Opinion Most Valuable Players in the AFL

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00Stinger

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Yeah the post I was quoting had Walsh the 4th best player now which I totally disagree with. He will be one of the top players for many years to come.
Walsh as the 4th best player in 2021 isn't really a stretch imo

Had a better season as a whole than Steele without a doubt. Steele didn't really get going until the second half of the year.

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Blackas87

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Walsh as the 4th best player in 2021 isn't really a stretch imo

Had a better season as a whole than Steele without a doubt. Steele didn't really get going until the second half of the year.

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Steele didn’t getting going until the 2nd half of the year? Steele was the Saints only good player to start the year.

25 disposals 3 goals round 2 against us, 35 disposals round 3 against Essendon, 33 against West Coast round 4.

The Saints had a slow first half of the year, not Steele.

Steele by far had a better 2021 than Walsh and there are other mids I’d have above him as well.

Walsh is very impressive for someone his age, but don’t kid yourself he is not a top 5 player in the league at the moment.
 

WalshistheGOAT

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Steele didn’t getting going until the 2nd half of the year? Steele was the Saints only good player to start the year.

25 disposals 3 goals round 2 against us, 35 disposals round 3 against Essendon, 33 against West Coast round 4.

The Saints had a slow first half of the year, not Steele.

Steele by far had a better 2021 than Walsh and there are other mids I’d have above him as well.

Walsh is very impressive for someone his age, but don’t kid yourself he is not a top 5 player in the league at the moment.
According to the players, coaches and umpires he was. Even Clarry was saying in his Dyl and friends interview that he thought Walsh was almost the best mid in the comp and that he's trying to take a few tips from his game.

I personally had Walsh outside the top handful of players but going off every award he was a top 5 player in the comp
 

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Kreuuuzeurns

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Steele didn’t getting going until the 2nd half of the year? Steele was the Saints only good player to start the year.

25 disposals 3 goals round 2 against us, 35 disposals round 3 against Essendon, 33 against West Coast round 4.

The Saints had a slow first half of the year, not Steele.

Steele by far had a better 2021 than Walsh and there are other mids I’d have above him as well.

Walsh is very impressive for someone his age, but don’t kid yourself he is not a top 5 player in the league at the moment.

Walsh finished 4th in the Brownlow, 6th in the AFLCA coaches award and 2nd in the AFLPA MVP. Was around the mark in most of the relevant media awards.

I think you're the one who is kidding, or just looking at the raw numbers too hard.
 

Blackas87

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According to the players, coaches and umpires he was. Even Clarry was saying in his Dyl and friends interview that he thought Walsh was almost the best mid in the comp and that he's trying to take a few tips from his game.

I personally had Walsh outside the top handful of players but going off every award he was a top 5 player in the comp
Walsh finished 4th in the Brownlow, 6th in the AFLCA coaches award and 2nd in the AFLPA MVP. Was around the mark in most of the relevant media awards.

I think you're the one who is kidding, or just looking at the raw numbers too hard.

Yeah I listened to Clarry and Dyl, was saying Walsh’s running ability sets him apart from other midfielders and Clarry wants to improve his running to keep up with him in the future.

Clayton Oliver didn’t finish top 5 in the AFL mvp, don’t think anyone on here would put Walsh ahead of Oliver.

40 possessions 5 goal games is only awarded 3 votes in the Brownlow, doesn’t mean all 3 votes games are equal, someone gets the 3 votes every game and at Carlton no one else was taking the votes off Walsh, one of 5 clubs not to have 2 players to reach 10 votes and the next best was a key forward. Midfielders award and Carlton had no other midfielders getting votes. Walsh is super impressive but stood out in Carlton’s midfield.

Like I’ve said Walsh is super impressive for his age, but for me he was not in the top 5 midfielders of 2021, top of my head he’d be 6th to 8th and he most likely will be top 5 very soon.
 

00Stinger

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Steele didn’t getting going until the 2nd half of the year? Steele was the Saints only good player to start the year.

25 disposals 3 goals round 2 against us, 35 disposals round 3 against Essendon, 33 against West Coast round 4.

The Saints had a slow first half of the year, not Steele.

Steele by far had a better 2021 than Walsh and there are other mids I’d have above him as well.

Walsh is very impressive for someone his age, but don’t kid yourself he is not a top 5 player in the league at the moment.

On 2021 form only he probably is, had a better whole year than Steele imo. Did it in a poorer team which is harder also

I mean Walsh came 4th in the brownlow and 6th in the AFLCA award so to totally dismissive him of being in the best 5 players of 2021 is pretty foolish.





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00Stinger

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According to the players, coaches and umpires he was. Even Clarry was saying in his Dyl and friends interview that he thought Walsh was almost the best mid in the comp and that he's trying to take a few tips from his game.

I personally had Walsh outside the top handful of players but going off every award he was a top 5 player in the comp
Technically he wasn't according to the coaches

But I agree with you sentiment

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Blackas87

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On 2021 form only he probably is, had a better whole year than Steele imo. Did it in a poorer team which is harder also

I mean Walsh came 4th in the brownlow and 6th in the AFLCA award so to totally dismissive him of being in the best 5 players of 2021 is pretty foolish.





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Did you not watch Steele, Saints were bottom 4 standard first half of the year and Steele was killing it.

Wines won the Brownlow, do you think he was the number one player for the year?

someone has to get the votes every game, best on ground one game is worth 3 votes, doesn’t mean all 3 vote games are equal performances.

Of course Walsh got votes, he had a very good year, I’m not saying he was terrible, I’m just saying he wasn’t a top 5 midfielder
 

WalshistheGOAT

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Did you not watch Steele, Saints were bottom 4 standard first half of the year and Steele was killing it.

Wines won the Brownlow, do you think he was the number one player for the year?

someone has to get the votes every game, best on ground one game is worth 3 votes, doesn’t mean all 3 vote games are equal performances.

Of course Walsh got votes, he had a very good year, I’m not saying he was terrible, I’m just saying he wasn’t a top 5 midfielder
Imo if Walsh wasnt tagged in the games he was he would have won the brownlow. Where Clarry, Bont and Trac set themselves apart as the best in the league... and it was the same with Dusty and Fyfe in their day... was that they simply cant be effectively tagged out of games.

Walsh has to put more muscle on to be able to do that imo but id definitely say his best is as good as any other player including those 3. What puts him down the order though is he simply isnt physically built enough to be dominant every game as he can still be shut out of games.

Imo Steele and Wines have the same ability to play well every game, but their best isnt as damaging as the others even if statistically over a season it may look the same through consistency.

Thats just my view on it but I think Walsh is one of the most damaging mids with ball in hand, hes just not got the explosiveness and strength to shake a tag right now
 

Blackas87

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Imo Steele and Wines have the same ability to play well every game, but their best isnt as damaging as the others even if statistically over a season it may look the same through consistency.
Correct that Steele produced more over the season than Walsh in 2021 hence why I rate his season ahead of Walsh’s.

Walsh is 21, like you said he needs to add muscle to break a tag, he has other things to learn and improve on that will get him to produce at the best of his ability. But 2021 others produced more than him.
 

aussierulesrules

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Imo Steele and Wines have the same ability to play well every game, but their best isnt as damaging as the others even if statistically over a season it may look the same through consistency.
While Steele might not be as offensively damaging as some of the others up the top of the tree, what he is that they conversely aren’t is absolutely elite defensively. And anyone who knows footy knows how important defence is.

He’s like a 2-for-the-price-of-1 package, where you’re getting someone who’s posting elite numbers offensively, and who is also as good as it gets defensively. Which is what makes him so valuable to a team.

At the end of the H&A season he had streeted the field for tackles, with 185, with no-one else having cracked 150.

Walsh from the same number of games had had just 100. So not much more than half.

Steele also had 41 1%-ers to Walsh’s 17, and more than triple the number of tackles inside F50, which is one of the most important stats in the game. Also over 30% more rebound-50’s, which shows he was getting back to help his defence more. As more evidence of the vast gulf between them defensively.

Yet Steele also kicked more goals than him, had more inside 50’s, and gained 40m more meterage per game. On top of being well ahead for clearances, contested possessions, intercept possessions and having had almost double the all-important centre-clearances.

For Walsh to have been better than Steele overall for the season he would have to have been far, far superior offensively, to make up for the vast difference between them defensively, yet he simply wasn’t. Nowhere near it.

The stuff that Steele does to help his team defensively might not get as well picked as the more flashy stuff some others do by the casual observer, but the stats paint a very clear picture.

As well as kicking more goals than Walsh, Steele also kicked more than Wines (3 more, from 2 less games), Oliver (from 3 less games), Parish, Miller, twice as many as Macrae (from 4 less games) and 3 times more than Merrett.

Tackle averages per game:

8.41: Steele
7.10: Touk
5.44: Oliver
4.92: Macrae
4.88: Bont
4.87: Merrett
4.78: Boak
4.55: Walsh
4.38: Wines
4.12: Petracca
4.07: Fyfe
3.95: Mundy
3.91: Parish
3.83: Pendlebury
2.20: Dusty
 
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Jcpdragonx

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Best players for 2021

1. Bont
2. Oliver
3. Petracca
4. Wines
5. Steele
6. Walsh

Wines was able to take contested marks forward and back which for mine gives him the edge in 4th.

Steeles overall production was slightly better than Walsh, Steele’s contested work is better than Walsh’s. Steele also can be started forward and take a tall defender.

Walsh is 21, he’ll be best in the league at some point for a number of years
 

Minga

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Walsh finished 4th in the Brownlow, 6th in the AFLCA coaches award and 2nd in the AFLPA MVP. Was around the mark in most of the relevant media awards.

I think you're the one who is kidding, or just looking at the raw numbers too hard.

IIRC, Steele has the most, or equal most, Brownlow votes out of any player in the last 2 seasons.

Just saying.

Walsh is obviously a very good player as well - would think that everyone agrees on that.

But he’s not the top dog yet, just outside the top 5, in my eyes.
 

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Ambrosia

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Think Steele is still a level above Walsh. Steele to me is right in the tier of player alongside Bont, Oliver, Petracca whereas Walsh atm sits more alongside your Miller, Merrett types especially when you ability to dominate in a variety of ways.
 

Trav 20

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Think Steele is still a level above Walsh. Steele to me is right in the tier of player alongside Bont, Oliver, Petracca whereas Walsh atm sits more alongside your Miller, Merrett types especially when you ability to dominate in a variety of ways.
Steele doesn't sit alongside Oliver, Petracca, and Bontempelli.

He's simply not dynamic or brilliant enough. He doesn't burst through stoppages like Oliver or Petracca with speed, he can't match Bontempelli's brilliance, and nor does he have Petracca's shove, shimy and escape. He doesn't hit the scoreboard like Bontempelli or Petracca.

Petracca averaged slightly more disposals and kicked twice as many goals. Bontempelli also kicked twice as many goals.

I think Steele is great and said so on the main board the other day, but he doesn't sit alongside the three just mentioned.
 

Ambrosia

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Steele doesn't sit alongside Oliver, Petracca, and Bontempelli.

He's simply not dynamic or brilliant enough. He doesn't burst through stoppages like Oliver or Petracca with speed, he can't match Bontempelli's brilliance, and nor does he have Petracca's shove, shimy and escape. He doesn't hit the scoreboard like Bontempelli or Petracca.

Petracca averaged slightly more disposals and kicked twice as many goals. Bontempelli also kicked twice as many goals.

I think Steele is great and said so on the main board the other day, but he doesn't sit alongside the three just mentioned.

If I had to split them I would have him last of the 4 but I think he’s in their class. Is the best defensively and makes outmuscling an opponent then distributing under pressure look effortless. His ball use is more consistent then the other 3 and rarely wastes a possession.
 

Trav 20

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If I had to split them I would have him last of the 4 but I think he’s in their class. Is the best defensively and makes outmuscling an opponent then distributing under pressure look effortless. His ball use is more consistent then the other 3 and rarely wastes a possession.
I get that you think that, but he's not.

No amount of tackling can make up for the ''value'' the others provide.

Oliver has 25% more contested possessions for starters. Oliver just had a season with the most contested possessions in the history of the game. Oliver is bigger, stronger, faster. Steele doesn't physically have Oliver's beast mode traits.

Petracca wins the same amount of footy, same amount of contested possessions (slightly more), and the same amount of clearances. He matches Steele in stoppage clearances, centre clearances and general clearances.

But he smashes Steele in inside 50s, goal assists, score involvements, metres gained and marks inside 50. And he kicked double Steele's goal tally,

So other than the negating aspects of footy, i.e. tackles, Petracca is saying I can match you in every other aspect of the game. I can win the same disposals as you, contested possessions, and every category of clearances.

I match you in all the inside stuff, but then I kick double the goals, lead the competition in inside 50s, have 40% more score involvements, 40% more goal assists, and 40% more metres gained. And on average I do this every single game. PLUS, I do the brilliant stuff which separates the competition's best.

It's not close.

I'll leave Dogs supporters to take umbrage at you placing Steele alongside Bontempelli if they have the inclination.
 

Minga

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I get that you think that, but he's not.

No amount of tackling can make up for the ''value'' the others provide.

Oliver has 25% more contested possessions for starters. Oliver just had a season with the most contested possessions in the history of the game. Oliver is bigger, stronger, faster. Steele doesn't physically have Oliver's beast mode traits.

Petracca wins the same amount of footy, same amount of contested possessions (slightly more), and the same amount of clearances. He matches Steele in stoppage clearances, centre clearances and general clearances.

But he smashes Steele in inside 50s, goal assists, score involvements, metres gained and marks inside 50. And he kicked double Steele's goal tally,

So other than the negating aspects of footy, i.e. tackles, Petracca is saying I can match you in every other aspect of the game. I can win the same disposals as you, contested possessions, and every category of clearances.

I match you in all the inside stuff, but then I kick double the goals, lead the competition in inside 50s, have 40% more score involvements, 40% more goal assists, and 40% more metres gained. And on average I do this every single game. PLUS, I do the brilliant stuff which separates the competition's best.

It's not close.

I'll leave Dogs supporters to take umbrage at you placing Steele alongside Bontempelli if they have the inclination.

The only thing I’ll add is that Oliver and Petracca have each other to rely on. Bont has a whole rung of really really solid, high quality mids underneath him.

Steele really is on his own, especially when we, the saints, aren’t playing well or have injuries. I think our midfield can lift, but in the past, it’s mostly just Steele and then the rest way below him.
 

Heaps of fun

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The most valuable player is the player who is paid the most and I don't know who that is this year.
 

Trav 20

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The only thing I’ll add is that Oliver and Petracca have each other to rely on. Bont has a whole rung of really really solid, high quality mids underneath him.

Steele really is on his own, especially when we, the saints, aren’t playing well or have injuries. I think our midfield can lift, but in the past, it’s mostly just Steele and then the rest way below him.
I often read ''midfielders grow on trees''. It's the most inaccurate comment if you've barracked for Melbourne for a long time. Generational midfielders don't grow on trees. They're as rare as hen's teeth, at least they have been at my club. Average midfielders, and even very good ones, grow on trees, but not the best of the best. And Oliver and Petracca are the two best mids (easily) that I've seen at Melbourne. I'm not including Flower, because he was a true wingman and it was a bit different in those days.

It's no coincidence we broke a 57 year drought when we got two generational mids lining up alongside each other.

And yes, Steele's life would be easier and he'll be better with another gun mid. Even just a very very good one would help a lot. But it's not easy to find a generational type, for want of a better word. Put it this way, if Robert Harvey had another generational mid line up alongside him then I doubt the Saints are waiting to end a 55 year drought. It's hard for one absolute superstar mid to do it by themself.

Steele is a top 5 or 6 mid in the competition for mine and arguably the best steal out of GWS.

That said, you don't have to have the best mids in the comp to win a flag. There are plenty flag sides that didn't. But it bloody helps if you do.
 
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