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Is Melbourne's midfield one of the best of all time?


FlashInThePan
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9 minutes ago, Demon Disciple said:

Don’t know about midfield, but our 2021 backline was surely one of the best.

When our backline is talked about May and Lever have been fantastic and get the glory but anyone who doesn't have Salem in the same picture hasn't watched enough of Melbourne.

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Viney played well in the finals but with a full season under his belt he probably would have been better and on that basis I'm not sure we can claim it to be the best ever despite the brilliance of Trac and Oliver. Having said that there's still time for it to get even better. But it must be bloody close.

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We'll have to wait and see how they go over the next few years but the potential is there. Maxy has 5 AA jackets already and there's no ceiling for Clarry and Trac. Viney won't play every game just need him right for finals. Support act more than able as well.

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Oliver won the coaches award and when the GF was in the balance in the 2nd half played on Bont and gave the widely regarded best player in the league a footballing lesson.

Petracca player one of the most dominant performances in a grand final ever.

Gawn is now a premiership captain and AA captain and dragged us there at stages. (Hello Geelong twice)

Viney always turns up in the big games and helped build the culture.

Not near the best ever yet but they could give it a crack over the next few years.

Jackson and Sparrow would walk into any other side's starting midfield but they have to wait and just rotate. Promising times.

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So, as a reminder:

Bris 2003 had Keating, Black, Voss, Hart

West coast 2006 had Cox, Judd, Cousins, Kerr

Cats 2009 had Ottens, Selwood, Ablett Jnr, Ling

Hawthorn 2012 had Hale, Mitchell, Hodge, Sewell

Melbourne 2021 had Gawn, Oliver, Petracca, Viney

Before I started researching I didn't think we could be put up with the great midfields of  this century. Now after listing them, I'm thinking we are right up there. Cox is the only ruck who would give Gawn any legitimate competition, in fact the West coast starting midfield is the only one there I would say could provide serious competition. 

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58 minutes ago, Wrecker46 said:

when the GF was in the balance in the 2nd half played on Bont and gave the widely regarded best player in the league a footballing lesson.

Slight exaggeration surely - the Bont wasn't even on the ground when we kicked the Fritta, Fritta, Browns...

 

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50 minutes ago, FlashInThePan said:

Cats 2009 had Ottens, Selwood, Ablett Jnr, Ling

Replace Ling with Bartel in that list.

 

But our midfield may well be in that conversation in 4-5 years time, need more runs on the board though. Hopefully 1 or 2 more flags and the comparisons will be impossible to ignore.

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Ruck and back up ruck give us a huge advantage in those positions over even some great midfields.

And obviously Petracca and Oliver are a fantastic 1-2 punch with Viney at his best on par with many of the great teams 3rd or 4th option.

But I think we fall away with the wingers and rotation mids. Probably missing out on the great winger and super classy half forward. That's not to say that Langdon, Gus, Harmes, Sparrow aren't all very good players.

Brisbane had Lappin on a wing and Aker mid/forward as well as Black and Voss. Their 3rd/4th on baller might not have been as good as Viney but they had an advantage otherwise.

The Cats had Bartel on a wing and Stevie J and Chapman on half forward flanks. They are the absolute benchmark for midfield depth. James Kelly and Corey Enright played as half backs given they were so deep.

We're probably 1 or even 2 more really classy players short 

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The potential is surely there.

I'm an empiricist. We win another flag or the members of our midfield rack up more individual gongs, then I say we could come close to being recognized as such. 

Until then, we are just a very very good midfield.

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2 hours ago, FlashInThePan said:

So, as a reminder:

Bris 2003 had Keating, Black, Voss, Hart

West coast 2006 had Cox, Judd, Cousins, Kerr

Cats 2009 had Ottens, Selwood, Ablett Jnr, Ling

Hawthorn 2012 had Hale, Mitchell, Hodge, Sewell

Melbourne 2021 had Gawn, Oliver, Petracca, Viney

Before I started researching I didn't think we could be put up with the great midfields of  this century. Now after listing them, I'm thinking we are right up there. Cox is the only ruck who would give Gawn any legitimate competition, in fact the West coast starting midfield is the only one there I would say could provide serious competition. 

You’re missing a few key players from your listed teams.

Brisbane had Aker, Power and Lappin. This was a great midfield with Voss, Black and asked all superstars and Brownlow winners.

Eagles missing Embley. Eagles midfield had superstar power, but not great depth. 

Hawks had Lewis, Smith, Hill. Decent midfield but IMO a level below the others in the conversation. 

Cats had Bartel, Corey, Kelly, as well as Chapman and Stevie J rotating through. The Cats late 2000s midfield is the absolute benchmark for both elite talent and depth. Ablett Jnr is the GOAT, Bartel a Brownlow medalist also. Joel Corey is one of the most underrated mids of all time. Selwood a champion. Ling one of the best taggers ever. Then great depth and rotating players. We’re a fair way off that group still and need to do it for longer.

We have the potential to become an all time great midfield if guys like Sparrow keep improving. Gus, Harmes, Langdon, are all good role players, but would be considered depth in some of the above mentioned star studded midfields. We’ve got the rucks covered with Gawn and Jackson. Only Cox could lay claim to being better than Gawn, with 6 All Australians he just pops Max. We’re probably one good mid short of those great teams. If the youngsters keep developing and Trac, Clarry, Gawn, Viney all stay fit for a few more years then we’ll give this conversation a fair tilt!

Edited by Lord Travis
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WC and Brisbane had Brownlow medallists and stars in abundance. Yet none had 2 dominating ruckmen and I am not sure that any of them could have performed as well as the dees on grand final day.

16 goals to one is beyond compare. Individually Maxie, CP5 and Clarrie are as good as if not better than any others. But whilst we may not have out and out stars to back them up, we have a highly talented, disciplined and cohesive group to do that job.

For once, the expression "a champion team is better than a team of champions holds true for the 2021 dees.

Based on results, we are as good as any other combination.

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2 hours ago, Lord Travis said:

You’re missing a few key players from your listed teams.

Brisbane had Aker, Power and Lappin. This was a great midfield with Voss, Black and asked all superstars and Brownlow winners.

Eagles missing Embley. Eagles midfield had superstar power, but not great depth. 

Hawks had Lewis, Smith, Hill. Decent midfield but IMO a level below the others in the conversation. 

Cats had Bartel, Corey, Kelly, as well as Chapman and Stevie J rotating through. The Cats late 2000s midfield is the absolute benchmark for both elite talent and depth. Ablett Jnr is the GOAT, Bartel a Brownlow medalist also. Joel Corey is one of the most underrated mids of all time. Selwood a champion. Ling one of the best taggers ever. Then great depth and rotating players. We’re a fair way off that group still and need to do it for longer.

We have the potential to become an all time great midfield if guys like Sparrow keep improving. Gus, Harmes, Langdon, are all good role players, but would be considered depth in some of the above mentioned star studded midfields. We’ve got the rucks covered with Gawn and Jackson. Only Cox could lay claim to being better than Gawn, with 6 All Australians he just pops Max. We’re probably one good mid short of those great teams. If the youngsters keep developing and Trac, Clarry, Gawn, Viney all stay fit for a few more years then we’ll give this conversation a fair tilt!

The teams I listed were the starting midfield for the GF at the date I listed. You are completely correct, it ignores the question of depth and it ignores the wings. I’m not sure what is a fair comparison, my gut tells me we’ll need to stay right up there for a few years before we could be considered. We’ve got to be right up there though.

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5 hours ago, FlashInThePan said:

So, as a reminder:

Bris 2003 had Keating, Black, Voss, Hart

West coast 2006 had Cox, Judd, Cousins, Kerr

Cats 2009 had Ottens, Selwood, Ablett Jnr, Ling

Hawthorn 2012 had Hale, Mitchell, Hodge, Sewell

Melbourne 2021 had Gawn, Oliver, Petracca, Viney

Before I started researching I didn't think we could be put up with the great midfields of  this century. Now after listing them, I'm thinking we are right up there. Cox is the only ruck who would give Gawn any legitimate competition, in fact the West coast starting midfield is the only one there I would say could provide serious competition. 

West coast 2006 had Cox, Judd, Cousins, Kerr plus “the good stuff” at least for two of them. 

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8 hours ago, FlashInThePan said:

So, as a reminder:

Bris 2003 had Keating, Black, Voss, Hart

West coast 2006 had Cox, Judd, Cousins, Kerr

Cats 2009 had Ottens, Selwood, Ablett Jnr, Ling

Hawthorn 2012 had Hale, Mitchell, Hodge, Sewell

Melbourne 2021 had Gawn, Oliver, Petracca, Viney

Before I started researching I didn't think we could be put up with the great midfields of  this century. Now after listing them, I'm thinking we are right up there. Cox is the only ruck who would give Gawn any legitimate competition, in fact the West coast starting midfield is the only one there I would say could provide serious competition. 

Out of that list, I would go with eagles for now.

but give it a few more years, at least 1 more flag, and Jackson a star of the comp, then it will be a more interesting comparison! 
 

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Is this for real? Media trying to destabilise us?

obviously we have no claim yet. Maybe making consecutive finals would be a start.  Win a flag or two more and we can have this conversation. 

the Lions midfield was unstoppable 

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7 hours ago, Ethan Tremblay said:

I wouldn’t include the ‘06 Eagles midfield/team. Not because they weren’t great but because of the ‘assistance’ that was being passed around. 

Would the powder help or hinder I wonder? I personally doubt it would be performance enhancing 

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