AFL 2020: Melbourne – Midseason Report Card

Despite considerable doom and gloom at stages in 2020 the Dees still hold hopes of a finals berth. How has Fixxer graded their first 9 games?

It has been a strange old season for the Demons in 2020. Big wins, bigger losses, nailbiting victories, heartbreaking defeats, they’ve had them all and they’ve only played nine games! How has Fixxer graded their opening half of the season?


Can’t get enough footy? Check out more of our Pinch Hitters Mid Season Report Cards here.


What’s gone right

The inconsistent nature of the Demons makes it hard to narrow down what has gone right from week to week, but two things stand out. The first is the backline, the second is the emergence of a new ‘Big Four’.

The backline has really started to come together as the season has progressed. In particular the two big name additions in Lever and May. The defensive pair are starting to gel together and make the back half a lot harder to penetrate. So to the improved form of Hibberd has helped with counter attacking. Although it could use another elite ball user down there, the leaking that has been synonymous over the last 18 months is fast becoming a thing of the past.

The second thing that has emerged this season is the creation of a new “Big Four”. Locks for the Top Four in the Demons Best and Fairest, while their positions in that quartet is uncertain, the gap between them and May in fifth would be vast. The gape between the former Sun and sixth likely to be bigger again.

Back to the Fab Four, they have been consistent, reliable, game impacting and the driving forces in all facets of the game for the Demons in 2020. Gawn and Oliver have returned to All Australian form. Viney appears fit and over the injuries that have plagued him in recent years, which has allowed him to play to his potential. Then there is Petracca. The 24-year-old is finally showing what he is capable of, for longer periods of games. For the first time in a while the MFC looks like assembling a group of elite players, at the same time, in the same team.


What’s gone wrong

Other than the poor selection process which has seen teams picked with no clear policy or consistency, the major problem in 2020 is a recurring theme for the club. Just like it was in 2019, the connection between the midfield and forward line has been a consistent problem for the team this year.

The Demons have had no trouble winning contested footy, getting their hands on the ball and transitioning the ball from defence to attack. What they do have had trouble doing, is taking marks inside 50. As a result they fail to hit the scoreboard when going forward and concede intercept marks to the opposition, putting the defence under increased pressure. The emergence of Sam Weediman and Luke Jackson is going to help in this area. But unless they can get cleaner ball when getting forward of centre, they will be incapable of becoming a top team.


Standout player

Christian Petracca

Could have come from any of the new Big Four, but we have settled on Petracca simply for the fact his touches result in goals. He is averaging seven score involvements a game and almost a goal a game which is a huge return. Coupled this with his 24 touches a game and he has become the prime mover in the Demons midfield.


Run home

Rd 11North MelbourneAdelaide Oval
Rd 12CollingwoodThe Gabba
Rd 13Western BulldogsMetricon Stadium
?Essendon?
?Fremantle?
?GWS?
?St Kilda?
?Sydney?

On face value, with just three games against current Top Eight opposition the run home offers some cause for optimism for the Demons. However in Essendon and Collingwood, they do face the two ‘wildcard teams’ currently outside the eight.


Final Grade

C+

The next five weeks will be important in deciding where the Demons finish in 2020.


Can’t get enough footy? Check out more of our Pinch Hitters Mid Season Report Cards here.

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