Player Watch #4 Dustin Martin - 2017 Brownlow Medalist

amc11

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Mar 26, 2018
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I don’t think anyone is questioning his performance in the past. He is ranked one of the highest in the league for a reason and he dominated our best and fairest for a reason.

However, the reality is that the moment you successfully negotiate a higher salary, the standard you are expected to perform at also goes higher. So his salary does have something to do with it, or else why is he paid one of the highest in the league? To produce stats like his Bulldogs game as one of his best games? No.

You see this in almost every profession and I don’t see AFL as being different to other professions. Yeah, his Bulldogs game was one of his better performances this season, but quite frankly it was similar in statistics to first-year midfielder Jack Ross’ game against Melbourne and Port Adelaide. For his Bulldogs game to be one of his middling to lower standard games would be fine, but the concern is that it was one of his better ones this season.

Nevertheless, the aforementioned points doesn’t change one thing - our support for him. Yes, he is performing lower than his salary would demand and I am not necessarily calling for the standards set upon him to be lowered, but as you said well, he is a human being and so are we. I think we all know how it feels to be performing below expected standards so we need to alleviate that pressure on him by being understanding as fellow humans. We need to be patient with him while he is going through this form slump. Riewoldt went through it, Cotchin went through it, Edwards went through it, Grigg went through it and Rance started off like that to name a few. All players have since bounced back from the form slump in latter seasons. Now it seems to be Martin’s turn and it could potentially last the entire season, I don’t know. What I do know is that I have the confidence that he’ll eventually bounce back like the others.

Additionally, we know that he recently opened up about his mental health and this may potentially be a contributing factor to the way he plays.
See the salary thing is where I tend to disagree, no one seemed to have any issues at all when most opinions felt Martin was probably underpaid for the previous 2 - 3 seasons prior to the late 2017 signing and with the new contract like any professional organisation, the onus is on the employer to ensure the employee is meeting the agreed KPIs rather than onlookers who are not fully aware of all key components and requirements. While we as fans can get frustrated or excited depending on the results, it's the coaches who know exactly what they are looking for from each player. In all workplaces, there can be some outstanding performers especially youngsters with no fear of failure and a great desire to succeed however it's the proven performers who will be rightfully earning the higher salary due to their ongoing consistency. Dustin Martin still brings people to games and salary packages are not just about the 2 hours of game time. Again, people are entitled to their own opinions and my opinion is some of the talk about getting his large contract and then not giving a damn about his game or his teammates was just a knee jerk reaction to the current win/loss situation and not really about questioning the integrity of Dustin Martin or at least that is what I'm choosing to believe.

Re the mental health issues Martin revealed at the start of the season, it probably caught him by surprise last year which is completely understandable after his 2017, and I think he has shown incredible strength to raise the issue especially for someone who values his privacy so much. That determination and strength will stand him in good stead for the remainder of this season and quite seriously, if more people could send positive vibes his way instead of the overwhelming flood of negativity caused by the aussie tall poppy syndrome, the Dustin Martin of 2017 may very well have an opportunity to re-emerge.
 

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Rodney Dangerfield

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I really do think it’s blown out of proportion and even in our own backyard I’ve seen it before.
Richo had a season where the football public said he should be traded and had had his best days, Jack copped it for a few seasons too. Both had hit pretty big heights before that and returned to them after an extended mid career lull, It’s very common.
At Adelaide Rory Sloane was magnificent in 2017 and a few seasons before that, last season he had what Dusty is going through now and then bang this year he’s back.ive seen really great players hit low enough that they’ve been dropped to the seconds like Richo, DalSanto and he’s not close to that.
I think the answer lies in just how good he is because every player thrown up you could say .. yeah but he’s not as good as Dusty. But they hit lower lows than he’s even come close too.
 

jc12

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Are you that dumb that you don’t understand the difference between someone asking a question and making a definitive statement? I did the former. Read over my comments again if you’re still struggling with it. And just because I challenged some of the responses people gave me doesn’t mean I necessarily agree with the question I posed. No one gave me a satisfactory answer, apart from Cooney which I acknowledged was an acceptable one (although you chose to ignore that in your childish tantrum).

I would’ve expected you to reel off at least 25 players to justify your carry on. You came up with one and had many failed attempts (so did other people), so you clearly had difficulty answering it and that in itself should tell you that the question isn’t as ridiculous as you’re making it out to be.

Dusty has played one good game this season against the side who are on the bottom of the ladder. How impressive. He had three absolute shockers against GWS, Melbourne, Western Bulldogs and Collingwood plus a below average game against Carlton where he uncharacteristically could not hit a target. In the real world and outside of this echo chamber, his form is a concern, but by all means, keep your head buried into the sand.

And I don’t give a **** if my opinion does not align with the group narrative on this board. You’re the only one on here who is desperately seeking the approval from strangers online. This board is often a circle jerk full of snowflake sycophants anyway, so I’m glad I can challenge some of the delusional fan boy love-ins from time to time. Anyone who can view Dusty’s form objectively would consider it a problem, but you keep pretending that it’s totally normal for a player to be the best in the competition one year then 18 months later be regularly outperformed by several guys in our side who have played less than ten games.
Haha you're overreacting in your replies too. Mate the guy is just out of form. Plain and simple. But he is not the most Biggest fall from grace in the history of sport. If I was a fan boy I would claim.dusty is in great form. But I know and can admit he is bad form at the moment. He can play much better. But I also know when it's just simply stupid to call him the biggest fall from grace in sport. You fail to understand that my point is that you are overreacting. I actually agree he is out of form. To even pose that question is overeacting. We are just 7 rounds in lol. I'll say it again , calm down. Support our players and enjoy the footy
 

Zoom

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Haha you're overreacting in your replies too. Mate the guy is just out of form. Plain and simple. But he is not the most Biggest fall from grace in the history of sport. If I was a fan boy I would claim.dusty is in great form. But I know and can admit he is bad form at the moment. He can play much better. But I also know when it's just simply stupid to call him the biggest fall from grace in sport. You fail to understand that my point is that you are overreacting. I actually agree he is out of form. To even pose that question is overeacting. We are just 7 rounds in lol. I'll say it again , calm down. Support our players and enjoy the footy
:thumbsu:
 

Dunger

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Doesnt tackle, doesnt chase, tries to do too much with the footy. Tries to hit ridiculously difficult targets and shanks the kick. Gets tackled and dont argues arent working.

Good form comes from doing the basics and doing the basics well.

I believe Dusty just needs to start playing basic footy to get some confidence back and build from there.
 

"The Roar Is Back"

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Sending him to a hbf.

Seriously the club just needs to rotate the role he plays alot more than deep forward or on the ball. We now have enough similar types to throw them all around .
 

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Meli

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It amazes me just how quickly so many 'fans' almost gleefully jump to put the boots into one of our champions especially the carry on about salary, disinterest, can't be bothered, lazy etc etc. Perception is so very subjective and I get it, most of us have the need to blame someone or something for perceived failings. Regardless of how anyone wants to view this current season, Dustin Martin in his first year with the Tigers was 4th in our B & F, in 2012 his lowest finish of 10th place, every other year of his playing history with Richmond he has finished top 3 including back to back wins in 2016 /17.

This season is like no other that Martin, the club, the coaches and the fans have experienced previously. Remember Martin is the youngest of the "Big Four" and although there have been minor injuries along the way, this is the first time in 10 years having to play consecutive games with only one of the four in the team. Add to that the loss of Shaun Grigg due to injury in the pre-season and is there any wonder Martin himself is struggling to reach the heights of previous years? That is almost 900 games of experience, match hardness, guile, footy smarts and connection that have disappeared. Just like the rest of us, Dustin Martin is human, unlike the rest of us - he seems to be held to a ridiculous standard of expectation.

Despite what people may think of his game on Saturday, Martin was our highest possession winner, our highest contested possession winner, rated 12th overall as far as AFL player ratings and 5th for Richmond, 2 goal assists, 440 metres gained, 4 inside 50s, with 76% DE. A more workman-like rather than flashy performance doesn't make it as bad as many want to believe. There is obviously a few problems especially with footwear and for those who don't think choice of boots should make any difference I challenge you to run around playing a high level sport with painful feet. We all know Martin doesn't get a fair go in the free kick department but is pinged so quickly with holding the ball decisions against him even when not trying to fend off.

Seriously people stop buying into all the damn fantasy / super coach / whatever else people are carrying on about when looking at overall performances. Look again at the results of our club Best and Fairest - in seven out of nine seasons Dustin Martin has been in the TOP THREE, yeah that to me really screams one year wonder! His consistency has been incredible and I look forward to seeing that continue for many years to come especially with the level of professionalism Martin applies to his craft.
All of this, but especially the bold bit!
 

Bazzar

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What’s happened to the don’t argue! 84 broken tackles in 2017, only 4 so far this year
Pre-season 2018 Dimma said he hoped Dusty eased up on the don't argues and used his skill set to bring more teammates into play. That's what he said.

Not sure if a slight change in coaching direction played a small part in his decline. Back then he feared nobody and everyone feared him, but now he's a shell of his former self, just a good b+ player. Just hope we haven't seen the best of him.
 

Bojangles17

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Sending him to a hbf.

Seriously the club just needs to rotate the role he plays alot more than deep forward or on the ball. We now have enough similar types to throw them all around .
That was my suggestion , like schooling a racehorse over hurdles , give him a piss easy role off hb get a decent dose of Leeather poisoning and some open field to launch line breaking long bombs , might just do the trick . Throwing him forward with three bums hanging off him is a patently stupid idea and will do nothing to recapture his form
 

NaturalDisaster

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That was my suggestion , like schooling a racehorse over hurdles , give him a piss easy role off hb get a decent dose of Leeather poisoning and some open field to launch line breaking long bombs , might just do the trick . Throwing him forward with three bums hanging off him is a patently stupid idea and will do nothing to recapture his form
We've played him in the backline before and he was shocking.
 

harrythetiger

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Pre-season 2018 Dimma said he hoped Dusty eased up on the don't argues and used his skill set to bring more teammates into play. That's what he said.

Not sure if a slight change in coaching direction played a small part in his decline. Back then he feared nobody and everyone feared him, but now he's a shell of his former self, just a good b+ player. Just hope we haven't seen the best of him.
Lord help the competition if we haven’t seen his best. Dusty in 2017 might be as well as anyone’s ever played the game, I don’t think it’s realistic to expect to see that again. Echo the sentiment in that I hope he can get back to his elite form though.
 

Rodney Dangerfield

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Was always expected that his fend off would be figured out eventually, although he really isn’t hitting the ball as hard and fast as he was for whatever reason. He’s having a bit of an issue with adapting to using an earlier option but he simply will have to and if I were him I’d start working on my hand balling.
As for spending too much time forward that’s on his own judgement because it’s been clearly stated that he goes down there whenever he feels it’s the best matchup or situation without any coaches instruction in game. Obviously it’s discussed pre game but just maybe he needs to find a better balance or not get so frustrated with the midfield tagging.
 

EasternTiger

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He needs to move in with Dimma.

Mrs Hardwick will sort him out.

No rockstar treatment. He'll get a clip around the ear ole if he doesn't pull his weight. Same as Damien.
 

Bazzar

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I don't buy into the recent media hype the opposition has worked his don't argue out.
He appears so down on confidence and brute power his handful of meek attemps this year could be handled by VFL players.
2017 he purposely went looking for them as it was easier than trying to avoide the chance of being tackled.
If and when he gets his mojo back just watch the opposition fail at attempts to stop it.
 

Shazza_

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I don't buy into the recent media hype the opposition has worked his don't argue out.
He appears so down on confidence and brute power his handful of meek attemps this year could be handled by VFL players.
2017 he purposely went looking for them as it was easier than trying to avoide the chance of being tackled.
If and when he gets his mojo back just watch the opposition fail at attempts to stop it.
hard to do a dont argue when your knee is not right
 

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