Who are the top 10 midfielders in the league?

Righteo

Purple Campaigner
Apr 7, 2010
30,718
35,385
West
AFL Club
Fremantle
Other Teams
Celtics - The Brew Crew
Go on tell us all how many Freo games you watched this year? If I didn't live in WA, I sure as hell wouldn't be going out of my way to watch them.

I reckon it's safe to presume that you've only seen a few and that you're basing this bad opinion off the fact that he isn't getting as many wraps in the media as he used to because Freo has been a rabble and it was more fun to report on Lyon this season. He's put Freo on his back this season and has had a number of games where he's been miles in front as BOG.
The bloke is genuinely clueless and not worth arguing with. In the AA thread he said Fyfe shouldn't make the team because he missed a large chunk of the season with injury. He missed 2 games lol.
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

Barlow#14

Norm Smith Medallist
Nov 28, 2009
5,406
3,215
AFL Club
Hawthorn
I dont know, if we are talking careers to date and still in their prime the top 5 pick themselves.

1. Fyfe (Brownlow, MVP)
2. Martin (Brownlow, MVP)
3. Dangerfield (Brownlow, MVP)
4. Mitchell (Brownlow, MVP)
5. Cripps (MVP)
6. Pendelbury
7. Bontempelli
8. Neale
9. Yeo
10. J.Kelly

Unless the purpose is to pick who we want in our team or best this year. Some of these list are, to be polite, not good.
 

juss

Brownlow Medallist
Feb 23, 2009
17,412
21,871
Melbourne
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
New York Jets
I dont know, if we are talking careers to date and still in their prime the top 5 pick themselves.

1. Fyfe (Brownlow, MVP)
2. Martin (Brownlow, MVP)
3. Dangerfield (Brownlow, MVP)
4. Mitchell (Brownlow, MVP)
5. Cripps (MVP)
6. Pendelbury
7. Bontempelli
8. Neale
9. Yeo
10. J.Kelly

Unless the purpose is to pick who we want in our team or best this year. Some of these list are, to be polite, not good.
Depends what the criteria is.
Career to date and still playing? Obviously Ablett is 1.

On 2019 form alone? That's really just a purple patch group of who had great seasons.

Ability lined up against a wall for a schoolyard pick? Not a bad way to do it, as it takes into account ability, ignores fitness and temporary decline in form, but can still consider overall career on trust.

If I had to pick a midfielder to play in a match tomorrow and had to put together a shortlist of 10, I'd probably say the best 10 midfielders in the game in no order are:

Martin, Fyfe, Kelly, Cripps, Bontempelli, Neale, Dangerfield, Pendlebury, Macrae, Mitchell.

It's tough because with more thought I could probably easily sub out a few players and bring another handful in.
 

adammania9

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 18, 2013
9,833
19,683
Melbourne
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
University
1. Nathan Fyfe - practically a one man centre square. If Fremantle can recruit some good support before he cracks his early 30’s, he’ll dominate much like 2014/15.

2. Dustin Martin - has a stupid ability to break games open like no other going around. Doesn’t possess the consistency of some on this list but by some weeks having 35 and a number of score involvements and another week kicking 4 or more goals, he sits just short of the top.

3. Patrick Cripps - much like Fyfe, he makes a very undermanned midfielder ultra competitive on his own. An absolute wrecking ball around the footy, and he brings his teammates into the game every week. He’s the life of that football club right now, much like Buckley was at Collingwood in the late 90’s. Watch out once the Blues get it together.

4. Patrick Dangerfield - we sometimes take for granted being able to watch a 7-time AA who is still only 29 and who may be on the cusp of winning his second Brownlow. Like Martin, he has unbelievable competitiveness which means he can break a game open anywhere around the ground. He’s also finally gotten over his knack of underperforming in finals.

5. Marcus Bontempelli - it’s an overused cliche that “20 disposals of his is like 30 from anyone else” but it really is true. Talk about efficiency and impact - he’s in a class of his own sometimes and his calmness really stands out during games. With a bit more consistency and improvement in front of the sticks, he can contend for #1.

6. Tom Mitchell - forgotten about because of his absence this year, but I consider a fit Tom Mitchell to be one of the best and most consistent players around. Mitchell became more than just a distributor last year - he became a reliable attacking force who created a knack for kicking a goal and setting up plenty too. I look forward to watching him do his thing again next year.

7. Scott Pendlebury - never really dropped too far but he made a big resurgence in 2019 and was rightly awarded with All-Australian selection. A true model of consistency and reliability. He’s arguably the most well-rounded player the game has had this century besides maybe Ablett and Franklin.

8. Lachie Whitfield - as far as wingmen go, he’s on his own planet. In the top handful of field kicks going around in the game and given he averages 18 a game, it’s no wonder that Cameron, Himmelberg and Finlayson get several looks at goal a game.

9. Lachie Neale - has taken his game up another level at Brisbane and their top four finish can be massively attributed to his recruitment. He ranks in the top handful for clearances, contested possies and effective disposals. A super consistent unit who very rarely lowers his colours.

10. Adam Treloar - probably not as good as others in particular areas but Treloar’s versatility as a midfielder is something that very few other mids can match. Forced to play outside of his comfort zone as a line-breaking mid this season, due to extensive injuries to Adams and Beams, Treloar played as a ball-winning mid and ranked #1 in the league for disposals and very highly for contested possessions and clearances. Furthermore with 5 tackles a game, he is also one of the league’s better two way running midfielders going around. When he was able to free himself from congestion, he still managed to rank highly for inside 50’s too. A super competitive player who never drops his head. Every club in the comp would love him running on the outside, and providing relief inside the contest too.

Next few on the fringe:
Elliot Yeo
Josh Kelly
Jack Macrae
Luke Shuey
Clayton Oliver
 

Barlow#14

Norm Smith Medallist
Nov 28, 2009
5,406
3,215
AFL Club
Hawthorn
One thing we need to consider with Tom Mitchell is how the opposition perform against him.

I get when you line these guys up and look at the best they can bring we think attack attack attack. But with Tom his greatest strengths lie somewhere else.

He is not a tagger but because he is arguably the best 1st touch player currently in the game he makes it hard for other elite mids to get the ball on there terms. On top of that he just keeps coming at you tackling and taking the offensive line away.

You watch a Tom Mitchell BOG game and you go yep he was good (not talking those 50+ games), you watch Josh Kelly rack up 35+ and BOG and you go WOW. But Kelly is never going to do that against Tom. (Well at least not yet)

On top of this Tom is elite in a Phone Box, he get get the ball moving from position he really shouldn't. This makes certain players around him better.

What I'm trying to say is if we had +/- statistics I wouldnt be surprised if guys like Mitchell, Cripps and Cunnington lead these by a bit.

It's not glamorous or classy but it's in some cases the basics pushed to 110%.

Well you get my gist.
 

juss

Brownlow Medallist
Feb 23, 2009
17,412
21,871
Melbourne
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
New York Jets
1. Nathan Fyfe - practically a one man centre square. If Fremantle can recruit some good support before he cracks his early 30’s, he’ll dominate much like 2014/15.

2. Dustin Martin - has a stupid ability to break games open like no other going around. Doesn’t possess the consistency of some on this list but by some weeks having 35 and a number of score involvements and another week kicking 4 or more goals, he sits just short of the top.

3. Patrick Cripps - much like Fyfe, he makes a very undermanned midfielder ultra competitive on his own. An absolute wrecking ball around the footy, and he brings his teammates into the game every week. He’s the life of that football club right now, much like Buckley was at Collingwood in the late 90’s. Watch out once the Blues get it together.

4. Patrick Dangerfield - we sometimes take for granted being able to watch a 7-time AA who is still only 29 and who may be on the cusp of winning his second Brownlow. Like Martin, he has unbelievable competitiveness which means he can break a game open anywhere around the ground. He’s also finally gotten over his knack of underperforming in finals.

5. Marcus Bontempelli - it’s an overused cliche that “20 disposals of his is like 30 from anyone else” but it really is true. Talk about efficiency and impact - he’s in a class of his own sometimes and his calmness really stands out during games. With a bit more consistency and improvement in front of the sticks, he can contend for #1.

6. Tom Mitchell - forgotten about because of his absence this year, but I consider a fit Tom Mitchell to be one of the best and most consistent players around. Mitchell became more than just a distributor last year - he became a reliable attacking force who created a knack for kicking a goal and setting up plenty too. I look forward to watching him do his thing again next year.

7. Scott Pendlebury - never really dropped too far but he made a big resurgence in 2019 and was rightly awarded with All-Australian selection. A true model of consistency and reliability. He’s arguably the most well-rounded player the game has had this century besides maybe Ablett and Franklin.

8. Lachie Whitfield - as far as wingmen go, he’s on his own planet. In the top handful of field kicks going around in the game and given he averages 18 a game, it’s no wonder that Cameron, Himmelberg and Finlayson get several looks at goal a game.

9. Lachie Neale - has taken his game up another level at Brisbane and their top four finish can be massively attributed to his recruitment. He ranks in the top handful for clearances, contested possies and effective disposals. A super consistent unit who very rarely lowers his colours.

10. Adam Treloar - probably not as good as others in particular areas but Treloar’s versatility as a midfielder is something that very few other mids can match. Forced to play outside of his comfort zone as a line-breaking mid this season, due to extensive injuries to Adams and Beams, Treloar played as a ball-winning mid and ranked #1 in the league for disposals and very highly for contested possessions and clearances. Furthermore with 5 tackles a game, he is also one of the league’s better two way running midfielders going around. When he was able to free himself from congestion, he still managed to rank highly for inside 50’s too. A super competitive player who never drops his head. Every club in the comp would love him running on the outside, and providing relief inside the contest too.

Next few on the fringe:
Elliot Yeo
Josh Kelly
Jack Macrae
Luke Shuey
Clayton Oliver
Good analysis but some huge calls. If fully fit, I reckon Josh Kelly is capable of top 5. Injury the only thing that has stalled him.

Challenge is outside of the 10 there is half a dozen or more that could be argued for.
 

Barlow#14

Norm Smith Medallist
Nov 28, 2009
5,406
3,215
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Anyway I dont want to make this the Tom Mitchell thread. I understand why he isnt top 10 on alot of peoples lists. I'm sure more then a few people are concerned if he will be able to reach the hights he once did. So with an eye on potential he probably drops.
 

scott_the_man

Club Legend
Feb 25, 2014
1,934
2,028
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
1. Martin - just so damaging and creative with ball in hand.
2. Bont - similar to Dusty in that he makes things happen and is super damaging all over the ground.
3. Cripps - unstoppable around the stoppages. Not quite as creative as the former two but still an excellent ball user.
4. Fyfe - similar to Cripps.
5. Danger - explosive around the stoppages and very dangerous up forward. Slips to 5 due to disposal letting him down.
 

Virgin Dog

Club Legend
Oct 29, 2017
2,836
4,666
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
If we simply use the 2019 Brownlow medal results to tell us the top 10, then it is:

Fyfe
Dangerfield
Cripps
Neale
T. Kelly
Martin
Bontempelli
Macrae
Zorko
Treloar/Higgins

Since Higgins and Treloar drew on 10th, and Tom Mitchell probably belongs here, fair to say Mitchell slots in as the 10th midfielder (in no particular order) instead of those two
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

Chinacats

Club Legend
Sep 20, 2014
1,744
1,626
AFL Club
Geelong
I dont know, if we are talking careers to date and still in their prime the top 5 pick themselves.

1. Fyfe (Brownlow, MVP)
2. Martin (Brownlow, MVP)
3. Dangerfield (Brownlow, MVP)
4. Mitchell (Brownlow, MVP)
5. Cripps (MVP)
6. Pendelbury
7. Bontempelli
8. Neale
9. Yeo
10. J.Kelly

Unless the purpose is to pick who we want in our team or best this year. Some of these list are, to be polite, not good.
Agree
 

craffles

Brownlow Medallist
May 20, 2008
10,727
23,721
Melbourne
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Brooklyn Nets, New York Jets
I’m going to use this as the 10 midfielders I would want in my side right now as opposed to the best, unfortunately this means someone like a Pendlebury doesn’t get a look in because of his age.


1. Martin
2. Fyfe
3. Cripps
4. Danger
5. Bontempelli
6. J. Kelly
7. T. Mitchell
8. L. Neale
9. A. Treloar
10. T. Kelly

Unlucky: M. Crouch, C. Oliver, Z. Merrett, E. Yeo, L. Parker
 

Gavin Excell

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 22, 2007
27,761
29,351
Bentleigh
AFL Club
Geelong
I’m going to use this as the 10 midfielders I would want in my side right now as opposed to the best, unfortunately this means someone like a Pendlebury doesn’t get a look in because of his age.


1. Martin
2. Fyfe
3. Cripps
4. Danger
5. Bontempelli
6. J. Kelly
7. T. Mitchell
8. L. Neale
9. A. Treloar
10. T. Kelly

Unlucky: M. Crouch, C. Oliver, Z. Merrett, E. Yeo, L. Parker
Worpel?
 

The Joker

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 27, 2006
16,115
9,916
Your Backyard
AFL Club
Fremantle
1. Nathan Fyfe - practically a one man centre square. If Fremantle can recruit some good support before he cracks his early 30’s, he’ll dominate much like 2014/15.

2. Dustin Martin - has a stupid ability to break games open like no other going around. Doesn’t possess the consistency of some on this list but by some weeks having 35 and a number of score involvements and another week kicking 4 or more goals, he sits just short of the top.

3. Patrick Cripps - much like Fyfe, he makes a very undermanned midfielder ultra competitive on his own. An absolute wrecking ball around the footy, and he brings his teammates into the game every week. He’s the life of that football club right now, much like Buckley was at Collingwood in the late 90’s. Watch out once the Blues get it together.

4. Patrick Dangerfield - we sometimes take for granted being able to watch a 7-time AA who is still only 29 and who may be on the cusp of winning his second Brownlow. Like Martin, he has unbelievable competitiveness which means he can break a game open anywhere around the ground. He’s also finally gotten over his knack of underperforming in finals.

5. Marcus Bontempelli - it’s an overused cliche that “20 disposals of his is like 30 from anyone else” but it really is true. Talk about efficiency and impact - he’s in a class of his own sometimes and his calmness really stands out during games. With a bit more consistency and improvement in front of the sticks, he can contend for #1.

6. Tom Mitchell - forgotten about because of his absence this year, but I consider a fit Tom Mitchell to be one of the best and most consistent players around. Mitchell became more than just a distributor last year - he became a reliable attacking force who created a knack for kicking a goal and setting up plenty too. I look forward to watching him do his thing again next year.

7. Scott Pendlebury - never really dropped too far but he made a big resurgence in 2019 and was rightly awarded with All-Australian selection. A true model of consistency and reliability. He’s arguably the most well-rounded player the game has had this century besides maybe Ablett and Franklin.

8. Lachie Whitfield - as far as wingmen go, he’s on his own planet. In the top handful of field kicks going around in the game and given he averages 18 a game, it’s no wonder that Cameron, Himmelberg and Finlayson get several looks at goal a game.

9. Lachie Neale - has taken his game up another level at Brisbane and their top four finish can be massively attributed to his recruitment. He ranks in the top handful for clearances, contested possies and effective disposals. A super consistent unit who very rarely lowers his colours.

10. Adam Treloar - probably not as good as others in particular areas but Treloar’s versatility as a midfielder is something that very few other mids can match. Forced to play outside of his comfort zone as a line-breaking mid this season, due to extensive injuries to Adams and Beams, Treloar played as a ball-winning mid and ranked #1 in the league for disposals and very highly for contested possessions and clearances. Furthermore with 5 tackles a game, he is also one of the league’s better two way running midfielders going around. When he was able to free himself from congestion, he still managed to rank highly for inside 50’s too. A super competitive player who never drops his head. Every club in the comp would love him running on the outside, and providing relief inside the contest too.

Next few on the fringe:
Elliot Yeo
Josh Kelly
Jack Macrae
Luke Shuey
Clayton Oliver
Excellent write up!!!


Just on Lachie Neale. He hasn't taken his game to another level, he is still the same gun he has been for the past few seasons. It's just people are recognizing him more because The Lions are/were doing well!
 

adammania9

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 18, 2013
9,833
19,683
Melbourne
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
University
Excellent write up!!!


Just on Lachie Neale. He hasn't taken his game to another level, he is still the same gun he has been for the past few seasons. It's just people are recognizing him more because The Lions are/were doing well!
I usually tend to agree with arguments like you have made where a player gets more attention when he jumps out of the shadows without necessarily improving, but I really do reckon Neale played comfortably his best season to date. Of course he was very good at Freo as a contested ball winner and clearance winner, but I reckon his second efforts, kicking efficiency going forward and defensive running all made big improvements in 2019.
 

Schauermann

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 27, 2011
5,133
2,538
Hamburg
AFL Club
Fremantle
If we simply use the 2019 Brownlow medal results to tell us the top 10, then it is:

Fyfe
Dangerfield
Cripps
Neale
T. Kelly
Martin
Bontempelli
Macrae
Zorko
Treloar/Higgins

Since Higgins and Treloar drew on 10th, and Tom Mitchell probably belongs here, fair to say Mitchell slots in as the 10th midfielder (in no particular order) instead of those two
Brownlow is often criticized, but a pretty decent list. Not far off what people said before Brownlow night.
 

catscollector

Team Captain
Jun 30, 2018
562
614
AFL Club
Geelong
People underrate Josh Kelly in my opinion.
A brilliant footballer. Very similar to Simon Black.
Can play around stoppages and instantly give you plenty of clearances or play as the designated ball carrier.
He'll dominate on Saturday.

Mitchell I tend to feel is more like a Patrick Cripps. Absolute beast around the contests. Literally unstoppable in getting the footy but not the most damaging footballer given a lack of goal prowess and disposal use.
 

Righteo

Purple Campaigner
Apr 7, 2010
30,718
35,385
West
AFL Club
Fremantle
Other Teams
Celtics - The Brew Crew
I usually tend to agree with arguments like you have made where a player gets more attention when he jumps out of the shadows without necessarily improving, but I really do reckon Neale played comfortably his best season to date. Of course he was very good at Freo as a contested ball winner and clearance winner, but I reckon his second efforts, kicking efficiency going forward and defensive running all made big improvements in 2019.
How often did you watch Neale play in his best years for us, 2016-2018? Not having a go since we were so bad during that period I understand very few neutrals would have given us much airtime. From memory you've previously admitted to not "noticing" Neale during that span of his career.
 

Sloane4brownlow

Club Legend
May 20, 2017
1,114
1,485
AFL Club
West Coast
In no particular order (well as I think of them):

Dangerfield
Martin
Fyfe
Coniglio
JKelly
Cripps
Bont
T.Mitchell
L.Neale
Treloar

Unluckies: Oliver/Macrae/Pendles/Whitfield/T.Kelly/Dunkley/Shuey/Sloane/Merrett.
 

The Joker

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 27, 2006
16,115
9,916
Your Backyard
AFL Club
Fremantle
I usually tend to agree with arguments like you have made where a player gets more attention when he jumps out of the shadows without necessarily improving, but I really do reckon Neale played comfortably his best season to date. Of course he was very good at Freo as a contested ball winner and clearance winner, but I reckon his second efforts, kicking efficiency going forward and defensive running all made big improvements in 2019.
Not only his best, but comfortably. Okay mate!

I'm pretty set on my judgment of Lachie as he has always been one of my absolute favorites.

Now he is the prime mover in a good performing team he is finally getting his props...
 

rippersnipper

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 22, 2014
9,734
7,344
AFL Club
North Melbourne
I reckon Taranto is close, might be a year off - same with mccluggage.

My top 10:

Fyfe - think he's the best in the comp by some margin at his best
Dangerfield
Neale
Martin
Kelly
Cripps
Bontempelli
Coniglio
Yeo
Mitchell

After that: Pendles, Treloar, Taranto, Mccluggage, Whitfield, cotchin.
 

skwunk

Club Legend
Aug 26, 2014
1,079
1,399
Brisbane
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Other Teams
Australia (Cricket)
6. Tom Mitchell - forgotten about because of his absence this year, but I consider a fit Tom Mitchell to be one of the best and most consistent players around. Mitchell became more than just a distributor last year - he became a reliable attacking force who created a knack for kicking a goal and setting up plenty too. I look forward to watching him do his thing again next year.
Honestly, this year made me rate Mitchell even higher; before Hawthorn got their mix right with Wingard coming back and Worpel lifting in the second half of the season, they were a bottom 4 side after making it to the semi finals last year with very similar personnel. And almost all of it was simply from the absence of one player, Hawthorn were the worst clearance team, could hardly take it out of the centre simply from not having Mitchell. While there are certainly more athletic and maybe more damaging midfielders, in terms of importance to their team and their structure, maybe only Fyfe and possibly Cripps, would outrank Mitchell imo.
 

hutstar

Team Captain
Jan 6, 2003
389
88
St Petersburg FL
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Richmond
I reckon Taranto is close, might be a year off - same with mccluggage.

My top 10:

Fyfe - think he's the best in the comp by some margin at his best
Dangerfield
Neale
Martin
Kelly
Cripps
Bontempelli
Coniglio
Yeo
Mitchell

After that: Pendles, Treloar, Taranto, Mccluggage, Whitfield, cotchin.
I reckon that’s pretty damn close. I’d add Prestia to the honorable mentions.


On iPhone using BigFooty.com mobile app
 

Top Bottom