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12 minutes ago, Orion said:

I'm finding it increasingly difficult to see how we're winning it this year.  We're having the same problems as last year

Yes, it is difficult to win the flag, some of us are just enjoying the ride and whatever happens in September happens.

Not so sure we are having the same problems as last year though. In most games last year we had decent leads only to cough them up. This year we've seen teams play out of their skins to beat us. For all the doom and gloom against a red-hot Port we were a kick away from winning. Essendon couldn't do anything wrong against us in Gather round and it was only in the 3rd they really got away from us. The only time I've seen us comprehensively smashed since 2020 was against the Lions earlier this year before the power outage.

We will see what we are truly made of in the next month or so.

Edited by Dee Zephyr
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4 minutes ago, Dee Zephyr said:

Not so sure we are having the same problems as last year though

Well we've got forward problems again this year.  The players turning up asleep for certain games again this year.  Also the blueprint for beating us became well known last year which the coaches could not find a way to counter last year or this year.  These are difficult problems to fix in season.  

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7 minutes ago, Orion said:

Well we've got forward problems again this year.  The players turning up asleep for certain games again this year.  Also the blueprint for beating us became well known last year which the coaches could not find a way to counter last year or this year.  These are difficult problems to fix in season.  

We will see, we are going ok at the G so far at least. 

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9 minutes ago, Dee Zephyr said:

We will see, we are going ok at the G so far at least. 

We'll still win plenty of games because we've got a lot of good players but we're getting found out against the better teams like Brisbane and Port Adelaide just like last year.

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1 hour ago, At the break of Gawn said:

Where this club has come back from is remarkable. It’s no wonder that during the post match grand final press conference that Goody mentioned he was in tears before the game even started as he reflected upon how far this club has come back from.

The problem with success though, is once you taste it, you want more and more of it. As a supporter, I thought seeing us win the flag in 2021 would fill my cup for many years. However, the fact I wasn’t able to see it in person at the MCG has left a void, that I, and I imagine many others, also feel. Given the talent of this group, if another can’t be achieved, it will be a failure.

Agree with this.

Most of the angst comes from the 30,000 odd Melbourne supporters that were denied the experience of seeing a flag at the MCG and hence are worried they’ll never get to see one in person.

Most of us were denied the special experience that Richmond, Dogs and Geelong (07) supporters got to experience.

 

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45 minutes ago, Dee Zephyr said:

Yes, it is difficult to win the flag, some of us are just enjoying the ride and whatever happens in September happens.

🙋‍♀️

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8 minutes ago, Edward Langdon said:

Agree with this.

Most of the angst comes from the 30,000 odd Melbourne supporters that were denied the experience of seeing a flag at the MCG and hence are worried they’ll never get to see one in person.

Most of us were denied the special experience that Richmond, Dogs and Geelong (07) supporters got to experience.

 

On the other hand 35,000 Melbourne fans got to attend the grand final Re-enactment on December 5th 2021. Best. Day. Ever.  No other club’s fans got to indulge in such a unique and joyous experience. Yes, not as good as being at the game live, but a bloody close second. ❤️💙

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1 hour ago, Orion said:

We'll still win plenty of games because we've got a lot of good players but we're getting found out against the better teams like Brisbane and Port Adelaide just like last year.

Were they on the MCG?

Wait until someone beats us on the G.

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1 hour ago, Orion said:

We'll still win plenty of games because we've got a lot of good players but we're getting found out against the better teams like Brisbane and Port Adelaide just like last year.

We were bog average against Port, played 20 mins, and it still took the umpires to get them over the line! Be realistic.

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15 hours ago, Kieren from Canberra said:

I rang in to Demonland tonight & was thankful Andy & Binman gave me some time to share my thoughts on this great team we barrack for. Here's what I said & what I feel.

I'd like to share my thoughts on the Redlegs as a whole circa 2023. As a club, we're in rarefied air; a men's, women's & VFL Premiership all within the last 2 years. A recruiting, administrative & conditioning team that made impeccable decisions for almost 10 years. The highest paid up memberships in the history of the club. A pool of generational talent signed to long term deals. A strong list of youngsters pushing our best 22 for team selection. A destination club that has attracted All Australians, Best & Fairest's and previous club captains. A team of A list assistant coaches. A coach that tasted the highest success in his playing career & now also as a head coach, that not only learnt from a genius & passionate Demon fan in Paul Roos, but is young enough to relate to his players, young enough to grow with his players & young enough to be around for another decade which creates an environment of trust & cohesion.


If you think back to your amateur team sports days, be it AFL footy, local cricket or even indoor soccer, when did you, as a team, create success? When you had consistency & cohesion & trust. When you had the same 22 fellas running out to kick the sherrin, the same 11 blokes going out to field, the same 5 friends putting on shingaurds. Why, because you built patterns, game plans and trust in their abilities. You could anticipate what your team mates were going to do & when they needed your help.
The Dees finally have this. Stability, trust & importantly genuine class.


What we don't have is a recent history of it. They're learning to be successful.
Just as we as a supporter base are learning with them. We're not used to this success, being the favourites to win every game, being in every game, no longer being thrashed each week. But what I consistently see when I read frustrated fans' posts on various platforms is that we should be better. And it's this word I'd like to analyse. 'Better than what' is what I would like to ask.
Is it possible to win every game? Of course not. Is it possible to only lose 4 games in a season. History would suggest not often.
It's been decades since we've had this kind of heat. Teams need to play at their very best to beat us. So each week, we are playing the very best the opposition has to give, week in, week out. This takes its toll on the boys; you simply cannot be up every week. You simply cannot be 'better' all the time.

This not an excuse, or a defeatist attitude, it's a fact. We all know the cliches; you don't win flags in 'insert any month except September', you have to peak at the right time, you must finish top 4 to win a flag. They're cliches for a reason, because the better teams have fulfilled these cliches better than other teams.

As Binman says, if you have all the pieces in place as we do (talent, good governance etc), the key determinant is injuries & increasingly suspensions. These are the things to concern yourself of. Not the team itself.

In the cut & thrust of battle ie the home & away season, it can be hard to pull back & see the bigger picture. What is it? The future has never been better.
It's ok to be angry at losses but let's get behind them rather than walk away. Let's be that club that turns the umps whistles our way with our own noise of affirmation. Let's continue to pay our membership, to buy whatever merch we can afford from the Demon shop to assist the club to find a spiritual home for us congregate; not Casey or Gosch but a real home. Let's not feed into the collective anxiety that if we don't win a flag in the next few years, we never will again, but rather strive for sustained prolonged success. Because then the flags are inevitable.

Simply my point is, trust in this team, this collective organisation. The club has never been in a better position. If we can't enjoy this now, when can we enjoy this team?

Yeah but we still blew it last week when we had them on toast. I’ll discipline of you know who probably cost us top 4.   Now injuries still shattered   Collingwood port Brisbane a long way ahead of us.   On par with bulldogs Geelong Adelaide to make up  numbers in finals l fear.   I love the boys and the club for the premiership but. … nowhere near repeating this year as yet. Maybe a great period of weeks ahead let’s hope so

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12 minutes ago, gregdemon said:

Now injuries still shattered   Collingwood port Brisbane a long way ahead of us.   On par with bulldogs Geelong Adelaide to make up  numbers in finals l fear.   I love the boys and the club for the premiership but. … nowhere near repeating this year as yet. 

Couldn't agree more.  We seem to have lots of problems to fix while Collingwood and Brisbane look very settled.  

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4 hours ago, BDA said:

you get to prelim stage you need the luck. sometimes you can get jumped like Richmond

I think Afl has proved that you need a lot of luck to get to the prelim stage. On paper our current injury list seems small, but every week we have lost key players and we never seem to get settled. 

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10 minutes ago, leave it to deever said:

I think Afl has proved that you need a lot of luck to get to the prelim stage. On paper our current injury list seems small, but every week we have lost key players and we never seem to get settled. 

The key is to be reasonably injury free during the run up and during finals.

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16 hours ago, JimmyGadson said:

One flag at the G this decade is all I ask. Please. 

Yes x 1,000,000.

Of course, it was brilliant to win the 2021 flag. But for me it still feels not quite real because it was in Perth.

I went to the 1988 and 2000 grand finals. God awful experience both. But, living in Melbourne, the week leading into both games was brilliant. 

I want the brilliant build up AND witness a victory on the hallowed turf of the 'G.

You make an excellent point about 'the finite window that exists for clubs to be in with a shot of a flag when everything is in order'. 

Even though we had poor 2019 and 2020, you could argue that window opened in 2018 given our finals run. For the sake of argument, and taking a line thru the Cats, let's say, with excellent planning and list management, the premiership window is open for 10 years.

We are more than halfway thru my nominal 10-year premiership window. Five more cracks at it. 

 

 

Edited by binman
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We're not winning it this year.

Look at West Coast. Simpson came on board for the 2015 season and with a system similar to ours (bouncing off McGovern and Barass) built to a flag in 2018. Not that WC had to do as much building as we did, since they already had a lot of good players. But then a few teams sussed them in 2019, more in 2020, more again in 2021... 2022, 2023 and now they are a shambles. As the losses and injuries and age profile took their toll, the gameplan static, confidence and hunger ebbing, virtually no players improved, they became easy-beats as other clubs streamed past. That's what we have to avoid. Our current players must get better, our gameplan must evolve, our ability to deal with opposition adjustments must improve. Last year we struggled to beat the strong, well-organised sides; same this year. Collingwood on face value is a much better side. Brisbane hard to toss. Port up and about. Freo getting their mojo back. The Saints with their defence first mantra will be a challenge for our dodgy-fwd-entries. Even the Dons made us look silly. The Dogs are on the improve. Adelaide will chip it around and avoid bombing to May and Lever - separating the defence becomes meat and potatoes for competent oppositions. If all we are doing now is trying to fine tune 2021's style we are cooked. I'm not calling for wholesale changes, but wholesale sameness doesn't cut it against hungry challengers. Well, perhaps I am calling for wholesale changes, and all that that implies. We're already hovering on the verge of FTB status. 

Dare I say it - 2021 was a weak year. Or was 2021 our Hawks 2008? Have we got two or three more years of development before we back up with another flag or three?

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We need to remember that every club still uses us as one of the benchmarks and going on our ladder position we are that. They come hard and at their home grounds they've been getting us. I think it's obvious we need some outside run but we also need to be cleaner and more measured at the coalface. We're not miles away. In fact I'd say with some rest coming up and a soft draw leading into finals if we can get our best 23 settled and in form we are as good a chance as any of the others. The next 6 games can be 3 - 3 and we're still in it folks.

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50 minutes ago, binman said:

Yes x 1,000,000.

Of course, it was brilliant to win the 2021 flag. But for me it still feels not quite real because it was in Perth.

I went to the 1988 and 2000 grand finals. God awful experience both. But, living in Melbourne, the week leading into both games was brilliant. 

I want the brilliant build up AND witness a victory on the hallowed turf of the 'G.

You make an excellent point about 'the finite window that exists for clubs to be in with a shot of a flag when everything is in order'. 

Even though we had poor 2019 and 2020, you could argue that window opened in 2018 given our finals run. For the sake of argument, and taking a line thru the Cats, let's say, with excellent planning and list management, the premiership window is open for 10 years.

We are more than halfway thru my nominal 10-year premiership window. Five more cracks at it. 

 

 

Exactly.

I loved 2021, we all did and the circumstances in a crazy way made it uniquely ours.

But there was just a little something missing. You say it didn't feel quite real because it was in Perth, in the leadup to it and being cooped up at home and maybe watching the matches over Zoom with others it felt like a video game. I'll admit it was a bit better than that but there were so many things that I felt were robbed from us: I wanted to go to a Grand Final Parade. I wanted to be there at the G, I wanted to be there with my mate I've been going with week in week out for 15 years and possibly most of all I wanted to go to a next day celebration at Gosch's with all of you. My bro is a Cats fan and he got to go last year. I'm getting a bit old for bitterness but I must say I couldn't help but be jealous. 

Of course this doesn't mean the same thing for everyone, some people are very happy watching us on Kayo, some live interstate etc but these are the things that really mean something to me and many others. It is an itch that needs to be scratched. 

One more for the decade please. 

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6 hours ago, Kent said:

you cannot buy a scotch and soda in the MCC reserve Pacific Ale is the second worst beer in australia

 

6 hours ago, McQueen said:

I’m interested to know what you rate as the worst?

 

5 hours ago, Roost it far said:

Hard pressed finding a worse one

I've always found Southwark to be undrinkable...

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6 hours ago, Orion said:

I'm finding it increasingly difficult to see how we're winning it this year.  We're having the same problems as last year

Are we? Are we winning in the same way? Are we losing in the same way?

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34 minutes ago, Orion said:

Yes

Patently untrue.

Last year we were reliant on stoppages for scores. We went long to the pockets. We played the same three mids at almost every centre stoppage and were trying to be perfect out the front of stoppages from these situations.

Leading into the Port game, we were in the top 4 for scores from stoppages, scores from turnovers and scores from kick outs. A much greater ability to score than last year.

This has translated to being highest scoring side in the competition (not the case last year), but we've managed not to greatly sacrifice our defensive side of the game, as we still have the fourth best defensive record in the competition. 

We are also rolling many more players through the stoppages this year and experimenting all over the ground, particularly with our forward and defensive set ups (personnel wise), and using our wingers differently to 2021-2022. For example, they no longer sit off the back of the contest, they literally stay out. The anti-bees to the honey pot.

So we've managed to go from a very safe, move the ball slowly and predictably to the pockets, to a team that moves the ball quickly, plays more defensive smalls than talls to win defensive ground ball and run and carry off half back, and we also enter 50 more centrally and less predictably than 2022. It's made the emphasis on winning the contest even greater. If we win the contest, our game flows and we score quickly. If we lose the contest (think Port on Friday night), we struggle to score, but our defensive organisation keeps us in games.

Ground ball remains the only real weakness that has followed through from 2022.

What has arguably gone backwards is our stoppage work, but this is easily explained by the fact we're rolling our less talented players through there more often, to take lessons from Geelong and rest our elite players in game more.

What has stayed true from 2021-2023 is that if we win contest and ground ball, we're extremely difficult to beat. And in 2023, we have far more avenues to goal (ways of scoring and personnel).

In fact, again, going into the Port game, we were top 5 of all time for spread of goal kickers per game.

Our game is set up to score from both stoppages and from turnover, something that is clearly very deliberately set up to beat Collingwood, who rely on extra numbers at the stoppage. So if we commit less to the contest, it means we have runners on the outside. Providing our contested players win the inside battle, we're a huge shot of scoring heavily on the outside and off turnover.

I'd love to know how you think we're winning and losing in the same ways? I hope you've got more than 'we beat up on the weak teams and can't beat the better teams'...

Edited by A F
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