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m0nty

Surely your brother could institute an award named after John Tossol. Lord knows what the statue would look like though.

I was also at the R1 game (barracking for the other mob) and I, too, concluded very early doors that the Dees were a rabble, on and off the field. Sad to see.

os

Hey Teach, we're not disappointed. If the system demands some bottoming out after years at the top, we did it pretty well. The waiting rooms at sports surgeries over here have been running around the clock with Eags getting their ops done early, some great young players getting bedded in around the 20-30 game mark, early draft picks in the offing. Back at the top in 3 years max.

Tony T

Monty: Strange as it may seem, I wasn't totally down on the first game, or the second, or the third, anyway:

Now. Everyone needs to stop listening to pretty much everything said or written in the media.

Melbourne does have a game plan. It mightn't be as readily identifiable as, say, the German Blitzkrieg, Stonewall Jackson's end-around at Chancellorsville or Steve Bradbury skating at the back of the field to avoid falling over, but it's there nevertheless, and was starting to become apparent in the first half. It's just that our execution was dreadful. It's a long time since I've seen a league side miss with so many handballs, let alone kicks. Give a contender like Hawthorn or a team of downhill skiers like the Bulldogs too much cheap footy and they will massacre you. (That's massacer, not massacree, Arlo.)

Our game plan looks roughly similar to a combination of Essendon 2000 and Geelong 2007: have most (give or take full back and full forward) of your players move up and down the ground bunched within a kick of where the ball is at any one time. This means you always have loads of players around the ball who can a) put maximum pressure on the other side when they have the ball; and b) "run and carry" the agate down the ground en masse when you get your hands on the ball. It's what Geelong do perfectly. Melbourne's not insignificant problem is that we don't have Geelong's players. No Ablett, Bartell, Ling, Corey, Enright, Kelly; all hard running, strong over the ball, experienced, talented players. Melbourne, on the other hand, are a light, young side not yet used to said plan or physically capable of such a contact-intense style of footy.

Os: Melbourne have even gone so far as to make their injured players show up, post-op, to the matches on crutches to prove that, yes, we have been slaughtered by injuries, and no, hope is not lost.

Adam 1.0

I still can't believe Cameron Hunter or Weetra played two games. Probably the worst players of the last decade - though Wayne Lamb, Lamaro, D. Cockatoo-Collins and Nick Smith might challenge.

On a "Games Played to Contribution" ratio Scott Chisholm would have to be in there.

carneagles

At least we're not Melbourne. (Sob.)

m0nty

There were several aspects to Melbourne's season that were in their control, injuries and off-field turmoil notwithstanding, which disappointed me.

1. Nathan Jones. Has gone backwards this year - I realise that's a bit of a cliche, but not really in N-Jo's case because he couldn't seem to find a way to propel the pill in a decent fashion into the attacking 50. Seems to want to take the world on his shoulders with every clearance, trying to be Judd-like without any of the skill. Come on lad, just run through the guts and kick the bloody thing with half an eye on where the leading forwards are, don't overthink it. Also, learn to break a tag.

2. The rise of Paul Wheatley. This is actually a bad sign for Melbourne, I think. When HBFers are dominating the stat counts, that tells me that the gameplan involves way too much chipping around the wings, stopping, chipping back to the flank, thence to opposite flank and wing, repeat. As Yul Brynner said "Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera."

3. Brad Green. Yes, he looked good in many games, but most of those were when he dropped back into the hole at CHB and was the loose man. This is a player who, if he's going to be worth the team hanging onto, should be in the forward half as much as possible, placing the ball gently on the breasts of Neita's replacements.

For all of these faults, I blame Bailey. He could end up being the longest-serving caretaker coach in AFL history at this rate. Or he could be the new Michael Nunan.

Tony T

Monty, allow me to put it this way: absolutely SPOT ON.

Jones - takes everyone on, slow, can't kick.

Wheatley - Easy Joel Bowden touches.

Green - "Bugger the hard work. I'm too slow. Stuff trying to hit the full-forward on the tit. I'd rather sweep across half-back."

After the last two games of the season I'm very worried. I can see what Bailey's trying to do, but our lack of strong, fast players means we've no hope of executing his gameplan. No forward line, either. Hope he doesn't turn out to be the world's biggest dud. Or is that Spud, as in Danny Spudley?

Does that make Mark Riley the new Bernie Quinlan?

RT

On the m0ney, m0nty. Jones in the disappointing category. Probably be top 5 B&F by default but I can't remember a game where he was in our top 3 (except perhaps at the Gabba, when he would have been 23rd best of the field).

He needs to grow his hair. New outlook and all.

m0nty

The Bowden analogy is the key. For Flower's sake, don't turn into Richmond.

Adam 1.0

Good to see 'flower' getting a run in here. Reminds me of the Fan Footy chat. Flower and shower for all.

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