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What I learned...



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Firstly it was such a good feeling when that trumpeter started playing "every heart beats true..." with a couple of minutes to go. Losing 6 in a row and then coming from behind to win like that felt for a couple of minutes a bit like winning a final in September. Great feeling, thanks boys...

Then the colour of the crowd on the ground, the carnival atmosphere with the seagulls flying around with nowhere to land was brilliant.

My impressions from watching it just under the coach's box:

- Great to have some genuine crumbers actually crumbing the forward line.

- Miller needs space and was given it and used it well.

- I thought White nullified Sandilands well (remembering how Sandilands dominated in their game against Geelong last week).

- Dean Bailey is Mr Cool. When the siren went, he didn't actually grin, just a satisfied look and handshake with whoever was sitting next to him.

- It's a game of confidence, as I said to Paul McNamee who stood next to us briefly just after Davey's goal. Even when we stuffed up on the back line at the 18 minute mark (that punch from which Farmer goaled), we had the momentum and the confidence just kept flowing.

So what have we learned of Bailey's game plan? Which half actually tells us what? I heard Bailey at his press conference, bemoaning the handball in the first half. And praising the fact that in the second half, they kicked to targets. So, is all that stuffing around handball of the past 6 weeks not what Bailey's wanted? Likely it's a result of something else basic that's been wrong, like the targets not presenting due to lack of confidence and endeavour.

Certainly he said he likes effective kicks.

Brock McLean in an interview said that at half time, Bailey told them they'd got nothing to lose so to "play on, back yourselves, play instinctive footy". Is this part of the game-plan? Whatever, it's what was necessary to get some confidence back.

I suspect Bailey has learnt a fair bit yesterday also. Someone else close to the club (who incidentally thinks most of the current players are "dumb" and that we lack genuine tough leaders like Lyon and Flower and Viney), described Bailey as an educator more than a motivator. A nice touch at the end when DB went out of his way to walk off the ground with I think it was McLean and a couple of the forwards. I imagine trying to educate this bunch is frustrating at times. But he's learning what makes them tick.

And I learned that I'm very grateful that I barrack for Melbourne rather than Freo!

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Probably one of the most crowd-influencing games I've been too. Only 19k of us, but we made a lot of noise in that 2nd half. I have no doubt it helped them get over the line, but still, they had created an enourmous amount of momentum for themselves. I don't think they were ever going to lose it in the last 10 minutes.

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Probably one of the most crowd-influencing games I've been too. Only 19k of us, but we made a lot of noise in that 2nd half. I have no doubt it helped them get over the line, but still, they had created an enourmous amount of momentum for themselves.

DB said the same:

While Bailey happily sang the praises of the 22 men who represented Melbourne on Sunday, he gave special mention to the 19,423 fans that showed up to support his side.

“It sounded like 70,000 in the last quarter,” he said.

“They were outstanding and we thank them for coming along and giving us the support and sticking it out for the game, and I know that they helped us get over the line – there’s no question about that.”

I don't think they were ever going to lose it in the last 10 minutes.

Exactly. There was something intangible that hopefully this team can find again and build on. Momentum, confidence were part of it. It resulted in physical efforts that were simply impossible in the 6 weeks previous.

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I hope they do that all the time, no matter the score.

The question is, what actually happened? What changed? Interesting reading DB's comments this morning, he says it wasn't any fundamental change in "the plan". But something was very different. I hope he's thinking it through and learning what fires these boys up...

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Here's some of DB's comments on the game, repoorted in the Age today:

http://www.realfooty.com.au/news/news/bail...9839553712.html

IN THE second half of Sunday's match at the MCG, Melbourne's kick-to-handball ratio rose to its highest level for a half this year. But the players did not abandon the game plan of their new coach — on the contrary, they finally adhered to it, Dean Bailey said.

"How they played in the second half is exactly how they have been training and how we have wanted them to play," Bailey said.

"Nothing has changed, it was just the speed of the ball was good, which is what we have been talking about all pre-season.

"Our problem has been we have been turning the ball over in the middle of the ground and the turnovers have really cost us. And at the weekend, we worked a lot harder than before and we reduced the turnovers."

And

"How we played the second half was more how we trained. We have shown glimpses of that but have not put it together for a long period of time. I have not changed anything."

Telling comment, DB says he didn't change anything. Which is good, they stuck to his game plan and it clearly worked. But heck, something changed. Like a big switch that got clicked over to start playing with commitment, passion, absolute determination. If DB isn't the motivator, something or someone is. Sadly I think we are lacking those leaders like Hird who have that spark of passion as a leader. How much influence did Wonaeamirri have on the team, he said afterwards that he just wanted to win and he went about it with absolute determination & passion.

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I, like every other supporter was rapt with the win, but can someone explain to me what happened? Which game plan is the one Baileys been trying to teach. The first 6 and a half games or the last 2 quarters? If the latter, isnt that very similar to Danihers plan of old?

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- I thought White nullified Sandilands well (remembering how Sandilands dominated in their game against Geelong last week).

It was Jamar, not so much White, who nullified Sandilands.

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I've had the same sort of questions since Sunday, and am glad to hear that Bailey has said the 2nd half was what they have been training for. I'm sure he would keep it too himself if it was otherwise though....

As far as how it differs to Danners game plan I am not sure. Danners game plan was good as his results showed, but my problem with him was that he couldn't get the players to ALWAYS play winning football. The slumps both during games, or the longer slumps that lasted several games were my biggest problem. Maybe the changes Bailey is making is to get the players always playing in a certain way. Time will tell.

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The question is, what actually happened? What changed? Interesting reading DB's comments this morning, he says it wasn't any fundamental change in "the plan". But something was very different. I hope he's thinking it through and learning what fires these boys up...
Ther's no doubt something changed in the second half - the ironical cheers from the crowd late in the second quarter when we actually kicked the ball long into the forward line spoke volumes of "the plan" up until that point. The second half was a transformation - loved every minute
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Ther's no doubt something changed in the second half - the ironical cheers from the crowd late in the second quarter when we actually kicked the ball long into the forward line spoke volumes of "the plan" up until that point.

Plenty of times when some old codger in the outer yells 'kick it long' there's no target for the player to give it to, hence the handballing (which has been compounded by guys standing still calling for the ball).

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Plenty of times when some old codger in the outer yells 'kick it long' there's no target for the player to give it to, hence the handballing (which has been compounded by guys standing still calling for the ball).

Thats true, you always hear a bloke with no idea yelling out, "Just kick the bloody thing"

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