MELBOURNE great Garry Lyon has slammed his former club and called their successful 2018 season "an aberration" of the past decade.
The Demons snapped a 12-year finals drought last season and charged into a preliminary final, but they've fallen off spectacularly in 2019.
Melbourne was touted as a premiership contender heading into the season but now sits in 17th on the ladder with just five games remaining.
Melbourne was talked up after a practice game against Collingwood in February. Picture: AFL Photos
Former captain Lyon didn't pull any punches and roasted the club where he spent his entire playing career, booting 426 goals in 226 games overs 13 seasons.
"I've thought about it long and hard and the only conclusion I can come to is last year was an aberration and they're nowhere near as good as the results would indicate last year," Lyon said on Fox Footy.
(People) think they're a top-four side, they ain't, they miss targets, they handball to the wrong spot, they play at the wrong tempo, they're not that good - Garry Lyon
"When you look at where they've been and the footy club as a whole, this is an outlier. Fifth on the ladder last year (and now) they're back where they've been for 12 years.
Nathan Jones and Jack Viney celebrate after last year's semi-final win over Hawthorn. Picture: AFL Photos
"We all fell in, all the optimism of last year, I fell in, we all fell in. We fell in at the halfway mark of the year saying the bye has come at the right time, they're going to rattle home, but it hasn't happened.
"I hate saying it because we all had this great optimism but if we keep saying it's going to turn, we might be denying ourselves the reality and that is they're not that good.
"They're 17th, they're not 11th and just outside the eight, they're under Carlton."
Lyon said the team had plenty of talent through the midfield, but the forwards failed to get into goal-scoring positions and execute.
Gun mid Clayton Oliver in action against West Coast. Picture: Michael Willson
The two-time Demons best-and-fairest winner said there was still time to offer hope for next season, but it had to start against St Kilda this weekend.
"All of their scoring issues are at the bottom end of the competition, they're last going inside 50m," Lyon said.
"(Max) Gawn, who is fantastic, but still continues to miss goals from 20 metres out in front, can barely get the footy on the end of his boot.
"(People) think they're a top-four side, they ain't, they miss targets, they handball to the wrong spot, they play at the wrong tempo, they're not that good.
"Let's put it on them. If we continue to try and stay with a positive message and say they've got to finish in a manner that's going to give optimism to next year and prove last (year) wasn't an aberration, then they have to beat St Kilda on Saturday night."