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FIFTY SHADES OF PURPLE


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FIFTY SHADES OF PURPLE by Sam the Stats Man

Those of us who are experts in the field of statistics are only too aware of the fact that there are numerous shades of purple but for this Saturday's Melbourne home game against Fremantle at Etihad Stadium, I'm not expecting to see many different shades of that colour in the crowd. Nor will there be very many versions of the home club's colours either!

The Demons rarely attract large numbers of their supporters for "home" games at Etihad Stadium. In particular, when the fixture is against the highly favoured Dockers and the team is the 16th-placed side ahead only of the new franchises, the numbers simply don't stack up.

At around this time last year, a Melbourne team that still had an outside chance of making the finals attracted a mere 15,740 punters to its game at this same venue against an exciting top four combination in the West Coast Eagles and they were duly smashed. The club has won only two of its past 20 games at Etihad and this includes 12 losses in a row by an average of 44 points since 2008.

All of this points to the fact that, although Freo have never beaten Melbourne at this ground (they’ve met there twice) there will be plenty of empty seats when play starts unless the club comes up with something to attract the fans to the game.

Perhaps, a promise from the Demon camp that the team can come up with a better start than what they have  produced of late. Last week against the Tigers, they could come up with one measly scoring shot to ten in the opening term. Even the GWS Giants got off to a flyer in their clash the week before that.

The last time the Demons got off to a big start to a game was more that twelve months ago in their last home fixture against the Dockers when they kicked the first five goals on their way to an 89 point win. However, that game was at the MCG against an injury depleted side. This time it's Melbourne that has a large injury list with some key players like goal kicking forwards in Mitch Clark and Liam Jurrah missing, so the prospect of a good start seems unlikely.

Therefore, with the Purple Haze still in finals contention, I have no hesitation in coming to this conclusion:-

Fremantle by 50 points.

THE GAME Melbourne v Fremantle at Etihad Stadium, Saturday July 14, 1:45pm

HEAD TO HEAD

Overall Melbourne 13 wins Fremantle 14 wins

Etihad Stadium Melbourne 2 wins Fremantle 0 wins

Since 2000 Melbourne 9 wins Fremantle 10 wins

The Coaches Neeld 0 wins Lyon 0 wins

MEDIA

TV Fox Footy Channel (live) at 1:30pm Channel 7 (delayed) at 3:00pm

RADIO SEN Triple M

THE BETTING Melbourne $3.00 Fremantle $1.40

THE LAST TIME THEY MET

Melbourne 22.17.149 defeated Fremantle 8.12.60 Round 13, 2011 at the MCG

The team really fired up in this game with skipper Brad Green leading the way kicking five goals in a game where the Demons were rarely troubled and under very little pressure.

THE TEAMS

MELBOURNE

Backs Daniel Nicholson James Frawley Luke Tapscott

Half backs Joel Macdonald Tom McDonald Jack Grimes

Centreline Jack Trengove Jordie McKenzie Jeremy Howe

Half forwards Ricky Petterd Jared Rivers Sam Blease

Forwards Colin Sylvia Colin Garland Brad Green

Followers Mark Jamar Rohan Bail Nathan Jones

Interchange Matthew Bate Jamie Bennell Tom Couch Stef Martin

Emergencies James Magner Jake Spencer James Strauss 

In Tom Couch Brad Green, Mark Jamar Tom McDonald Ricky Petterd

Out Lynden Dunn (suspended) James Magner Brent Moloney Jake Spencer Jack Watts (ankle)

New Tom Couch (Collingwood VFL)

FREMANTLE

Backs Antoni Grover Luke McPharlin Adam McPhee

Half backs Paul Duffield, Michael Johnson, David Mundy

Centreline Michael Barlow Ryan Crowley Clancee Pearce

Half forwards Tendai Mzungu Christopher Mayne Stephen Hill

Forwards Hayden Ballantyne Matthew Pavlich Kepler Bradley

Followers Jonathon Griffin Matthew de Boer Dylan Roberton

Interchange Greg Broughton Garrick Ibbotson Cameron Sutcliffe Michael Walters

Emergencies Zachary Clarke Lachie Neale Lee Spurr

In Michael Walters

Out Nick Lower (concussion)

THE YEAR SO FAR by Sam the Stats Man

Melbourne's season in hell continues with Injuries and poor form still dogging the club. Here, se look at the players statistically over the first fifteen rounds:-

BAIL, Rohan MFC 10 games, 5 goals, CFC Sen 1 game, 0 goals. The former Queenslander's season was disrupted with a lingering concussion injury but he has now been back in the Demons' team for the past two games.

BARTRAM, Clint MFC 8 games, 1 goal. Was enjoying his best year since his debut season before succumbing to a season-ending knee injury.

BATE, Matthew MFC 10 games, 7 goals, CFC Sen 1 game, 2 goals. Bate has fought hard for a place in the team after a tough campaign in 2011. He's had a number of starts in the green vest which hasn't helped him and he needs to work hard to retain his place on the list.

BENNELL, Jamie MFC 5 games, 2 goals, CFC Sen 6 games, 2 goals. Bennell has been in and out of the Melbourne team without being able to consolidate his spot.

BLEASE, Sam MFC 8 games, 6  goals, CFC Sen 5 games, 5 goals. This enigmatic youngster has great flair and is learning to play the Neeld style. Has shown promise.

CLARK, Mitch MFC 11 games, 29 goals. A true revelation, the Demon recruit of the year from Brisbane had been outstanding until he suffered a foot injury in the GWS match  which ended his season prematurely. His loss cannot be underestimated.

COOK, Lucas CFC Sen 7 games, 12 goals, CFC Res 1 game, 5 goals. The young tall key forward is developing well in VFL ranks and is not too far away.

COUCH, Tom® CFC Sen 11 games, 8 goals. Couch has had an outstanding season at Casey without being able to break into AFL ranks. A four goal haul last week might have changed that!

DAVEY, Aaron MFC 9 games 7 goals, CFC Sen 3 games, 2 goals. The Flash has struggled since injuring his knee last year and has found himself back at Casey on a couple of occasions.

DAVIS, Troy CFC Sen 11 games, 2 goals. Davis has shown great promise in defence at VFL level and was on the cusp of higher selection a few weeks ago. He seems to have perhaps tired  and his form has slipped recently.

DUNN, Lynden MFC 11 games, 8 goals, CFC Sen 2 games, 3 goals. Dunn's form has been a mixed bag as the club has tried him up forward and down back.

EVANS, Michael® The rookie midfielder is due to return in the Casey Development League team after missing the whole season so far with stress fractures in his back.

FITZPATRICK, Jack MFC 1 game, 0 goals, CFC Sen 9 games, 13 goals, CFC Res 1 game, 2 goals. The young Demon has been doing it tough in a career dotted with injury and illness concerns. Things didn't get any better when he was recently diagnosed as a diabetic.

 

FRAWLEY, James MFC 12 games, 0 goals. Has been steady in defence but not close to his outstanding form of 2010 when he made All Australian.

GARLAND, Colin MFC 14 games 7 goals. The defender-turned-forward has had some success since the move in the team's first win of the season against the Bombers but the jury is still out as to whether it will be a permanent change.

GAWN, Max. Coming back from a second ACL operation, Gawn is said to be training the house down with his running and weights work but won't be seen on the footy field till next year.

GREEN, Brad MFC 6 games, 2 goals, CFC Sen 3 games, 8 goals. Injuries and form lapses have disrupted the former skipper's season. Should return to the Melbourne team after a 6 goal display in the VFL last week.

GRIMES, Jack MFC 13 games, 0 goals, CFC Sen 1 game, 0 goals. The skipper has had a tough initiation in a difficult year and, although not at the top of his form, Grimes has shown a good measure of promise as a leader.

GYSBERTS, Jordan CFC Sen 7 games, 2 goals, CFC Res 1 game, 0 goals. The young midfielder has suffered a number of injuries as he fights his way back to the top level.

HOWE, Jeremy MFC 14 games, 12 goals. One of the big Melbourne stories of the year, the high flyer (fourth in contested marks in the AFL) needs to improve his conversion rate in front of goal to become a more complete player.

    

JAMAR, Mark MFC 12 games, 2 goals. The Russian has been having a hot and cold season in the ruck and has missed the last two games with a calf injury.

JETTA, Neville CFC Sen 2 games, 1 goal. Has been out most of the year after an interrupted pre season (shoulder) and a long term injury (ankle) incurred in a practice march. Working his way back at Casey.

JONES, Nathan MFC 13 games 12 goals. Jones is the stand out player in the side this year and looks headed for a club champion award at the end of the year.

JURRAH, Liam MFC 1 game, 0 goals, CFC Sen 2 games, 2 goals. The Warlpiri Wizard has had a horror season both on and off the field. Jurrah's well documented legal woes have been  matched by injury concerns in the form of a wrist injury followed by an ankle problem leaving him with less than a full AFL game and no goals under his belt.

LAWRENCE, Kelvin® CFC Sen 7 games, 5 goals, CFC Res 3 games, 4 goals. The young rookie appears to be in a hole at Casey and has not progressed since being drafted at the end of 2010. Currently recovering from a calf injury.

MACDONALD, Joel MFC 8 games, 0 goals, CFC Sen 2 games, 4 goals. Has had some moments after fighting his way back into the Demon line up a few weeks ago.

MAGNER, James® MFC 14 games, 4 goals. Had a great start to the season in the midfield but seems to have tired noticeably of late after playing every game.

MARTIN, Stefan MFC 4 games, 3 goals, CFC Sen 3 games, 7 goals, CFC Res 1 game, 0 goals. Has had a few ailments but his recent return to the Melbourne line up has been impressive.

McDONALD, Tom MFC 12 games, 0 goals, CFC Sen 2 games, 4 goals.

MCKENZIE, Jordie MFC 14 games, 3 goals. Earning a reputation as a highly competent tagger who can also win the football.

   

MOLONEY, Brent MFC 12 games, 3 goals. After a stellar season in 2011, Beamer has disappointed so far.

MORTON, Cale MFC 8 games, 2 goals, CFC Sen 5 games, 1 goal. The former top four draft pick has had some difficult times of late as he struggles to find the form he showed early in his career.

NICHOLSON, Daniel® MFC 6 games, 0 goals, CFC Sen 3 games, 1 goal, CFC Res 1 game, 0 goals. Has come back from injury and added some run to the team but needs to work hard on improving his disposal skills.

PETTERD, Ricky MFC 2 games, 0 goals, CFC Sen 7 games, 6 goals. Restricted by injury and form to only two AFL games to date which has been disappointing.

RIVERS, Jared MFC 14 games, 6 goals. Has played the whole season and was recently moved forward with some success.

SELLAR, James MFC 9 games, 1 goal, CFC Sen 1 game, 0 goals. Surprised with some good form as a tall defender.

SHEAHAN, Jai®  CFC Sen 10 games, 0 goals, CFC Res 1 game, 1 goal. After a great start at Casey, he started to run out of form and was demoted to the reserves. Now out injured but he has potential.

SPENCER, Jake MFC 2 games, 0 goals, CFC Sen 7 games, 1 goal, CFC Res 1 game, 1 goal.  Has overcome a knee reconstruction and done well to earn a place with the Demons in Jamar's absence.

STRAUSS, James CFC Sen 4 games, 0 goals, CFC Res 2 games, 0 goals. Recovering from a broken leg, Strauss is starting to show some form in the VFL.

SYLVIA, Colin MFC 9 games, 7 goals.  An interrupted pre season, a back injury, poor form and question marks about his attitude have dominated discussion about the club's former top five draft choice. Started showing some good signs in recent weeks.

TAGGERT, Rory CFC Sen 3 games, 2 goals.  Back injuries have marred his debut season but one of his games for Casey was a ripper.

TAPSCOTT, Luke MFC 9 games, 0 goals, CFC Sen 4 games, 3 goals. Hampered by the lack of a pre season, Tapscott hasn't hit his straps or come near to his potential this year.

TRENGOVE, Jack MFC 14 games, 5 goals.  Has laboured under the weight of the captaincy and, at times appeared unfit but among that, has done a few good things here and there. It's part of a major learning curve for the game's youngest ever skipper.

TYNAN, Josh MFC 1 game, 0 goals, CFC Sen 6 games, 2 goals. Tynan has created an impression in his brief time at the club with a hard at it approach that suggests a long AFL career beckons.

VINEY, Jack* CFC Sen 1 game, 0 goals. The prospective father/son selection suffered a broken jaw in his only game so far at Casey but recovered to play well recently in two Under 18 championship games with Vic Metro.

WATTS, Jack MFC 12 games, 4 goals, CFC Sen 3 games, 7 goals. Despite having his critics, Watts has been excellent since he was moved into defence where his disposal and decision-making skills have been outstanding.

WILLIAMS, Leigh® CFC Sen 5 games, 6 goals, CFC Res 3 games, 7 goals. The young rookie tall is still finding his way with the Scorpions after a serious illness.

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Two teams who are known for not being able to play Etihad. Could be a contender for the worst game of the year.

It'll have to be damn awful to beat last week's display.

Edited by Dr. Mubutu
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I'm all for trying blokes in different positions, but I think we have reached the point where most of the recent experiments can be written off as failures.

As bad as we were last week, we would have gone very close to beating Richmond with Rivers down back on McGuane and Dunn and Howe playing up forward.

Hopefully we will revert to forwards playing forward, backs down back and so on this week.

Couch in is a good start, but hopefully we give him a run in the middle, rather than trying to turn him into a back pocket.

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I'm all for trying blokes in different positions, but I think we have reached the point where most of the recent experiments can be written off as failures.

As bad as we were last week, we would have gone very close to beating Richmond with Rivers down back on McGuane and Dunn and Howe playing up forward.

Hopefully we will revert to forwards playing forward, backs down back and so on this week.

Couch in is a good start, but hopefully we give him a run in the middle, rather than trying to turn him into a back pocket.

Did you see the score?

Richmond had 13 more scoring shots than the Dees. They missed goals from 15 meters out on slight angles.

If Richmond had kicked anything reasonable it would have been another 10 goal slaughter. The 

score flattered us.

You could have played any number of players in different positions the result would have been the same or worse.

Two weeks in a row against teams that are not top eight we got slaughtered.

Some new blood is required.

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Round 16 Melbourne team

Backs Daniel Nicholson James Frawley Luke Tapscott

Half backs Joel Macdonald Tom McDonald Jack Grimes

Centreline Jack Trengove Jordie McKenzie Jeremy Howe

Half forwards Ricky Petterd Jared Rivers Sam Blease

Forwards Colin Sylvia Colin Garland Brad Green

Followers Mark Jamar Rohan Bail Nathan Jones

Interchange Matthew Bate Jamie Bennell Tom Couch Stef Martin

Emergencies James Magner Jake Spencer James Strauss 

In Tom Couch Brad Green, Mark Jamar Tom McDonald Ricky Petterd

Out Lynden Dunn (suspended) James Magner Brent Moloney Jake Spencer Jack Watts (ankle)

New Tom Couch (Collingwood VFL)

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I'm all for trying blokes in different positions, but I think we have reached the point where most of the recent experiments can be written off as failures.

As bad as we were last week, we would have gone very close to beating Richmond with Rivers down back on McGuane and Dunn and Howe playing up forward.

Hopefully we will revert to forwards playing forward, backs down back and so on this week.

Couch in is a good start, but hopefully we give him a run in the middle, rather than trying to turn him into a back pocket.

Surely with Green back Rivers will return to defense, Howe I'd like to see pushed forward but has worth as a winger.

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Not a bad team this! Always happy to see Ricky Petterd in the team, Would much have prefered for Gyberts to be in for Bennell and maybe for Fitzy to come in and give him some valuable game time on the back of impressive form last week at Casey!

Can't really complain Green had to come in and it would be fitting for him to finish his Career ( form warranting) with a 250 game milestone!

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Surely with Green back Rivers will return to defense, Howe I'd like to see pushed forward but has worth as a winger.

Probably not as big an issue with Tom Mac back again.... Given the outs we have, that forward line is probably as good as we can make it at this point in time.

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Bleedin hell - more injuries!!!!

Davey I guess no surprise but Watts!! WTH.

It is interesting that both Moloney and Magner were dropped the same week; with Couch the only true mid replacing them.

Maybe Petterd will be given a last chance to show his worth with some time in the midfield - he had really better take this chance with both hands. Go Ricky, show us your stuff.

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Teams out and WATTS out injured.

Moloney dropped.

Davey out Season.

We must be tanking and it pisses me off. Im a member and dont go to the footy to watch my team tank. Im sick of telling my kids we will be alright. Melbourne just be honest with us members.

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Teams out and WATTS out injured.

Moloney dropped.

Davey out Season.

We must be tanking and it pisses me off. Im a member and dont go to the footy to watch my team tank. Im sick of telling my kids we will be alright. Melbourne just be honest with us members.

notsureifserious

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Bleedin hell - more injuries!!!!

Davey I guess no surprise but Watts!! WTH.

It is interesting that both Moloney and Magner were dropped the same week; with Couch the only true mid replacing them.

Maybe Petterd will be given a last chance to show his worth with some time in the midfield - he had really better take this chance with both hands. Go Ricky, show us your stuff.

I want to see ricky and Green forward and not pushing so far up with the press. I know it's modern footy but Mitch was the only forward who would lead up and take a mark. Ricky and Green can both do this. They are dangerous forwards.

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Argh so your saying you think there not injured? Davey playing for his career. Watts faking an ankle injury when while he won't win us a game of his own boot yet is steadily improving. Obviously more to the Moloney dropping, at least he showed some emotion after the loss, shouldn't have been dropped for it.

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Not a bad team this! Always happy to see Ricky Petterd in the team, Would much have prefered for Gyberts to be in for Bennell and maybe for Fitzy to come in and give him some valuable game time on the back of impressive form last week at Casey!

Can't really complain Green had to come in and it would be fitting for him to finish his Career ( form warranting) with a 250 game milestone!

PF the last time I thought that was Thursday 17th May with the Swans match on the Saturday.

At quarter time it was all over 7.1 to 3 points and we ended up losing by 17 goals

So now I just think " interesting changes"

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Watt's was injured during last weeks game. Magner needs a rest. Davey foot injury. Spencer showed improvement but with Jamar in Martin stays. Moloney did little when he was subbed on. Dunn has a weeks holiday. What is so suspicious. Tell your son all will be ok just dont put a time line on it.

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Teams out and WATTS out injured.

Moloney dropped.

Davey out Season.

We must be tanking and it pisses me off. Im a member and dont go to the footy to watch my team tank. Im sick of telling my kids we will be alright. Melbourne just be honest with us members.

Clearly you werent there on Saturday.Jack made it really really obvious he was incredibly injured in the second half. Even the jab he presumanly got in the break didnt stop his 'tanking'. Lets face it he's very talented and,as far as AFL goes, weak as...... But I'm sure he's injured and he's not Nate Jones.

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Teams out and WATTS out injured.

Moloney dropped.

Davey out Season.

We must be tanking and it pisses me off. Im a member and dont go to the footy to watch my team tank. Im sick of telling my kids we will be alright. Melbourne just be honest with us members.

And I guess if you catch Jack even giving a fleeting smirk at anything watching from the stands that will just prove the point??!!??

I think that they are doing their best but are very severely handicapped by

- cumulative lack of up-to-date required levels of fitness for years if not decades;

- perhaps contributed to by the mental hangovers from previous "tanking" years;

- an absolutely horror run of injuries this season,

All this leaves morale at an (at least recent) all time low.

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Magner a bit stiff.. Possibly tired in his 1st AFL year and needs a rest and a freshen up in the magoos.

Watts..ah well Watt is...is

Beamer...hmmmmm. Something more to this me thinks.

Petterd.... go get'em Ricky !!

Welcome back Russian...

Good luck Tom

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