One month ago, the ruling Premier Melbourne was unbeaten at the top of the ladder.
But in the 11th round they clashed with a red hot freestyle dress and at the beginning of that clash they lost their defensive end of Steven May and did not recover.
The losses in Sydney and Collingwood followed, and now the Diss are out of the spotlight – with a Brisbane outfit on Thursday night.
Watch every blockbuster AFL match this weekend and watch an ad-free in-game at Kayo. New to Kayo? 14-Days Free Try Now>
So where is Melbourne going wrong? Is the “Day of Judgment” their defense of the Premier League? And the issues are simple solutions – or is there something that the teams are doing to the end?
Fox Footy experts plunge into Melbourne tragedy
Melbourne has been ranked 14th in the league with 50 points since the 8th round.
Fox Footy analyst Ley Montana believes the demons are guilty of “major explosives” and that they are guilty of simply throwing a ball at a target in 50.
Premier League striker Tom McDonald did not play after Melbourne’s final victory – the 10th round in north Melbourne – and suffered at least another 10 weeks with an injury.
McDonald’s, who has scored 15 goals in nine games, and his goals in all competitions except Rd 1 have averaged 10+ points and four points, but the Discs have struggled to get into the mix.
“I think there is a danger in the way they play,” Montana said.
“They’ve been horribly awful over the last three weeks.”
It is reminiscent of the “red fog” that demons played in 2020.
Sam Weideman has struggled to copy the 2021 form, playing just six games for nine goals – in a clash with the Dokers before being relegated.
After moving to VFL, Weidman scored four goals in two games to commemorate the Lions clash.
Bailey Fritish leads Melbourne with 29 goals in 13 games. Ben Brown, who has gone three games without a goal, is second with 17 goals this season.
Kysaiah Pickett is third with 16 majors, McDonald’s is still fourth – although he has not played in the last three games.
Tom Sparrow scored twice a year, Alex Neil Bullen scored just two goals and Charlie Spargo scored five.
With the exception of Pietet, there are no small or medium-sized beats that normally hit the scoreboard.
“The way you have recently moved forward has been a bit of a waste,” said Fox Foot Gary Lyon.
“There is no imagination in the way you go.”
Missing exposes congestion in armor
Steven May did not play after the 11th round of Fremant.
Originally shocked, and banned from the club under a concert protocol – a clash with Jack Melksham did not affect their absence in community service.
But without May, the Demons have scored three of their five worst points in the 2022 season, including two.
May missed just two games in the 2021 Premier League run – wins (currently) at Hawthorn 17th and Adelaide 17th.
He has lost just one of his last 19 games, before being embroiled in a feud with team-mate Jack Lever against Freeman.
When May was off the field, the dissenters first selected Adam Tomlinson and then Daniel Turner to fill the defense.
Demon CEO Alan Richardson said he expected May to return to shooting in Brisbane, and the latter six admitted to enduring “some challenges” without him.
“May-Ze is the fighter. Someone like Luke Hodge, ”he told SN.
“It looks like he has humiliated the team, he has humiliated the football club, he has lost his coaches. He wants to play very well.
“If anything, we should try to relax it a little bit instead of trying to stop the balls in the 50’s.
“We do not want to put too much pressure on him.
“He wants to go out there, to be honored and to make amends.”
Interestingly, Premier League defender Trent Rivers is yet to return to VFL, having made 10 appearances in 2022.
Melbourne has won 10 consecutive games to open a 2022 account, with many experts questioning who can stop them.
But after winning the four-time Premier League Hawke Luke Hodge Soccer final, the competition will change.
“Teams will try everything to defeat you,” he told SN.
“For Melbourne, the positive is that it happened in the middle of the year.
“The silver lining happened this year and it took eight, nine, 10 weeks to prepare, prepare and improve for it.”
Hodge says it’s easy to let a group of “doubts” get in – regardless of their winning streak.
“He opened a small crack and when a few teams hit him, the cracks widened a bit,” he said.
“There are some doubts in your mind.
“A month ago we were so far away from Melbourne in front of other people. (But) Who’s not playing the best football (right now) የለውም It doesn’t matter if you haven’t done it in the last four or five weeks.
Melbourne CEO Alan Richardson said the injury showed the club was just as vulnerable as other teams in the competition.
“We are no different from any other football club,” he told SEN.
“We know we have work to do. Am I sure this group has the talent and the tactics? … Yes, I am.
“We are in a very good position – equal to the top of the ladder, and we are working hard to improve and grow.”
The changes will be counted for a while.
She finished second in last month’s race in Melbourne.
Statistics show that the demons are only averaging 23 points from the transition.
“Everyone is losing structure in the future,” warns Le Montagna.
Montana’s front line players are hoping to hit the ball.
“It forces them to make some terrible decisions,” he said.
“They’re getting the ball right now. They have nothing to hit.”
According to Montana, there have been two reasons why the demonic form has disappeared in recent weeks – especially since the front line “compensates more than defense”.
“Maybe the midwives are too high and too defensive,” he suggested.
“There is no separation and no place (between them).
“If you don’t find a way to score goals, especially beyond sales, it’s hard to beat the best goals.
“Their ability to get out of the game has completely denied them.”
Can you win without a gown?
In the final in Melbourne, Max Gawn will play most of the season.
A.D. When Dees reached the final in 2018, Gaun played every game at that time.
He played every game in last season’s successful Premier League run.
Now that their leader has been away from the field for a month, the demons must find a way to overcome him.
Fox Football analyst David King worries that Melbourne could have scored without a gown.
“The only thing left permanently is their ability to win the competition and their license,” he said.
“Only Tim English has contributed to more results than Max Gaun.”
Statistics show that out of the top 12 teams, Melbourne is ranked # 1 without clearance, post-clearance and # 5 without football. But those stats are like a slingshot.
Young Luke Jackson needs to show why clubs are willing to spend an estimated $ 800,000 a season from 2023 onwards.
Melbourne’s game plan could also be changed to Goon Target Goal Online.
Teams like Geelong and Hawthorn have played an undisputed game this season – creating pressure on the midfield to win without a hitch.
That means they have to raise the likes of Christian Petraka and Clayton Oliver.
The break could not have come at a better time for Petraka, and the statistics on the three losses are bad by its standards.
Petraka had just 10 touchdowns in Fremant’s defeat – the worst of my career and has not held the scoreboard since the ninth round.
Oliver is still getting a lot of legs, but he is not hurting his ball.
After recovering from injury in the 12th round, Ed Langdon has never been the same player with 10 touchdowns in Collingwood – his performances after coming to Dees from Fremantl.
The Hawks were the first team to try to get Langon out of the game, and they came close to a shock victory.
Melbourne assistant coach Adem Yze is confident the demons have the ability to cover up and correct mistakes that cost the game.
“We feel we are not playing our way or our way for four quarters,” he said.
We had some great losses in those games and we lost all those losses.
“We’re going back to our basics and playing our part and who’s going to do that [than] With the Big Team ”
Fox Football’s Gerard Wiley said it was a must-win game for Melbourne, given the strength of the competition.
Dane Zorcon is injured and out of Zack Bailey (Health and Safety Protocols). The Lions are raising James Tuntil, the first of the MGG off-field fights.
“Melbourne must win this side of Brisbane now,” Menille said.
If they lose three in a row, if they lose in Brisbane under these circumstances, it will be unpleasant for the four-time champions.
“This is not the best side of Brisbane.”
Only one team in the AFL era – Richmond 2017 – won the flag four times in a row earlier that season.
If the demons were defeated on Thursday night, they would not have been defeated. But they are at war.