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Our Clubs Best Midfielder of the 21st Century



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An article on the AFL site today list who they think is the best midfielder for each club so far in the 21st century.

They listed Nathan Jones as ours...personally I think it's Clayton Oliver.

Nathan gets votes for longevity but Clayton is an AA mid and has also been consistently good which to me gives him the points.

Melbourne

Nathan Jones (286 games from 2006-present)

Some Demons had greater highs – think Clayton Oliver, Adem Yze, Cameron Bruce, Brownlow medallist Shane Woewodin or Travis Johnstone – but none performed as consistently or purely as a midfielder for longer than Jones. He's a triple Keith 'Bluey' Truscott medallist, a former club captain and could pass David Neitz next year as Melbourne's most-capped player. Jones was the most dependable Dee through the club's dark era that they only emerged from in recent seasons. Oliver will inherit this mantle but has played only 83 games. The other contender was James McDonald, another tireless worker who played 251 times for Melbourne, won two best and fairests and was an All-Australian in 2006. - Marc McGowan

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Compare that to the other clubs... Judd,  Black, Hird, Fyfe, Ablett, Dusty, Cousins, Harvey, Pendlebury.,, Thank god we have Trac and Oliver coming through.  

Slim pickings. 

Clayton Oliver by quite a way...


I saw the article headline and assumed Jones would be the only realistic option. Is a bit depressing that there is so little competition during that period and just goes to show how we failed to provide the right environment for players to consistently perform at their best. It seems like that is largely due to the mediocre facilities the club had for so many years (and still is yet to fully resolve). It does however reinforce how impressive the career of Jones has been even if he never reached the lofty heights of others. 

Edited by Deetective Sgt. Taggert
Grammar
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This is clearly an article that does not know want to answer its own question.Its not asking who has been the most consistent, durable, dependable it has asked who is your best. Take all we’ve had over that time at the top of their game and do a school yard pick and I double many would choose Jones to start their midfield. Oliver for me on the basis of consistency of high quality output. However one more season of Trac 2020 and that would also shift.

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13 hours ago, Fanatique Demon said:

Jones was fantastic for us over many years. But iirc, he has never been an All-Australia. So while great for us, it shows how far we (and he) were behind the competition. 

I thought the same. A fantastic warrior, but the fact that he won 3 x B'n'F s without ever being AA shows how poor the team was during his career. 

Oliver and Petracca are way better players. Hopefully they have long careers with MFC.

 

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18 hours ago, McQueen said:

Slim pickings. 

 

18 hours ago, Pickett2Jackson said:

 Compare that to the other clubs... Judd,  Black, Hird, Fyfe, Ablett, Dusty, Cousins, Harvey, Pendlebury.,,

Thank god we have Trac and Oliver coming through.

 

Had we not lost Scott Thompson back to the Crows, it might have been a different story.

He had a pretty short peak with us, but I loved watch Bernie Vince in his first few years with us.

If his career was not beset by back problems, who knows the player to that Guy Rigoni might have been.

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Geelong... Ablett        Gold Coast... Ablett. 

Aside from laughing at Geelong, it is a interesting looking at the groups of players in the discussion at the clubs that have had the really big success in the last couple of decades.

Black over Voss, Akermanis, Lappin and Power was more than handy.

Ablett, Bartel, Selwood, Ling, Enright, Corey.  [censored]

Mitchell, Lewis, Hodge and Crawford, with Burgoyne replacing Crawford later.

Pendlebury, Swan, Sidebottom and Beams at their peak get an honorable mention as a midfield upon which a premiership was built.

An exception to that pattern might be Richmond, where much of their success has been built on really good talls at both ends, multiple hard working quality mids and just a couple of truly champion-level mids.

Interesting also that Port didn't have the superstar midfield, but they did have a lot of players who might not be listed mids but would roll through and contribute in very difficult to match ways, headlines by Pickett and Wanganeen.  In fact, if you look at Port's premiership team, there's not that many names you think 'oh, wow' about.  Coach must have been really good at getting the most of the good-not-brilliant players. ;)

Also, it seems like four is the magic number for gun midfielders.

 

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2 hours ago, Dr.D said:

wait, but Oliver wasn't even in our best 22 last year at some stages according to some demonlanders. LOL, you lot.  Oliver is the best 21st century mid

Mate not one even said that at all.

You're making up lies now.

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1 hour ago, Little Goffy said:

Interesting also that Port didn't have the superstar midfield, but they did have a lot of players who might not be listed mids but would roll through and contribute in very difficult to match ways, headlines by Pickett and Wanganeen.  In fact, if you look at Port's premiership team, there's not that many names you think 'oh, wow' about.  Coach must have been really good at getting the most of the good-not-brilliant players. ;)

Also, it seems like four is the magic number for gun midfielders.

burgoyne, burgoyne, francou, kornes with primus in the ruck was a fearsome combo during their golden period at the start of the 00s

add in nick stephens until 04, plus josh carr, adam kingsley, wanganeen, and pickett, and they were the quintessential 'almost' team until the breakthrough in 04

those clashes between the bears and the pear in that era were epic

Edited by whatwhatsaywhat
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2 hours ago, Little Goffy said:

Mitchell, Lewis, Hodge and Crawford, with Burgoyne replacing Crawford later.

Took me a little bit of head scratching before working out that it's Sam Mitchell being referred to in the above rather than Tom, whom (within being tottaly disrespectful) I can't see be held in the same category as most of the other guys on that list, even though he has a Brownlow medal to his name - that's saying something.

Playing in premiership teams elevates a players status more than any individual award could.

Edited by Rodney (Balls) Grinter
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We’ve had one of, if not, the least talented and successful midfielders this century. Oliver and Petracca look to be changing that, but looking at those lists from other clubs really rams hoke how poor we’ve been for so long. Games are won in the midfield, and ours simply hasn’t been good enough.

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2 hours ago, Little Goffy said:

 

Also, it seems like four is the magic number for gun midfielders.

 

 I sometimes wonder how far his team would go if we could trade out Gawn for an equivalent mid.

Lets say for example we had swapped Gawn for Josh Kelly and kept Preuss.

Which midfield would be better -

Preuss, Petracca, Oliver, Kelly, Langdon, Brayshaw, Viney, Salem

or

Gawn, Petracca, Oliver, Langdon, Brayshaw, Viney, Salem, Harmes

 

For me its the first one easily.  A competent ruck is all thats needed when you have an elite midfield.  Just look at any recent flag winner.

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20 hours ago, Fanatique Demon said:

Just read the AFL article.  Jones was the only one who did not achieve All-Australian status. Most of the others had multiple AA representation. Sad but true. 

Jones has never made the AA squad of 40.

He has been a warrior for us, but if you're a great team a player like Jones is either your 7th or 8th best mid or hes in the seconds.

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2 hours ago, Pickett2Jackson said:

 I sometimes wonder how far his team would go if we could trade out Gawn for an equivalent mid.

Lets say for example we had swapped Gawn for Josh Kelly and kept Preuss.

Which midfield would be better -

Preuss, Petracca, Oliver, Kelly, Langdon, Brayshaw, Viney, Salem

or

Gawn, Petracca, Oliver, Langdon, Brayshaw, Viney, Salem, Harmes

 

For me its the first one easily.  A competent ruck is all thats needed when you have an elite midfield.  Just look at any recent flag winner.

In either case, Salem wouldn't be there, as is evident with his entire career at MFC. 

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2 hours ago, Pickett2Jackson said:

 I sometimes wonder how far his team would go if we could trade out Gawn for an equivalent mid.

Lets say for example we had swapped Gawn for Josh Kelly and kept Preuss.

Which midfield would be better -

Preuss, Petracca, Oliver, Kelly, Langdon, Brayshaw, Viney, Salem

or

Gawn, Petracca, Oliver, Langdon, Brayshaw, Viney, Salem, Harmes

 

For me its the first one easily.  A competent ruck is all thats needed when you have an elite midfield.  Just look at any recent flag winner.

Nah...and Kelly is overrated, way overrated.

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9 minutes ago, Pickett2Jackson said:

 

Not as overrated as the ruck position.

 

The whole ruck argument is a crock posited by commentators supporters who are bandwagon jumpers.

The ruck position is easy to have pot shots at...the midfield is a moving feast and a bit harder to get a bead on.

The Tigers ruck is underrated as have the team been in the past.

The Cats would jump at Gawn, and do you really think GWS would take Pruess over Gawn?

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4 hours ago, Pickett2Jackson said:

 

Not as overrated as the ruck position.

 

Yup. The ruck position is overrated but Gawn is one of, if not the best contested marks + intercepts marking in the AFL.  Wish he played forward more and stretched defences. Imagine the immense panic and need of multiple defenders to spoil him on every contest. Nah. Lets have him a kick behind the play week in week out.

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