Player Watch #10: Ben Cunnington - 2019 Syd Barker Medallist

Snake_Baker

L'enfant terrible
Apr 24, 2013
49,279
94,225
inside your head
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North Melbourne
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Teams are sitting on him HARD, and we don't currently have the necessary resources to capitalise on oppositions that effectively waste a midfielder on the tag.

Jacobs missing has been a massive compounding issue, because if he's there the opposition's best mid isn't taking the ball away either, leaving Higgins to go head to head with the next best.
 

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shintemaster

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 24, 2002
14,627
23,857
Ponderama
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Teams are sitting on him HARD, and we don't currently have the necessary resources to capitalise on oppositions that effectively waste a midfielder on the tag.

Jacobs missing has been a massive compounding issue, because if he's there the opposition's best mid isn't taking the ball away either, leaving Higgins to go head to head with the next best.
Yep. When Simpkin had a few good weeks this was exactly what happened but a bit too much to expect a 50 gamer to do that every single week. I don't think it's that big an issue in the long run, only a matter of whether we put up with it or move him out of the way more to expose other players (I prefer the latter but they might see them as physically just not even close to ready without causing more harm than good - if so fair enough).
 

Thewlis Dish

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 9, 2003
26,471
23,184
Five Star Laundry
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He used to cop some attention but it has never been this focused. Ever since de Boer theyve gone after him in a very particular way.
Because it works. He doesn't move enough to shake a tag, and we don't have enough damaging mids to punish the opposition for focusing too much on Ben.
 

Snake_Baker

L'enfant terrible
Apr 24, 2013
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Because it works. He doesn't move enough to shake a tag, and we don't have enough damaging mids to punish the opposition for focusing too much on Ben.

Unfortunately, this is currently a fact. He's still a serviceable player with a tag, but if they sit on him AND we can stop the opposition spread & take away, then Ben is getting a chance at a lot more second opportunities (scrimmages) where he is at a distinct advantage.

It's all about locking down the opposition AFTER they have sat on Ben.

I know it sounds absurd, but we are actually BETTER OFF giving away free kicks when we lose the centre clearances.
 

shimaburnsgrieg

Club Legend
Apr 1, 2017
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That is unreal. I was at a mates watching the game yesterday and i lost it when he did that.

Had to clean up the roof.

Watch it carefully and the amount of stuff he does in that play is just mind boggling.


Yep. We should trade him.
Yes - certainly worth persevering with an underperforming midfield so we get that get once a game fend off.
 

ferball

Premium Platinum
Jul 24, 2015
12,868
23,597
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Yes - certainly worth persevering with an underperforming midfield so we get that get once a game fend off.
There's a few midfielders underperforming a bit more than him at the moment.

See the handball at the end?

All that fending, blocking multiple attempts to tackle while holding the ball, assessing the situation and creating enough space to deliver it ... that's all useless without actually being able to execute the delivery to Goldstein.

Failing to provide the shepherd that would have kept at least one of the five WC players he was surrounded by off his back ... now that's probably underperforming.
 

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Mixed Results

Club Legend
Nov 17, 2011
1,473
3,306
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North Melbourne
We already know that Cunnington is the best player in the competition when the ball is within arm's reach of him.

These last few weeks have shown that if you can put somebody on him and keep the play away from him then he is practically useless. One highlight doesn't make up for spending most of the game jogging up and down the ground and not having any impact.

How to adjust to this pressure Cunnington is getting will be the first huge test for Rhyce Shaw, as apart from the Collingwood game, Cunnington has been a complete liability ever since De Boer tagged him a month and a half ago.
 

giantroo

Bleeding Blue and White
Sep 23, 2005
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Has been stuck on 65 votes for the previous 4 weeks. Has slided from second to 6th. Good thing the others have also gone missing so he isn't too far away. Can still redeem himself and make something from the final four weeks.

Leaderboard
Votes Player Club
84 Tim Kelly GEEL
79 Marcus Bontempelli WB
78 Patrick Cripps CARL
73 Lachie Neale BL
67 Travis Boak PORT
65 Ben Cunnington NMFC
65 Nat Fyfe FRE
62 Patrick Dangerfield GEEL
62 Brodie Grundy COLL
62 Luke Shuey WCE
 

ferball

Premium Platinum
Jul 24, 2015
12,868
23,597
AFL Club
North Melbourne
We already know that Cunnington is the best player in the competition when the ball is within arm's reach of him.

These last few weeks have shown that if you can put somebody on him and keep the play away from him then he is practically useless. One highlight doesn't make up for spending most of the game jogging up and down the ground and not having any impact.

How to adjust to this pressure Cunnington is getting will be the first huge test for Rhyce Shaw, as apart from the Collingwood game, Cunnington has been a complete liability ever since De Boer tagged him a month and a half ago.
He's been far from "practically useless". And a complete liability? Dunno about that. Our entire midfield have been shit for a while but he's still been among the best of them. The entire midfield is the "huge test for Shaw", its a much bigger issue than just Cunnington.
 

tazaa

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 11, 2007
21,432
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Melbourne
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Not sure why he hasn’t played forward more often.
It was called for weeks ago and still no change in formline.

Frustrating
 

ferball

Premium Platinum
Jul 24, 2015
12,868
23,597
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Not sure why he hasn’t played forward more often.
It was called for weeks ago and still no change in formline.

Frustrating
It might have been more likely to happen with a stable coaching set up. Cos we have a care taker coach who seems to be giving as many players opportunities as he can. That might be taking his focus off things like dealing with Cunners' tag.
 

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