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Are the issues plaguing Melbourne terminal or curable?


Terminal or curable?

That’s the question that sits over Melbourne after the disappointment of the King’s Birthday.

We looked for a response as the Demons took the field for the first time after the obliteration in the Alice.

The fervour of the jilted. The determination to amend the sins of the past.

All fizzed up, ginned up, souped up … the attitude that triggers a pressure no opponent can withstand.

That was the void in Melbourne yesterday.

There was greater intent from the crowd to hoot and holler at Brayden Maynard than anything the Demons players brought to the contest.

They came with their modified systems and structure only to be out-hunted, out-run and out-strategised.

It was unflattering by comparison given the stakes and the stocks.

What we were looking for in Melbourne oozed out of Collingwood.

On the day Melbourne had to dial it up, they dialled in a season-low pressure ranking of 164.

And for the first time it prompted the question - terminal or curable?

Is that all Melbourne is?

Defensively unsound, beaten at clearance and dysfunctional up forward.

We wanted to know how much it meant to the Demons yesterday.

And the answer looked like not enough.

Collingwood had spoken about what their opponent might bring… to acknowledge it, brace for it and try to quell it.

They need not have worried.

Simon Goodwin sent his players to the break with an optimistic appraisal. You don’t give up in a season when you’re the right side of the ledger.

But the most interesting thing that was said in the Demons' week of turmoil was Goodwin’s admission - “When you try to make change you run the risk of losing your identity and right now, we haven’t got a clear identity…”

They didn’t find it on the King’s Birthday.

“We’re optimistic that we’re just going through a little patch at the moment that we need to work through,” Goodwin said after the loss.

“We’ll come out the other side. Most teams will go through little patches like we’re going through.

“We’re very optimistic about what’s possible as we move forward through this.

“Our method will continually get better. We’re optimistic but we’re incredibly disappointed with the result.”

Curable says Simon Goodwin. Terminal? I think David King was calling for the priest last time I checked.

You always assume the response will come… until one day it doesn’t.

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