenzie and Tom Scully, who all racked up good numbers on their possession counts. Two of those players haven't played this year. Gysberts is injured and Scully jumped ship. The so called "compensation" for the latter won't kick in for a while. Other potential young midfielders on the list also languish with injuries and loss of form. So the club's all important midfield has taken a hit just at the time when it's most needed and much development time is being lost. But if the midfield has taken a hit then there's also the matter of the attack. Even with the changes that Neeld's defensive approach entails, the end game is always to score ... at least more than the opposition in any given game. So here is something that the club's harshest critics seem to have missed. Last year, Melbourne's top three goalkickers were:- • Liam Jurrah 40 goals • Brad Green 37 goals • Colin Sylvia 25 goals That's 102 goals between the club's three most attacking playmakers. These players alone directly contributed almost five goals per game between them and I dare say would have been responsible for setting up a few more goals to others on a weekly basis. It's not unreasonable that we should have expected this trio, Mitch Clark and perhaps Ricky Petterd as well, to do most of the team's scoring. Alas, after nine matches we have had very little from the players we might have otherwise expected to contribute to the scoreboard. Instead, we have this:- • Liam Jurrah 0 goals • Brad Green 2 goals • Colin Sylvia 1 goal Now, if you take the three top goalkicking forwards as completely out of the equation as the above figures indicate, it's not likely that a young team with a completely new style of play to learn is going to show very much, particularly if the midfield is also performing at well below its best. Sure, you might say it's the coach's role to get the best out of his players and that will certainly be the case in the medium to long term but after nine games in these circumstances, there's is no reason to do anything other than to cut him some slack. The troubles are by no means over but there needs to be a much greater understanding of Neeld and his team's plight. When it all starts to click the results will be quite dramatic; the club will be in a much better place and the days of pain will be over. But, I don't think we can expect that to happen this week. Essendon by 34 points.
  15. Crazy, I know but we beat the Bombers when nobody expected - ESSENDON Backs Kyle Hardingham Cale Hooker Dustin Fletcher Half backs Henry Slattery David Myers Nathan Lovett-Murray Centreline Leroy Jetta Brent Stanton Travis Colyer Half forwards Jake Melksham Patrick Ryder David Zaharakis Forwards Angus Monfries David Hill Stewart Crameri Followers Tom Bellchambers Ben Howlett Mark McVeigh Interchange Alex Brown Dyson Heppell Michael Hibberd Sam Lonergan Emergencies Alwyn Davey Kyle Reimers Andrew Welsh MELBOURNE Backs James Frawley Jared Rivers Joel Macdonald Half backs Tom Scully Jack Watts James Strauss Centreline Jordan Gysberts Brent Moloney Jack Trengove Half forwards Cale Morton Colin Sylvia Jeremy Howe Forwards Max Gawn Brad Green Jamie Bennell Followers Stef Martin Nathan Jones Jordie McKenzie Interchange Liam Jurrah Neville Jetta Michael Evans Daniel Nicholson Emergencies Matthew Bate Sam Blease Tom McDonald In Max Gawn Jeremy Howe Tom Scully James Strauss Jack Trengove Out Matthew Bate Addam Maric Michael Newton (foot) Ricky Petterd Matthew Warnock New Max Gawn (Sandringham Dragons) Jeremy Howe (Hobart)
×
×
  • Create New...