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Rating 2021 team Against 1998, 2000 & 2018



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Posted (edited)

Was having this conversation with the old man yesterday and we were discussing the best Melbourne teams for the last 20 years in competing for the flag.

I started supporting the dees back in 1998 and to this day think that year was the missed opportunity of a flag. More so then 2000 even though we played off in the grand final.

In 1998 we had a great blend of experience and youth and our forward line imo was the best in the business. We had Lyon, Ox, Farmer, Neitz and Robertson who were incredibly hard to stop in the back end of 98. Our backline was solid enough with Shanahan and Ingerson. We had a champion ruckman in Jim Stynes who was happy playing second fiddle to a young Jeff White.  Todd Viney was our elder statesman in the midfield surrounding by youth once again. Unfortunately the finals campaign back then really [censored] us over. We thumped Adelaide in the first week in the final and they go on to win the flag..

In 2000 we were a young team who copped a much fierce and combative Essendon, and looking back they completely bullied us. We weren't built with tough nuts except Ox and Neitz who would play the flag, but other then that it dropped right off. We had a great forward line, and our midfield was build on run and carry instead of contested. Our backline was still sound, but a bit like 2018 we leaked goals far too easily. I honestly thought after that year we were in for sustain success with the likes of Bruce, Green, Wheatland, Whelan and Powell who all came in and contributed straight away.

2018 was a bit like 2000. We timed our run perfectly towards the back end of the year but exposed once again for our immaturity and leaky defence. We looked amazing attacking teams and playing on our terms, but again lapse in games cost us (Geelong and St Kilda come to mind). Looking back, going I to the prelim with Oscar McDonald and Sam Frost alongside Joel Smith as your main pillars in defence was a recipe for disaster. Hence why we immediately targeted Steven May.

Our forward line was pretty potent with Hogan and McDonald and our midfield was certainly right up as one of the best in the comp when on song, but it lacked maturity.

Which brings me to 2021. I'm taking into account that we are only half way through the season and a lot can happen still. But stats will point us to being a serious flag contender.  Our midfield and defence have been the absolute key pillars for me in being in the position that we find ourselves and I think come down to the team buy I defensive mindset and mantra. It's honestly the best defensive structure and backline I've ever seen in my time supporting the dees and certainly the most potent midfield as well.

We are still tinkering with how our forward line looks, and I think that's probably what's been the biggest positive for me, is that we've won games where our forward line hasn't really hit its straps as we liked. For me our best forward structure is when Ben Brown is in there. 

Edited by dazzledavey36
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Posted (edited)

I’ve said to a few mates this year in footy conversations this is by far the best Demons team I have ever seen

I started supporting in 1980 and I’ve seen us have teams with greater spread of individual talent, but not a team who sets up and sacrifices their own game for the good of the team. Having said that we do have some exceptional talent in this team, with two potential HOF kids and a future HOF Ruckman

Those previous teams tended to get on a run based on talent and form IMO. I have always felt 1998 was the one that got away. That team was laced with talent and had a decent backline 

 

Edited by Pennant St Dee
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Posted (edited)

1994-1995 should be in this list.  Absolutely cruelled by injury in that era.

 

All Australian's in each area of the ground (Lyon - Half Forward, Tingay - Wing, Neitz - Half Back). Schwarz performing at Wayne Carey levels.  Jakovich having 10-11 shots on goal each week.  Jim Stynes probably the best ruck in the competition.  Prypke excelling at Full Back.  Viney, and Lovett's in the guts.  Massive missed opportunity.

Edited by mfcrox
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I think this is our best chance in my living memory 'dazzle'...I was too young when we won our last flag so I only really remember the names more than games...As a kid jumping on the train with a mate we headed all over Melbourne to the suburban grounds, even down to Sleepy Hollow. My early hero's were Hassa Mann, Stan Alves and Gary Hardeman.

 '87 was the sentimental team for me after all those years in the wilderness and then of course there was Robbie.

This team is better balanced than any of the others you mention. It's time...

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4 minutes ago, mfcrox said:

1994-1995 should be in this list.  Absolutely cruelled by injury in that era.

95 we missed finals.

I thought about adding 1994, but I didn't see any games then as I was living in another country. I started supporting in 1998 so I just started from there.

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On paper our forward line certainly doesn’t look as potent as 98 and 2000.

Our defence however is head and shoulders above the other 3 sides. Hard to believe we made a prelim with whipping boys in O Mac and Frost leading our defence. 

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4 minutes ago, rjay said:

I think this is our best chance in my living memory 'dazzle'...I was too young when we won our last flag so I only really remember the names more than games...As a kid jumping on the train with a mate we headed all over Melbourne to the suburban grounds, even down to Sleepy Hollow. My early hero's were Hassa Mann, Stan Alves and Gary Hardeman.

 '87 was the sentimental team for me after all those years in the wilderness and then of course there was Robbie.

This team is better balanced than any of the others you mention. It's time...

I too think this is by far the best Melbourne team I've ever seen. Our forward line is already a strength, but it's certainly got room to go up a level.

Get that right and it's the complete package.

 

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Posted (edited)

To be fair Oscar and Frosty individually did good jobs in 2018. The issue in 2018, in my opinion, was that our defensive structure as a team lacked strength. We also lacked confidence in the team system, in that when we were challenged we didn’t need each player to try and be a match winner (attack the ball), but instead to trust their teammates and maintain their structure in our system. Sadly that became the blueprint to beat us for the 2 years after 2018, and the reason we all pulled our hair out screaming for some outside players.

Now we are confident of the players behind the ball (without question Lever and May are massive upgrades here) which gives us confidence to maintain our shape at stoppages - so if we win we are set up to be much more dynamic. I used to only want Viney, Oliver and Petracca at every stoppage, but then get infuriated when they all fought for the same ball and dished out 1 metre handballs. Now we have a much better balance with Langdon, Jordan and Salem behind and outside the contest, and Oliver and Petracca doing much more work to get on the move away from the contest.

For mine 2021 looks like a better ‘team’. I don’t feel like we are playing on emotion or a wave of confidence. The only team that’s beaten us beat our system by playing a very highly skilled game, but also with a very high risk/high reward game plan (take the game on down the middle with absolute precision foot skills). 9 times out of 10 that doesn’t work, but it was literally the only way they could beat us - and as such they played with the freedom of a team that didn’t have anything to lose. Full credit to Adelaide, but I don’t see it becoming the blueprint to defeat us like it was in 2018.

In answer to your question - I’m all in on 2021 from what I’ve seen so far. Long way to go, but the sample is encouraging, and looks sustainable over the long run.

Edited by The heart beats true
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I believe our 1990 team followed by the 1998 team were the best flag chances aside from this season. We just stuffed it up bad in the finals. That’s when we will be judged if the real deal or not.

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2 minutes ago, The heart beats true said:

To be fair Oscar and Frosty individually did good jobs in 2018. The issue in 2018, in my opinion, was that our defensive structure as a team lacked strength. We also lacked confidence in the team system, in that when we were challenged we didn’t need each player to try and be a match winner (attack the ball), but instead to trust their teammates and maintain their structure in our system. Sadly that became the blueprint to beat us for the 2 years after 2018, and the reason we all pulled our hair out screaming for some outside players.

Now we are confident of the players behind the ball (without question Lever and May are massive upgrades here) which gives us confidence to maintain our shape at stoppages - so if we win we are set up to be much more dynamic. I used to only want Viney, Oliver and Petracca at every stoppage, but then get infuriated when they all fought for the same ball and dished out 1 metre handballs. Now we have a much better balance with Langdon, Jordan and Salem behind and outside the contest, and Oliver and Petracca doing much more work to get on the move away from the contest.

For mine 2021 looks like a better ‘team’. I don’t feel like we are playing on emotion or a wave of confidence. The only team that’s beaten us beat our system by playing a very highly skilled game, but also with a very high risk/high reward game plan (take the game on down the middle with absolute precision foot skills). 9 times out of 10 that doesn’t work, but it was literally the only way they could beat us - and as such they played with the freedom of a team that didn’t have anything to lose. Full credit to Adelaide, but I don’t see it becoming the blueprint to defeat us like it was in 2018.

In answer to you questions I’m all in on 2021 from what I’ve seen so far. Long way to go, but the sample is encouraging, and looks sustainable over the long run.

Great post mate, hit the nail on the head.

 

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Posted (edited)

Without a shadow of a doubt this is the best Demon team I have followed since I got on board in ‘88.

The ‘94 and ‘98 versions had some all time club greats. Not to disparage them, while many were great by our standards, they were inferior to the greats of other clubs (I.e. Hird, Carey, Voss). 
 

We now not only have star players, but star players leading the league. Clarry, Tracc and Maxy aren’t just in the top ten of our best 22. They are in the best 10 players in the league. Period.

Plus, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, the flakiness is becoming a thing of the past. I’ve mentioned most of our s*** the bed moments in other threads, but I forgot to mention that in ‘94, after starting the year 5-0, we also lost to a Sydney Swans team that had recently lost 23 games straight (of course the drought breaking win came over us). Leading them was a version of Dermott Brereton who looked like he had a pillow stuffed under his jumper. 
 

So far this year, we’ve approached nothing like that level of ignominy. You mostly know what you’re going to get and that if we are challenged, we will find a way to respond. Ironically enough, responses usually come by trusting the system (as it’s meant to be played) and playing one’s role. 

Edited by Colin B. Flaubert
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This is the strongest list i have seen for the Dees. Great Rucks, mids and defence moving the ball at lightening pace to the forwards. Our small forwards are pressure machines and quick. 

Goody is happy for our talls to compete and get the ball to ground and the smalls to keep it forward.

I think we may be setting the latest trend. Get your defence and team defence  water tight and move the ball quickly forward.

Dermot Brereton highlighted our sprint efforts compared to the Lions. We recorded 40 kms to the Lions 35 kms. Huge difference. Forwards going high to assist defence and sprinting back.

It appears that Buckley with limited resources is already changing his game style to similar to ours. Defence first. The Maggies have a long way to go but we started this defence first a few years ago so it takes time.

 

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This is the best all round ‘not me but we’ team I think we’ve had and without a doubt the best backline I’ve ever seen from us. I know it wasn’t an option but the 94 team remains the most talented list we’ve had in my time watching. But in terms of talent, system, flexibility I’m definitely thinking this might be making a case for best across the board.

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Posted (edited)

2000 and 2018 if felt like we got on a roll…

This year… it feels much more than that.

 

In 2000, after 13rounds we were 6w 7l

2018 in was up and down - put teams away and then had “Adelaide like” loses

Edited by Steno
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It is an old cliche that a team of champions will never beat a champion team. I think we are seeing the truth of that this season. We do have some absolute champion players out there, but the system and roles we have in place make the process just work whatever the opposition may do. Who would have thought we would have outrun Brisbane without our best runner (Langdon?) Or had Ben Brown in the VFL at the halfway mark of the season? This is simply the best TEAM we have seen, ie having well-defined roles, system and structures. It is almost a thing of beauty to watch the opposite switch sides of the ground and see how well organised our defence is. Getting that all happening together takes a combination of star players, maturity, fitness, and a spread of player types, but it won't come together without the right understand of what makes a team.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, dazzledavey36 said:

Was having this conversation with the old man yesterday and we were discussing the best Melbourne teams for the last 20 years in competing for the flag.

I started supporting the dees back in 1998 and to this day think that year was the missed opportunity of a flag. More so then 2000 even though we played off in the grand final.

In 1998 we had a great blend of experience and youth and our forward line imo was the best in the business. We had Lyon, Ox, Farmer, Neitz and Robertson who were incredibly hard to stop in the back end of 98. Our backline was solid enough with Shanahan and Ingerson. We had a champion ruckman in Jim Stynes who was happy playing second fiddle to a young Jeff White.  Todd Viney was our elder statesman in the midfield surrounding by youth once again. Unfortunately the finals campaign back then really [censored] us over. We thumped Adelaide in the first week in the final and they go on to win the flag..

In 2000 we were a young team who copped a much fierce and combative Essendon, and looking back they completely bullied us. We weren't built with tough nuts except Ox and Neitz who would play the flag, but other then that it dropped right off. We had a great forward line, and our midfield was build on run and carry instead of contested. Our backline was still sound, but a bit like 2018 we leaked goals far too easily. I honestly thought after that year we were in for sustain success with the likes of Bruce, Green, Wheatland, Whelan and Powell who all came in and contributed straight away.

2018 was a bit like 2000. We timed our run perfectly towards the back end of the year but exposed once again for our immaturity and leaky defence. We looked amazing attacking teams and playing on our terms, but again lapse in games cost us (Geelong and St Kilda come to mind). Looking back, going I to the prelim with Oscar McDonald and Sam Frost alongside Joel Smith as your main pillars in defence was a recipe for disaster. Hence why we immediately targeted Steven May.

Our forward line was pretty potent with Hogan and McDonald and our midfield was certainly right up as one of the best in the comp when on song, but it lacked maturity.

Which brings me to 2021. I'm taking into account that we are only half way through the season and a lot can happen still. But stats will point us to being a serious flag contender.  Our midfield and defence have been the absolute key pillars for me in being in the position that we find ourselves and I think come down to the team buy I defensive mindset and mantra. It's honestly the best defensive structure and backline I've ever seen in my time supporting the dees and certainly the most potent midfield as well.

We are still tinkering with how our forward line looks, and I think that's probably what's been the biggest positive for me, is that we've won games where our forward line hasn't really hit its straps as we liked. For me our best forward structure is when Ben Brown is in there. 

If we win the Premiership then Numero Ono ! If we dont just another missed opportunity! Incidentally Dazzle, I rated the 87 team above all those you have quoted. One bloke made the difference in the finals that year

Robert Alan Flower

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I think the current team is better than any MFC team since the 1955-60 teams, it would decimated the 1964 team but might struggle against the 1955 team which was a great MFC team with great players who sacrificed their game for the team with Ron Barassi, Beckwith, Spencer, Ridley, Johnson, Dixon, Williams and Cordner leading the charge along with players who did their jobs without fanfare.

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1 hour ago, Bring-Back-Powell said:

On paper our forward line certainly doesn’t look as potent as 98 and 2000.

Our defence however is head and shoulders above the other 3 sides. Hard to believe we made a prelim with whipping boys in O Mac and Frost leading our defence. 

Add in the pensioner in Lewis to that list.

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Easily the best team I’ve seen. My memory of 98 is sketchy but 2000 and 2018 came off the back of late season runs after wobbles during the season. 2021 team has been pro since the first bounce of round 1.

Part of me is still waiting for the wheels to fall of, but I think I’m ready to believe they won’t.

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This is definitely the best team in my 30 years of supporting, totally agree with all the sentiments re 98 , 2000 and 2018. Someone mentioned this recently on another thread but in both 98 and 2000 we were on the end of some absolute hidings from mid table teams, we were extremely flakey and went on late season runs off momentum from flogging bottom teams and lots of back to back games at the G. Talent wise it was there , but team ethos and winning culture was not , probably not helped either by training facilities down at the junction oval. And the proof was always in the following year flops and disappointments in 1999, 2001 etc.

2021 is something I have never seen from a Melbourne outfit , they grind down opponents and work for each other , it’s totally the opposite of anything this club has ever shown even in good years with talented players .

One thing that has stood out to me in particular lately with Clarry’s post match interviews , he’s said a few times now that he simply “hates losing”.  I think that kind of mentality explains why the players weren’t going to cop being off at half time on Friday night against a quality opposition and just simply accept a loss and fix it on Monday or next game, they wanted to fix it then and there and win, and they went about it clinically.

The other clear distinction between now and then, was that regardless of how deep we went into finals we were never even close to being the best team (or even the 2nd best) in the comp during the season, at the moment we clearly are the best and most consistent team in the comp . That doesn’t guarantee a flag but it’s along way from where we’ve ever been before 

it’s exciting and it’s also scary for us supporters , make no mistake this year is our best chance 

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I don’t think there is any sensible way to compare teams across eras. Styles change so much and some of the teams we are comparing current players and teams to were actually amateurs with day jobs.

 That 2000 team was never going to win the granny. Essendon were utterly dominant that year. Prior to that we could never seem to get everyone on the ground at the same time, Lyon, Ox, Jackovitch, etc were always injured. And so their form fluctuate significantly.

 This team, so far, has done what no other Melbourne team has been able to do for 50 odd years. I think this could be our best team ever (compared to the other teams it faces) but let’s have this conversation after September, there is only one real measure of a team’s greatness.

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I've seen all of those, and the Northey teams of 87-91 (5 finals series in a row and at least the second week in all of them).  Northey's teams got the absolute best out of themselves.  Had we had a little luck we might have pinched 1990, but that years Bluey winner (Lyon) was injured at training before the semi and we lost that game comfortably.  1994 we were good enough to at least make a GF but lost a lot of unloseable games during the year, finished 7th and made our way to Perth for a prelim against the hottest team in the comp. 1998 were stiff with the finals system.  It was an ageing side with Stynes, Lyon and Viney on their last legs but we were therabouts.  2000 was a coaching masterclass from Danners.  We weren't the second best side in 2000 but we still made the big dance.  Nobody was beating the Dons that year.

2018 we really rode on the back of Gawn's magnificent season, ably supported by Oliver.  Gawn won the AFLCA award comfortably that year and was 4th in the Brownlow.  He carried us through many games that year.  We put some good wins together at the back end of the season, but losing Lever mid year and Hogan late hurt us.  We got to about the right spot I think  We weren't as good as WCE and Richmond, maybe close to Collingwood but not quite there and better than anyone else in the 8.

This season, so far, we are a complete "team".  We have three of the best 10 players in the competition, another group who are elite in their positions (Lever, May, Langdon, Salem, Pickett), McDonald and Fritsch who are reliable forwards and another group of strong role players.  And we have some depth.  Competition for spots is critical.  It's our deepest list and by far and away our best chance. We have proven we can best the really good sides, with only Port Adelaide to come from the top 6 teams.  If we finish top 2 then we'll be very hard to beat.  But as we all know, GF's are hard to make and even harder to win.  Time will tell.

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