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Is Gawn the best player we have ever had?



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Agree Maxy is a champion. He will be known as a Demon great imv.   But I saw Robbie Flower play for most of his career (from my first game of watching the Dees in 1975) and he just was highlight aft

Werridee had you seen Flower, you would know. Max is very good, Robbie was magnificent, Barrasi was irresistible.

He’s the most dominant and influential Melbourne player I’ve seen in my lifetime (30 odd years of watching football).

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7 minutes ago, Forest Demon said:

I can only judge from the early 90s onwards, and while we’ve had some very good players, it’s a pretty low bar compared to most other clubs.

I have no doubt there are 3 guys in this current side that will be top 5 players of my time watching if they continue.

Jackson, Kozzie and Gawn? :-)

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Robbie Flower played in some truly terrible sides, was as thin as a rake, and played with no protection. He was the most courageous and skilful player I’ve ever seen - and he retired when I was 9. 

I love Max, but he’s no Robbie.

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On this trajectory by the end of his career he will be amongst the greats, especially if he ends up captaining a premiership side.

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8 hours ago, WERRIDEE said:

Brilliant on the weekend. 4 time All Australian. I can't think of anyone better even Flower and Barassi PS: I rarely saw Flower and I never saw Barassi

NO WAY does he come anywhere near ROBERT FLOWER ......

Daylight

BARRASI

More daylight then some arguement

Max around best 20 or so

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Agree Maxy is a champion. He will be known as a Demon great imv.  
But I saw Robbie Flower play for most of his career (from my first game of watching the Dees in 1975) and he just was highlight after highlight against the odds.  He survived against thugs and could mark, run, spin, evade, kick goals, handball, kick either foot with distance and accuracy.  Absolutely magic and a fantastic player to watch. 

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10 hours ago, picket fence said:

NO WAY does he come anywhere near ROBERT FLOWER ......

Daylight

BARRASI

More daylight then some arguement

Max around best 20 or so

C'mon Picket he's better than top 20. He's better than Clarry. I admit by popular demand he's not better than Flower or Barassi but he comes clear 3rd. He's better than Stynes, Neitz and Lyon.

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Has played an amazing last 100 games

not up there yet with Neitas 300 games or Lyon but if Gawn plays another few great seasons he will be. 

Hopefully Clarry and Trac are in the conversation in 10 years

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1 hour ago, WERRIDEE said:

C'mon Picket he's better than top 20. He's better than Clarry. I admit by popular demand he's not better than Flower or Barassi but he comes clear 3rd. He's better than Stynes, Neitz and Lyon.

Well IMO he is a fantastic player, but not yet near Neeta, The Ox, Gaddy Lyon, Stynes, even guys like Gary Hardeman, Stan Alves, Greg Wells, Ivor Warne Smith was, by all accounts a champion, then look at the Great Melbourne teams of the 50s and 60s even the Golden ages of the late 30s and 40s.  He may get to top 5 at end of career but I doubt he would overtake Flower or Barassi !!

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20 hours ago, Demonised said:

The cult of recency. Best player in the last ten years? Arguably. Twenty? Possibly. One hundred and twenty? Doubtful.

What's the opposite of recency bias? Rose glasses syndrome?

Both are equally prevalent around these parts.

I'm not going to attempt to answer the original question as I was a bit too young when Flower was playing and have little idea about Barassi.

That said, Max is an absolute star of the game and I'm grateful that I get to watch him run around in the red and blue.

He'd be very close to the best player we've had since 1990.

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15 hours ago, Bobby McKenzie said:

Barassi was a magnificent player BUT he wasn't in his early games. Played as a forward but flew for the ball too early and was dropped back to the twos at least twice. Melbourne tried an experiment here by playing him as a ruck rover( new concept). He was brilliant in this new role and promoted back to the firsts. History tells us the rest. True champion.

Great piece of history B McK. 

Norm Smith knew Barassi could play but just not where and tried a few spots as you say. Smith 'invented' the ruck rover role specifically for RDB. 

And later on this position suited him enabling him to expand his leadership across the field.

Coaching greatness is about those that change the game intuitively  - Norm Smith (and a nod to Len Smith at Richmond) , Clarkson (cluster), Kennedy (fitness and discipline, leaving Hudson alone in half a ground - resulting in the 50m square)), RDB (handball at all costs), Matthews (brutality), Hafey(long kicking). Northey ( no flags but excelled at belief and emotion)

 

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I struggle with the constant current need to identify people or events as the "greatest ever." It is a label known as the GOAT, as my daughter informs me.

As we can only judge what we have seen either in life or on old film footage, any "greatest" claim is already compromised. Older people have seen more than younger, but can be prone to wearing rose coloured glasses. Younger people are simply incapable if understanding that each generation of athletes or people is a product if their time, their opportunity and their capacity to fulfil their potential.

In the matter of Max Gawn, l find him to be a very good AFL footballer in the modern iteration of the game 

Is the the best Melbourne footballer ever, that us not for me to say, but l suspect the answer is a resounding NO. 

I have seen Barrassi, l have seen Flower and all the players since. Is the measure of the player skill? Effectiveness? Team value? Grit and determination? Or something else? 

In my view, each of the above criteria would probably single out a different player.

I only hope like hell Max can stay fit and healthy, because we are a lesser team without him. The same could be said of many players, past and present.

 

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Great topic. Since 1979, when I was 9 I can recall pretty much every Melbourne season.  From each decade - the 80's belonged to Flower.  He matched up and bested some of the all time greats - Greig and Schimmelbusch; Hawkins; Neagle; DiPierdomenico; Bryan Wood - some truly great players.  Our next best player was probably Gerard Healy, then guys like Brian Wilson, Steve Icke.  After 87 and into the 90's, Lyon was definitely the best player over that whole period, Stynes was a great workhorse but was probably never the best ruck in the comp over that period - Madden, Salmon, Scott Wynd, Shaun Rehn etc.  Neitz and Schwarz for different periods were wonderful players. Neitz carried that into the first part of the 2000's.  A couple of AA's, one B&F, a Coleman and captained us to a GF. Between 2007 and the emergence of Gawn in 2015 there was no Melbourne player who you'd consider elite. Junior McDonald got an AA.

Now we have Gawn, with Oliver and Tracc probably a rung below but all three are better than anyone since the Daniher era. I'd rate Gawn as the second best Melbourne player I've seen after Flower; ahead of Lyon and Neitz.  He's a great ruck, against other great rucks.  He's a champion and he's probably the first player since Flower that opposition teams and fans fear for his ability to influence a game.

 

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1 hour ago, DubDee said:

Has played an amazing last 100 games

not up there yet with Neitas 300 games or Lyon but if Gawn plays another few great seasons he will be. 

Hopefully Clarry and Trac are in the conversation in 10 years

Five I reckon maybe 7 !!!

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25 minutes ago, Swooper1987 said:

Great topic. Since 1979, when I was 9 I can recall pretty much every Melbourne season.  From each decade - the 80's belonged to Flower.  He matched up and bested some of the all time greats - Greig and Schimmelbusch; Hawkins; Neagle; DiPierdomenico; Bryan Wood - some truly great players.  Our next best player was probably Gerard Healy, then guys like Brian Wilson, Steve Icke.  After 87 and into the 90's, Lyon was definitely the best player over that whole period, Stynes was a great workhorse but was probably never the best ruck in the comp over that period - Madden, Salmon, Scott Wynd, Shaun Rehn etc.  Neitz and Schwarz for different periods were wonderful players. Neitz carried that into the first part of the 2000's.  A couple of AA's, one B&F, a Coleman and captained us to a GF. Between 2007 and the emergence of Gawn in 2015 there was no Melbourne player who you'd consider elite. Junior McDonald got an AA.

Now we have Gawn, with Oliver and Tracc probably a rung below but all three are better than anyone since the Daniher era. I'd rate Gawn as the second best Melbourne player I've seen after Flower; ahead of Lyon and Neitz.  He's a great ruck, against other great rucks.  He's a champion and he's probably the first player since Flower that opposition teams and fans fear for his ability to influence a game.

 

Good points but Trac and Clarry are going  to come hard in the next half decade  if yesterday is any indication.
 

If Clarry uses the ball as he did yesterday and comes out if defence as he did in the third quarter it's going to be hard splitting Trac and Jim for honours.

Of course Maxy can simply say I made you guys I gave you an easy ride!!
 

Yesterday showed we can get maximum use out of both now the next puZzle to solve is Jack snd his rugby style.

will be interesting buckle in for  the ride.

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21 hours ago, WERRIDEE said:

Brilliant on the weekend. 4 time All Australian. I can't think of anyone better even Flower and Barassi PS: I rarely saw Flower and I never saw Barassi

Flower was a freak could do anything would go to game just to watch him,RDB was a great leader, inspiring and great natural footy player,if Gawn plays 250 games then we will know if he is GOAT  until then he stands in their shadow

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I'd say he's the best we've had in the AFL era. 
I've been watching for 30 years and he's got Neitz, Stynes and Lyon covered over that time.
(though there may be some stiff competition in Petracca and Oliver waiting in the wings)

Once we get into the VFL era (Flower, Barassi, etc.) we're going back too far for a meaningful comparison.  There are some players like Bradman that you can say with confidence are the greatest of all time, but player comparisons should generally be done within eras/generations, rather than across.

Carey is the best player that I have ever seen, though I can't say he's the best ever, as I never saw Matthews, Skilton, Bunton, Stewart or Coleman.

I too am tired of every current champion being referred to as 'GOAT' at the expense of those that have come before.

  

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Flower was a champ and so is Maxy. It’s fun to debate who is the better but perhaps we should just be grateful we’ve had these 2 run around in the red and blue (and all the other champs mentioned in this thread as well). It’s not like we’ve been over endowned with too many greats over the past 50 years or so (imagine the debates that Hawthorn supporters can have by comparison 😢)

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