AFL 2019: Melbourne – End of Season Report Card

Hank Ryan has his say on Melbourne’s hellish 2019 season.

Who are these blokes?

Pacquiao v Mayweather, 3DTV, Sea Monkeys, Adulthood, Melbourne Demons 2019 AFL season. All things that didn’t live up to the hype. Pacquiao was past it. 3D TV was/is shit, Sea Monkeys are some freeze-dried misery, adulthood has beer, but is terrible. Melbourne Demons 2019 AFL season is at the very least as disappointing as all of these things. How buoyant and positive would a Melbourne Demons member be going into the 2019 season? heaps. Now? yeah nah…

What Went Right?

Max Gawn continued to press his claim as the best ruckman in the comp, despite a Brodie Grundy shadow looming large. The Demons had the equal (with Collingwood, behind the Suns) second most hitouts in 2019.

Oliver was very good at times.

Marty Hore has a funnyish name and acquitted himself very well in his debut season.

That’s about it.

What Went Wrong?

After making the preliminary final last year, where they were embarrassed by the tune of 66 points at the hands of a rampant Eagles outfit, one would imagine the Demons would continue their press for a Grand Final berth. Instead, they threw a curve ball and just took up where they left off in Perth and continued being shit, so shit in fact, that they finished in 17th.

BUT WHY? Champion Data rated them as the best list in the land (they also rate Jack Sinclair elite, grain of salt). The Demons claimed the heavy prelim loss was an “abberation” (yeah…nah). Well – here’s why.

One Paced – They are sloooooow. The midfield talent is impressive, but dead-set, they couldn’t run out of sight on a dark night. Oliver, Viney, Brayshaw – good players, but slow, inside types, made worse by the fact that the Demons Can’t kick. Melbourne rank 3rd last for disposal efficiency, and 1st for clangers. So, slow by foot + terrible disposal = 17th. But this is only part of the equation. They also

Have a terrible forward setup. Tom McDonald had a great year in 2018. 2019? not so much. After kicking 53.20 in 2018, Big Tom could only manage 18 majors in 2019, and he didn’t have much help. Petracca (what are you?) didn’t do much without being terrible but their other forwards…..err, nevermind.

The Demons were ranked 17th in points per game, this despite being 5th in forward 50 entries. They are bad at goals. So now the equation is: slow + bad disposal + bad at goals – high inside 50 count = 17th. But hang on, there’s more.

They don’t (or won’t) tackle. This despite the fact that they are ranked 13th for disposals, meaning more often than not, the other mob has the pill. They rank 15th for tackles – They ain’t gettin it, and they ain’t tryna get it (sounds like some straight fire).

Slow + Poor DE% – high inside 50’s+bad at goals+piss weak = 17th.

Best Win

Gee, this is a tough one. The only decent team they managed to knock off were the Hawks in round 7, by 5 points, just their second win for the year at the time.

They needed it. By Jingoes did they need it. Especially with Gold Coast the week after, which should be a romping win, right? (they won that one by a point). It was a messy game. Turnovers galore, undisciplined 50’s and general buggery. Harmes finished with 31 touches and a goal, Oliver 30 and a goal.

It was an unremarkable game, despite the close scoreline. I could’ve chosen the next week’s game against the Suns, but it was against the Suns.

Room For Improvement

None. I mean, they have the best list right…right?

Yeah nah, yeah nah. They need Pace, they need good leg. They need….Ed Langdon? He seems a strange target, although fast – his disposal, as Dockers fans will testify, is woeful. Equation is not looking good. Frost is off to the Hawks, but the Dees will be hoping that hole will be filled by a barely sighted (injured) Steven May. Jake Lever will hopefully be fit and firing to provide reinforcement and intercept in the back half.

Weideman, Fritsch seem to have stagnated – they really need to stand up and take the next step if Melbourne are to have any forward line menace. On that, who are their forwards? Hunt booted 21 this year and Melksham bobbed up for a few, but those names certainly won’t be striking fear into the opposition

Standout Performer

Clarrie the friendly ghost

Clayton Oliver

Oliver was a solid contributor in 2019, without much help at all. Ranked 2nd in contested possessions and 7th in total tackles. He was a lone wolf in a highly touted Dees midfield brigade, he was at his best in round 8 against the hapless Suns, amassing 38 disposals and a whopping 15 tackles as they won ugly by a point.

He did however, rank 2nd for clangers, something he’ll be keen to rectifty in 2020. He’ll also need more support in Brayshaw and Viney. Harmes was suprisingly, his most capable ally in the midfield, avaeraging 24.5 disposals over 22 games.

Grade – Z

The Demons fall from grace has been nothing short of spectacular, in a horrific napalm train wreck sorta way. Just horrid.

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