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50 YEARS IN THE WILDERNESS by George on the Outer



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During the week the MFC marked the 50th anniversary of the ignominious sacking of Norm Smith by the MCC committee. 50 years in the wilderness for the Club. No premierships since 1964 and the curse of Norm continues to haunt the club.

And what an almighty curse it must be, because the Israelites were banished to the wilderness for only 40 years, for their indiscretions.

We have seen various prophets come and go, all promising to take us to the Promised Land, but after the performance against the Saints, we are no closer to reaching that target than we have ever been.

The false dawn of improvement we saw against Geelong, was crushed by a totally insipid demonstration of ineptitude by numerous Melbourne players.

It started in the first quarter when Dawes couldn’t kick straight while running into an open goal to set the tone, and followed that with a series of failed marking attempts and turnovers gifted to the Saints.

He wasn’t alone as Grimes, Watts and Jetta fed plenty of their possession directly the opposition. Instead of relieving the pressure by taking control of the situation and booting it down the field, they sought to handball to others under pressure. It is better to see the ball 50 metres away from the opponent’s goal, than giving it up to them.

The usual apologists will point to the number of possessions this trio had, but fail to look at their combined efforts of 16 clangers! Sixteen straight turnovers to the opposition, and that doesn’t count the ones where they give it to someone who had no chance of disposing of it properly and is themselves the cause of the clanger.

What would the score board look like with 16 less direct turnovers?

There were some players who could hold their heads high. Jack Viney 20 contested possessions with 31 disposals. Max Gawn 32 hit outs. But beyond those two there weren’t many others who could say they beat their opponent on the day, or provided anything positive toward the team.

This was against a bottom of the ladder type side. They are no Hawthorn or West Coast. This was against a side that had won the same number of games as we had. The result should have been a close contest, but never was.

Where was the improvement we have been promised? How can the fans be expected to watch the absolute and utter [email protected] that is being served up to them at the moment? Seven goals is all they have seen from their side in the last 7 quarters of football. A solitary goal for each quarter played!

We were at the bottom of the ladder when Richmond were last there. We were at the bottom of the ladder when the Bulldogs and GWS were there. We were there when Port and Gold Coast were there.

And when St. Kilda were the cellar dwellers.

Now each of those sides has gone past us and left us still languishing at the bottom.

We have reverted to the game style from 2 years ago! 195 handballs in a game where we only had 178 kicks. The result is we go around in circles until it is coughed up.

And to top it off we have ridiculous player placement. McDonald up forward isn’t working, with no score to his name again this week. Meanwhile the player he has taken apart in the past, Riewoldt, on one leg, manages 3 goals and 13 marks!

So how long will it be before Jesse Hogan, Angus Brayshaw and Jack Viney give up? It won’t be long because the Melbourne fans are giving up themselves.

We have spent 50 years supporting the club in the Wilderness, these talented kids only a couple of years. If we have had enough, then they will stop trying and go elsewhere to get some satisfaction playing the game. They will leave to play with others who care, who are prepared to put in when needed, who want to do the hard work.

At the moment all they see is further wilderness before them.

Melbourne 1.2.8 3.6.24 5.9.39 6.10.46

St. Kilda 4.4.28 4.7.31 10.8.68 12.11.83

Goals

Melbourne Dawes Garlett Gawn Hogan N Jones Tyson

St. Kilda Riewoldt 3 Dunstan 2 Bruce Lonie McCartin Newnes Savage Sinclair Weller

Best

Melbourne Viney Gawn Grimes, Cross, Vince, Watts

St. Kilda Riewoldt, Roberton, Gilbert, Geary, Dempster, Fisher, Montagna

Changes

Melbourne Nil

St. Kilda Nil

Injuries

Melbourne T McDonald (left eye)

St. Kilda Armitage (shin), Webster (ribs), Riewoldt (corked calf)

Substitutions

Melbourne Viv Michie replaced Aaron vandenBerg in the third quarter

St. Kilda Eli Templeton replaced Hugh Goddard at three-quarter time

Reports

Melbourne Nil

St. Kilda Nil

Umpires Rosebury, Mollison, Wallace

Official crowd 22,945 at the MCG

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