Which is the best team of the 21st century?

Which is the best team of the 21st century?


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TheEscapeClub

Club Legend
May 13, 2014
1,453
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Geelong
Looking at the teams listed on paper and ignoring the edict not to select my own side.

Geelong
(I find it really hard to split Hawks and Lions.)
Hawthorn
Brisbane

Collingwood
West Coast

Richmond are tough to rank looking at the side listed but 3 flags don't lie. Maybe a case of substance / method over style.

The first 5 on paper seem to have very few if any holes.

For the rest I think they all have holes, some multipleand they may not really be holes, I just think other sides have a stronger player in a particular position.

For their infancy, I think that GWS side is stronger than quite a few of the others listed.
 

JasRulz63

Brownlow Medallist
May 26, 2007
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Brisbane Lions
It is true that is a pretty incredible starting midfield. I think the next four Hawthorn roll into their midfield are better than what Brisbane offer though. I saw some stats on the number of times Hawthorn won the clearance when roughhead was roving that were quite simply unbelievable on one of those panel TV shows about a decade ago, but could never find the stats again whilst searching online.

Daniher and Brown vs Franklin and Roughhead is a pretty stark difference though. Michael and Leppitsh would be utterly demolished, whereas Lake and Croad should hold their own reasonably well.

Looking at the team in the OP with a starting midfield of Voss, Black and Neale, the depth that can rotate into that midfield include Aker, Power, Lappin, McCluggage, Zorko and Beams.
 

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PhatBoy

Hall of Famer
May 5, 2016
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But all you’re doing is choosing 1 yr, when they seemed to be past their peak.

Brisbane’s best team over this century is hard to beat. That forward line including Brown, Aker, Cameron, and you choose any of Bradshaw, Lynch and even Daniher would be probably better than any other teams’.

A backline including Leppitsch, Michael, Andrews would close down pretty much all the best forward lines.

And not sure any team can match a midfield comprising 3 Brownlow medalists.

And you don’t think a backline of Enright, Stewart, Scarlett, Egan, Taylor, Mackie, Milburn, Wojinscki, Blicavs etc etc etc would be able to shut down Brisbane’s forward line.

Logically there’s not argument you can make that supports the idea that the 2002 Lions would beat the ‘best of’ from all the other teams this century
 

VinnieB

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 28, 2021
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And you don’t think a backline of Enright, Stewart, Scarlett, Egan, Taylor, Mackie, Milburn, Wojinscki, Blicavs etc etc etc would be able to shut down Brisbane’s forward line.

Logically there’s not argument you can make that supports the idea that the 2002 Lions would beat the ‘best of’ from all the other teams this century
I didn’t say that. I said the 2022 Lions were a great team. If you read through the thread, I mentioned you can add guys like Neal, Cameron, Andrews etc to that team.

Your argument is that you beat the 2002/2003 team in 2004, so they must not be that good. Pick any of your best seasons and I’m sure you will find that Geelong team was comprehensively beaten in a game the following year. The Pies were up by 10 goals at 3 quarter time in the 2010 prelim. Does that mean they aren’t that good? By your own logic, yes.

Amazing how sensitive Cats and Hawthorn fans get. One space cadet thinks Croad and Lake are the best backman of the 21st century, and you’re triggered because a neutral observer has the opinion that Brisbane may have the best team.

Weird….
 

PhatBoy

Hall of Famer
May 5, 2016
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I didn’t say that. I said the 2022 Lions were a great team. If you read through the thread, I mentioned you can add guys like Neal, Cameron, Andrews etc to that team.

Your argument is that you beat the 2002/2003 team in 2004, so they must not be that good. Pick any of your best seasons and I’m sure you will find that Geelong team was comprehensively beaten in a game the following year. The Pies were up by 10 goals at 3 quarter time in the 2010 prelim. Does that mean they aren’t that good? By your own logic, yes.

Amazing how sensitive Cats and Hawthorn fans get. One space cadet thinks Croad and Lake are the best backman of the 21st century, and you’re triggered because a neutral observer has the opinion that Brisbane may have the best team.

Weird….

Yeah, um, I’d leave space cadet comments for others, considering the post I initially replied to claimed that the Lions team of one premiership year would wipe the floor with all the ‘best of’ teams that have been put together.

So yeah, what were you saying about my observation that ‘the 04 Cats were in kindergarten and years off peaking, would be competitive once you add in all the other ‘best of’ players being able to compete with a single Lions grand final team
 

Caligo

Premiership Player
Aug 18, 2023
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One space cadet thinks Croad and Lake are the best backman of the 21st century.
Utterly pathetic trying to put words in my mouth.

lake and croad match up well on daniher and brown. Michael and leppitch, neither of whom were particularly mobile, would have really struggled with roughhead, but particularly bud. That lions team had nobody with the agility and size together to even begin to try to manage him.

But sure, just create some stupid straw man about best backman of the 20th century to cover up your foolishness. Great move.
 

PhatBoy

Hall of Famer
May 5, 2016
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Utterly pathetic trying to put words in my mouth.

lake and croad match up well on daniher and brown. Michael and leppitch, neither of whom were particularly mobile, would have really struggled with roughhead, but particularly bud. That lions team had nobody with the agility and size together to even begin to try to manage him.

But sure, just create some stupid straw man about best backman of the 20th century to cover up your foolishness. Great move.

He doesn’t actually realise what he’s responded to but still comes out with the space cadet comment 😂
 

KissKiss

Norm Smith Medallist
Nov 26, 2012
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Utterly pathetic trying to put words in my mouth.

lake and croad match up well on daniher and brown. Michael and leppitch, neither of whom were particularly mobile, would have really struggled with roughhead, but particularly bud. That lions team had nobody with the agility and size together to even begin to try to manage him.

But sure, just create some stupid straw man about best backman of the 20th century to cover up your foolishness. Great move.
Realistically none of Lake, Croad, Michael, Leppitsch have the height or mobility to match up Buddy, Roughead or even Daniher. Daniher might not be at the level of Buddy but his height and style would be too much for most defenders of the earlier years.

I reckon they all struggle against the power and size of Lynch and Brown as well. They are monsters in a very different style.

But more I just put the best of the key forwards a long way ahead of the key backs of most of these sides
 

Caligo

Premiership Player
Aug 18, 2023
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Realistically none of Lake, Croad, Michael, Leppitsch have the height or mobility to match up Buddy, Roughead or even Daniher. Daniher might not be at the level of Buddy but his height and style would be too much for most defenders of the earlier years.

I reckon they all struggle against the power and size of Lynch and Brown as well. They are monsters in a very different style.

But more I just put the best of the key forwards a long way ahead of the key backs of most of these sides
Yep. It is why I always put Rance in my "team of the century" conversations.

I like Lake and McGovern for some of the attacking marking 1on1 as a key defender too, helps to nullify those elite key forwards.
 

RUNVS

TheBrownDog
Feb 28, 2007
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Realistically none of Lake, Croad, Michael, Leppitsch have the height or mobility to match up Buddy, Roughead or even Daniher. Daniher might not be at the level of Buddy but his height and style would be too much for most defenders of the earlier years.

I reckon they all struggle against the power and size of Lynch and Brown as well. They are monsters in a very different style.

But more I just put the best of the key forwards a long way ahead of the key backs of most of these sides

It is an interesting discussion actually.

Do you go for the best team of the 21st century, or do you go with the team you would pick if they were actually playing?

For instance some key defenders even from the early 2000's are a bit undersized now. Even if they have several All Australians, do you pick them when they could get beaten by the bigger key forwards they could be up against (in a hypothetical match).
 

Guardian Hawk

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 16, 2003
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Yeah I know and disagree. I'm not so sure Hawthorn can compete against Brisbane's midfield. Voss, Black, Lappin, Neale is probably the best midfield lineup. Key forwards like Brown and Daniher and Bradshaw, supported by Akker, Pike, Cameron etc. There's 4 brownlow medallists in that team.

You said it was daylight between Geelong and Hawthorn and the rest. I disagree. I think Brisbane is battling against Geelong for number 1.

I agree that the Brisbane midfield probably just shades the Hawthorn one, but it is close. Mentioning that the Brisbane team has 4 Brownlow medallists is only minorly relevant IMO, as Hawthorn has 3 themselves. Total Brownlow votes (not just wins) puts the Hawthorn midfield well in front but I still think the Brisbane one is better.

However, the Brisbane forward line you mention is quality but nowhere near the Hawthorn one in my opinion. The 6 Brissie guys you've named have won 8 AA's between them and won 1 Coleman. The Hawthorn forward 6 have won 16 AA's (double) and won 5 (5x) Colemans. The Hawthorn 6 have kicked more than 500 goals more than their Brisbane counterparts, despite most of the Brisbane players playing in a much higher scoring era. Someone like Martin Pike wouldn't get anywhere near the Hawthorn forward line.

In defence Hawthorn also have the edge. Brisbane have named Daniel Rich and Jed Adcock on their half back flanks. Hawthorn have Luke Hodge, Shaun Burgoyne and Grant Birchall to choose from. We even had to leave a dual AA HBF'er out of the team (Joel Smith). In short, neither Rich or Adcock would make the Hawthorn side. For the talls, Hawthorn have Lake, Croad, Sicily and Gibson whilst Brisbane have Andrews, Leppitsch, Michael and no one really. Their first 2 are right up there (probably ahead of Hawthorn) but the options fall away fast. I think Michael gets a bit overrated at times given he played in the threepeat- he was never AA and looked awful in a weaker side. All up, the Brisbane defence has 3 players that were all Australian, while all 6 of Hawthorn's were (with another on the bench and another 2 AA's that missed the 22 altogether). In total, the Hawthorn first 6 have 9 AA's to Brisbane's 7 (and 3 Norm Smiths to Brisbane's 0).

My summary is that the Brisbane team is very good and right up there and probably has the edge in starting midfield over Hawthorn but the forwards, defence and even the rucks are stronger in the Hawthorn lineup.
 
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Meteoric Rise

Brownlow Medallist
Feb 4, 2008
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Richmond
Of this there is no doubt.

Equal most Premierships.
Equal most Grand Finals.
Most top 4 finishes.
Most finals appearances.
Most games won.
Their best football is THE best football since the turn of the century.

Never beaten a Div 1 finals team in a Grand Final. Only Swans Magpies Saints and Port Adelaide. These are some of the weakest clubs in the comp for Grand Finals won v finals lost in the TV era. During that time Geelong have had the following chances to win Grand Finals v Div 1 finals teams, the ones who know how to get it done in September:

1967 LOST to Richmond FC

1989 LOST to Hawthorn FC

1992 LOST to West Coast Corporation

1994 Ditto

1995 LOST to Carlton FC

2008 LOST to Hawthorn FC

2020 LOST to Richmond FC

0-7 in Grand Finals v TV era Div 1 finals teams. Looks to me like the Cats are fine v clubs who aren't good at converting finals appearances into flags, but woeful against clubs that know what they are doing in September.

Hawks comfortably is the answer to this thread.
 

Fadge

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 4, 2007
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Didn't know that the 'TV era' and that 1967 etc was in the 21st century.

I also bet you were so proud of yourself when you typed out 'West Coast Corporation'. Haha u r so funny, cos they are soulless franchise m i rite?!?!?
It's just monotonous, boring and predictable garbage.

Port Adelaide are a Div. 2 Grand Final team, because they only have a 50% win rate in Grand Finals.

It doesn't matter that Geelong are the reason Port Adelaide have a 50% win rate. If it wasn't for Geelong, Port would have a 100% win rate in Grand Finals.

It really is tedious rubbish.
 

Meteoric Rise

Brownlow Medallist
Feb 4, 2008
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Didn't know that the 'TV era' and that 1967 etc was in the 21st century.

I also bet you were so proud of yourself when you typed out 'West Coast Corporation'. Haha u r so funny, cos they are soulless franchise m i rite?!?!?

God no FP. As corporations go Indian Pacific Company is quite soulful. ;)
 

Meteoric Rise

Brownlow Medallist
Feb 4, 2008
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It's just monotonous, boring and predictable garbage.

Port Adelaide are a Div. 2 Grand Final team, because they only have a 50% win rate in Grand Finals.

It doesn't matter that Geelong are the reason Port Adelaide have a 50% win rate. If it wasn't for Geelong, Port would have a 100% win rate in Grand Finals.

It really is tedious rubbish.

The tedium of fair scrutiny Fadge.

Port Adelaide are not in Div 1 because they are in the bottom half of teams for Grand Finals won per finals match lost in the TV era. I have demonstrated this to you before.

I would have thought if Geelong were so clearly the number 1 team this century, they might have a better record than 0-2 when faced with a Div 1 opponent in Grand Finals.

Definitely the best home and away team and best against Div 2 finals teams though, you are spot on about that. :)
 

Fadge

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 4, 2007
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Port Adelaide are not in Div 1 because they are in the bottom half of teams for Grand Finals won per finals match lost in the TV era. I have demonstrated this to you before.
Pardon me for forgetting about that 'analysis'.

In your world, a team is 'better finals team' if they don't make finals at all, rather than finishing top 2 or top 4 but not winning the flag (and thereby losing one or two finals games in the process).

Just in case you're confused, the 2023 finals performances of North Melbourne and West Coast were superior to the 2023 finals performances of Brisbane and GWS!

Wrap your head around that magnificent conclusion!
 
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Meteoric Rise

Brownlow Medallist
Feb 4, 2008
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Pardon me for forgetting about that 'analysis'.

In your world, a team is 'better finals team' if they don't make finals at all, rather than finishing top 2 or top 4 but not winning the flag (and thereby losing one or two finals games in the process).

How could I have forgotten about that?

This is nothing more than it claims to be. We isolate how the clubs perform when they play in finals. I know it kills you that a certain club wins a Grand Final for roughly every 2 finals losses during the TV era, and a certain other club wins roughly 1 Grand Final for every 24 finals losses in the same era.

This list shows which clubs know what they are doing in finals and which clubs are finals cloggers. Not more or less than that.

But Cats surely need to beat a club who isn't a finals clogger in a Grand Final in order to gain universal acceptance as the best team this century. If they never had the chance, maybe we can't draw too many conclusions, but zip from 2 I think we are entitled to question it. Even Collingwood gimp flag team did that, so it is not like it is impossible. :)
 

Fadge

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 4, 2007
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I know it kills you that a certain club wins a Grand Final for roughly every 2 finals losses during the TV era, and a certain other club wins roughly 1 Grand Final for every 24 finals losses in the same era.
Correction. No, it doesn't kill me...

Give me a Grand Final appearance once every three seasons, meaning many great wins along the way, compared with periods of two and three decades on end floating between 9th and bottom of the ladder, seeing supporters spit on their coaches as they're walking up the race, and dump a truckload of horse manure at the entrance to their training facilities...

But I guess I've just been very fortunate as a Collingwood supporter.
 
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HairyO

Hall of Famer
Jul 13, 2015
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The Essendon team of 2000 was virtually unbeatable, that season alone puts them up there

Has anyone mentioned 2000 isnt in the 21st century?
Its the final year of the 20th.

That said, having 1 great year, 3 good years and 20 bad years simply doesnt come close to the team you dont want to recognise.