Player Watch # 8: Martin Gleeson

Zach Package

Kyle Langfourd
Sep 21, 2012
24,170
33,058
Parish, Francis
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Piggy Smith, SFG, Heat, Raiders
Ridley isn’t nearly as defensively sound or as good at intercepting or supporting in the air. And that aerial support is really important given the Hooker, Ambrose and Hurley combination can’t jump. Gleeson and Francis being right at the pointy end as interceptors stiffen the backline right up.

Ridley’s attacking stuff is basically as good as it gets but his defensive side continues to need work, hence his place in the pecking order. He’s not playing for the same reason we could afford to let go of Goddard who still had petrol in the tank. The defensive group is as stacked as any club in the comp.
 

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Darealrath

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 6, 2002
11,556
2,676
Melbourne
AFL Club
Essendon
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Arsenal, Pacers
Ridley isn’t nearly as defensively sound or as good at intercepting or supporting in the air. And that aerial support is really important given the Hooker, Ambrose and Hurley combination can’t jump. Gleeson and Francis being right at the pointy end as interceptors stiffen the backline right up.

Ridley’s attacking stuff is basically as good as it gets but his defensive side continues to need work, hence his place in the pecking order. He’s not playing for the same reason we could afford to let go of Goddard who still had petrol in the tank. The defensive group is as stacked as any club in the comp.
Could end up being a blessing in disguise for the team, if Ridley ends up developing into a mid / half forward who can take over from Zaka.
 

BrunoV

Brownlow Medallist
May 5, 2009
15,614
19,190
AFL Club
Essendon
How can you say he's not competing with Ridley? They've both been fit, play a similar position and Gleeson is now getting the nod.
Because that would indicate his original stance was wrong. Lol

I should say that the competing comment is pure speculation on my part. It was a dumb way to express the point because it's not something I could prove, either way.

I just don't know how or why posters are so satisfied that Gleeson is that far in front. I'd be inclined to agree if Ridley was poor when he played or if Gleeson was a noticeable class above as a VFL player.

It's Redman all over again, as far as I'm concerned. If you want to wait for a 10 game run, so be it, I suppose the issue then becomes when do we start?

To be clear, none of this is or ever was a criticism of Gleeson. He's a good player.
 

Darealrath

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 6, 2002
11,556
2,676
Melbourne
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Essendon
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I think it's fair to say Gleeson didn't originally get back in the team on form, but he's since displayed the form to justify the selection.

I was all in on the play Francis, Laverde, Langford, Redman and Ridley every game bandwagon in pre season, but the team is really gelling now and other young blokes like Guelfi and Clarke have played a lot more than I expected. Still 4/5 playing a lot of footy and earning their spots (to varying degrees) is pretty damn exciting.
 

TheFrenchCut

Premiership Player
Apr 22, 2014
3,506
8,010
AFL Club
Essendon
I have basically never seen the intercept marking game of Ridley's being all that great. He's very composed with the ball in defence which is obviously valuable but he isn't particularly attacking with it either.

I think moving him up the field will force him to use the ball a bit more aggressively and will hopefully see him find a place in the firsts.

Gleeson has been superb since being back in the AFL side.
 

TheGrizz

Club Legend
Sep 29, 2016
2,592
3,184
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Essendon
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Ridley certainly wasnt 'poor' when he played earlier this year, but he certainly wasnt playing well enough that he was undroppable. With Redman playing well and Guelfi being able to rotate through as a medium defender, he became expendable.
Certainly dont forget the same fate belied Francis at round 4 as well.

That being said, at NO point this year has Ridley played the level of football Gleeson has for the last 2 or so weeks. Ridley's intercept work is not in the same league as Gleeson and that is really what makes him more selectable than Ridley. Offensively Ridley may be more skilled but in-game he doesnt use it in an overly attacking sense, certainly not more than Gleeson.

Its really a no-brainer for me. Gleeson is a different player and provides something different than Ridley, and in reality Ridley is more likely competing with Redman than Gleeson. I feel like because Gleeson and Ridley are the same height (191cm) they are compared, even though their roles i think are very different.
 

Mercurial89

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 20, 2011
10,336
12,973
Melbourne
AFL Club
Essendon
Tbh I don't want Ridley near Gleeson's spot.
With skills like his I want him on the wing to bring our skills up through the middle of the ground and look to break through zones and kicking inside 50.

If he ever needs to go back during a game he can as we are building a team of players who can play multiple roles.

I don't think I ever doubted Marty getting back, mainly because I didn't actually know of how bad his injury actually was. What I did forget was how solid he can be.

Hooker and Hurls get so much media praise but Gleeson and Ambrose are two who will probably play most of their careers unheralded other than their own fanbase.
 

Towno78

Premiership Player
Nov 6, 2009
3,356
2,442
AFL Club
Essendon
I should say that the competing comment is pure speculation on my part. It was a dumb way to express the point because it's not something I could prove, either way.

I just don't know how or why posters are so satisfied that Gleeson is that far in front. I'd be inclined to agree if Ridley was poor when he played or if Gleeson was a noticeable class above as a VFL player.

It's Redman all over again, as far as I'm concerned. If you want to wait for a 10 game run, so be it, I suppose the issue then becomes when do we start?

To be clear, none of this is or ever was a criticism of Gleeson. He's a good player.
I love Ridley, I can't understand how he was dropped nor how he hasn't got back in since. He's going to be a great player.

But for me, it's Gleeson's reading of the play and intercept ability that sets him apart for now. He's close to our smartest footballer.
 

citizen-erased

Brownlow Medallist
Jun 11, 2007
16,238
11,827
Victoria
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Tottenham, Bayern, Milan
How good is this bloke?

I'll happily admit I got this one wrong, thought he was courageous but to skinny to make any impact and had horrible skills.

Was starting to realise I screwed the pooch before he got injured and since he's come back it's been confirmed.
genuinely thought he'd have a hard time getting a spot back with Ridley, Redman and Francis.
Comes in and we just start picking 7 defenders. Why not.

So composed. Was a little stiff with the HTB call late. had 1.5s and was dragged down on his kick.
 

boncer34

Inaugural Steward
Jul 11, 2005
41,942
42,463
Baghdad
AFL Club
Essendon
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Melbourne Storm
genuinely thought he'd have a hard time getting a spot back with Ridley, Redman and Francis.
Comes in and we just start picking 7 defenders. Why not.

So composed. Was a little stiff with the HTB call late. had 1.5s and was dragged down on his kick.
I was there with you to with Ridley, Redman and Francis debate. But that was just coz I forgot how good he was.
 

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JuniorWatch

All Australian
Jun 13, 2016
868
1,124
AFL Club
Essendon
Probably just working his way back into things but needs to look a handball sometimes.
Bombs it longs all the time when there's running handball options.
 

BigEast

Debutant
Dec 2, 2018
87
92
AFL Club
Essendon
Probably just working his way back into things but needs to look a handball sometimes.
Bombs it longs all the time when there's running handball options.
and sags / zones off his direct opponent and is directly responsible for minimum 2 goals per game. Has no body influence, (Dickson treated him with disdain on the weekend) and trails his opponent everywhere. But takes a few good marks and kicks longs. Bloody champion, captain material, generational player.
 

dnbassador

Club Legend
Aug 28, 2009
2,582
3,799
Bermuda Triangle
AFL Club
Essendon
and sags / zones off his direct opponent and is directly responsible for minimum 2 goals per game. Has no body influence, (Dickson treated him with disdain on the weekend) and trails his opponent everywhere. But takes a few good marks and kicks longs. Bloody champion, captain material, generational player.
Don’t know what games you watch
 

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