Player Watch #11: David Zaharakis

BrunoV

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I think it makes sense that he was leading early.

The votes are cast after each game and Worsfold and Co entered the season with some strange ideas about how to play the game in this era.

If we're taking about ineffectual clearance play and one way running, Zaharakis was the man.
 

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I think it makes sense that he was leading early.

The votes are cast after each game and Worsfold and Co entered the season with some strange ideas about how to play the game in this era.

If we're taking about ineffectual clearance play and one way running, Zaharakis was the man.
Yep, Neeld was sacked for voting for Zaka.
 

blitzer

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I thought it was borderline between him and Smith as our most consistent midfielders up to the point he got injured. Zaka had a terrific start to the season and was playing some of his best footy. It seems like some people can't appreciate even when he's playing well. He's never going to be an out and out star but when he doesn't have a lot of attention on him he can really do some damage. I think he'll go even better next year with the arrival of Shiel meaning there's even less pressure on him from opposition teams so he'll be able to get off the chain more.

I thought he improved his defensive work as well which is a credit to him. He'll go into 2019 as our 5th best midfielder in my books, behind only Zerrett, Shiel, Heppell and Smith.
 
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He's always been a whipping boy for some and that is unlikely to change.

He had a fantastic start to the year and really improved his defensive-game throughout the year. Easily in the B22 and very important to our side.
 

Mr Mojo Risin

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He's always been a whipping boy for some and that is unlikely to change.

He had a fantastic start to the year and really improved his defensive-game throughout the year. Easily in the B22 and very important to our side.
I’ve always liked him but been frustrated with his lack of defensive side. He really turned that around this year to become a leader in that area and one of our best players. Excited for what he can bring next year.
 

calyam

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Should transition into a forward-midfielder role rather than simply a pure midfielder. Despite all his years running through the midfield he has never been more valuable than during 2011.

As a pure midfielder he simply isn't damaging enough with his disposals and with Shiel coming on board and Parish and McGrath emerging he can be better utilised in the forward half.
 
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kelvin_sheedy

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He was pretty average in the first half of the year. If he was leading the B&F thats more of a reflection of the idiocy that occurred during preseason and the first half of the year.

From memory he played about 6-8 decent games of AFL and the rest were pretty meh. For a senior midfielder its not good enough and forms part of the reason why we haven't been a regular finals side.

I think Shiel takes his position in the midfield. Can Mcgrath take a leap or can Guelfi turn into a stopper and add to midfield rotations?
Pushes Zaka out to half forward or maybe depth. Will be interesting to see if we have enough improvement to have serious considerations about his midfield minutes.
 
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He was pretty average in the first half of the year. If he was leading the B&F thats more of a reflection of the idiocy that occurred during preseason and the first half of the year.

From memory he played about 6-8 decent games of AFL and the rest were pretty meh. For a senior midfielder its not good enough and forms part of the reason why we haven't been a regular finals side.

I think Shiel takes his position in the midfield. Can Mcgrath take a leap or can Guelfi turn into a stopper and add to midfield rotations?
Pushes Zaka out to half forward or maybe depth. Will be interesting to see if we have enough improvement to have serious considerations about his midfield minutes.
Well if he was leading the B&F and just played a mixture of 'decent' and 'meh' footy, why not critique our other midfielders in that time frame? You seem to think there are quite a few in front of him, so how do you think they were fairing?

Zaka is comfortably in our top 5 midfielders, even with the addition of Shiel.

Parish, McGrath, Langford etc. still have a lot of work to do before thay can shelf him on a half forward flank.

Next year I expect him to be even better with more attention focused elsewhere. I bet he will finish top 5 in the B&F if he has an uninterrupted year.
 

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calyam

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Zaharakis is among our least damaging midfielders. I've calculated a measure of per possession impact utilising the AFL player ratings and disposal figures.

Impact per possession (AFL player ratings / disposals):

Langford 0.60
Myers 0.54
Parish 0.54
Smith 0.53
Merrett 0.49
Guelfi 0.49
Heppell 0.47
McGrath 0.42
Zaharakis 0.42

Now this doesn't mean that Langford is our best midfielder or that Zaharakis is our worst midfielder. Role (inside vs outside; defensive vs offensive midfielder) and the capacity to find the footy is an incredibly important skill to being a successful midfielder. But what a player does when they have the ball is also incredibly important.

Zaharakis finds a tonne of the footy, often with time and in space, but is typically less damaging than those who get far fewer disposals. He tends to get a high share of his disposals in the back half (his heat map skews 65% in the defensive half), which may limit his impact stats, but so too does a variety of players who tend to be more damaging.

I'd argue that the team would improve if he shifted towards a forward-midfielder role rather than a full-time midfielder role - perhaps average 20 touches and a goal a game rather than 25 - 30 touches. We don't want one our least damaging midfielders being one of our biggest possession winners.

Instead I'd be trying to put Langford in a position where he can win more of the footy. We'd also benefit from Parish being involved a lot more (although that certainly improved towards the end of last year). With Shiel coming on board, who will probably be our best midfielder next season, I see little reason for Zaharakis to play as a full-time midfielder next season.
 

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Zaharakis is among our least damaging midfielders. I've calculated a measure of per possession impact utilising the AFL player ratings and disposal figures.

Impact per possession (AFL player ratings / disposals):

Langford 0.60
Myers 0.54
Parish 0.54
Smith 0.53
Merrett 0.49
Guelfi 0.49
Heppell 0.47
McGrath 0.42
Zaharakis 0.42

Now this doesn't mean that Langford is our best midfielder or that Zaharakis is our worst midfielder. Role (inside vs outside; defensive vs offensive midfielder) and the capacity to find the footy is an incredibly important skill to being a successful midfielder. But what a player does when they have the ball is also incredibly important.

Zaharakis finds a tonne of the footy, often with time and in space, but is typically less damaging than those who get far fewer disposals. He tends to get a high share of his disposals in the back half (his heat map skews 65% in the defensive half), which may limit his impact stats, but so too does a variety of players who tend to be more damaging.

I'd argue that the team would improve if he shifted towards a forward-midfielder role rather than a full-time midfielder role - perhaps average 20 touches and a goal a game rather than 25 - 30 touches. We don't want one our least damaging midfielders being one of our biggest possession winners.

Instead I'd be trying to put Langford in a position where he can win more of the footy. We'd also benefit from Parish being involved a lot more (although that certainly improved towards the end of last year). With Shiel coming on board, who will probably be our best midfielder next season, I see little reason for Zaharakis to play as a full-time midfielder next season.
Really hope (but doubt) Shiel takes midfield time from Zaharakis rather than Parish, Langford and Mcgrath. Great right up btw
 

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Zaharakis is among our least damaging midfielders. I've calculated a measure of per possession impact utilising the AFL player ratings and disposal figures.

Impact per possession (AFL player ratings / disposals):

Langford 0.60
Myers 0.54
Parish 0.54
Smith 0.53
Merrett 0.49
Guelfi 0.49
Heppell 0.47
McGrath 0.42
Zaharakis 0.42

Now this doesn't mean that Langford is our best midfielder or that Zaharakis is our worst midfielder. Role (inside vs outside; defensive vs offensive midfielder) and the capacity to find the footy is an incredibly important skill to being a successful midfielder. But what a player does when they have the ball is also incredibly important.

Zaharakis finds a tonne of the footy, often with time and in space, but is typically less damaging than those who get far fewer disposals. He tends to get a high share of his disposals in the back half (his heat map skews 65% in the defensive half), which may limit his impact stats, but so too does a variety of players who tend to be more damaging.

I'd argue that the team would improve if he shifted towards a forward-midfielder role rather than a full-time midfielder role - perhaps average 20 touches and a goal a game rather than 25 - 30 touches. We don't want one our least damaging midfielders being one of our biggest possession winners.

Instead I'd be trying to put Langford in a position where he can win more of the footy. We'd also benefit from Parish being involved a lot more (although that certainly improved towards the end of last year). With Shiel coming on board, who will probably be our best midfielder next season, I see little reason for Zaharakis to play as a full-time midfielder next season.
This formula seems to have a bias towards lower possession, inside players, who will a accrue higher % of their AFL Player Ratings scores from pressure acts, tackles etc. than disposals. It doesn't look like a measure of impact per possession.
 
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Zaharakis is among our least damaging midfielders. I've calculated a measure of per possession impact utilising the AFL player ratings and disposal figures.

Impact per possession (AFL player ratings / disposals):

Langford 0.60
Myers 0.54
Parish 0.54
Smith 0.53
Merrett 0.49
Guelfi 0.49
Heppell 0.47
McGrath 0.42
Zaharakis 0.42

Now this doesn't mean that Langford is our best midfielder or that Zaharakis is our worst midfielder. Role (inside vs outside; defensive vs offensive midfielder) and the capacity to find the footy is an incredibly important skill to being a successful midfielder. But what a player does when they have the ball is also incredibly important.

Zaharakis finds a tonne of the footy, often with time and in space, but is typically less damaging than those who get far fewer disposals. He tends to get a high share of his disposals in the back half (his heat map skews 65% in the defensive half), which may limit his impact stats, but so too does a variety of players who tend to be more damaging.

I'd argue that the team would improve if he shifted towards a forward-midfielder role rather than a full-time midfielder role - perhaps average 20 touches and a goal a game rather than 25 - 30 touches. We don't want one our least damaging midfielders being one of our biggest possession winners.

Instead I'd be trying to put Langford in a position where he can win more of the footy. We'd also benefit from Parish being involved a lot more (although that certainly improved towards the end of last year). With Shiel coming on board, who will probably be our best midfielder next season, I see little reason for Zaharakis to play as a full-time midfielder next season.
I get what you're trying to say, but the absurdity of an analytic that has Langford, Myers and Parish at the top of our midfield tree, kinda speaks for itself.

I'll take it with a grain of salt.
 

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post also doesn't really make clear whether someone who goes at 0.42 but gets 29 touches is more valuable than someone who goes at 0.54 and gets it 15 to 20 times a game. it's assumed that the higher rate is better, but it's clear that getting more possessions will drag the rate down.
 

Mr Mojo Risin

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post also doesn't really make clear whether someone who goes at 0.42 but gets 29 touches is more valuable than someone who goes at 0.54 and gets it 15 to 20 times a game. it's assumed that the higher rate is better, but it's clear that getting more possessions will drag the rate down.
It also doesn't take into account things like impact to team of players who make position for those with the ball to pass to etc. Some players run hard to provide better options more than others. It's a very isolated and biased view on what makes a player valuable.
 

calyam

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I get what you're trying to say, but the absurdity of an analytic that has Langford, Myers and Parish at the top of our midfield tree, kinda speaks for itself.

I'll take it with a grain of salt.
At no point do I argue that Langford, Myers or Parish are our best midfielders. Merrett, Heppell and Smith are our best midfielders based on a combination of impact per possession and capacity to find the footy.

post also doesn't really make clear whether someone who goes at 0.42 but gets 29 touches is more valuable than someone who goes at 0.54 and gets it 15 to 20 times a game. it's assumed that the higher rate is better, but it's clear that getting more possessions will drag the rate down.
In a game with a finite number of possessions, you don't want the guy with a ratio of 0.42 getting 29 touches a game. It equates to a heap of ineffective or wasted possessions.

Also if there are diminishing returns to the number of disposals a player gets, and there appears to be, then that also means that a team would benefit from a more even distribution of disposals through the midfield. That is a powerful insight. It is similar to the finding that teams benefit from a more even distribution of goalkickers (a discovery that fundamentally changed the game).

But the main point of this was to identify who should get fewer midfield minutes now that we are adding Shiel. Conventional wisdom is that Langford or Parish might get squeezed out. But the available evidence suggests that they are both very effective midfielders; that there may be a better candidate for reduced midfield time (Zaharakis).

This formula seems to have a bias towards lower possession, inside players, who will a accrue higher % of their AFL Player Ratings scores from pressure acts, tackles etc. than disposals. It doesn't look like a measure of impact per possession.
This is correct. It is not possible to distinguish ranking points from possessions from ranking points from other factors. It might be possible to adjust disposal figures to account for other factors such as tackles, pressure acts etc.

Nevertheless, even accounting for these factors a low ratio is still undesirable. It suggests that a player is not providing a great deal of value off the ball. So we'd still arrive at a very similar conclusion - that Zaharakis is perhaps not as effective as his raw disposal figures would indicate and may therefore be a good candidate for receiving fewer midfield minutes next season when Shiel is playing.

See DapperJong that's how it works.

Thank you for the assistance Maddogm but the problem is I don't get the same results. So I'm clearly not looking in the right spot for the numbers.
The issue is probably that these are per game figures. AFL player ranking points per game divided by disposals per game. I was in a rush when I made the original post and should have been clearer.
 

hurlygurdy

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At no point do I argue that Langford, Myers or Parish are our best midfielders. Merrett, Heppell and Smith are our best midfielders based on a combination of impact per possession and capacity to find the footy.



In a game with a finite number of possessions, you don't want the guy with a ratio of 0.42 getting 29 touches a game. It equates to a heap of ineffective or wasted possessions.

Also if there are diminishing returns to the number of disposals a player gets, and there appears to be, then that also means that a team would benefit from a more even distribution of disposals through the midfield. That is a powerful insight. It is similar to the finding that teams benefit from a more even distribution of goalkickers (a discovery that fundamentally changed the game).

But the main point of this was to identify who should get fewer midfield minutes now that we are adding Shiel. Conventional wisdom is that Langford or Parish might get squeezed out. But the available evidence suggests that they are both very effective midfielders; that there may be a better candidate for reduced midfield time (Zaharakis).



This is correct. It is not possible to distinguish ranking points from possessions from ranking points from other factors. It might be possible to adjust disposal figures to account for other factors such as tackles, pressure acts etc.

Nevertheless, even accounting for these factors a low ratio is still undesirable. It suggests that a player is not providing a great deal of value off the ball. So we'd still arrive at a very similar conclusion - that Zaharakis is perhaps not as effective as his raw disposal figures would indicate and may therefore be a good candidate for receiving fewer midfield minutes next season when Shiel is playing.



The issue is probably that these are per game figures. AFL player ranking points per game divided by disposals per game. I was in a rush when I made the original post and should have been clearer.
Sorry but your stats are clearly useless. Just as one example there is no way Myers gets more impact per possession than McGrath and i think we all know that. I've never seen such a random bunch of numbers in my life. Back to the drawing board my friend
 
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