Analysis 2019 List, Game Plan and Best 22?

Arwib

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So the thing is when we play ugly it's generally because we're struggling, and that's how we stay in games when stuff isn't flowing well. We've been doing it since 2003, hanging in there and grinding out results we didn't deserve, mostly avoiding blowouts, and occasionally pinching games late after being outplayed. It's a way to get Ws where a lot of other clubs just don't.

The slow low risk stuff is not plan A, never has been. Wasn't in 2005-6, wasn't in 2012 to 2016. It was there though. It's what happens when they're not winning the ball and not moving the ball well. When that happens they stop taking so many risks, they set up expecting turnovers and they work to mitigate the damage from those turnovers, and the defense holds the line better than any other in the comp.

There's no reason to think 2019 will see such frequent issues with this as 2018 did, and even 2018 saw us beat every finalist except Richmond and walk into another finals series. If nothing else, we'll almost certainly have more of an actual tall structure to work with where last year we lost three best-22 talls before round 3 and scrambled all year to cover them.

Last year we were particularly cooked through the middle - conceded a lot more inside-50s than we got ourselves while actually being okay in forward efficiency (6th in goals per inside 50) and being the best in the league at defending opposition inside 50s. The issues started and were concentrated in the centre, which probably caught everyone by surprise. We won something like 8 games conceding more inside-50s than we got, where generally inside-50 balance is a good indicator of who wins.

Part of the issue was because of personnel. We had Hanners being a hobbled shell, and we had Heeney and Parker spending a lot of time forward as pretend forward targets given the injuries. The Mills injury also probably pulled Jones and Lloyd out of more midfield contribution. Inside ball dried up. Or, just as bad, inside ball wins were achieved by over-crowding the coalface and sacrificing having any outside ball movers left.

They spread the midfield load across a lot of the skinnier young flanker types (Hayward, Papley, Florent, Ronke) and it seemingly burned them out by the end. These guys might be good midfielders soon, but aren't yet built for a full season of the contested stuff - Hayward and Papley in particular both had a higher ratio of contested to uncontested possessions in 2018 vs 2017, which probably suggests they were pulled out of their comfort zones and not able to be as damaging as they might have been. Hayward went from having half as many contested touches as uncontested, to having 72% as many. Florent and Ronke could probably both have stood to be at the coalface a little less, too.

But, team needs demanded they all play a bit of a genuine midfield role at times. This undoubtedly led to the limp finish to the year, those guys all looked buggered by the end. BUT, the team did get a good look at how they might fit in, they all look like they'll cope eventually. And if they can stabilise this new broader midfield group a bit better, and get those other guys back in there a bit more, they should look a lot better elsewhere as a flow on effect of actually winning some ball.

We look like we will have a bunch of genuine goal scorers rotating through the midfield into the future, and it should make us more potent once they're all up to the task in a sustained way. I don't think we've had this level of natural small forward flair in quite a while, but there's almost too much to fit forward without giving them secondary roles. Especially if we want three talls too. Steve Johnson must be having fun.
 
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connolly

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You just have a bitch at him because you think Aliir got a bad deal. Well he got exactly what he needed tol make him the best possible servant of this club that he can be.
A good box around the ears makes a good servant wot? Is this a Bertie Wooster script
 

Kirkswan

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So the thing is when we play ugly it's generally because we're struggling, and that's how we stay in games when stuff isn't flowing well. We've been doing it since 2003, hanging in there and grinding out results we didn't deserve, mostly avoiding blowouts, and occasionally pinching games late after being outplayed. It's a way to get Ws where a lot of other clubs just don't.

The slow low risk stuff is not plan A, never has been. Wasn't in 2005-6, wasn't in 2012 to 2016. It was there though. It's what happens when they're not winning the ball and not moving the ball well. When that happens they stop taking so many risks, they set up expecting turnovers and they work to mitigate the damage from those turnovers, and the defense holds the line better than any other in the comp.

There's no reason to think 2019 will see such frequent issues with this as 2018 did, and even 2018 saw us beat every finalist except Richmond and walk into another finals series. If nothing else, we'll almost certainly have more of an actual tall structure to work with where last year we lost three best-22 talls before round 3 and scrambled all year to cover them.

Last year we were particularly cooked through the middle - conceded a lot more inside-50s than we got ourselves while actually being okay in forward efficiency (6th in goals per inside 50) and being the best in the league at defending opposition inside 50s. The issues started and were concentrated in the centre, which probably caught everyone by surprise. We won something like 8 games conceding more inside-50s than we got, where generally inside-50 balance is a good indicator of who wins.

Part of the issue was because of personnel. We had Hanners being a hobbled shell, and we had Heeney and Parker spending a lot of time forward as pretend forward targets given the injuries. The Mills injury also probably pulled Jones and Lloyd out of more midfield contribution. Inside ball dried up. Or, just as bad, inside ball wins were achieved by over-crowding the coalface and sacrificing having any outside ball movers left.

They spread the midfield load across a lot of the skinnier young flanker types (Hayward, Papley, Florent, Ronke) and it seemingly burned them out by the end. These guys might be good midfielders soon, but aren't yet built for a full season of the contested stuff - Hayward and Papley in particular both had a higher ratio of contested to uncontested possessions in 2018 vs 2017, which probably suggests they were pulled out of their comfort zones and not able to be as damaging as they might have been. Hayward went from having half as many contested touches as uncontested, to having 72% as many. Florent and Ronke could probably both have stood to be at the coalface a little less, too.

But, team needs demanded they all play a bit of a genuine midfield role at times. This undoubtedly led to the limp finish to the year, those guys all looked buggered by the end. BUT, the team did get a good look at how they might fit in, they all look like they'll cope eventually. And if they can stabilise this new broader midfield group a bit better, and get those other guys back in there a bit more, they should look a lot better elsewhere as a flow on effect of actually winning some ball.

We look like we will have a bunch of genuine goal scorers rotating through the midfield into the future, and it should make us more potent once they're all up to the task in a sustained way. I don't think we've had this level of natural small forward flair in quite a while, but there's almost too much to fit forward without giving them secondary roles. Especially if we want three talls too. Steve Johnson must be having fun.
Sensational write-up Arwib! Really well explained.:smiley:
 

Old Kenny

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So the thing is when we play ugly it's generally because we're struggling, and that's how we stay in games when stuff isn't flowing well. We've been doing it since 2003, hanging in there and grinding out results we didn't deserve, mostly avoiding blowouts, and occasionally pinching games late after being outplayed. It's a way to get Ws where a lot of other clubs just don't.

The slow low risk stuff is not plan A, never has been. Wasn't in 2005-6, wasn't in 2012 to 2016. It was there though. It's what happens when they're not winning the ball and not moving the ball well. When that happens they stop taking so many risks, they set up expecting turnovers and they work to mitigate the damage from those turnovers, and the defense holds the line better than any other in the comp.

There's no reason to think 2019 will see such frequent issues with this as 2018 did, and even 2018 saw us beat every finalist except Richmond and walk into another finals series. If nothing else, we'll almost certainly have more of an actual tall structure to work with where last year we lost three best-22 talls before round 3 and scrambled all year to cover them.

Last year we were particularly cooked through the middle - conceded a lot more inside-50s than we got ourselves while actually being okay in forward efficiency (6th in goals per inside 50) and being the best in the league at defending opposition inside 50s. The issues started and were concentrated in the centre, which probably caught everyone by surprise. We won something like 8 games conceding more inside-50s than we got, where generally inside-50 balance is a good indicator of who wins.

Part of the issue was because of personnel. We had Hanners being a hobbled shell, and we had Heeney and Parker spending a lot of time forward as pretend forward targets given the injuries. The Mills injury also probably pulled Jones and Lloyd out of more midfield contribution. Inside ball dried up. Or, just as bad, inside ball wins were achieved by over-crowding the coalface and sacrificing having any outside ball movers left.

They spread the midfield load across a lot of the skinnier young flanker types (Hayward, Papley, Florent, Ronke) and it seemingly burned them out by the end. These guys might be good midfielders soon, but aren't yet built for a full season of the contested stuff - Hayward and Papley in particular both had a higher ratio of contested to uncontested possessions in 2018 vs 2017, which probably suggests they were pulled out of their comfort zones and not able to be as damaging as they might have been. Hayward went from having half as many contested touches as uncontested, to having 72% as many. Florent and Ronke could probably both have stood to be at the coalface a little less, too.

But, team needs demanded they all play a bit of a genuine midfield role at times. This undoubtedly led to the limp finish to the year, those guys all looked buggered by the end. BUT, the team did get a good look at how they might fit in, they all look like they'll cope eventually. And if they can stabilise this new broader midfield group a bit better, and get those other guys back in there a bit more, they should look a lot better elsewhere as a flow on effect of actually winning some ball.

We look like we will have a bunch of genuine goal scorers rotating through the midfield into the future, and it should make us more potent once they're all up to the task in a sustained way. I don't think we've had this level of natural small forward flair in quite a while, but there's almost too much to fit forward without giving them secondary roles. Especially if we want three talls too. Steve Johnson must be having fun.
Mate that’s bloody brilliantly put. Agree 100%
 

caesar88

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You just have a bitch at him because you think Aliir got a bad deal. Well he got exactly what he needed tol make him the best possible servant of this club that he can be.
He’s not a flawless coach. I think one of his flaws was how he handled Aliir. Therefore I stated it whenever was relevant. If being critical of him and acknowledging he is not a perfect coach is “having a bitch”, then I guess I’m a bitch. You should talk to my misses, she’s got a lot to say on that topic!
 
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caesar88

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I don't mind either headline if we win. I loved the ugly dour Swans of 2005 with their low scoring games and defensive mindset. Whatever works. As long as we play to win.
What if some people have the view that everything we’re doing won’t get us to the promised land? Does that render their opinions invalid or make them a bad supporter?
 

caesar88

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So the thing is when we play ugly it's generally because we're struggling, and that's how we stay in games when stuff isn't flowing well. We've been doing it since 2003, hanging in there and grinding out results we didn't deserve, mostly avoiding blowouts, and occasionally pinching games late after being outplayed. It's a way to get Ws where a lot of other clubs just don't.

The slow low risk stuff is not plan A, never has been. Wasn't in 2005-6, wasn't in 2012 to 2016. It was there though. It's what happens when they're not winning the ball and not moving the ball well. When that happens they stop taking so many risks, they set up expecting turnovers and they work to mitigate the damage from those turnovers, and the defense holds the line better than any other in the comp.

There's no reason to think 2019 will see such frequent issues with this as 2018 did, and even 2018 saw us beat every finalist except Richmond and walk into another finals series. If nothing else, we'll almost certainly have more of an actual tall structure to work with where last year we lost three best-22 talls before round 3 and scrambled all year to cover them.

Last year we were particularly cooked through the middle - conceded a lot more inside-50s than we got ourselves while actually being okay in forward efficiency (6th in goals per inside 50) and being the best in the league at defending opposition inside 50s. The issues started and were concentrated in the centre, which probably caught everyone by surprise. We won something like 8 games conceding more inside-50s than we got, where generally inside-50 balance is a good indicator of who wins.

Part of the issue was because of personnel. We had Hanners being a hobbled shell, and we had Heeney and Parker spending a lot of time forward as pretend forward targets given the injuries. The Mills injury also probably pulled Jones and Lloyd out of more midfield contribution. Inside ball dried up. Or, just as bad, inside ball wins were achieved by over-crowding the coalface and sacrificing having any outside ball movers left.

They spread the midfield load across a lot of the skinnier young flanker types (Hayward, Papley, Florent, Ronke) and it seemingly burned them out by the end. These guys might be good midfielders soon, but aren't yet built for a full season of the contested stuff - Hayward and Papley in particular both had a higher ratio of contested to uncontested possessions in 2018 vs 2017, which probably suggests they were pulled out of their comfort zones and not able to be as damaging as they might have been. Hayward went from having half as many contested touches as uncontested, to having 72% as many. Florent and Ronke could probably both have stood to be at the coalface a little less, too.

But, team needs demanded they all play a bit of a genuine midfield role at times. This undoubtedly led to the limp finish to the year, those guys all looked buggered by the end. BUT, the team did get a good look at how they might fit in, they all look like they'll cope eventually. And if they can stabilise this new broader midfield group a bit better, and get those other guys back in there a bit more, they should look a lot better elsewhere as a flow on effect of actually winning some ball.

We look like we will have a bunch of genuine goal scorers rotating through the midfield into the future, and it should make us more potent once they're all up to the task in a sustained way. I don't think we've had this level of natural small forward flair in quite a while, but there's almost too much to fit forward without giving them secondary roles. Especially if we want three talls too. Steve Johnson must be having fun.
Agree with the sentiments but I’d like to see us have a bit more of a bold and definitive style of footy. One that we won’t sacrifice as soon as it’s met with a little resistance. I think all the tools (ie the players) are in place to create a style of footy that would suit our whole best 22 in a couple of years, it’s just a matter of whether we can create it or not. It will take an approach unlike any Horse will have had before because he’s got a pretty different and unique bunch at his disposal. I think one of the keys to helping Horse achieve this may be just a few years of stability. Keep the same assistant coaches around, keep the playing list almost wholely in-tact. (Try to) keep the playing list fit and healthy so they can get used to playing with each other. Any more tumultuous and fluctuating seasons like the last two and I think we’ll just keep seeing us revert back to the tried and true but dated footy that Horse always keeps up his sleeve.
 

connolly

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So the thing is when we play ugly it's generally because we're struggling, and that's how we stay in games when stuff isn't flowing well. We've been doing it since 2003, hanging in there and grinding out results we didn't deserve, mostly avoiding blowouts, and occasionally pinching games late after being outplayed. It's a way to get Ws where a lot of other clubs just don't.

The slow low risk stuff is not plan A, never has been. Wasn't in 2005-6, wasn't in 2012 to 2016. It was there though. It's what happens when they're not winning the ball and not moving the ball well. When that happens they stop taking so many risks, they set up expecting turnovers and they work to mitigate the damage from those turnovers, and the defense holds the line better than any other in the comp.

There's no reason to think 2019 will see such frequent issues with this as 2018 did, and even 2018 saw us beat every finalist except Richmond and walk into another finals series. If nothing else, we'll almost certainly have more of an actual tall structure to work with where last year we lost three best-22 talls before round 3 and scrambled all year to cover them.

Last year we were particularly cooked through the middle - conceded a lot more inside-50s than we got ourselves while actually being okay in forward efficiency (6th in goals per inside 50) and being the best in the league at defending opposition inside 50s. The issues started and were concentrated in the centre, which probably caught everyone by surprise. We won something like 8 games conceding more inside-50s than we got, where generally inside-50 balance is a good indicator of who wins.

Part of the issue was because of personnel. We had Hanners being a hobbled shell, and we had Heeney and Parker spending a lot of time forward as pretend forward targets given the injuries. The Mills injury also probably pulled Jones and Lloyd out of more midfield contribution. Inside ball dried up. Or, just as bad, inside ball wins were achieved by over-crowding the coalface and sacrificing having any outside ball movers left.

They spread the midfield load across a lot of the skinnier young flanker types (Hayward, Papley, Florent, Ronke) and it seemingly burned them out by the end. These guys might be good midfielders soon, but aren't yet built for a full season of the contested stuff - Hayward and Papley in particular both had a higher ratio of contested to uncontested possessions in 2018 vs 2017, which probably suggests they were pulled out of their comfort zones and not able to be as damaging as they might have been. Hayward went from having half as many contested touches as uncontested, to having 72% as many. Florent and Ronke could probably both have stood to be at the coalface a little less, too.

But, team needs demanded they all play a bit of a genuine midfield role at times. This undoubtedly led to the limp finish to the year, those guys all looked buggered by the end. BUT, the team did get a good look at how they might fit in, they all look like they'll cope eventually. And if they can stabilise this new broader midfield group a bit better, and get those other guys back in there a bit more, they should look a lot better elsewhere as a flow on effect of actually winning some ball.

We look like we will have a bunch of genuine goal scorers rotating through the midfield into the future, and it should make us more potent once they're all up to the task in a sustained way. I don't think we've had this level of natural small forward flair in quite a while, but there's almost too much to fit forward without giving them secondary roles. Especially if we want three talls too. Steve Johnson must be having fun.
I think you are, with respect re-writing history. In 2005-2006 we had a significantly inferior playing list to the best team in the competition, the West Coast Eagles. If ever there is an example of an innovative game plan making up for the deficiencies in skill and class, the Bloods in those years were it. We had a couple of outstanding players, a champion with a chronic knee injury, an under-sized defence and what was openly described by the coaching staff as a "blue collar midfield". Roos told the players to trust the game plan, implement it to the letter and they could be beat West Coast. They did. It was an overwhelmingly defensive game plan. It involved two way gut running by the midfield into defensive positions, creating turnovers in the defensive zone and holding the ball and hitting targets up the field. It was a genuinely new approach. Attack was built on a foundation of a flooding defense. Your claim that "The slow low risk stuff is not plan A, never has been. Wasn't in 2005-6, wasn't in 2012 to 2016. It was there though." beggars belief.
The criticism of Longmire isn't that he hasn't achieved. Of course we have been in successive finals. It is that he has under-achieved. He was gifted a coaches dream with the recruitment of Franklin. Has he made the most of the resources at his disposal? Clearly not. Was Roos game plan in 2005 -2006 a multiplier of the skills and list at his disposal. Clearly yes. By the way the excuse of injuries is the last refuge of the mediocre coach.
 

tombomb

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I think some are underestimating just how bad we were last year. Everyone talks about the Suns game, but does anyone remember the Geelong home game? If Geelong had kicked straight they could have beaten us by 15 goals.

I just think the simple problem was we had way too many 'fringe/young' players in the team. You can carry one or two ... but not 10-12. If I look at the GF teams, there is only maybe 1 or 2 on either side who were a quiet game or so from being dropped.

The good news I think is we have moved on a few of those players (rohan, newman, towers and Hanneberry sadly).

I think our success next year will be dependent on a decent run with injury and whether or not we have the long tail again. Which would mean players like Florent/Hayward become more than just cameo players, and at least 2 of clarke/thurlow/menzel turn out to be good pick ups.
 

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Arwib

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I think you are, with respect re-writing history. In 2005-2006 we had a significantly inferior playing list to the best team in the competition, the West Coast Eagles. If ever there is an example of an innovative game plan making up for the deficiencies in skill and class, the Bloods in those years were it. We had a couple of outstanding players, a champion with a chronic knee injury, an under-sized defence and what was openly described by the coaching staff as a "blue collar midfield". Roos told the players to trust the game plan, implement it to the letter and they could be beat West Coast. They did. It was an overwhelmingly defensive game plan. It involved two way gut running by the midfield into defensive positions, creating turnovers in the defensive zone and holding the ball and hitting targets up the field. It was a genuinely new approach. Attack was built on a foundation of a flooding defense. Your claim that "The slow low risk stuff is not plan A, never has been. Wasn't in 2005-6, wasn't in 2012 to 2016. It was there though." beggars belief.
The criticism of Longmire isn't that he hasn't achieved. Of course we have been in successive finals. It is that he has under-achieved. He was gifted a coaches dream with the recruitment of Franklin. Has he made the most of the resources at his disposal? Clearly not. Was Roos game plan in 2005 -2006 a multiplier of the skills and list at his disposal. Clearly yes. By the way the excuse of injuries is the last refuge of the mediocre coach.
I'm thinking in particular of the point in 2005 when we were 5-5 and scoring about 60 points a game, and Demetriou pretty correctly had a go at us for ugly footy. He was right, they were playing poorly, and the ugliness was how we ground out some pretty bad results in the first part of 2005. From that point on we scored like 100 a game and had an early version of slingshot footy, working through some reasonably attacking halfback play and moving up to some pretty handy forwards in isolated 1 v 1s (remembering the Eagles had basically no forward line).

We were still perfectly capable of shutting things down like we did earlier in the year, but the key and forgotten part of how we played back then was the use of dangerous half backs and the isolation and rapid supply to some genuinely good forwards. I think it's rewriting history the way people forget that after round 10 we were reasonably capable of scoring, and that the threat of Hall, O'Keefe, O'Loughlin and Davis was a key part of the picture (if nothing else, their presence limited the ability of teams to simply match the defensive numbers). The point is defence was never an end in itself, it's always there but ball retention and low risk play in particular is generally how we have covered playing poorly, letting the fluid transitions dry up. When things are going better, play generally opens up a lot and they move it a lot better.
 
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Number37

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I think some are underestimating just how bad we were last year. Everyone talks about the Suns game, but does anyone remember the Geelong home game? If Geelong had kicked straight they could have beaten us by 15 goals.

I just think the simple problem was we had way too many 'fringe/young' players in the team. You can carry one or two ... but not 10-12. If I look at the GF teams, there is only maybe 1 or 2 on either side who were a quiet game or so from being dropped.

The good news I think is we have moved on a few of those players (rohan, newman, towers and Hanneberry sadly).

I think our success next year will be dependent on a decent run with injury and whether or not we have the long tail again. Which would mean players like Florent/Hayward become more than just cameo players, and at least 2 of clarke/thurlow/menzel turn out to be good pick ups.
If Hawks kicked straight in 2012, game over.

With hindsight it is always that simple. In reality, not so much.
 

tombomb

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If Hawks kicked straight in 2012, game over.

With hindsight it is always that simple. In reality, not so much.
There were momentum swings in 2012, but overall it was pretty even.

There was no momentum swinging in that Geelong game. They should have beaten us by 12 goals. And I would say the same about the Essendon and Richmond games.
 

Number37

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There were momentum swings in 2012, but overall it was pretty even.

There was no momentum swinging in that Geelong game. They should have beaten us by 12 goals. And I would say the same about the Essendon and Richmond games.
Between the 3 of them woulda, coulda and shoulda have never won a game, ever, in any sport.
 

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I'm thinking in particular of the point in 2005 when we were 5-5 and scoring about 60 points a game, and Demetriou pretty correctly had a go at us for ugly footy. He was right, they were playing poorly, and the ugliness was how we ground out some pretty bad results in the first part of 2005. From that point on we scored like 100 a game and had an early version of slingshot footy, working through some reasonably attacking halfback play and moving up to some pretty handy forwards in isolated 1 v 1s (remembering the Eagles had basically no forward line).

We were still perfectly capable of shutting things down like we did earlier in the year, but the key and forgotten part of how we played back then was the use of dangerous half backs and the isolation and rapid supply to some genuinely good forwards. I think it's rewriting history the way people forget that after round 10 we were reasonably capable of scoring, and that the threat of Hall, O'Keefe, O'Loughlin and Davis was a key part of the picture (if nothing else, their presence limited the ability of teams to simply match the defensive numbers). The point is defence was never an end in itself, it's always there but ball retention and low risk play in particular is generally how we have covered playing poorly, letting the fluid transitions dry up. When things are going better, play generally opens up a lot and they move it a lot better.
The extraordinary feat that we achieved under the Roos game plan which was developed for the relatively limited list he had and specifically to win finals was that no team scored more than 10 goals against us in any finals game. This with a defense that had a recycled centre half back at 190 cms and a full back who was a recycled half forward flanker at 184 cms. Our tallest defender was LRT a rugby convert at 194 cms. The druggies had a midfield of Cousins, Kerr. Judd (at his peak), Fletcher and Embley up against Buchanon, Bolton, Williams (good player but aging) Kirk, Ablett and O'Keefe. In addition we had a brilliant ruck rover in Goodes, probably the only player we had who could match the Eagles midfield in skill and sheer brilliance. Without Roos game plan it would have been a slaughter. It was a brilliant coaching performance. Longmire is the reverse. He has had an outstanding list with genuine brilliance at both ends of the ground and employs a defensive grinding game plan.
 
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Number37

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The extraordinary feat that we achieved under the Roos game plan which was developed for the relatively limited list he had and specifically to win finals was that no team scored more than 10 goals against us in any finals game. This with a defense that had a recycled centre half back at 190 cms and a full back who was a recycled half forward flanker at 184 cms. Our tallest defender was LRT a rugby convert at 194 cms. The druggies had a midfield of Cousins, Kerr. Judd (at his peak), Fletcher and Embley up against Buchanon, Bolton, Williams (good player but aging) Kirk, Ablett and O'Keefe. In addition we had a brilliant ruck rover in Goodes, probably the only player we had who could match the Eagles midfield in skill and sheer brilliance. Without Roos game plan it would have been a slaughter. It was a brilliant coaching performance. Longmire is the reverse. He has had an outstanding list with genuine brilliance at both ends of the ground and employs a defensive grinding game plan.
A whiz bang game plan would be wasted on a midfield that are incapable of hitting the side of a barn from 20m.
 

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The extraordinary feat that we achieved under the Roos game plan which was developed for the relatively limited list he had and specifically to win finals was that no team scored more than 10 goals against us in any finals game. This with a defense that had a recycled centre half back at 190 cms and a full back who was a recycled half forward flanker at 184 cms. Our tallest defender was LRT a rugby convert at 194 cms. The druggies had a midfield of Cousins, Kerr. Judd (at his peak), Fletcher and Embley up against Buchanon, Bolton, Williams (good player but aging) Kirk, Ablett and O'Keefe. In addition we had a brilliant ruck rover in Goodes, probably the only player we had who could match the Eagles midfield in skill and sheer brilliance. Without Roos game plan it would have been a slaughter. It was a brilliant coaching performance. Longmire is the reverse. He has had an outstanding list with genuine brilliance at both ends of the ground and employs a defensive grinding game plan.
Nah.
 

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I think some are underestimating just how bad we were last year. Everyone talks about the Suns game, but does anyone remember the Geelong home game? If Geelong had kicked straight they could have beaten us by 15 goals.

I just think the simple problem was we had way too many 'fringe/young' players in the team. You can carry one or two ... but not 10-12. If I look at the GF teams, there is only maybe 1 or 2 on either side who were a quiet game or so from being dropped.

The good news I think is we have moved on a few of those players (rohan, newman, towers and Hanneberry sadly).

I think our success next year will be dependent on a decent run with injury and whether or not we have the long tail again. Which would mean players like Florent/Hayward become more than just cameo players, and at least 2 of clarke/thurlow/menzel turn out to be good pick ups.
The other team kicking poorly is often due to pressure on the ball carrier or even defenders getting inside their heads.

I agree that we had a pretty empty larder when it came to cooking up a win last year. Full credit to the team for finishing in the finals against the odds. That sort of grit builds better players
 

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The extraordinary feat that we achieved under the Roos game plan which was developed for the relatively limited list he had and specifically to win finals was that no team scored more than 10 goals against us in any finals game. This with a defense that had a recycled centre half back at 190 cms and a full back who was a recycled half forward flanker at 184 cms. Our tallest defender was LRT a rugby convert at 194 cms. The druggies had a midfield of Cousins, Kerr. Judd (at his peak), Fletcher and Embley up against Buchanon, Bolton, Williams (good player but aging) Kirk, Ablett and O'Keefe. In addition we had a brilliant ruck rover in Goodes, probably the only player we had who could match the Eagles midfield in skill and sheer brilliance. Without Roos game plan it would have been a slaughter. It was a brilliant coaching performance. Longmire is the reverse. He has had an outstanding list with genuine brilliance at both ends of the ground and employs a defensive grinding game plan.
Talent is only good if it's available to play. Ours is also pretty short of experience even when it is. Roos had some brilliant forwards on hand in 2005. In 2018 we had an injured superstar and the youngest player in the league as our only talls plus a few young inexperienced medium and smalls. Personally I think they exceeded expectations.

If we can get anything like our full complement on the park in 2019 I suspect we'll see a much more offensive brand of footy. Let's see opposition teams match up with Buddy, Reid, Sinclair, Menzel plus (with a few more games into our less experienced crew) McCartin, Dawson, Papley, Hayward, Ronke and even Blakey. There's some talent.
 

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What if some people have the view that everything we’re doing won’t get us to the promised land? Does that render their opinions invalid or make them a bad supporter?
If they're dicks about it ? Yes/no or maybe. Perhaps they just need to change the record. Point I was making was folks are entitled to have any opinion they want or they can have a mix of opinions.

As far as negatives opinions go, it's only annoying when they go on whingeing about the same thing over and over.

Basically, no-one likes a whiner.
 

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He’s not a flawless coach. I think one of his flaws was how he handled Aliir. Therefore I stated it whenever was relevant. If being critical of him and acknowledging he is not a perfect coach is “having a bitch”, then I guess I’m a bitch. You should talk to my misses, she’s got a lot to say on that topic!
Who said Horse was flawless ? Even after he did a long stint as an assistant before he was given a senior gig, he's still not flawless.

If Aliir was a flawless player he'd have been taken in the first round. After all, how many ready to play defenders who don't need any coaching come up in the draft. And your missus agrees so you must be right. Discipline ? What would a senior coach and a leadership group know ? Not to mention all the teams that didn't select him and let him slide to pick 44. Is there something strange about a coach wanting to instill some discipline, round out a player and make him the best he could be, even if it risked offending your missus ?
 

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Agree with the sentiments but I’d like to see us have a bit more of a bold and definitive style of footy. One that we won’t sacrifice as soon as it’s met with a little resistance. I think all the tools (ie the players) are in place to create a style of footy that would suit our whole best 22 in a couple of years, it’s just a matter of whether we can create it or not. It will take an approach unlike any Horse will have had before because he’s got a pretty different and unique bunch at his disposal. I think one of the keys to helping Horse achieve this may be just a few years of stability. Keep the same assistant coaches around, keep the playing list almost wholely in-tact. (Try to) keep the playing list fit and healthy so they can get used to playing with each other. Any more tumultuous and fluctuating seasons like the last two and I think we’ll just keep seeing us revert back to the tried and true but dated footy that Horse always keeps up his sleeve.
Read it again. The post was spot on and explained/addressed all your concerns. As for change...we had to rejuvenate an entire list. You can't do that without change.
 

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So the thing is when we play ugly it's generally because we're struggling, and that's how we stay in games when stuff isn't flowing well. We've been doing it since 2003, hanging in there and grinding out results we didn't deserve, mostly avoiding blowouts, and occasionally pinching games late after being outplayed. It's a way to get Ws where a lot of other clubs just don't.

The slow low risk stuff is not plan A, never has been. Wasn't in 2005-6, wasn't in 2012 to 2016. It was there though. It's what happens when they're not winning the ball and not moving the ball well. When that happens they stop taking so many risks, they set up expecting turnovers and they work to mitigate the damage from those turnovers, and the defense holds the line better than any other in the comp.

There's no reason to think 2019 will see such frequent issues with this as 2018 did, and even 2018 saw us beat every finalist except Richmond and walk into another finals series. If nothing else, we'll almost certainly have more of an actual tall structure to work with where last year we lost three best-22 talls before round 3 and scrambled all year to cover them.

Last year we were particularly cooked through the middle - conceded a lot more inside-50s than we got ourselves while actually being okay in forward efficiency (6th in goals per inside 50) and being the best in the league at defending opposition inside 50s. The issues started and were concentrated in the centre, which probably caught everyone by surprise. We won something like 8 games conceding more inside-50s than we got, where generally inside-50 balance is a good indicator of who wins.

Part of the issue was because of personnel. We had Hanners being a hobbled shell, and we had Heeney and Parker spending a lot of time forward as pretend forward targets given the injuries. The Mills injury also probably pulled Jones and Lloyd out of more midfield contribution. Inside ball dried up. Or, just as bad, inside ball wins were achieved by over-crowding the coalface and sacrificing having any outside ball movers left.

They spread the midfield load across a lot of the skinnier young flanker types (Hayward, Papley, Florent, Ronke) and it seemingly burned them out by the end. These guys might be good midfielders soon, but aren't yet built for a full season of the contested stuff - Hayward and Papley in particular both had a higher ratio of contested to uncontested possessions in 2018 vs 2017, which probably suggests they were pulled out of their comfort zones and not able to be as damaging as they might have been. Hayward went from having half as many contested touches as uncontested, to having 72% as many. Florent and Ronke could probably both have stood to be at the coalface a little less, too.

But, team needs demanded they all play a bit of a genuine midfield role at times. This undoubtedly led to the limp finish to the year, those guys all looked buggered by the end. BUT, the team did get a good look at how they might fit in, they all look like they'll cope eventually. And if they can stabilise this new broader midfield group a bit better, and get those other guys back in there a bit more, they should look a lot better elsewhere as a flow on effect of actually winning some ball.

We look like we will have a bunch of genuine goal scorers rotating through the midfield into the future, and it should make us more potent once they're all up to the task in a sustained way. I don't think we've had this level of natural small forward flair in quite a while, but there's almost too much to fit forward without giving them secondary roles. Especially if we want three talls too. Steve Johnson must be having fun.
Ahhh, refreshing to see a post by someone who gets it and sees the big picture. Well done.

IMO, given a half decent run with injuries, 2019 will be an improvement but 2020/2021 we will really see this list start to blossom as the bulk move around the 100 game mark.
 
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