Demons take a major step backwards

Sam Patrick Roar Rookie

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    The excitement that a young side can provide for its fans is invaluable. I know it all too well – as a Tigers fan, there’s nothing that gets me more excited than seeing the likes of Cotchin, Deledio, Martin and Riewoldt link up to score a goal that puts Richmond in front late in the game at the birthplace of football, the MCG.

    But this youth can also bring a lot of pain and suffering; young teams tend to be extremely inconsistent and can crack under the pressures produced by quality sides such as Collingwood and Geelong within vital stages in a game.

    In short, Melbourne made a big mistake by letting go Brad Miller, not renewing the contract of ex-skipper James McDonald and not doing enough to keep serviceman Cameron Bruce at the club.

    And Brad Green is failing to lead that club with any aggression.

    It is vital when fielding a relatively young side that you have the mature players that can stand up for the club when the young players are struggling.

    At times last year it was these players in Brad Miller, Cam Bruce and James McDonald that stood up for the team when they had lost momentum. But without these sorts of players, the club are going through a crisis mode that they don’t look like escaping any time soon.

    Their other mature players like Brent Moloney are clearly not standing up; urinating on a wall during a late night drinking session after an unconvincing win over Brisbane and producing a dominating performance against the league’s worst club in the Gold Coast is by no means impressive.

    As for Brad Green, he is looking too slow and is clearly out of form.

    Their forward line is weak and struggling; Jack Watts and Liam Jurrah aren’t big bodied players and they struggle to compete with most backlines around the competition. They are lacking strong bodies and mature heads all around the field.

    It’s fine to field a young side in order to develop a path to success as many clubs are doing these days. All bias aside, the Tigers made a terrific choice in recruiting young to middle aged players in Shaun Grigg, Bachar Houli and Brad Miller. The results are showing; those three players have been standing up for the Tigers during vital stages in games.

    Clearly, they need to conduct a big review down at Junction Oval of the direction of the club.

    At the end of last year, they were on the right path with a terrific blend of youth and experience and were set to make a claim for a top eight birth this year. Now they have taken a step back, a step that could perhaps cost Dean Bailey his job and open the door for one Mick Malthouse to take the reins.