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2004 boys, time to read the Riot Act.



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I'd definitely agree about also focusing on the positives and the negatives @Macca. I look at things in terms of the Leigh Matthews axiom 'It's never going as well as it seems, and it's never going as badly as it seems'.

As for fatigue, I don't view the last game as being a fatigue deal as they clearly were putting in in the first half. You could sense a definite shift from moving away from first option football to Hollywood stuff from blokes like Tracc and Clarry once they thought they had 'broken' Hawthorn. How wrong they were.

I get the feeling Goody felt the same way. Notice the language used after the Collingwood and Adelaide losses was very different compared to the draw against Hawthorn.

I can definitely see some cracks emerging, but we are still in a good position. There definitely is time to work on our lapses and seal those cracks before the dike bursts.

Edited by Colin B. Flaubert
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1 hour ago, JimmyGadson said:

The link is mental fragility.

I remember the 2004 side like it was yesterday, I was 17. I don't remember there being any unforeseen circumstances that meant we lost 5 straight to end the season. 

Whether Melb supporters like to hear it our not, we've been a basket case club for a long time and an average club for a longer time. It takes years to change perceptions and narratives and years to build new perceptions and narratives. 

At the moment, proud, strong and successful clubs can still beat us and I place part of that, even if small on the fact that we've been a walk over club for a long time. 

I can only imagine what Clarkson would have been saying at half time to his players and I doubt it'd have been glowing MFC talk. If you've been involved at footy at any level, you know what I'm talking about. 

We have the chance to write our own future, build new perceptions and narratives about the Melbourne footy club. We're obviously a different team, different personalities and individually these guys wouldn't be thinking about these kinds of things. But opposition coaches, media personell, supporters and the rest have a whole different perspective on what a club stands for. 

And many many people still don't believe we're onto anything. 

I mean, one only needs to experience being at a Melbourne home game against a lower side to get a glimpse/feeling into what Melb supporters have been through. It's in the air and in the way we support. 

All fair points

There’s no denying our history. We’ve been pathetic for a long time

But we’ve made great strides this year. Coaching has improved out of sight, defensively we’re first rate and we have some genuine game changers in our team. Apart from our excellent record against the top teams what has really given me belief is our ability to wrest momentum most notably against the tiges and lions. I don’t remember us ever doing that before. We’re always in the game

We’ve work to do maturity wise. It was very slack to allow the Hawks back into it after we dominated the first quarter. We still need to learn how to put the lesser lights away and manage that expectation. It’ll come.

I'm very hopeful for the future

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13 minutes ago, Colin B. Flaubert said:

I'd definitely agree about also focusing on the positives and the negatives @Macca. I look at things in terms of the Leigh Matthews axiom 'It's never going as well as it seems, and it's never going as badly as it seems'.

As for fatigue, I don't view the last game as being a fatigue deal as they clearly were putting in in the first half. You could sense a definite shift from moving away from first option football to Hollywood stuff from blokes like Tracc and Clarry once they thought they had 'broken' Hawthorn. How wrong they were.

I get the feeling Goody felt the same way. Notice the language used after the Collingwood and Adelaide losses was very different compared to the draw against Hawthorn.

I can definitely see some cracks emerging, but we are still in a good position. There definitely is time to work on our lapses and seal those cracks before the dike bursts.

To be honest, I am expecting the team to take their foot off the pedal from time to time as I don't believe we're good enough to keep up our version of 'total football' every week anyway

It's not a perfect world, we're not a perfect team but if we continue to play great footy against our rivals then we can go all the way

But to win the big one we have to win at least 3 finals.  For a team that isn't star-studded, that's a bit of an ask.  But none of our rivals are all that good either so it's all up for grabs

After round 19 I'll happily take a top of the ladder position with a perfect W/L record against our rivals

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1 hour ago, Mazer Rackham said:

We are still learning how to be a team that sits up at the pointy end of the ladder. Every week we are a scalp, particularly to lower teams who don't play as well.

It's a paradox, but those sides shut us down more effectively than better teams who trust their system and ability to outplay us. 

This.

 

2 hours ago, JimmyGadson said:

Right now, at this point in the year we're a team that is bringing inconsistent levels of intensity and inconsistent levels of skill execution to games. 

We've been amazingly good this year for much of it. But the losses to the lower sides and less than impressive wins against the others do concern me. It's completely between the ears, we are still so immature in many ways. 

Allowing Hawthorn back into the game, with the outs they have the team we were fielding is simply unforgivable and speaks directly to the complacency and immaturity that still exists. 

There's still a fair bit of growing up to do imo. 

And this. 

Hopefully the coaching group can rectify this - the old “you learn more from not winning than winning” approach. I guess it’s at least a better problem to have than the one that, say, Ken Hinkley has - he can beat the cellar dwellers but can’t get over the teams he’ll be meeting in the finals. 

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3 hours ago, drdrake said:

I think it is more about making the most of the opportunity you have.  We are on top of the ladder, 2 and a half games clear of 5th, there is an opportunity to give yourself every chance to play off in a GF.  Also how quickly it can all turn, 2 years later the 2004 playing group was done we dropped off the cliff in 2007 and have been struggling to climb that cliff for the past 14 years.

We are in  great position, take the challenge and don't look back with regrets of what could have been.  What can be is a double chance that gives you the best opportunity to play off in a GF.

Nice perspective but that draw wasnt an aberration. As such I think most of us have had our confidence shaken in a flag this year.

We sre still in a great position as you say but we have taken a big step backwards at the wrong time.

The big issue will be if the players confidence has been drained.

The fumbles that went through the team like epson salts smacked of panic and desperation. Not a look you expect from top v bottom six weeks out from finals. Also our lower tackle count is a huge concern. There should be no excuse for this if we want a flag.

We know this team has been great in regrouping and refiring but Im worried this was one time too many to be honest.

 

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“Reading the riot act” or similar won’t work on mentally fragile layers. It will just put more performance anxiety into their brains. Somehow they need to get back to enjoying their footy, by thrashing some teams with superior skills, tackling like crazy, top line positioning and decision-making and accurate goal-kicking. The calm build-up  approach with accurate kicking to non-contests and switching the side of the ground was absent in the latter two quarters against Hawthorn when the players appeared to panic and reverted to 2019-2020 habits.

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While the matches against Crows, North, Pies, Giants, Hawks have all been a concern, no team this year (and in most years) can dominate every game.  The fact that we've been able to do it against the other challengers is a good sign.

The way I see it, you can't have the crazy hunger / desire in every match of the season.  In this comp, if it's off by 4% then that's enough for the bottom sides to come at you.

We don't look as flashy as some of the others up the top but we're in every game - not sure if any other team could say the same?

But when it has really mattered this year - Tigers, Dogs, Lions, Port etc we've been "on" and flexed our muscles.

Given our strong start, it wouldn't surprise me if Burgo has been pushing them a bit harder on the track through this period to ensure they're cherry ripe for finals.  They'd be negligent not to approach it that way.

Premierships are won in September not in July.  Calm the farm everyone, so long as covid does not take over and our top liners remain injury free, we are in for a great September!

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5 hours ago, Mazer Rackham said:

It's a paradox, but those sides shut us down more effectively than better teams who trust their system and ability to outplay us. GWS & Hawks both flooded, cramped us for space and we ended up in fumble city. Then got lucky in that we panicked. That the HFC goal kicking was a lot straighter than ours helped their cause, but really our destiny was in our own hands.Adelaide, it was more that it was just their day. Everything worked for them that day. Collingwood, the occasion was made for them and they responded. Regardless, each time we had it in our power to prevail.

Good points re how the good teams play against us vs the leaser light teams

I'd like to add that the lesser light teams have effectively (at least in part) quelled the effectivness of our midfield with regards to clean forward entries and clean disposal in a general sense (by our midfielders)

The flow on effect is that the opposition defenders have a much easier time of it which in turn nullifies our defensive pressure in the forward line (by our small forwards) In turn, our midfielders haven't been able to apply the same levels of defensive pressure in our forward line as well (against those teams)

So the ball ends up being rebounded easier which in turn puts pressure on our 2 lines of defense

So quell our midfield down to a degree and that's how to beat Melbourne.  Of course, it's not quite as simple as that because our midfielders can still play quite well in those circumstances despite not dominating

But as you indicated, the better teams have stuck to their own game style which we have been very good at shutting down

So second time time around these better teams that we defeated should be better prepared for our next encounter with them.  But our game style may well still win out.  Who knows?

Edited by Macca
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Well I don’t know about being read the riot act, but imho it’s a shame the current players can’t have this thread read to them. So many posts that are insightful and informative. Probs the most enlightening  and informative thread I’ve read on DL. 

Edited by WalkingCivilWar
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19 hours ago, KLV said:

I remember that debacle. We were beaten by Carlton, who were in a world of pain from penalties for salary cap cheating. 

i think that was 2006? Carlton won three games all year. Two of them came against us. Win those two and we finiah top 4.

We were either flat track bullies or flat out chokers during the Daniher years. We could well and probably should be undefeated this year given who we have not beaten. To think we are at risk of missing the top 4 burns even more knowing we couldn't beat 17th 16th and 15th on the ladder. But somehow manage to manhandle Port, Dogs and Brisbane with relative ease. 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Smokey said:

Do you think the crushing weight of an entire generation of failure is helpful for the current group of players? Why would the club go out of their way to put further burdens on the playing group like this? This thread is trash. 

Regarding the demonlanders who say "don't read the riot act' etc it would be perfectly proper for one/ some of the boys from that campaign to speak to the group re the mindset issue which was the case then and seems to be the case now. Our game plan is overly-reliant on groundnpound so we do tend to drop off when we drop off. (If that makes sense).  Our challenge is that we have a mini-finals before the real finals, and we have to be up for both. 

PS the header is obviously not meant to be taken literally!  He who controls the past controls the present etc

Apologies George Orwell.

 

 

 

Edited by bush demon
Elucidation.
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There was another year in Northey's time when, after being in a strong ladder position, we started losing and had to win the last game against either filth or lolly blues to make the finals. 2004 (or 2006?) under Neale was a continuation of our bad habits.

I suspect it started in 1964 when, after Hassa Mann had kicked a freakish goal from the railway side pocket at the Glenferrie Rd end to beat the the dorks at the Glenferrie bog to ensure that we would have top spot after 18 rounds (even though it was only R17), we promptly lost the next game to the doggies by 40 points.

So either being the actual or apparent top team at R18 is bad for our form. Time to break out.

Go dees

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Honestly, I reckon the reason we do well against the top 8 teams and not so well against those occupying the lower rungs all comes down to systems.  We play a very system based game at the moment and that is one of our main strengths.  It's much easier to setup against the better teams, because I think they also play a more predictable system based game that they are less willing to deviate from, because they are disciplined enough to stick to their system as it has worked consistently for them in the past (just as ours has worked very consistently for us this season).

The teams that have beaten us like Collingwood, but particularly Adelaide and Hawthorn and to a degree GWS have played an agressive less predictable game style that is harder for us to combat, but which also only works for them every 4 or 5 games as well.  That and I reckon particularly Adelaide and Hawthorn had some pretty lucky breaks with free kicks and the ball bouncing the right way in their forward 50.  The average loosing margin for the Adelaide and Hawthorn games was half a point and in reality, we should have walked away with two tied games but for an absolute howler of that non-paid deliberate out of bounds against Adelaide.

Our other two games we hace lost by an average of around 11 or so points.  (Geelong were smashed by Brisbane by around 50 odd points a few rounds back, which could have been much more).

Don't get me wrong, I'm personally somewhat frustrated in our in ability to put sides to the sword, when from recollection we had the opportunity to against all of Adelaide, Hawthorn and possibly even GWS and Collingwood after having dominated them for the first period of the game and opening up 20 or so point leads.  But on ballance I hardly think it's reading the riot act time.  The players are smart enough and motivated enough to realize how their season is poised and I'm tipping they will be whipping themselves pretty hard to turn things around and finish off the season.

Perhaps part of what we need is an alternative game plan/style against the lesser teams and that could have been what Goody was hinting at when he stated before the Hawks game that we need to get better at having multiple ways to win games.

Edited by Rodney (Balls) Grinter
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3 hours ago, praha said:

i think that was 2006? Carlton won three games all year. Two of them came against us. Win those two and we finiah top 4.

We were either flat track bullies or flat out chokers during the Daniher years. We could well and probably should be undefeated this year given who we have not beaten. To think we are at risk of missing the top 4 burns even more knowing we couldn't beat 17th 16th and 15th on the ladder. But somehow manage to manhandle Port, Dogs and Brisbane with relative ease. 

It was both!

We lost to Carlton in the 2nd last match of the year at Princes Park, and quite easily too. I know too well because I was there and expected it to be a walk in the park after losses the previous two weeks. I remember someone telling me that morning we would lose and choke and not finish top 4. Well he was right! Earlier that season we beat Carlton by over 100 points at the 'G.

In 2006 we lost to Carlton twice when they finished bottom. If we only won one of that games, we would have finished top 4. Nonetheless we played Adelaide in the last round of the season at Football Park when they were missing 1/4 of their best side (all got injured), Adelaide went in underdogs with the bookies for the first time in years, yet they still slaughtered us. A win, top 4! Resulted in a 7th finish rather than a double chance, meaning we wouldn't have had to play a semi in Perth. 2006 was a very open year as well!

 

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45 minutes ago, Rodney (Balls) Grinter said:

Honestly, I reckon the reason we do well against the top 8 teams and not so well against those occupying the lower rungs all comes down to systems.  We play a very system based game at the moment and that is one of our main strengths.  It's much easier to setup against the better teams, because I think they also play a more predictable system based game that they are less willing to deviate from, because they are disciplined enough to stick to their system as it has worked consistently for them in the past (just as ours has worked very consistently for us this season).

The teams that have beaten us like Collingwood, but particularly Adelaide and Hawthorn and to a degree GWS have played an agressive less predictable game style that is harder for us to combat, but which also only works for them every 4 or 5 games as well.  That and I reckon particularly Adelaide and Hawthorn had some pretty lucky breaks with free kicks and the ball bouncing the right way in their forward 50.  The average loosing margin for the Adelaide and Hawthorn games was half a point and in reality, we should have walked away with two tied games but for an absolute howler of that non-paid deliberate out of bounds against Adelaide.

Our other two games we hace lost by an average of around 11 or so points.  (Geelong were smashed by Brisbane by around 50 odd points a few rounds back, which could have been much more).

Don't get me wrong, I'm personally somewhat frustrated in our in ability to put sides to the sword, when from recollection we had the opportunity to against all of Adelaide, Hawthorn and possibly even GWS and Collingwood after having dominated them for the first period of the game and opening up 20 or so point leads.  But on ballance I hardly think it's reading the riot act time.  The players are smart enough and motivated enough to realize how their season is poised and I'm tipping they will be whipping themselves pretty hard to turn things around and finish off the season.

Perhaps part of what we need is an alternative game plan/style against the lesser teams and that could have been what Goody was hinting at when he stated before the Hawks game that we need to get better at having multiple ways to win games.

I must say if Goody goes...you would be the perfect replacement.?

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I just want this read to them.

If you keep missing easy shots on goal you need to put more time in training ...having shots week in week out.

Fwds...please talk to each other and dont all go for the same grab.

Dont take lesser teams more lighty and those who say we dont just look at our lack of tackling in game just gone by.

Mids, sometimes its all about basics and not glamour footy.

Goody, sometimes its not about learnings...its about putting a fire in their bellies.

But on the whole congrats must be given for our achievements.

Except now we are at the business end and our achievements can slip away if we dont keep moving forward .

This is the time when we need to be getting better....hungrier...more ruthless...more physical....more determined and much more committed. Many of our last few games would suggest we are not and the players need to be reminded of all their hard work could be for nought and play every game with this burnt into into them.

Its not like there isnt much riding on this season.

56 years of hoo doo.

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7 minutes ago, Rodney (Balls) Grinter said:

Lol, not quite sure how to take that. 

If Goody's not the right, then sure as [censored], I'm not  ...but perhaps that's the point ?.

It was more of a reference to your philosophical nature and looking at the positives.

Goodys done a great job. I thought hed be gone this year.

Sometimes I wish he was more like Clarko but maybe too much agro is old school these days and Goody is the future.

I like how he gets amongst the pkayers...tussles hair and pats backs.

He is liked but not feared and this is not a bad thing even if when we lose to lesser teams   I rant that he should drag players.

In the end I think Goody needs a little more fire in his own belly but i guess thats not his style.

We are on top of the ladder despite some gut renching losses so i cant tecnically argue with his results.

Edited by leave it to deever
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9 hours ago, leave it to deever said:

I just want this read to them.

If you keep missing easy shots on goal you need to put more time in training ...having shots week in week out.

Fwds...please talk to each other and dont all go for the same grab.

Dont take lesser teams more lighty and those who say we dont just look at our lack of tackling in game just gone by.

Mids, sometimes its all about basics and not glamour footy.

Goody, sometimes its not about learnings...its about putting a fire in their bellies.

But on the whole congrats must be given for our achievements.

Except now we are at the business end and our achievements can slip away if we dont keep moving forward .

This is the time when we need to be getting better....hungrier...more ruthless...more physical....more determined and much more committed. Many of our last few games would suggest we are not and the players need to be reminded of all their hard work could be for nought and play every game with this burnt into into them.

Its not like there isnt much riding on this season.

56 years of hoo doo.

I get the point people are trying to make re: our group being in a great position to break our premiership drought, but I really hope the club isn’t foolish enough to pile that pressure on the playing group like many here would have done. It’s like lecturing a nervous driver on the dangers of driving a car. 

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On 7/18/2021 at 6:57 PM, bush demon said:

The player's from our round 18  team of 2004 should read the riot act to this lot and tell them they are on the verge of squandering everything.  The 2004 team was also a great one, unfortunately it lost its way. We are good enough if the self-belief can be re-ignited.

Small detail omitted here BD. We were also crippled by injuries from that point.

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When we just admit honestly the difference between our best and worst is a huge divide it puts things in perspective.

Our best has always been against very good teams and our worse has been against teams like giants loss...hawks draw....cwood loss...crows loss...close encounter with norf.

That said the only explanation why we only play poorly against bottom teams must come down to either our preperation or the players attitude.

We have not beaten all the best sides in the comp by fluke. We are a very good side that is dropping games to poor sides because we are not bringing the same intensity. Is it the glory and hype of big games the players are feeding off? Thats ok but the end goal requires eating the small fish as well.

I hope we find the root cause and come out and bury gold coast but im not too confident. 

Edited by leave it to deever
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But we learned a lesson after we lost to Collingwood in 2017 in the last round, then again after our 2019 season, then again after we lost to Sydney in Cairns last year and Freo the following week. Definately after we lost to Adelaide, then collingwood .

I think after the draw it's finally sunk in

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Just get a player they will respect and relate to in Lewis to come in and give them a reminder of  the sacrifices and mental application/all out aggression it takes to reach the top....AGAIN.

For some of the rookies they would not have been exposed to his wise advice during his time at the club.

He was more than likely one of the biggest influencers in the club during his time there and from what i've garnered still has massive respect among most of the playing group who played with him during that time.

You could even make it part of the post Hawks review so as to make it quite relevant and receive feedback / insight from a multi premiership player (and current media game day analyst) as to his thoughts specifically on what he thought went wrong in this last match and what went right.

Definitely no hint of panic stations or need for a 'riot act', more a need for remaining switched on and the 'team' mantra being emphasised.

Also some focus on improving set shots for goal and how critical accuracy is.  Spend extra time after training or set a specific extra allocation of time on an off day to train this under load conditions from multiple angles with live players on the mark trying to put them off.  Max and Gus ....guys get off the blog from here and get out there!  Sacrifices!  Every inch counts!

He could also emphasise the fact they have a great opportunity to ram home their ladder position and make the most of what they've built till now.  Don't let their foot off the pedal for a second!  You won't get these chances very often, for some players their entire career!

Edited by Rusty Nails
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    What more can they throw at the Demons of 2021? Covid restrictions, hubs, aircraft circling between airports before landing for games and now a match stopped for 30 minutes to give a flagging opponent its second wind? To date, none of those distractions has swayed the team from their winning objectives. The game against West Coast in Perth can be marked on their report card as another positive outcome after yet another test. There was much at stake for both sides.  Melbourne had t

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    LONG AGO AND FAR AWAY by Whispering Jack

    When the combatants that are due to face off on Monday night at Optus Stadium last met, it was 11 days after the World Health Organization had declared the Covid19 outbreak a global pandemic. In Australia, the first cases had just come to light, including visiting US actors Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson, the toilet paper panic was in full flight and the world was starting to reel in anticipation of impending disaster. Half an hour before this last game of the opening round was due to comme

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