Player Watch #10: Ben Cunnington - sets a new AFL all-time record with 32 contested possessions vs Richmond

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Watching Cunners trying to chase some of those Dogs players - I mean really - is he injured?

I hope he is injured because no professional footballer can that be that slow on the chase - no matter how good you are on the inside.
 

tazaa

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Cunners always has down games during the year

Then the next week he tears it up. This is what separates him from the elite category
Its damning.
How he didnt win a centre clearance all game in the biggest most important match of the season has actually lowered my view on his year.
He needed to show up today and he didnt. Cant be considered elite or A grade if he brings these sort of performances.
As brutal as it is - the success of the year and accolades that accompany it rested on a result yesterday and I cant justify any reward or compliments when we lead by 5 goals at half time against 14th and bottle it like that. Not good enough from a leader and senior player at the club.
 

benbanjo

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Watching Cunners trying to chase some of those Dogs players - I mean really - is he injured?

I hope he is injured because no professional footballer can that be that slow on the chase - no matter how good you are on the inside.
Unfortunately if he was fast he would be better than Dusty, but he is very slow.
 

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Cunners always has down games during the year

Then the next week he tears it up. This is what separates him from the elite category
All the best players in the game are incredible athletes compared to Ben as well. I love him for the player he is but he never has and never will be among the very best (top 5-10) midfielders in the game.
 

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That said we pretty much play a two man midfield and can't expect him to drag us to finals. What he does would be a lot more effective in a great midfield, which has never eventuated under Scott.
 

andana

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Ben Cunnington’s no fuss, hard-nosed approach to the game has often seen him slip under the radar of footy commentators, but he’s finally getting recognition alongside some of the game’s best inside midfielders.

The midfielder is averaging a career-high 15.6 contested possessions per game in 2018, and North coach Brad Scott believes the 27-year-old deserves all the accolades that come his way.

“He would have to be in the All-Australian conversation this year,” Scott told FIVEaa.

“Being an All-Australian midfielder is difficult because there are so many of them that have had great years.

“He’s unique in what he does, I think that in terms of first possession midfielders in the competition, he’s as good as anyone.

“I don’t think I’ve seen anyone who is as clean as Ben Cunnington inside throughout my time in footy.”

It’s high praise coming from Scott, who was a member of arguably the greatest and toughest side in the history of the game.

“Simon Black and Michael Voss were pretty good, but Cunnington is absolutely top shelf when it comes to first possession and clean hands in tight.
 

susurrar

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he cops so much about his "inconsistency". hes been easily our most consistent player since the back half of 2012. might say more about the rest of our team i suppose.

also dont want to make excuses because he really wasnt even that bad, but it is naive to think a player of his style goes in fit every week. its miraculous how few games he has missed in his career through injury. very admirable what he plays through and its been well known since his geelong falcons days when he got through the tac finals series on painkilling injections.

should cherish this bloke while hes still playing even if he is not quite in the top few mids in the league or if hes not as fast as you want him to be.
 

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ferball

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he cops so much about his "inconsistency". hes been easily our most consistent player since the back half of 2012. might say more about the rest of our team i suppose.

also dont want to make excuses because he really wasnt even that bad, but it is naive to think a player of his style goes in fit every week. its miraculous how few games he has missed in his career through injury. very admirable what he plays through and its been well known since his geelong falcons days when he got through the tac finals series on painkilling injections.

should cherish this bloke while hes still playing even if he is not quite in the top few mids in the league or if hes not as fast as you want him to be.
:clapping::clapping::clapping:
 

ferball

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0 centre clearances.

The worst game by his standards that I can remember in a long time.
I haven't had time to see a replay but I think he and Goldy's system was heavily targeted by the Dogs.

They seemed to attack the taps from Goldy to Cunners by using players moving at pace to intercept them. Cunners is often still or flat footed at centre bounces and its to his advantage cos he controls the space around him so well.

You know how you said they played the most uncontested game ever against us, to the point they were running away from us with the ball...

Its like that was the basis of how the neutralised Cunners too. They denied him he opportunity to play to his strength - controlling the space around the contest, winning the ball and opening up our runners (usually Higgo this year.) I saw players run between him and Goldy and jump at speed to intercept the taps almost within a metre of Goldy on quite a few occasions. Literally removed every contest from the game. I don't like admitting it but it was good coaching by Beveridge and Scott didn't have an answer.*

They need to work something out and the midfield group as a whole needs to be onto it as well.

* Really tho he shouldn't have needed one. Even with their game plan in the second half we butchered enough of our chances (with missed shots and dumb **** no pressure turnovers) ourselves that we still should have won the game. You can't make a plan B on the basis of your players being unable to execute basic skills.
 

Wild Bill

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How did he miss out lol
Devon Smith made the squad before Cunners. When you have nuffies picking the squad you will get results like this.

Cunners is 4th for contested possessions behind Oliver, Cripps and Mictchell who all made it. Devon Smith is 67th.

Cunners is 38th for disposals - Smith 74th.

Cunners is 9th for clearances - Smith is 80th

Cunners is 13th for centre clearances - Smith is 128th

Cunenrs is 8th at stoppages - Smith is 60th

Coaches votes - Cunners 52 Smith 33

Smith has more tackles. On what planet is Smith even close to Cunners?
 

SpiderBurton22

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Devon Smith made the squad before Cunners. When you have nuffies picking the squad you will get results like this.

Cunners is 4th for contested possessions behind Oliver, Cripps and Mictchell who all made it. Devon Smith is 67th.

Cunners is 38th for disposals - Smith 74th.

Cunners is 9th for clearances - Smith is 80th

Cunners is 13th for centre clearances - Smith is 128th

Cunenrs is 8th at stoppages - Smith is 60th

Coaches votes - Cunners 52 Smith 33

Smith has more tackles. On what planet is Smith even close to Cunners?
If they were playing the same position these stats would have relevance. The Cotchin comparison was much better.
 
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