- Apr 24, 2009
- AFL Club
- Other Teams
- Subi Lions, Trailblazers, AS Roma
I’m still recovering mentally from our 2005-2015 kick out strategy. Plan A) Kick it long to Jamar. Plan B) See plan A.Anyone else find it weird how trustworthy our back 6 is now? I used to sh*t my pants when oppo went inside 50 but now unless it’s clear they’re kicking to a bloke on his own I’m very confident we will at least kill the contest.
I was so calm in the first fifteen minutes. It was like ‘yeah they are dominating possession and clearance but all we need to do is fumble less and calm down, and until then the wall will hold up down back’Anyone else find it weird how trustworthy our back 6 is now? I used to sh*t my pants when oppo went inside 50 but now unless it’s clear they’re kicking to a bloke on his own I’m very confident we will at least kill the contest.
If that was 2018 I’ve got no doubt after half time we would have over committed to attack and let them back in the game but they never looked like it. They didn’t kick two goals in a row after the 10 min mark of the first quarter, pretty crazy stat.Just watching the replay again, after Richmond kicked the first two and led 15-0 early in the 1st quarter, we then went 55-10 before they kicked their 4th, and just before Martin came off the ground, just an absolutely dominant period of football from us.
Let's just keep that fourth level open no matter what.
Someone on the main board did it already. Note - I know some people think this guy is a troll but the analysis in this post is pretty good. Some of the opinion on the price paid for May etc is just opinion, and probably laying some bait, but if you can look beyond that it shows good insight.Was thinking today a quick comparison between 2018 finals team and Saturdays would be interesting.
Look at the ins and outs from that 2018 PF to the team that beat Richmond on the weekend. I imagine that was probably 22 of Melbourne's best 25? I guess that's a matter of debate among Melbourne fans.
STILL ON THE LIST BUT DIDN'T PLAY SATURDAY
Aaron Vandenberg (probably cooked)
Sam Weideman (will get more chances)
James Harmes (borderline best 22)
Neville Jetta (probably cooked)
Jayden Hunt (drafted end 2014 but didn't play 2018 PF)
Jake Lever (recruited end 2017 but didn't play 2018 PF)
Bayley Fritsch (drafted end 2017 but didn't play 2018 PF)
Steven May (recruited end 2018, traded for pick 6)
James Jordon (drafted end 2018 at #33)
Adam Tomlinson (arrived end 2019 as UFA)
Ed Langdon (arrived end 2019, effectively for a mid second-rounder)
Luke Jackson (drafted end 2019 at #3)
Kysaiah Pickett (drafted end 2019 at #12)
Trent Rivers (drafted end 2019 at #32)
There are a few key takeaways from that.
First, look at the average players they've managed to squeeze out. In some respects, they did well to get to a PF with some of those guys in the team. How many of them would have been picked by the Richmond or even the WC premiership sides? They had a weak, one-paced underbelly. And it's been upgraded.
Second, the backline has been completely overhauled. Even in 2018, they were suspect in the key defensive posts. They'd recruited Lever already but he did his knee midway through 2018. They paid through the nose to get him, coughing up two first-rounders. But if you look at who they missed out on as a result, that's turned out pretty well. Look at the guys drafted in the handful of spots at/after those picks and I don't think there's too much that hurts them. Zac Bailey is probably the pick of the group drafted 10-20 in 2017 they left on the table. And it's maybe too early to judge 2018 but no one from the 19-29 group jumps out as a gun they missed out on drafting. Meanwhile, Lever is 25 and in AA form. They paid a hgh price for him, which is inherently risky, but it looks to have paid off at this stage. Any blow is further softened by the fact they managed to snaffle Spargo (best 25), Fritsch (clear best 22) and Petty (unknown/developing) in the second round after trading their 2017 first-rounder. Coughing up early picks doesn't hurt as much if you do OK later in the draft.
The price paid for May is more complicated. If you frame it as giving up Hogan for May, then it's great. But they had pick 6 from the Hogan deal, which they then sent to the Suns for May. In doing so, they gave up the chance to draft Ben King, Bailey Smith or Zak Butters. Was it worth it? May is 29 and has managed 30 games for the Demons so far. The kids they left on the table by trading that pick to the Suns have plenty of time to exceed anything May might do at the Demons. That said, May was a player they needed and he's been very good this year and for a fair chunk of 2020.
And then there's the bonus of getting Tomlinson for nothing. He looked lost on a wing but a return to defence has made a huge difference, ultimately freeing up Lever to intercept. It's night and day from the back six that got thumped in the 2018 PF.
Third, that 2019 off-season makes all the difference. Tomlinson for nothing. Langdon effectively for a mid second-rounder and then bang bang bang with Jackson, Pickett and Rivers in the draft. In one off-season they added five players who are best 22 some 18 months later. That's the kind of off-season that takes a team from also-rans to contenders.
And that brings me to my fourth, more general point. For all the griping and bellyaching about draft picks being "overrated" because it's a "lottery", there is no substitute for nailing a cluster of early picks in a single draft or in consecutive drafts. Don't get me wrong, drafting on its own probably isn't enough - and Melbourne have certainly complemented their draft picks by trading for mature top-ups. But I maintain the single most reliable predictor of future success is nailing clusters of early picks. And to do that, you need to give yourself enough shots to get enough talent while allowing for a few misses.
Melbourne have done it a couple of times. From 2013-15, they drafted Salem (#9), Petracca (#2), Brayshaw (#3), Oliver (#4) and Weideman (#9). They also managed to add depth players in Hunt and Neal-Bullen in those drafts. The jury is still out on Weideman but that's why you need extra picks. You need to have more picks than you'll have bullseyes. If you've got five top 10 picks in three years and you nail four, that's a very handy place to start. And then they've gone bang bang bang in 2019 with Jackson, Pickett and Rivers, who all look like 200-gamers. Like I said, there's no substitute for nailing clusters of early picks, either in a single draft or spread across consecutive years. Sure, you can top up by trading or poaching FAs but if you don't stick the draft picks when you get a good look, it's a long way to the top. To my eye, Melbourne got it right in 2013-15 and then got it right again in 2019, while managing to bring in some useful readymades along the way, even if they paid their fair whack to get the likes of Lever and May. That's ultimately what has turned them into contenders after looking pretty rudderless after the ignominy of the 2018 PF.
Except that same bloke then 3 posts later basically said the May deal was a bad deal and we should have kept the pick because we might regret it in a decade.Great read. After reading that it’s impossible not to puff your chest out with pride (6-0 helps too).
Lid off I guess.
The funny thing is that tigers fans complain about the high free to ANB but don’t mention that he also stuck his leg out and tripped him too. Great passage of play and the run of Hunt was sensational.
This entire passage typified our game I reckon. Huge defensive effort from rivers to save a certain mark and shot at goal, then massive work rate from hunt, langdon etc. to run it down the other end, finishing in the free kick and goal.