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Scoop Junior

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Everything posted by Scoop Junior

  1. My first thought is this is a prank. If I'm wrong, then Darkhorse perhaps explain to your son that tens of thousands of Melbourne supporters, who have been going to the footy week in week out to watch the Dees (some for as many as 50-odd years without seeing a premiership), many a time knowing we would not only lose but be belted, going home upset/frustrated/despondent, and doing this over and over again, all the while retaining the dream of seeing their side win a flag at the G, have been denied entry to the first ever Grand Final in Perth where their team has finally saluted. And then couldn't even celebrate it properly with a party atmosphere because they were subjected to some of the strictest lockdown rules anywhere in the entire world. I think in that context, you guys will consider yourselves incredibly fortunate to have experienced the grand final build up, ability to go to the game and winning the premiership without any restrictions whatsoever, and not getting a signature from a player is about as trivial as forgetting to record an AFL-X game.
  2. BUMP One of the great things about winning a flag and hopefully being a successful footy club is reading the articles about the positive things the club has done and is doing, almost setting the example for the rest to follow. This is especially so after all the negativity we have had to endure for so long. While a lot of the negativity during the 2007-2013 period was justified (even though it still hurt us to read it), I thought it was fairly unjustified at times after that period while we were rebuilding, especially with some of the key decisions we made in drafting/trading and the over-reaction to losses last year. The easy analysis from the journos was "Melbourne stuffed up their first rebuild in 2007-2010, they'll just do it again" and there was a failure by many of them to appreciate a strategy that was smart, creative, innovative and brilliantly executed. So let's lap up the positive articles now and enjoy it more by remembering comments like these in the article in the first post of this thread. David King - "They've gone May and Lever as part of their big spend, who are very good players, but what influence can they really have on winning games of football?" I do like King as he does try to provide some insight and he was not the only one who said this at the time. But it's too good not to use!
  3. Agree completely on Oliver being severely underrated - both by opposition fans and commentators. Trac is a sensational player and gets deserved recognition as such but Oliver doesn't get the plaudits he deserves. I think this year commentators have finally caught on to him, but some of them suggest that this has been some kind of breakout season or that he has gone to new levels. The bloke has been performing at an exceptionally high level for years. I can't remember exactly who it was but a Melbourne player was asked about Oliver's incredible year earlier this season and he just laughed and said something like "Clarrie has been doing it for years". Not only is he brilliant at his craft but he has an incredible will to win. How often does he have a huge last quarter in a close game to try to drag us over the line, winning some critical contests along the way. He did it last night with that centre clearance with about 1:20 left and the Eagles throwing everything at us. 28 possessions last night while copping an extremely tight tag for 4 quarters from a seasoned tagger. He is a truly phenomenal footballer.
  4. The AFL in their "explanation" didn't use a lack of vision from the umpire as an excuse. Now I'm not for one minute saying the AFL explanation of "he thought there was a player in the vicinity" is the truth - we all know it's just a massaged message to avoid the obvious reason why the free wasn't paid - but if in fact the umpire was too far away or had his view obstructed they would have said this. It's the easy out. The fact they didn't shows it wasn't a case of him being out of position.
  5. He wasn't. He was in the right position, well inside 50, not too far from the action. He saw it but didn't pay it.
  6. I understand your exercise of trying to find out why he didn't pay it, but I think it's a futile one. Of course we don't know the subjective reasoning of the individual umpire, but I think it's pretty obvious that he froze in the moment and was scared of making a game-deciding decision in front of the home fans. I don't believe there's any other rational conclusion that can be drawn when a free kick so blatant and so clear is not paid. If you were looking for a video to demonstrate deliberate out of bounds 101 this would've been a good example.
  7. You can try and look for "outs" on why the umpire didn't pay the deliberate, but the truth is he just bottled it and failed to pay the clear free kick he observed. Doedee was nowhere near where the Crows player handballed to. He got the ball, looked to the boundary, and handballed straight towards it. I'd be surprised if he even knew Doedee approaching from behind his right shoulder. The only reason Doedee was near the ball when it was because he ran after it as it trickled out. As for the Spargo deflection, I don't believe a slight deflection that is not only unobservable to the naked eye at normal speed but that doesn't change the trajectory or the speed of the ball affects a deliberate decision. And even if it does, there is no way the umpire could have spotted that minor deflection. So even if it was technically correct, which I don't believe it is, it doesn't change the fact that he failed to pay the free kick he observed. The outcome doesn't justify the flawed methodology. Not sure if it has been mentioned elsewhere but on that final high kick forward before the siren went, Oliver was running back with the flight to either get to the aerial contest or be in a front-and-square position to crumb and gets completely blocked off by Laird. I didn't see it at the time and I can understand that umpire missing this off-the-ball free, but it's yet another one that went against us and further shows how the whistle gets swallowed for away teams in the last few minutes of a tight game.
  8. Redleg is spot on. It's not a mistake. It's a clear and obvious free kick right in front of the umpire and he elected not to pay it. Why? He bottled it - he must have known it was a free but didn't show the courage required to pay a potential game-deciding free kick in front of the rabid Adelaide fans. I can tolerate an umpiring error (e.g. missing a hold or a high tackle in a pack of players), and I can tolerate not paying tiggy touchwood frees in a tight game, but you simply must pay a clear and obvious free that you see. It's a clear deliberate under the old interpretation, let alone the new "insufficient intent to keep it in" which is a lower threshold. And that's not even mentioning the holding the ball against Keays - one of the clearest examples of holding the ball you will ever see. So that's 2 of the 3 umpires on the night bottling it. They melted in the spotlight and allowed themselves to be influenced by the crowd and that's the message that needs to be conveyed. Fat chance of that happening though - all we will get is the AFL giving the "yeah they each made a mistake" and further obfuscating the issue.
  9. I wouldn't have thought there'd be too many Spurs fans with the nickname "Gunna's".
  10. This is reading far too much into a piece of vision that shows maybe 1% of what happened in the rooms post-game. You simply don't know what had occurred previously nor what occurred after it. For all we know one of the blokes could've sat down and had a chat with Rivers for 15 minutes at some stage. Just because they're not around him in this small sample of vision doesn't mean it didn't happen and it's dangerous to make these kinds of assumptions off such limited footage. The same when people say Goodwin in the box doesn't do A, B and C when the cameras probably pick up maybe 30 seconds to 1 minute's footage of the coach's box each quarter. You just can't make those assumptions. By the same token I could probably make a highlights video showing Dean Terlich to be a gun rebounding defender.
  11. But it's not the same actus reus. The first offence is driving drunk. The second offence is hitting someone while driving drunk. It's not about outcome, it's about a separate action.
  12. Agree completely - outcome is a factor but it should not be THE factor. The AFL can say what they like about the importance of trying to prevent head injuries and concussion but if a decision like this is not appealed by the AFL then they're doing no more than paying lip service to it. What this decision is telling players is they can sling tackle without fear of suspension provided the player getting tackled manages to break his fall with his arm. And this after the rules were apparently broadened as to what constitutes a dangerous tackle due to the Burgoyne incident. What a shocking message to send.
  13. A very good performance for four quarters - looked superior from the start, always had the answers and never really looked like being seriously challenged. The most interesting thing to me was the manner of the win. It was very different to the usual Melbourne wins - in fact, it was almost a reverse of what the opposition usually does to us. Even in many losses we've had clear wins in contested ball, clearances and inside 50s, but just either failed with the last kick inside 50 or missed chances in front of goal. The opposition on the flip side would be more efficient and take their chances and we'd lose despite dominating some of the key stats. Last night we were level in contested ball and inside 50s and the Pies shaded the clearances. Yet we won the game by 10 goals. It was a complete reversal of the roles - we were the team scoring every time we went inside 50 (20 scores from 40 inside 50s is a big return), kicking accurately (only two more scoring shots after quarter time but a score of 13.1 to 5.7), hitting targets around the ground and taking uncontested marks. I thought the Pies were at least our equal if not better in terms of getting first hands on it at stoppages but they fumbled, over-handballed, turned it over by foot through the middle of the ground and then struggled to score when inside 50. It does need to be kept in mind that this was a Pies team missing some key players and going through a poor patch off a four-day break. I thought they looked pretty woeful against the Crows and they carried that into this match. They then also lost two players by midway through the third and had Ruscoe limping around for the second half with a corkie. This is not to understate what was a great performance by us, but just backs up what I've said for a while that it's a fairly even competition and things like injuries, fitness and confidence can be the difference between a team looking a premiership contender (Collingwood earlier in the season) and one looking about a 10-12 side (Collingwood the last few weeks). Pickett was fumbly, but just as you are happy if young key forwards get to the right spots and get their hands to the ball at marking contests (even if they drop them, as you know with more strength and confidence they will start to clunk them), his performance was the small forward equivalent. He regularly got to the right spots and got hands on the ball but just couldn't be clean at the crucial moment. Tidy that up and he probably could've kicked 3 or 4 tonight. His reading of the drop of the ball from marking contests is exceptional. I think Lever is getting unfair criticism based on some glaring errors. Unfortunately these few mistakes stick in people's mind more than the brilliant work he did for the majority of the match, which often doesn't get noticed. His positioning was fantastic and on many occasions when the Pies got the ball around 80m out and looked up, there was Lever plugging the hole and causing indecision in the inside 50 kick. He was a big part of why we defended our back 50 so well and only leaked 6 goals from 41 inside 50s. Great to win a game based on being the cleaner and more efficient team. Also pleasing to see more evidence to support the view that the Port performance was an aberration, which some of us on here maintained at the time despite the many panic merchants thinking it was a true representation of who we are as a side.
  14. I know there was a lot of discussion about the Richmond game but I didn't see that as one of the "shockers" I was referring to. I reckon the media completely overplayed the performance in that game. The stats in that game were level. We were never out of the game at any point. Yes the skill level and decision-making was appalling but there was good effort, we won enough of the ball, competed hard but let ourselves down with our use of the ball. The Tigers just ran rings around the Bulldogs, a team touted as a top-four chance, without Nankervis, Caddy, Prestia, Edwards, Houli and Vlaustin who all played against us. We were far more competitive than the Dogs were against a significantly stronger Richmond side. Last night was different. It was one of those flat, lethargic, at times soft and accepting of defeat kinds of losses. That's what I'm referring to as the mulligan as we have not seen that type of performance this year. We've seen the poor skills, the lack of inside 50 efficiency, but not that.
  15. It was obviously a horrible performance, up there with the worst we have played in the last four years. As bad as the skill level was - and it was hardly VFL level let alone AFL level - it was not that surprising given we have seen it many times before. Perhaps not to that extent (in terms of quality and the duration of the game during which it was on show), but it didn't exactly come as a huge surprise to see us miss basic 20m kicks time and time again. I actually thought we were on top (or at worst level) in terms of winning the ball at the source and getting it inside 50 in the first quarter, but our entries made some of the stuff we did forward of centre earlier in the season look like Hawthorn of 2013-2015. Repeated kicking to the boundary, or to packs, or to one-on-ones where our player would be significantly out-sized, or even straight to Power defenders. As we have seen many times before if you turn the ball over through the middle or across half forward you are out of position and Port just did as they pleased on the rebound. While that part of the game was somewhat unsurprising, what was really un-Melbourne like (in terms of our previous 4 years) was the effort after quarter time. Say what you want about our skills and inside 50 connection, but we have consistently been a high-energy team that tackles, pressures, outnumbers at the contest, works hard and surges the ball forward. After quarter time we seemed to be totally flat, devoid of any energy whatsoever. I think at one point late in the last quarter we had only had about 10 inside 50s since quarter time. Was it a 4-day break? Was it a lack of confidence? Was it going into our shells after so many kicking errors in the first quarter and Port punishing us on the rebound? I'm not sure, but we've had periods in games before where we've turned the ball over constantly but have at least responded. In all our losses this year I don't think anyone can say effort was an issue, but last night there was just this complete absence of energy and an apparent acceptance of the loss. At times you could say there were some soft individual acts which is not a trait we've seen from this team over the years. I'm happy to put this in the mulligan column, however. Most teams have a couple of shockers a season, including the very best teams. This week we've heard about WCE being a premiership favourite and only 6 weeks ago they were absolutely crushed by Gold Coast. Richmond in 2017 were embarrassed by St Kilda mid year and won the premiership. Look at Collingwood last week - 15 goals to 1 since quarter time. In an even competition it happens - the key is whether it becomes a pattern of form or can be consigned to the mulligan column. Now is not the time to panic and throw the baby out with the bathwater. We're 3-5, the season is not over. We've had a tough draw, playing and losing to WCE, Geelong, Richmond, Brisbane and Port, who all sit comfortably near the top of the ladder. Two of those losses were by a kick and we could've won both despite not being at our best. We have only played one bottom 5 team in Hawthorn. Contrast this with Essendon who have wins against the Crows, Dockers, Swans and Roos - and all by less than two goals. If we continue to play like we did against Port then there will be some big concerns, obviously. But for mine there is no evidence to say that is our level, in fact the evidence of the season so far mostly suggests we can at least compete with the better teams.
  16. They had Suarez, Sturridge, Gerrard and Sterling in 2013/2014 scoring for fun (in fact the first three scored more than Salah, Firmino and Sane this year) but they still lost the title to City. They conceded 50 goals in 2013/2014; this year it's 25. The big money purchase of defensive reinforcements was critical for them to take the next step and win the league.
  17. Of course, but Liverpool spent double as much on VVD than they did on Salah who is their best attacking player. Without VVD I don't think Liverpool win the league. Now no one is saying a team should only spend money on its defence. But in relation to King's specific comment that "no other team in any other code does that" (in terms of spending large sums on defenders) is wrong. Liverpool had a desperate need for a gun centre back and a GK and they spent a huge sum (both club record transfers) to get VVD and Alisson in.
  18. Anyone remember this from King in early 2019: “The backline of Melbourne will be a talking point during the week,” King said on Fox Footy. “Frost and McDonald — they just can’t get the job done. It’s almost premiership kryptonite with those two. “You need someone who’s a bit more trustworthy and steady across that halfback line in particular. “They don’t seem to take intercept marks, nor can they defend as you’d expect.”
  19. Spot on. If we can just get some poise and composure in the way we move the ball forward it would not only lead to 3-4 extra goals per week but also stop the resulting turnover and the opposition then being able to rebound the ball. When you are matching or beating the opposition in most other areas of the game, this can be the difference between winning and losing.
  20. Not sure if King has done his full research on world sport. Liverpool spent 140 million euros on Van Dijk (centre back) and Alisson (keeper) in the last two years and just won their first league title in 30 years.
  21. You're talking about two different things. On the coaching issue, you are correct in that Garry was involved in hiring Neeld which ended up being a terrible decision. No one is suggesting otherwise. I am not the biggest fan of Garry's commentary about MFC generally. But I was using it as a comparison and to highlight the difference between throwing out cliches and actually forming a considered opinion that provides a degree of analysis into what our current problems are. It's pretty clear that our issue is efficiency forward of centre, yet Schwarz doesn't even touch on it.
  22. It's just completely and utterly off the mark. Full of cliches that don't even apply to our situation. Not being "hard enough" and "not playing for the jumper"? This is not an issue at all - we have plenty of hard nuts who put their body on the line week in week out for this team. He says "players only come for the coin" - does he have evidence of this or is just another inaccurate cliched emotive call? He also says people go to Hawthorn because they want to go there but they go to Melbourne because they have nowhere else. What absolute trash. Did Jake Lever have nowhere else? Steven May? Michael Hibberd? Why have a number of young players re-signed if the MFC is as bad as he says it is when they could easily go somewhere else. There is no analysis whatsoever about what is really the issue at the moment which is our inside 50 efficiency through a combination of our decision making / execution forward of centre and our struggling forward line. It has nothing to do with anything Schwarz has claimed in his scorched earth policy. After reading it you'd think we had just lost to Geelong by 186 points. I love the Ox but that article has about as much sense as the inane ramblings of a disgruntled fan 5 minutes after the game after he has had one too many. At least Lyon provided a considered opinion as to what he thinks the problems are.
  23. When we lost to them at Geelong in 2018 by a kick after the siren Dangerfield milked that ruck infringement free against Brayshaw which cost us a goal. Again yesterday he milked a 50m penalty by diving to the ground, which led to a Duncal goal. And again we lost by less than a kick. I have huge respect for the football ability of Danger - he is a joy to watch with his speed and power and ball winning and marking ability. But he is a repeat offender in staging and that takes away from people's respect for him as a sportsman. He won't care as he has the 4 points, but you look at a bloke like Lenny Hayes and understand why he is so universally admired and it's little wonder why there is a bit of a dislike of Danger in the footy public.
  24. It was a strange old game. You walk away from that thinking we didn't really deserve to win given we trailed for most of the second half and nor could you say we played well enough to win a game of footy. But in reality we so easily could have (and should have) won that. It was a hard game to watch but I wouldn't say it was an awful performance - certainly there were aspects that were poor but also some things that we did well. I thought we defended our back 50 really well. This was an area that we were really poor in last year but we have defended our back 50 well the last two games. Geelong only scored 12 times from 38 entries - normally they are far more efficient that that against us. We kept them to a score that was clearly a beatable score - if you keep a team to 47 points you really should be winning that game. It was really only a few poor individual errors that gifted them goals that enabled them to kick 7 goals. Without those errors it may have been 4 or 5. So those whacking the coaching staff for "doing nothing" in the off season clearly aren't taking into account our two improved defensive performances since the break. That being said, there is obviously some more work needed in defensive transition. Carlton in the second half found too much space and the Cats and Eagles took far too many uncontested marks. Although I must admit today I didn't think it was as costly as some are suggesting - yes the Cats retained possession with little chips but in the main I don't think it particularly hurt us and perhaps even stifled their own offensive play at times. Effort and intensity and ability to win the ball was good as usual. Having said all that, there were two areas that were really poor today. Firstly, our attacking play was, quite simply, a mess. There was nothing identifiable about the way we went about our attacking play. It was random and haphazard and not helped by the usual poor delivery going forward. The forward structure looked unbalanced on paper and played out that way on the field. The lack of a contested marking key forward is just so obvious and is really affecting our ability to score. TMac was better and jumped at the ball and halved contests well, but as stated before he needs help and not selecting another KPF was baffling. Our lack of scoring is a big concern as even when we do dominate games, it's questionable whether we will be able to score enough to maximise the dominance and put other teams to the sword. If we take out the Carlton first quarter when they didn't show up, we've kicked 16 goals in 11 quarters in 2020. Even with shorter quarters that's horrible. The second aspect is our footy IQ. I've banged on about this for a while but we are a low footy IQ team. The dumb decisions and the mistakes individual players make game after game are just infuriating. Geelong were extremely ordinary today and were asking to be put away but they were able to just sneak through on their smarter play. Langdon not walking over the boundary line deep in defence cost us a goal. Not being able to touch the ball on the goal line cost us another. There were countless more mistakes. And we've seen it time and time again in recent matches. In a tight game some smarter and more composed footy gets you over the line. I think what sums it up perfectly is that Salem play at the end. A team that is regularly guilty of bombing it in actually needed to do precisely that given we had two players out the back in the goal square. What do we do? No, let's not bomb it long the one time we need to, let's wait and try and spot up an impossible pass to a player who is 4 on 1 by the time the ball gets there. And this was from one of our most composed players and better decision makers. That's three times in the last five matches against Geelong there has been a shot for goal within the last minute to win the game. We've lost all three.
  25. I'm very surprised May isn't getting any votes. I thought he was excellent. Good spoiling and positioning and hardly beaten in a contest. Was part of a defence that kept Geelong to 12 scoring shots from 38 entries. Usually when we play Geelong they have a high inside 50 efficiency but we kept them to a score we really should have been able to beat. We made some defensive mistakes that led to goals which were very costly but in the main we defended our back 50 pretty well.
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