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Do the Demons need to do a new football department review?


Supreme_Demon

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Richardson is football boss.  Is he the right fix?  Him and Goodwin must find a very very good forward coach as a priority.  Review players positions, I think we have depth for backhalf and think Salem can go forward or in the middle.  Bowey and Juddster can handle kicking from the back. We really need to review who is best in our group at kicking goals. 

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1 hour ago, chook fowler said:

Don’t need a review to know that a new forward line and midfield coach is required. 

I have been mulling over this since the finals losses. The reality is we are not as good as we thought we were, and that goes for the board, team and supporters. It’s great to pat ourselves on the back, only side to finish top four in the last three years, but we have proven that it can mean nothing in terms of winning the flag, but let’s give the coach an extension. We are an undisciplined, poor kicking side. The best thing about top four is not being in the Neeld era. If MFC wants to be a big club, we have to beat the Pies/Blues in a final at our “home” ground when 2/3 crowd are baying for blood, while we clap politely, The 2021 flag was won in isolation in front of a “pleasant” crowd. I’m sure the MCG crowds have influenced the umpiring committee of four. Another issue is Captain Gawn. The club recruits Grundy to replace Jackson, yet when fit, Gawn says I have to ruck by myself, except when the ball is in the arcs, so we have no ruck or use Petracca or JVR. With this attitude Gawn has to execute perfectly, and when he can’t the team pays the price. What happened to team before any individual? Then somehow we end up with Schache as sub, who is not used? Tail wagging dog? So I think it’s yes have an internal review (I’m sure Pert is very annoyed), but not just the football department, the board and the supporters need to stop drinking our own bath water, unless we are happy to finish top four every year, and watch other teams play off for a flag on our “home” ground.

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46 minutes ago, Hassa Mann said:

I have been mulling over this since the finals losses. The reality is we are not as good as we thought we were, and that goes for the board, team and supporters. It’s great to pat ourselves on the back, only side to finish top four in the last three years, but we have proven that it can mean nothing in terms of winning the flag, but let’s give the coach an extension. We are an undisciplined, poor kicking side. The best thing about top four is not being in the Neeld era. If MFC wants to be a big club, we have to beat the Pies/Blues in a final at our “home” ground when 2/3 crowd are baying for blood, while we clap politely, The 2021 flag was won in isolation in front of a “pleasant” crowd. I’m sure the MCG crowds have influenced the umpiring committee of four. Another issue is Captain Gawn. The club recruits Grundy to replace Jackson, yet when fit, Gawn says I have to ruck by myself, except when the ball is in the arcs, so we have no ruck or use Petracca or JVR. With this attitude Gawn has to execute perfectly, and when he can’t the team pays the price. What happened to team before any individual? Then somehow we end up with Schache as sub, who is not used? Tail wagging dog? So I think it’s yes have an internal review (I’m sure Pert is very annoyed), but not just the football department, the board and the supporters need to stop drinking our own bath water, unless we are happy to finish top four every year, and watch other teams play off for a flag on our “home” ground.

 

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54 minutes ago, Hassa Mann said:

I have been mulling over this since the finals losses. The reality is we are not as good as we thought we were, and that goes for the board, team and supporters. It’s great to pat ourselves on the back, only side to finish top four in the last three years, but we have proven that it can mean nothing in terms of winning the flag, but let’s give the coach an extension. We are an undisciplined, poor kicking side. The best thing about top four is not being in the Neeld era. If MFC wants to be a big club, we have to beat the Pies/Blues in a final at our “home” ground when 2/3 crowd are baying for blood, while we clap politely, The 2021 flag was won in isolation in front of a “pleasant” crowd. I’m sure the MCG crowds have influenced the umpiring committee of four. Another issue is Captain Gawn. The club recruits Grundy to replace Jackson, yet when fit, Gawn says I have to ruck by myself, except when the ball is in the arcs, so we have no ruck or use Petracca or JVR. With this attitude Gawn has to execute perfectly, and when he can’t the team pays the price. What happened to team before any individual? Then somehow we end up with Schache as sub, who is not used? Tail wagging dog? So I think it’s yes have an internal review (I’m sure Pert is very annoyed), but not just the football department, the board and the supporters need to stop drinking our own bath water, unless we are happy to finish top four every year, and watch other teams play off for a flag on our “home” ground.

Well said.

When all was said and done this year looks like more was said than done. 

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On 9/22/2023 at 2:27 PM, Hassa Mann said:

I have been mulling over this since the finals losses. The reality is we are not as good as we thought we were, and that goes for the board, team and supporters. It’s great to pat ourselves on the back, only side to finish top four in the last three years, but we have proven that it can mean nothing in terms of winning the flag, but let’s give the coach an extension. We are an undisciplined, poor kicking side. The best thing about top four is not being in the Neeld era. If MFC wants to be a big club, we have to beat the Pies/Blues in a final at our “home” ground when 2/3 crowd are baying for blood, while we clap politely, The 2021 flag was won in isolation in front of a “pleasant” crowd. I’m sure the MCG crowds have influenced the umpiring committee of four. Another issue is Captain Gawn. The club recruits Grundy to replace Jackson, yet when fit, Gawn says I have to ruck by myself, except when the ball is in the arcs, so we have no ruck or use Petracca or JVR. With this attitude Gawn has to execute perfectly, and when he can’t the team pays the price. What happened to team before any individual? Then somehow we end up with Schache as sub, who is not used? Tail wagging dog? So I think it’s yes have an internal review (I’m sure Pert is very annoyed), but not just the football department, the board and the supporters need to stop drinking our own bath water, unless we are happy to finish top four every year, and watch other teams play off for a flag on our “home” ground.

With the likes of the Pies & Blues they have an approx 30% advantage/head start here (membership > crowd numbers).

On KB i actually thought we matched the Pies vocally or even just pipped them.  Was as good as i've witnessed in 50+ years of  following but yes more of that level is needed.  We do drop away at times.

Having said that we've made great progress since the Premiership but playing catch up.  Will need at least one more flag to capitalise on this membership momentum in the next 3 to 5 years imv to keep up and close the gap.

Also on a big stage final i reckon the boys will need to really focus and harden up little more mentally in order to cope with what's coming at them.

We appeared to do this in the 21 bubble.  I wonder if we did, across the board, in the last two series?

Any review needs to ask the question imo...

..."Why was there a big drop off for so many players between their usual H&A form vs what they brought to the table in the heat & pressure of finals, where performance of output is tested at the ultimate level?"

Some matched their H&A form.  Some actually significantly outperformed.

However, the gap with many of those who did under-perform vs their H&A, was stark.

Why was that?  Was there a common theme or just individual players not coping with the pressure, potential oppo coolers, quality / intensity the oppo brought etc.

Maybe it's something to do with training methods / routines.  Were they too intense, too stacked or not intense enough to replicate the pressure of a final?

The next part is of course the poor mid - forward cohesion, connection, craft and lastly, conversion.

This probably the major aspect of our weaknesses and has been covered infinitum on here so no need to extend this.

Bottom line is we need some fresh voices/minds at the coaching level and on the park.

McAdam a handy start but still need to land a dangerous KPF this off season if we're to fire in 24.

Not an easy task of course.  Not alot about so we'll need to get creative.

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Melbourne are now breathing rarefied air, or eating mouthfuls of dirt to put it more accurately, by becoming the first club to suffer back-to-back straight sets exits out of finals this century.

The Demons won 16 home and away games in each of 2022 and 2023, giving them a total of 32 that only Collingwood has bettered across that time. They finished second on the ladder last year and fourth this season. They earned two double chances and have a grand total of zero finals wins to show for it.

After Melbourne won the flag in 2021, playing their finals in Adelaide and Perth, there was all the talk of being hungry to do it in front of their loyal Victorian fans, a packed MCG, etc… Of course, such things are always easy to say and this has proven empty talk. It’s doubtful whether it was ever truly believed in the first place, and certainly not from a playing group that has proven to be so smug yet so delicate at the same.


Jack Viney and Brayden Maynard fight.
Jack Viney and Brayden Maynard fight. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Some will say the burden of trying to replicate their 2021 feats in front of a home ground has become a noose around their neck, but that is nonsense. In finals, weaknesses get shown up, and for the Demons it is their dysfunctional forward line and inability to kick goals.

In their qualifying final loss to Collingwood, Melbourne conspired to kick a losing score despite amassing 69 inside 50s to 37, generating roughly one score per four entries. However, this isn’t a new problem under Simon Goodwin.

Rewind back to Round 14, 2018, a Friday night against Port in Adelaide. The Demons won the inside 50 count 69 to 39 yet still lost. Five years later and it looked exactly the same as the final against the Pies two weeks ago – bombs away from all corners into the forward line with no care, responsibility or skill in the delivery.

Dees fans have been bemoaning the lack of system in the forward line for most of Goodwin’s tenure, apart from parts of 2018 when they were kicking monster scores for fun. But with all the focus on Melbourne’s tight defence, they simply haven’t got the balance right when it comes to attacking off that base.

And in those last four finals losses, all at the MCG, they have kicked of 37 goals. 37. They kicked 40 goals just in the prelim and grand final of 2021. How the mighty have fallen.

Tom McDonald must have almost played his last game of competitive football. In his last five matches as a key forward in a top four team, he has averaged six touches, two marks and less than a goal a game. He couldn’t have looked older and slower, to the point they might as well have brought David Schwarz or Allen Jakovich out of retirement instead.


Max Gawn
Max Gawn withj he 2021 AFL premiership trophy. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Joel Smith looked like Wayne Carey at stages in the first half against Carlton, but is a 27yo that has 42 games to his credit, averaging seven matches a year since his debut. He ain’t the answer, and also only had six touches in the end despite his three goals.

Jacob van Rooyen has the talent, and the fire in the belly to be a key forward of substance, but is going to be erratic for a while yet. Ben Brown’s papers appear to be stamped.


The best Melbourne’s forward line looked all finals series was a 20-25 minute patch either side of three-quarter-time. The forward line was open, Kossie Pickett was playing out of the square, Bayley Fritsch had space to lead into, and the two of them put their team into a winning position. Most importantly, the ball carriers were hitting them on the lead.

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What can’t be denied is that the Melbourne midfield continues to be less than the sum of its parts. Max Gawn, the ruckman of his generation, Christian Petracca and Clayton Oliver, who both have claims as the number one midfielder in the competition, and Jack Viney coming off a career best year and on the cusp of All Australian selection.

The problem is none of them can kick. Between the four of them, they had 32 inside 50s in that first final against Collingwood. Gawn was dominant on the night, but how did that help the team? Do Demon supporters want Gawn having 27 disposals and kicking it inside 50 ten times? What sort of system is that?

And let’s not get started on the Brodie Grundy trade. Does it even happen if Gawn didn’t kick five goals against Geelong in the 2021 preliminary final? The idea was supposed to be that Gawn would play more forward, both giving Melbourne a focal point and prolonging his career, while Grundy could come in and take more ruck duties.

What they ended up with instead was a downgrade in the ruck spot and a poor key forward, that can take the occasional mark near goal but be a less than 50/50 prospect of converting it anyway.


Brodie Grundy. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)


And then the question has to be asked, what sort of lunatics would bring Josh Schache into their football club, thinking he was anything other than simply not up to the cut and thrust of AFL football?

Not only that, but to then make Schache the starting sub in a final after only one full game for the season? And to know your judgement was so appalling in making him the sub, that you couldn’t even bring yourself to inject him into the game with tired bodies everywhere and the season on the line?

It’s just infuriating to think about. We can only imagine how Demons fans must feel about it.

And all the way through, Simon Goodwin talking the same old nonsense about taking learnings, whatever that means, without ever acknowledging the midfield ball movement and forward line disarray that keeps bringing them unstuck at the big moments.

But he brought a premiership to the club after an almost 60 year drought, and the way of these things is that you get an eternal sort of credit. We see it with Luke Beveridge at the Bulldogs to this day.

Perhaps Melbourne are destined to be like Sydney of a decade ago. The Swans won the 2012 flag, and have chipped around the edges ever since, making some grand finals without ever winning another. The Demons may well be one and done, and are already on the downslope. It has to leave them unfulfilled.


The Crowd Says:
 
4 days ago

Wikipetia

Roar Rookie

The hardness we are talking about is different I think. I’m talking about the self-abnegation of selfless team first footy. That’s hard to maintain under pressure I don’t doubt at all their commitment to the contest

 
4 days ago

Steele

Roar Rookie

Yup it’s been a media pile on all week. Doesn’t make it true though. They play hard, but sometimes stupid footy. Key injuries and game plan for mine.

 
5 days ago

Wikipetia

Roar Rookie

have you seen the horror critique of all of the individual acts that were non-teamy in the last quarter? of an elimination semi? i don't have belief. just belief in inquiry

 
5 days ago

Mr Right

Roar Rookie

PD, glad you agree. But in these times of political correctness, you are not supposed to categorise the Swans, Lions etc are playing in a "non-football state".

 
5 days ago

Pumping Dougie

Roar Guru

Yeah, I think the 2007-2011 is one of the greatest teams on paper that I have ever seen, up there with Brisbane in the early 2000s and Hawthorn in the mid to late 1980s, and definitely better on paper than the Hawthorn or Richmond recent triumphant eras. So I'd say they delivered, but didn't over-achieve, given their list. The 2008 loss to Hawthorn was one that got away and hurts their legacy.

 
5 days ago

Arges Tuft

Roar Rookie

umm 2007 2009 2011 2022

 
5 days ago

Steele

Roar Rookie

I thought they did actually. You have a different belief in why they lost to me.

 
5 days ago

Wikipetia

Roar Rookie

did they show elite intent and commitment to each other, when it really mattered. it appears not. now 17 teams won't win the comp this year but Melbourne (and prob Brisbane) would be the two teams that people are gonna legitimately ask - how come?

 
5 days ago

Steele

Roar Rookie

Agree

 
5 days ago

Steele

Roar Rookie

Well sure, Melbourne’s best years may still be ahead. But I don’t think this year was a hangover, injuries and game plan had a bigger impact than want and desire. They play a tough brand, suggesting it’s not a lack of intent. Forward entries and forward cattle weren’t good.

 
5 days ago

Pumping Dougie

Roar Guru

I think Melbourne have the best list on paper and from that point of view they have under-achieved (so far). But if they snag a flag next year or the year after then they have delivered on their window. I rate the lists of Brisbane, Bulldogs, Carlton and Port highly too, and on that front I think the Bulldogs under-achieved this year and the other three teams are where they should be. Collingwood’s list is very good, but I think their performance exceeds expectations. GWS list is good, but they only just snuck into the finals … a finish anywhere between 7th and 10th would be on par I reckon, so they have definitely over-achieved. Then again, last year I would have said Geelong’s list was about the 10th best.

 
5 days ago

Pumping Dougie

Roar Guru

Well not Geelong ...

 
5 days ago

Pumping Dougie

Roar Guru

Cheers Mr Right. I admit I was very critical of the 9 year Buddy deal when it was signed, due to it's length. I know that his contract value meant a number of other players left seeking more money, but that happens at other clubs too and it's futile to speculate whether the Swans would have won a flag if those players stayed and Buddy never came. But now with the benefit of hindsight, I think Buddy's tenure and value for the Swans was exceptional. He was a rockstar on the field and delivered fans to the sport in a non-football state. He performed exceptionally well in the 2022 season, the last year of his 9 year contract. The Swans went very close to winning the flag with him in 2016.

 
5 days ago

Naughty's Headband

Roar Rookie

Fair enough. I think we are arguing the same thing just from different perspectives.

 
5 days ago

Wikipetia

Roar Rookie

Petracca is fabulous. but the defining image for me of his season will be his extended arms out burn of Pickett for not dishing off. seems like plenty more connection needed. maybe the flag came too easily for the key players? they were a slightly young team (under 25 average) with Oliver only 24 and Petracca 25, Brayshaw 25 etc the 2022 internal events were a terrible look but winning papers over a lot -- in comparison, for the core star/leadership/values setters: Cotchin was 27, Martin 26, Edwards almost 29, Jack almost 29, Rance almost 28. Grigg was the real glue and was 29. they'd had more bad years, more hopes dashed, and I just feel like it meant more to them to win as individuals, and that they also knew that they had to keep working hard because the moment is short and the window always struggling to defy gravity. it was a first premiership based more in team and system and structure, albeit with some brilliance. only Melbourne will really know if the team is giving its all, individually and collectively, especially when it matters. but it's possible they are still in a hangover, it's just that this what a hangover with elite talent looks like?

 
5 days ago

Wikipetia

Roar Rookie

there are pies in the sky. they taste better at high altitude it's win-win-win for all of Dees, Tiges and Coasters

 
5 days ago

Charlie Keegan

Roar Guru

That’s part of the reason why I am glowing in my assessment of Kevin Sheedy he won four flags across a span of twenty years and three of which had close to a decade between them. Like you said the hardest thing is to win one flag but to do it multiple times with largely different teams is impressive. Of course the mark against sheeds is that 2000 side really should’ve won in 99 and 2001

 
5 days ago

Charlie Keegan

Roar Guru

That and the Cats had a magnificent slate of father son recruits, the abletts, Matthew scarlet, tom Hawkins, mark Blake and Jed Bews are all father son recruits for the cats

 
5 days ago

Charlie Keegan

Roar Guru

Yeah I reckon they would’ve won another flag if they got one or the other not both. I remember the Tippet deal not being good business from the Swans like he kicked five on debut against the Pies but he struggled in Sydney

 
5 days ago

Scyphus

Roar Rookie

Demon, I mostly agree with your assertion that line (and other assistant) coaches are really important to a team, much more than most people realize. But it *is* entirely on the head coach to assemble his team of assistants. I am not a Goodwin fan, and though I have no idea whether he drives the high quality of the defensive scheme more than his assistants, it is very damning for me that he clearly either: (1) hasn't gotten the right mid/forward assistants to develop a scheme for creating quality shots; or (2) hasn't gotten the he!! out of the way of a good assistant who would do something differently. Melbourne clearly has personnel weapons in abundance to be able to score goals by the basketful, and the fact that they usually don't, or at least don't when it counts, is either on the coach, or else on the list management team who bring players in who do what they're gonna do regardless of any coaching they might get. From what I can see, I'd bet it's the former.

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1 hour ago, Ferghus31 said:

After Melbourne won the flag in 2021, playing their finals in Adelaide and Perth, there was all the talk of being hungry to do it in front of their loyal Victorian fans, a packed MCG, etc… Of course, such things are always easy to say and this has proven empty talk. It’s doubtful whether it was ever truly believed in the first place, and certainly not from a playing group that has proven to be so smug yet so delicate at the same.

When all is said and done, more is said than done.

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On 9/22/2023 at 2:27 PM, Hassa Mann said:

I have been mulling over this since the finals losses. The reality is we are not as good as we thought we were, and that goes for the board, team and supporters. It’s great to pat ourselves on the back, only side to finish top four in the last three years, but we have proven that it can mean nothing in terms of winning the flag, but let’s give the coach an extension. We are an undisciplined, poor kicking side. The best thing about top four is not being in the Neeld era. If MFC wants to be a big club, we have to beat the Pies/Blues in a final at our “home” ground when 2/3 crowd are baying for blood, while we clap politely, The 2021 flag was won in isolation in front of a “pleasant” crowd. I’m sure the MCG crowds have influenced the umpiring committee of four. Another issue is Captain Gawn. The club recruits Grundy to replace Jackson, yet when fit, Gawn says I have to ruck by myself, except when the ball is in the arcs, so we have no ruck or use Petracca or JVR. With this attitude Gawn has to execute perfectly, and when he can’t the team pays the price. What happened to team before any individual? Then somehow we end up with Schache as sub, who is not used? Tail wagging dog? So I think it’s yes have an internal review (I’m sure Pert is very annoyed), but not just the football department, the board and the supporters need to stop drinking our own bath water, unless we are happy to finish top four every year, and watch other teams play off for a flag on our “home” ground.

A lot of what you say has value Hassan however you have not mentioned the amount of injuries we suffered  to good players. Even with these injuries with a small amount of accurate kicking we would be  playing  last week and maybe Saturday.  

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On 9/21/2023 at 3:38 PM, Jaded No More said:

Newsflash, they do an internal review every single year. 

Or do you think they've packed their bags and gone off to Bali?

So little credit being given to a club that has finished top 4 for three years running, and won a flag just two years ago.

Maysie's taken his boogie board.

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The answer to the opening post's question seems bleeding obvious to me. 

Every club, like every business of this size, should do an annual review. I would be in favour of having an external, independent person head the review but include on it a member of the Board and at least one member of the football department. And to go one step further, I would only allow the external independent person to be involved in a maximum of three annual reviews. Any more and they would lose their independence.

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On 9/26/2023 at 6:07 PM, Supreme_Demon said:

Unless the Demons win the Premiership in 2024 then both 2022 and 2023 will be seen as wasted opportunities.

Having said that, the most important thing is making sure the Melbourne Football Club is able to have sustained success over many years.

It also comes down to what you or they define as ' sustained success '

Top 4, 3 years running is a excellent run.. flag's are very hard to win, It took us 57 years... 

The thing to think about is what if we won one more flag in the next 2 years with this group and dropped out of the 8 for the next 10years

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