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watchtheeyes

MATCH REVIEW: Call it catharthis

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I havent looked at a single comment on DL before writing this, and will probably be brave enough to venture back shortly to witness the carnage. Instead I thought Id write my own report, call it catharthis.

Tonight was clearly disappointing. An underwhelming performance at best, truly dispiriting at worst. I havent yet seen the press conference by Roos, but I have seen fleeting comments through twitter and one in particular stands out, the difference between our best and worst is pretty dramatic. Roosy, youre not wrong.

Despite promising signs early, the Dees slumped in to old habits, seemingly brought on by pressure. One gets the feeling that the boys have built their confidence around slick ball movement while unopposed at training, yet forgot that in games there is an opposition thats trying to stop you. Decision making is a serious concern and when that is coupled with at times suspect skills, you have the makings of a train wreck. Unfortunately, tonight, like so many nights before it, thats exactly what happened.

Those two factors defined the last 2.5 quarters, while the first 1.5 appeared to be tainted by an inability to put the ball through the sticks when it appeared the easiest option. Thankfully, I think this is rectifiable. Garlett is a god-send, he is so vital to this team now. However we need one other, and that is something we will have. Both Kent and JKH have shown an ability to sniff an opportunity, so come round 1, heres hoping some of those bouncing balls find their home off their feet.

Tonight also highlighted something else we all hoped wasnt true, Hogan is young. He is inexperienced and will take time to develop. I dont think anyone doubts his talent, the bloke will be a star. But not yet. Its as if at the back of all our minds we secretly hoped hed kick 6 goals the day he walked in. Our very own Wayne Carey from day dot. Sadly, not.

A few other players stood out for different reasons:

· Frost is a very handy pick up. Personally, I liked the look of him down back but I understand what theyre trying to do. In the ruck however, he is super raw. He was beaten time and time again and it allowed the opposition to get on top in the clearances.

· vandenBerg was a shrewd pick up, and is a lock for Rd 1.

· Sadly, I think the man expendable when Vince comes back, is Toumpas. I still hold hope that he can fill a role, but when you look at the team and where Bernie slots in, its on the wing or HHF. Sorry Toump.

· Viney is all heart, but he makes bad decisions and his foot skills are dubious. Talk of him as a future star is premature to me. A wonderful clubman he is, but future A grader mmm, I just dont know.

· For the second game running, I was pleased with what Grimes put out there. Thought he was one player in our defensive 50 who showed a bit of poise and his disposal was much improved. He had 19 disposals tonight at 100%, bet you never thought youd hear that.

· Watts looks ripe for a good season. He has definitely filled out and now looks a man, rather than a lanky boy. He did some really good things tonight, knows how to kick a goal and covered a hell of a lot of ground as well as making lead after lead.

There are plenty of others we can speak of, but I fear its been heard.

Our tackling was disappointing tonight, this is a little concerning and hopefully doesn't represent a backwards step from last year. its a major factor in a game. Without it, you dont get momentum and it can affect everything. So, Im hoping a lot of what happened tonight can be put down to psyche around it being NAB Cup and not wanting to get injured. Well see. My team for Round 1?

FB: Jetta Dunn Garland/Howe (fitness dependent)

B: Salem McDonald Grimes

C: Vince N Jones Lamumba

HF: Watts Frost Garlett

FF: Gawn Hogan JKH

Foll: Jamar Tyson Cross

R: Viney, Kent, M Jones, vandenBerg

Sub: Toumpas

· Im not comfortable with Frost at CHF, but with Dawes there, what do you do. Im open minded about Pedersen on form. If he comes in I move Frost back to the resting ruckman, but Jamar takes the workload and Cross/Dawes provide the chopout until Frost works out what hes doing.

· I persevere with Toumpas as the sub, he has to grow comfortable on this stage. Its like he gets stage fright.

· I find Garland underwhelming at the moment.

There were a few times tonight where we looked like we had a bit of class, but its baby steps. You look at the team above and its clear were a better side than last year, vastly better? Maybe not, at least not yet.

Baby steps.

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Nice measured review watchtheeyes. Still the result was disappointing....again!

While I would have a list of really sub-standard efforts at critical points of the game, and a couple of performers who simply aren't up to it, we know who they are and for the first time in donkeys years we have players to replace them!

A couple of insights which a lot would have missed:

Cross took Goddard apart in the last quarter. Prior to that he was running riot all over the ground, and it is this unseen work that makes Cross such a valuable player.

Really really disappointed with Gawn. A huge height advantage, comes on having to play only the final quarter and got thoroughly pantsed by McKernan of all people.

I simply don't know why Pedersen wasn't playing. Reports of a BOG performance at Casey last week, and Dawes unavailable for the first round, and Gawn with the vest on for the first 3 quarters??? Result no backup ruckman for 3/4's with Frost forced to pinch hit to give Jamar a rest. Once Mark went off so did our clearance rate, so let's hope he can hold up during season proper.

HL plays a different game to the rest of our players. Confident, daring, dashing and constructive. Hopefully, he can show a few others the way to play top level AFL football.

Garlett was another first class pickup. Without his vision and skill around goal tonight the result would have been truly, truly ugly.

Lock Vandenberg in for a rookie raise from round 1. Another great pick-up and a ready made footballer with the body and toughness and skill required at this level. How was he overlooked?

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Seems as though we're on a very similar page George. I agree with the very ordinary efforts put in at times, particularly defensively, and this is what I hope comes down to NAB cup syndrome.

The other thing I was going to add is that at various times I saw players out of position and I wondered if the coaching staff were tinkering. Could this have resulted in a shift in momentum? If this team has worked really hard on their individual roles within a defined system, and then are asked to change that, then it wouldn't surprise me if it falls apart.

Lamumba was terrific.

Edited by watchtheeyes

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Listened to the 2nd half on the radio over here in Adelaide...

Knew that this place would be blowing up with all sorts of hatred and frustration, so avoided DL for a few hours...

Then decided to come and have a look at the carnage...

First post I went in to was this one as I knew the Gameday thread would be histeria...

Thanks for the thoughts... It is pretty much exactly what I was thinking.... It is very frustrating to lose to this mob but after reading this post I am logging out of Demonland for the evening...

Thanks again...

Bring on the real stuff!!! :)

You could sum this match up by just reading my signature below

Edited by KrazyJay
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I haven't seen the game, but the stats say we weren't that bad. I think people need to take a real look at the team the bombers put out there. Only 4 top-up players, a Brownlow medalist, and several other very good players they have imported. Far from the best side they could have fielded were it not for their little court case, but they had a lot of quality on the park.

From the comments I've read, it sounds like we needed a decent tagger out there to stop some of their midfield run. Maybe dropping Jordie was premature?

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I only saw the half so I can't comment too much but I thought Garlett, Lumumba, Dawes and Frost looked good the rest were pretty ordinary.

Interesting that Tyson was in the best he looked pretty poor from what I saw.

Toumpas one step forward 15 steps back, he was shocking.

Bail and M.Jones have got me thinking what sexual favours are they giving Roos. How on earth are they getting a game ahead of JKH and Kent?

I'm not overly concerned because I think if this game doesn't wake them up nothing will. I think they should be fired up with a point to prove against the Suns.

What has got me concerned is their appalling skill level, it's at VFL standard. TDI keeps telling us how much our skills have improved but I tell you TDI they haven't if anything they are worse, we won't win too many games with our skill level.

RND 1 V SUNS

B: JETTA, DUNN, GRIMES

HB: LUMUMBA, T.MCDONALD, SALEM

C: CROSS, N.JONES, NEWTON

HF: KENT, HOGAN, KENNEDY-HARRIS

F: WATTS, FROST, GARLETT

FOLL: JAMAR, TYSON, VINEY

IC: VINCE, VANDENBERG, BRAYSHAW

SUB: HOWE

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From the comments I've read, it sounds like we needed a decent tagger out there to stop some of their midfield run. Maybe dropping Jordie was premature?

Hell no. We have far too many battlers as it is, bring in some players with talent like JKH, Kent and Brayshaw.

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I only saw the half so I can't comment too much but I thought Garlett, Lumumba, Dawes and Frost looked good the rest were pretty ordinary.

Interesting that Tyson was in the best he looked pretty poor from what I saw.

Toumpas one step forward 15 steps back, he was shocking.

Bail and M.Jones have got me thinking what sexual favours are they giving Roos. How on earth are they getting a game ahead of JKH and Kent?

I'm not overly concerned because I think if this game doesn't wake them up nothing will. I think they should be fired up with a point to prove against the Suns.

What has got me concerned is their appalling skill level, it's at VFL standard. TDI keeps telling us how much our skills have improved but I tell you TDI they haven't if anything they are worse, we won't win too many games with our skill level.

RND 1 V SUNS

B: JETTA, DUNN, GRIMES

HB: LUMUMBA, T.MCDONALD, SALEM

C: CROSS, N.JONES, NEWTON

HF: KENT, HOGAN, KENNEDY-HARRIS

F: WATTS, FROST, GARLETT

FOLL: JAMAR, TYSON, VINEY

IC: VINCE, VANDENBERG, BRAYSHAW

SUB: HOWE

I don't particularly like it when I am misquoted for somebody to make a point

I have consistently said the skills have improved at training, it is whether we will see the improvement in games is another matter

We saw it in bits and pieces against Freo

We saw it for a half against the Bulldogs

And we saw it from a minority tonight

I think watchtheeyes report/review mostly very good

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Guys I was furious earlier. I left then ground swearing and abusive. The saddest part is all our good players were recruits and our skipper.

We were clearly sticking to the gameplan and not worries about what they were doing.

The constant passing backwards by hand gave me the shits..we put ourselves under unnecessary pressure. Don't do it!!! Why oh why.

Hogan needs to back himself. He demands the footy. Good on ya son. But when you are 52 out load up and kick naturally and drill it.

Viney, well that kick was unforgivable . Matt jones stuff. Why oh why would you look to switch. Straight down the line, wide and long. It was a shocker!

Garlett and h are revalations

The umps didnt help. It's is like watching netball. Watching van den Brgs spoil in the last that was all ball was cringe , if that is the way the AFL are going then I will switch off.

Rd 1 better be better. One last chance from me. 26 year memeber. Sick of being embarrassed

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It really seems like a pattern over the last few (actually more than a few) years, that we can't convert what we train onto game day against opposition players, not witches hats.

In better news, I'm a Watts basher, but he is showing some signs of belonging in that forward line finally. Let's hope he can build on this in the season proper.

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I now get it!!!! What Roos was effectively saying in the presser is that if a small takes a mark instead of the tall who could have taken it the team is effectively playing 'one down' or 17. The mark should be left for the tall and the small is supposed to run on and create another option. Team work!!

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I now get it!!!! What Roos was effectively saying in the presser is that if a small takes a mark instead of the tall who could have taken it the team is effectively playing 'one down' or 17. The mark should be left for the tall and the small is supposed to run on and create another option. Team work!!

Along those lines. There were several occasions where there were multiple players under the ball waiting. Someone says "mine", trust him, look for space and move so that as soon as he has the ball he has options. Three people competing for the mark just means there are three fewer teammates providing targets or offering protection. Maybe before you move off have a cheeky word in his ear as well: "yours mate, space 20 meters ahead".

Edited by watchtheeyes
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The part I'm struggling with is that we showed some genuinely good signs in the first half of last year. We've picked up 5 players (Lumumba, Garlett, Frost, Newton and vandenBerg) who all appear to have improved our best 22. Hogan also improves as structurally. Some of our emerging players look like they're taking steps (Watts, Salem and Kent) We've had another pre-season to improve our fitness levels and become more accustomed to the Roos philosophy on football. Why then are we sucking so badly?

I really hope it's an application issue because that can be excused away by the pre-season factor. To my eye, our last 6 quarters of football have been at about 70% effort. It doesn't matter how good you are if a third of the team are going hard at the contest and running hard both ways, you're going to lose . . . to anyone.

Edited by Goodvibes
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The part I'm struggling with is that we showed some genuinely good signs in the first half of last year. We've picked up 5 players (Lumumba, Garlett, Frost, Newton and vandenBerg) who all appear to have improved our best 22. Hogan also improves as structurally. Some of our emerging players look like they're taking steps (Watts, Salem and Kent) We've had another pre-season to improve our fitness levels and become more accustomed to the Roos philosophy on football. Why then are we sucking so badly?

I really hope it's an application issue because that can be excused away by the pre-season factor. To my eye, our last 6 quarters of football have been at about 70% effort. It doesn't matter how good you are if a third of the team are going hard at the contest and running hard both ways, you're going to lose . . . to anyone.

It's my thought process too vibes, I suppose what worried me most of all was that Roosy looked a little flustered in his presser last night, like he was at a bit of a loss.

The true test will be Goldcoast, so I'm going to withhold my despair until that game. If Gaz, Lynch and O'meara all sit out, then I'd like to think we're a shot.

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I find it hard to read all the doom and gloom here.

Roos obviously wasn't that interested in the win Essendon was being driven by a few individuals and Roos didn't bother putting our specialist tagger on the ground. Gawn had 9 hitouts 5 possies and 3 tackles in a quarter and was robbed of a mark at the death and then pinged for holding the ball yet everyone here is calling for his head.

This is a practice match Vince and Howe and several others to come into the mix.

Last time I saw us win at Etihad was Stuart Lowes last game

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SURRENDER FOOTBALL by The Oracle

Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser who passed away yesterday on the same day as the Melbourne Football Club's pre season crashed in an embarrassing heap, once won a Federal election using the slogan "Turn on the Lights". The Demons lost their NAB Challenge game yesterday by turning them off and playing like blind men in pitch darkness.

Losing to a half strength Bomber side was bad enough given that the Demons came into the game boasting of having a "settled side" but the error-filled exhibition which the team put on for the small crowd in attendance at Etihad Stadium would have been a complete fiasco but for the performances of the club's recruits - Heritier Lumumba (Collingwood), Jeff Garlett (Carlton), Sam Frost (GWS), Ben Newton (Port Adelaide) and mature age Canberran Aaron vandenBerg who should become the club's first rookie elevation in a fortnight's time.

Dom Tyson and Nathan Jones worked hard in the middle and Christian Salem and Jesse Hogan produced some promising signs, there were the odd brief cameos from others but generally, it really was a case of Melbourne showing little respect for the opposition and paying the price accordingly. The Demons looked one paced, hesitant and lethargic and were shown up by the speed and enthusiasm of the Bomber youngsters eager to cement a place in the side.

One thing is for certain - Melbourne's depth is miserable. The bottom four players (and I'm not even including sub Jordie McKenzie who didn't get a run at all) were not of AFL standard and contributed far less than Essendon's four "top up" players. Perhaps it was an error not to include two players, Cam Pedersen and Angus Brayshaw who from all accounts starred for Casey last weekend, especially in view of last week's fade out against the Bulldogs?

The fiasco for the Demons began before the opening siren when Jay Kennedy-Harris was injured in the pre game warm up and ended a couple of hours when a Jack Viney short pass in the goal square area was intercepted, conceding the game. That error could have been explained or even overlooked if not for the fact that it was one of several as the team employed the style of game it has come to be renowned for over the past few years - one that plays entirely into an opposition's hands. I call it "surrender football".

MELBOURNE 0.2.4 0.5.7 0.9.8 0.11.9 (75)

ESSENDON 0.2.1 0.6.1 0.9.8 0.11.11 (77)

SUPERGOALS

Melbourne: Nil

Essendon: Nil

GOALS

Melbourne: Garlett 4, vandenBerg 2, Dawes 2, Watts 2, Viney

Essendon: Daniher 3, Fantasia 2, Dalgleish 2, Merrett, Langford, Zaharakis, Edwards

BEST

Melbourne: Lumumba, Tyson, Garlett, Salem, N. Jones, vandenBerg

Essendon: Cooney, Goddard, Chapman, Gwilt, Ashby, Daniher

INJURIES

Melbourne: Newton (leg)

Essendon: Laverde (knee)

SUBSTITUTES

Melbourne: Max Gawn replaced Mark Jamar at three-quarter time, Jordie McKenzie (unused)

Essendon: Shaun McKernan replaced Jonathan GIles at half-time, Marcus Marigliani replaced James Gwilt at three-quarter time.

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Ryan, Schmitt, McInerney

Official crowd: TBC at Etihad Stadium

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This might be controversial, but I'm starting to wonder if Roos is the right man for this job. Essentially he's a mercenary, brought in using AFL handout money to right a sinking ship, but I'm starting to question whether his heart is truly in this. We have the successor in place, the bloke who's looking to forge a long and successful career. Roos is just marking time until retirement. Don't get me wrong, I love Roosy, I'm just not sure if he's giving this gig everything he's got, it's not like his career or reputation is depending on it.

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