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We might be in trouble this season.

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17 hours ago, stevethemanjordan said:

Yeh.

JLT.

Where you implement what you've worked on for the entire pre-season and hopefully address some key areas that need improving. Single quarter lapses in our case. We played a full strength team against the Saints. There's not really an excuse if it's been close to an ingrained issue from the year previous.

That Saints game is irrelevant - we had our 3rd string midfield in for that 3rd quarter. Had we persisted with our normal rotation that 3rd quarter wouldn't have happened.

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3 hours ago, hemingway said:

Agree, too soon to call. One game in does not define a season. 

We nearly won despite having many players down on the day. However, the Cats had players out and injured, and overall were far from impressive.

Both sides have lots of room for improvement.

At the same time, it was disappointing to see many of the features of last year's MFC playing style still present. Skills, in particular, marking and disposal skills and execution are not up to scratch.  Almost as if there had been no summer break. And the game plan still has me scratching my head.  

A last gasp Demon win would not have corrected that impression. 

On the up-side we saw players such as Petracca, Gawn and Oliver continue their upward progression. They are genuine stars. And Hogan could still be one. 

On the downside, we still have players that go missing in action and players who are handy but will never be elite. 

 

Both sides do have a lot of room for improvement but it was also close to game of the round (Adel/Ess and WCE/Swans maybe?) It wasn't the cleanest game but was played to a pretty high standard. People are overreacting to one game, let's at least wait until we have a larger sample size.

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24 minutes ago, Dr. Gonzo said:

Both sides do have a lot of room for improvement but it was also close to game of the round (Adel/Ess and WCE/Swans maybe?) It wasn't the cleanest game but was played to a pretty high standard. People are overreacting to one game, let's at least wait until we have a larger sample size.

agreed Dr

 

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23 hours ago, Webber said:

Having digested Sunday's game over a couple of days, sadly I reckon this year's version of the Demons might have some significant problems. Inevitably we compare to last year to see signs of evolution, but such a comparison so far is worrying. 

Maybe the biggest flaw in our overall game last year was that we were consistently outmarked. Ends up that in 2017, we were 15th ranked for marks. Sunday gave me no reason to think this has been in any way corrected. Teams who can control the tempo of possession are going to expose us in the air in attack, and frustrate our marking efforts in the front half. Having no Tom McDonald, one of, if not our best marking target, doesn't help. 

Our best football last year relied on a fierce ascendancy at stoppages. Thus by controlling the ball at stoppages and by sheer weight of attack we were able to find a way to goals. However, we lack efficiency when the ball is ours, and are prone to turnovers. Being consistently dominant at clearances is much harder way to win games of footy than being better organised and better users of the ball. Psychologically it also requires key figures who can lead a team dynamic. Teams know that we are inevitably prone to lapses, and that we are more vulnerable without Jack Viney's lead from the front influence. 

Defensively we are too brittle, for periods that last too long. The second quarter was a reminder that teams can open us up when we lose defensive accountability. This is in part of function of the above, and that we struggle to regain possession when our high demand pressure game drops off. 

Selection. It doesn't matter how much Simon Goodwin says he picked Sunday's team on preseason form, any of us who have followed pre-season know that these are 'alternative facts'. How either Dom Tyson, Angus Bradshaw, arguably Billy Stretch and even Tom Bugg were not preferred to Corey Maynard and Josh Wagner (no slight on their efforts) rightfully had most of us baffled. The concern is that this is driven by a mysterious agenda, or at worst that there are personality or political issues at the club. 

I know barring a shoelace's influence, Max would've kicked that goal on Sunday, but that would have done nothing to alter my thoughts as above. It's hard to see us beating a hometown Brisbane this week, who showed last year that they can match it with us. On the other hand, we had at least half a dozen players on Sunday who were well below their best, and will hopefully wake up. Based on one telling game though, I'd say we're going to need some luck to make the eight, and some inspiration, and top four is at this stage fantasy land. 

Too soon? 

On this point, I think it's a pretty promising sign that we know a lot of our players weren't playing to their maximum capabilities (e.g. Melksham, Garlett, Lever, and more), yet we still managed to lose by only 3 points and even almost win the game.

No doubt you raise valid points about our marking issues and so forth, but I think you have taken an overly pessimistic approach to the game. I'm still nervous about the season, but not because of anything I saw on the weekend - mainly due to the Melbourne FC history and the lingering fear that this will be just another season where we are left in the land of "could-have-been”.

We had a dodgy second quarter for sure, but that was purely due to the fact we were being outplayed and outcoached in all facets of the game – we lost control of our game plan and everything just began to unravel. But that’s footy… sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. This isn't a defeatist attitude or a complacent one, it's a realistic one. 

However, the fact that we were able to address the issues of the second quarter and realise where and how we were being outplayed and out-coached is also fantastic. We addressed the issues and then had an awesome third quarter and a fairly strong fourth quarter. The only difference between our second half and Geelong’s second quarter//sort of first half was that we weren’t able to capitalise to the same extent due to some of the issues you previously raised such as marking and lowering eyes inside 50… but hopefully we will work on these and continue to improve.

I still believe we are top 8 side, maybe even top 4… the game, at the end of the day, was either of the teams to win.

I expect us to bounce back against an improving Brisbane side, and if we don’t, then perhaps there is a cause to be worried. Let’s just wait and see.

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Great to see after a losing round 1 we are nearly all on the same page.           i think

And just for good measure (left field), i think Oliver might be serious contender for Captain in about three years or sooner.

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7 hours ago, beelzebub said:

Round 2 will be informative to say the least

Go Dees

This.

Hold em for the moment Webber. If the Lions roll us I’m obliterating that panic button.

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10 hours ago, beelzebub said:

Fascinating thread. Having only now had the chance to watch the game ( an unfortunate family bereavement just recently put footy on the back burner ) I fear I'm somewhat aligned with Webber in the main. I expected a far more composed and dedicated side than that which fluffed it Sunday. Selection ... very questionable in some respects. 

Before the bounce...before this season my thoughts went...We win round 1...off and running..some confidence..build on that refine...  and we're a finals contender.

Lose...and we're already playing catch-up footy....and that was exactly what we played Sunday after the 1st qtr.

I think the club is well placed off the field in admin etc kicking goals there.

I have a little sneaky that the FD world and relationships towards some players is not all honky dory.

Im not convinced our game style can either be executed consistently, nor the coaches capable of sufficient and timely adjustment.

Ill wait till about round 6-7 to start worrying. Im not overly enthused at the moment. 

I'm concerned to hear this year how the players back-door'd the club, Re the camp. And heard something on here about maybe some discontent of players?

Also around the watts removal.

 

Re the early sluggishness in Qtr1 , then the lapse in 2nd Qtr, with the other things in mind (I was listening while driving back up country), and losing the radio transmission a few times (frustrating), I must admit to feeling a bit concerned about whats in the players heads right then.

The 2nd half fight back reassured some.

 

But the doubt still lingers about  'the old tail wagging the dog'  scenario, that has cursed this club over a long period of time.

This is my biggest worry for us... much more than injuries, or players comings or goings.

Edited by DV8

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On 3/27/2018 at 9:32 PM, praha said:

I am not talking about round 1.

1. The training camp fiasco

2. Trading Watts

3. Injuries to key players

4. Rumours of Goodwin not playing players out of spite

5. That second quarter performance

I'm just saying that in past years when we've been in the news for similarly damaging things, we've struggled as a club to weather the storm. 

We beat Adelaide last year and should have beaten the Premiers. As it stands, getting to within 3 points of a top 4 team from the following year means jack [censored] if you don't at least play finals. I'm just concerned that the wheels will fall off.

Not concerned they'll fall off, But I'm concerned that they aren't in alignment. nor balanced.

 

Time and weeks will show better. but sometimes things are just band-aided over.

It takes discipline and dedication to the cause that makes great teams. Dedication to the team/club cause.

 

Its not about 'We're all mates at Melbourne.  That social-shyte can apply after retirement. not during playing careers.

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On 3/27/2018 at 7:09 PM, fr_ap said:

I have been saying for some time (not on here necessarily) that if we are on a premiership journey, this will be 'the year we had to have', ala Richmond 2016 or St Kilda 2017. Not saying St Kilda will win the flag this year but I expect them to be in the 6. Save for inaccurate kicking they would have been in the 8 last year, I have no idea why the media has joined our wagon instead of theirs. The football public and media has extremely short memories.

As to why this won't be our year (I predict a finish of 11th-13th) I can't entirely put my finger on it.

Too much expectation, not enough proven. I think so long as our weapons and best players week in week out have less than 100 or 50 games (Trac, Gawn, Oliver, Hogan), its simply not going to happen. Definitely not in a finals series if we do indeed get there. These players will remain inconsistent and can't be relied upon to win games.

I expect Hunt to regress significantly, Lever to have a very difficult year, Hannan and Jeffy to regress, ANB to regress,as well as a gradual decline in the value of Vince and Lewis and to a lesser extent Hibberd who after a year off will struggle physically with the cumulative effect of 2 seasons plus the pre season.

I see continued improvement from Harmes, Oscar, Brayshaw, Frost and not particularly many others. Viney if he can get on the park.

Add Goodwins second year blues and continued emotional education on how to handle his players, plus improvement across a number of other teams like Freo, perhaps Port,Hawthorn, Essendon and St Kilda as mentioned and I see a 7-8 win season as most likely. 

Tom McDonald will also leave at the end of the year as a FA. 

Despite the above, I think next year will more likely be the one we make a leap, though the key players I mentioned will still be too inexperienced. 

We are told continually progress is not linear yet that is exactly what we are expecting - linear growth.

Some will say this is very negative and I hope I'm wrong on all fronts except the players improving. Just the way I see it. 

I've been saying for a while that this will be a Geelong 2006 and Richmond 2016 year. The question is: can we turn 2018 into a flag year? I'm not optimistic. We need outside speed, height, more grunt from more players, and smarts (we continue to play dumb). I worry that Goodwin is superficial sexy moves rather than repeatable flag style footy.

In short. I worry.

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1 hour ago, Tony Tea said:

I've been saying for a while that this will be a Geelong 2006 and Richmond 2016 year. The question is: can we turn 2018 into a flag year? I'm not optimistic. We need outside speed, height, more grunt from more players, and smarts (we continue to play dumb). I worry that Goodwin is superficial sexy moves rather than repeatable flag style footy.

In short. I worry.

While a flag would be brilliant, finals and winning a final would be a big step.

At least we weren’t done for ball tampering and lost our last ten wickets for 50! That’s something to really worry about!

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1 hour ago, Tony Tea said:

I've been saying for a while that this will be a Geelong 2006 and Richmond 2016 year. The question is: can we turn 2018 into a flag year? I'm not optimistic. We need outside speed, height, more grunt from more players, and smarts (we continue to play dumb). I worry that Goodwin is superficial sexy moves rather than repeatable flag style footy.

In short. I worry.

I wonder if the AFL is chatting to clubs to try to get more open attacking game-styles into the competition.

I wonder if clubs are trying to adhere?

 

I wish the AFL would simply reduce rotations further, & then leave it alone to open up in its own way. Creating space via tired legs will add to the suspense of the games outcomes, and will bring back more spontaneity into this over-structured game we watch these days.

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On 27/03/2018 at 5:08 PM, waynewussell said:

On the basis of the one competitive game I have witnessed so far in 2018 I make these slightly premature observations (by comparison to 2017)

Petracca has gone to the next level

Fritsch is a handy replacement for Watts

Lever adds an important layer in the back half

Harmes continues to develop into a significant contributor

Oliver has maintained the lofty standards he set in 2017

ANB is on 40+ goals pace

Wagner played a Hibberd-like quarter in round 1

 

Were you actually there last Sunday? ?

not surethat Lever managed much? 

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3 hours ago, Tony Tea said:

I've been saying for a while that this will be a Geelong 2006 and Richmond 2016 year. The question is: can we turn 2018 into a flag year? I'm not optimistic. We need outside speed, height, more grunt from more players, and smarts (we continue to play dumb). I worry that Goodwin is superficial sexy moves rather than repeatable flag style footy.

In short. I worry.

2017 was our 2006. You're forgetting that both Richmond and Geelong had played finals in 2005 and 2015 respectively, and missing the following year was a disappointment.

If we miss this year, we won't just reload and go again. Goodwin may not survive. There could be a list cleanout.

Reality is that if this team can't play finals this year, I highly doubt it's because it's the down year anomaly. It'll be because the team just isn't very good.

Edited by praha

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On 3/27/2018 at 4:15 PM, Webber said:

Selection. It doesn't matter how much Simon Goodwin says he picked Sunday's team on preseason form, any of us who have followed pre-season know that these are 'alternative facts'. How either Dom Tyson, Angus Bradshaw, arguably Billy Stretch and even Tom Bugg were not preferred to Corey Maynard and Josh Wagner (no slight on their efforts) rightfully had most of us baffled. The concern is that this is driven by a mysterious agenda, or at worst that there are personality or political issues at the club. 

I find it pretty funny how so many people who post on these forums believe they know more about selecting an AFL side then someone who has played in 2 winning premierships, played over 250 AFL games, is a 5x All-Australian and an Australian Football Hall of Famer, not to mention all the others with huge amounts of experience on the coaching panel who go into discussing the selections for each week, but yeah, you've watched a lot of football so you know which guys to pick to play.

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Goodwin might've been able to play but he also got done for gambling on games, tangled himself up nicely in the Essendon drug scandal with Hird, Dank and co. and then agreed to coach the basketcase MFC.
So I'd suggest his actual decision making is rather quite ........ Poor.
Surprised he hasn't tried altering the condition of the ball TBH.



 

 

Edited by Fork 'em
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I think it’s fairly clear that it was a game that we absolutely should’ve won, and, had it lasted another 60 seconds, would’ve won.

We were all over them, for very long periods. In this context, I really hate that we dropped the 4 points because, to my mind at least, we actually won that game. In substance, though not form obviously.

My view remains that we are still eminently capable of being a top team this year. The Geelong game didn’t change this.

To Webber’s initial point though, the curious selections going into the game caused me to raise an eyebrow at the time - and the rumours that have since emerged for some of those omissions eg, Goodwin allegedly omitting Tyson for this game because of his involvement in Training-gate - now actually concern me.

I hope this concern, like our non-existent defence in the first half of the game, will be allayed by quarter time against the Lions, and I will merely bemoan the lost opportunity against the Cats having had my confidence restored that we remain a top 4 candidate this year.

 

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Ron. We actually lost the game...and in a number of ways starting with selection through to fades, through some one dimensional game style through to poor decisions by those that ought know better. Then there was Max

A lot to review and fix for the weekend ;)

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5 hours ago, Ron Burgundy said:

I think it’s fairly clear that it was a game that we absolutely should’ve won, and, had it lasted another 60 seconds, would’ve won.

We were all over them, for very long periods. In this context, I really hate that we dropped the 4 points because, to my mind at least, we actually won that game. In substance, though not form obviously.

My view remains that we are still eminently capable of being a top team this year. The Geelong game didn’t change this.

To Webber’s initial point though, the curious selections going into the game caused me to raise an eyebrow at the time - and the rumours that have since emerged for some of those omissions eg, Goodwin allegedly omitting Tyson for this game because of his involvement in Training-gate - now actually concern me.

I hope this concern, like our non-existent defence in the first half of the game, will be allayed by quarter time against the Lions, and I will merely bemoan the lost opportunity against the Cats having had my confidence restored that we remain a top 4 candidate this year.

 

If Geelong don't get in juries during the game they run out eight goal winners.

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16 hours ago, willmoy said:

Great to see after a losing round 1 we are nearly all on the same page.           i think

And just for good measure (left field), i think Oliver might be serious contender for Captain in about three years or sooner.

Better than average chance one of the current is on the wrong side of 30 and the other one has serious injury problems.

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7 hours ago, praha said:

 Reality is that if this team can't play finals this year, I highly doubt it's because it's the down year anomaly. It'll be because the team just isn't very good.

And I think they just aren't very good.
For all the collecting of high end draft picks we did, with a couple of exceptions we ended up with a team of B graders.

Edited by Fork 'em

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9 minutes ago, beelzebub said:

Ron. We actually lost the game...and in a number of ways starting with selection through to fades, through some one dimensional game style through to poor decisions by those that ought know better. Then there was Max

A lot to review and fix for the weekend ;)

Our list is seriously better than three years ago bb however it still has players who are not senior level talents who will take us to a GF. Most of our top players are average by comparison to the better sides. We still don't have a match winning individual like Buddy or Dusty. 

our current list is capable of making 8th and playing finals but a GF quality list it ain't yet.

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6 hours ago, Drunkn167 said:

I find it pretty funny how so many people who post on these forums believe they know more about selecting an AFL side then someone who has played in 2 winning premierships, played over 250 AFL games, is a 5x All-Australian and an Australian Football Hall of Famer, not to mention all the others with huge amounts of experience on the coaching panel who go into discussing the selections for each week, but yeah, you've watched a lot of football so you know which guys to pick to play.

Mate, I love your work on here but surely you would agree there was no way Maynard could have been selected to play in Round 1 based on what you saw in any of the pre-season matches?

I don't care how hard he trains, I don't care how good a bloke he is - he did nothing in any of the pre-season matches to warrant selection.  His kicking and endurance are not up to AFL standard.

Goodwin's selection policies are a huge problem.  They cost us a finals spot last year when he went to Jake Spencer and Tim Smith ahead of Cam Pederson.  They also cost us the game on Sunday.

Don't be a sycophant and think that just because he was a great player, he is a great coach.

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The funny thing is if Gawn had of kicked the goal and won us that game threads like this one would be replaced by 'Can we go 9-0?' type threads. 

insane over reaction on DL.  Round 1 is historically not indicative of the season to come. frenetic football, 5 months build up, players dont have their touch yet etc.

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1 hour ago, Fork 'em said:

And I think they just aren't very good.
For all the collecting of high end draft picks we did, with a couple of exceptions we ended up with a team of B graders.

Clubs are still picking up high end draft picks, and draftees via trade.

They are very desirable.  for good reason.   so lets not muddle the concept with the misleading facts.  We botched the pickings, and the club wasn't a place to develop kids into men.

 

We were a 'shambles'. And had been so off-field, for so long.  It's represented itself into our genes & DNA strands.

 

It takes some time, to change our own 'genes', to model,,, the new 'self'.  They will copy the new 'self', but they play catch-up;,,, just as weathers temperature momentum does the same, changing sometime after the longest or shortest days.

 

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28 minutes ago, DubDee said:

The funny thing is if Gawn had of kicked the goal and won us that game threads like this one would be replaced by 'Can we go 9-0?' type threads. 

insane over reaction on DL.  Round 1 is historically not indicative of the season to come. frenetic football, 5 months build up, players dont have their touch yet etc.

Funny thing is we may be all the better for the wake-up call. it may help to setup our season from here on?

Alternatively if we had won, we may have expected things to roll out in front of us.

 

 

The safest bet is to make judgements in hindsight, one match at a time.  this might help us maintain some sence of reality.

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    The feeling when turning up to the MCG on a Saturday night to play a top four side in Richmond, while the Melbourne sits cemented in close proximity to the bottom of the table is like attending the Colosseum in Ancient Roman times. The expectation is that a bloodbath is about to occur. There are 100,000 Richmond members and 50,000 Melbourne members, and despite the fact that it turned out to be a wet night after half-time, a crowd of only 37K bothered to turn up. That should never have happ

    Demonland
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