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Paul Roos savages Melbourne players for shocking errors

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Eagles down dismal Demons

Vast swathes of empty seats at the MCG on Sunday as Melbourne slumped to a 93-point thrashing at the hands of the West Coast Eagles.

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Paul Roos has begun compiling a dossier of the Melbourne players who can’t perform the non-negotiables of football as he forecast savage changes to the team over the coming weeks following their 93-point savaging against West Coast.

The Demons coach said he had witnessed many fundamental errors he had never seen in his teams before. It was the biggest defeat Roos had experienced as a coach.

‘‘Now it is probably the point of – this is what I want and if you can’t deliver then someone else will,’’ Roos said. ‘‘That’s fine. That is where we will be over the next two to five weeks. I will just make changes and just make statements and that is what footy is.’’

Demons coach Paul Roos watches his players being outplayed by the Eagles.

Demons coach Paul Roos watches his players being outplayed by the Eagles. Photo: Getty Images

Roos bemoaned that bad habits seemed so entrenched in the team that he could struggle to break them.

‘‘At some point you have to draw a line in the sand and say these are the guys we are going to pick ... if you don’t want to do [the basics] you don’t play, you can’t become a good team unless you have those real non-negotiables,’’ he said.

‘‘We have to teach some of the more basic things of footy, we just have to do that a lot better. If you can’t get hold of the ball and you fumble it all the time and you can’t make tackles – they are the most basic things in footy.’’

Sunday’s horror show – especially the alarming skill errors – clearly rattled him, with players dropping easy chest marks and turning the ball over constantly. Five of the first eight Eagles goals were due to the Demons coughing up possession.

‘‘Today we were just really poor at it. Whether that is old habits – it has been going for a long time, I suspect. Some of the stuff today, guys missing chest marks, certainly I haven’t seen that before, so it is an eye opener for me as well as a new coach of the footy club. Some of the errors were incredible.

‘‘We have to make sure we are clear on what we want to stand for as a footy club and what we deem as acceptable and what we deem as unacceptable.’’

Roos said the fact he had only coached the team for two AFL games was not relevant.

‘‘How do you break the habits – you have to keep training for it and training for it, or you pick different blokes. It’s round two but I am certainly putting a dossier together, my own dossier,’’ he said.

‘‘I mean it is early in my tenure here but you are building up a profile on each of the players and you see them under the heat and you see what they can and can’t do. There are some non-negotiables in footy, that’s the reality of what the game is and if you can’t do them you can’t play.

‘‘You could see the hesitation, even when we got out in space there was just no one to kick it to, so certainly that is having a huge bearing on your ability to score. It probably doesn’t have that big an impact on your ability to do basic things. That is my job Monday to separate those two components, the fact that we don’t have a forward line – what does that mean from a ball movement point of view.’’

Roos said the enormous gap between the top and bottom of the ladder was startling and obvious.

‘‘There’s a big difference between top and bottom last year. The Eagles had a lot of injuries. They are a top four to six side so you can see with an 18-team competition the difference between the best and the worst. There is a big gap. You can’t run away from it. You can’t hide.’’

The Demons did not kick their first goal until seven minutes into the second term, through Shannon Byrnes.

While it was a poor day for most Demons, co-captain Nathan Jones again stood out with a gutsy performance in the midfield, finishing with a game-high 34 possessions.

Even West Coast coach Adam Simpson wasn’t happy. ‘‘We started pretty well and we lost our way a little bit there,’’ he said. ‘‘Fortunately we kept the scoreboard ticking over. Overall, it was a frustrating game.’’


  • How about a straight swap - Nathan Jones for Chris Judd...
    Jones is wasted in that team, he is a HUGE talent just going nowhere.. He was the only player that could hold his head high for the last 2 seasons, and is way ahead this year too already.

    I'd sign off on that in an instant.. I'd throw in Waite to sweeten it.

    Carlton Fan
    Date and time
    March 31, 2014, 10:16AM
    • Carlton Fan, its to soon to be an arrogant Carlton fan, How you forget where Carlton were for a few years after losing Draft picks. I read supporters from other Clubs mouthing of about the few god players we had going to their club. Bagging our players while your at it is pathetic.

      Go Blues
      Date and time
      March 31, 2014, 11:53AM
    • So Carlton Fan all you want to do is spruik Carlton and who they should take from Melb.who are at a low point as we all know.
      You show no respect for Chris Judd and Jarrad Waite and to use them as trade bait.
      Maybe you should relate more to the above article and not to Carlton and Carlton"s possible shortfalls.
      Good luck for the 150th year, you will need it.

      I L Dee
      Date and time
      March 31, 2014, 1:35PM
    • Yea I know Carlton were nowhere after the fines and draft picks for years - we got what we deserved and accepted it... but in a we came back - didn't we?

      The Melbourne Duds have been at the bottom decades and don't look like they will ever win 2 games in a row, let alone a premiership..

      Can you imagine what it feels like to be a young kid proudly wearing your Melbourne jumper to a party or school, you'd be harassed and laughed at... Kids can be cruel, but its true - it happens.

      And Nathan Jones is a FAR better player than Judd. Judd like Fabio Franklin for the Swans are insanely overrated! I bet the swans are crying now..
      And Waite... he's just broken.

      Honestly - do you think the current Demons side/management/coaching staff could win the VFL Premiership? or even make the finals? Neither do I... and the AFL is a whole harder world than the VFL is.

      Carlton Fan
      Date and time
      March 31, 2014, 2:05PM
  • I am not a Melbourne Supporter but watched the game yesterday. It was the worst performance by an AFL Team that I have ever seen. These guys are supposed to be elite footballers. I watched one player attempt three handballs in 30 seconds and not one of them made it more than 3 metres and each one landed at the feet of his team mate. They are a laughing stock!
    Jack Watts should give back his paycheck this week. I have never seen a more insipid performance that lacked courage, determination and any form of interest in the contest. All summed up by his pathetic attempt at an uncontested chest mark in the forward 50.

    Ascot Vale
    Date and time
    March 31, 2014, 10:52AM
    • Spot on Andy. Problem is, Jack Watts and the rest of the football personnel at Melbourne (coach included) have no shame. They are quite happy to take home hundreds of thousands of dollars each year for underperforming. The day-to-day employees at that Club earning $50Kpa or less achieve more and have more dignity than the likes of Watts ever will.

      Date and time
      March 31, 2014, 11:26AM
    • Cheer up Andy, go to the Demons injury list and look at the players missing, all your key forwards, your main Ruckman. Demons defence did an ok job after the first quarter considering the Eagles are up and about and have started of with no injuries on their list. Last year they started as a Flaf favourite. But had many injuries. Perspective my friend

      Go Blues
      Date and time
      March 31, 2014, 11:57AM
    • Yes, maybe they should be paid on the basis of performance.

      Date and time
      March 31, 2014, 1:49PM
    • "Jack Watts...
      ..lacked courage, determination and any form of interest in the contest"

      You haven't seen him play much have you?? That's his normal game, strutting around like his on par with Abblett...

      Laughing stock!
      Date and time
      March 31, 2014, 2:14PM
  • That comment is a little harsh on Frawley IMO, he has been quite good over the past few years.
    What is most damning about Melbourne's performance is the players who player we'll despite Jones prove that the problem has been inbuilt into the club.
    Vince, Cross and Terlich all played reasonably well but they all spent time in the last two years at another club. This also shows in the performances of Clarke their best forward recently.
    The longer a player has spent away from Melbourne the better they seem to perform for them.
    The above statement shows me that Roos now has the second hardest job in the AFL behind Paul Little

    Date and time
    March 31, 2014, 11:20AM

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