At least five Melbourne players are playing for their AFL future after Paul Roos read them the riot act on Sunday afternoon.
A week after locking himself in as coach for another year, Paul Roos will spend the rest of the AFL season determining which Demons to bring along for the ride.
Roos’s re-signing with the Demons last week was rightly seen as a coup for the club, giving them a fillip ahead of their Etihad Stadium date.
But their high spirits ended abruptly on Sunday as Roos’s side went down against Brisbane, kicking just six goals all afternoon.
Melbourne were cataclysmically bad in the loss, with Roos suggesting he’d never seen such an error-strewn match.
His post-game message suggested certain players were in the gun.
“There’s clearly some that might not be able to get over what’s happened here in the past,” Roos said.
“So they’re the determinations you’ve got to make over the next four weeks.
“When you’re a club like we are … you’ve got to improve your list and bring players in and look to get better.”
Of those uncontracted next year, Rohan Bail, Sam Blease and Luke Tapscott look to be playing for their futures in the Demons’ final four weeks.
Bail had 17 possessions against the Lions but fewer than half hit the target.
Blease was statistically Melbourne’s worst player with just 11 touches at 45 per cent efficiency, while Tapscott was substituted out of the game in the third quarter with just nine disposals to his name.
Neville Jetta and Dean Terlich are also uncontracted beyond this season but have shown more fight in defence.
On Monday, club great Garry Lyon piled on, saying if he was still playing he’d be feeling “sick in the guts” to lose so poorly.
“It was a disgusting performance from Melbourne and Brisbane weren’t much better,” Lyon told the AFL website’s Access All Areas.
Lyon issued a salvo to players to either step up or stand down.
“Stop blaming coaches, stop blaming the poor culture,” he said.
“Stop blaming the last five years, Melbourne players, hit targets five metres away by hand and fifteen metres away by foot.”
One of Melbourne’s best, Dom Tyson, was given a special spray for a poor kick that put Cam Pedersen in Daniel Merrett’s line of fire.
Pedersen marked the hospital pass but the weighting allowed Merrett to clean him up with a late arm.
Pedersen went from the ground with blood streaming from his nose but Lyon said Tyson was the one that should be hurting.
“That kick is what caused the injury, that kick is the reason he’s had his nose splattered all over his face.”
Young midfielder Jack Viney called their last quarter fade out “very disappointing”.
“It’s definitely becoming a theme which is pretty poor.”
“We need to work out what’s going on and change it pretty quickly,” he said.