Makes some good points, also some bad ones just to justify his argument. Marshall as a 'more athletic Mumford' lol, Kent as a 'wonderful pickup', also says we play better when we go fast and don't overuse it when in fact we won most of our games early in the year going noticeably slower (apart from the melbourne game because they're one way runners and we got out the back). But the main issue is his judging us as improving.. sure we improved, after falling off the cliff last year... you'd hope we improve.Mick Malthouse questions why St Kilda coach Alan Richardson is under pressure after injury-riddled campaign
St Kilda is in freefall and Alan Richardson is about to lose his job, if you listen to the critics. But that view represents ‘a failure of basic math’ according to coaching legend Mick Malthouse.
Mick Malthouse, Sunday Herald Sun
June 29, 2019 5:30pm
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Own up if you had St Kilda in your top eight at the start of the season.
If you did, on what basis did you tip the Saints to make the finals after finishing 16th last season with four-and-a-half wins?
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Most football fans left St Kilda out of their September calculations, so why then are the Saints being so harshly judged and condemned at the halfway point of the season when they are only a game outside the eight?
Mick Malthouse is ‘mystified’ that Alan Richardson is under pressure. Picture: AAP Image/David Crosling.
Let’s look at the facts.
In Round 1, St Kilda beat Gold Coast by a point, in a “should-win” game.
Round 2 it had a commendable win against a club expected to make the eight, Essendon.
Round 3 it lost to this season’s big improver Fremantle, by less than a goal in an away game. Round 4 it knocked over Alastair Clarkson’s Hawks, a club expected to make big inroads this year.
And in Round 5 it thumped last season’s preliminary finalist, Melbourne, a team then considered a chance to go at least one better this year.
Mick Malthouse says St Kilda’s win over Hawthorn was evidence it is on the right path.
From Rounds 6-10 it was defeated by league leaders Adelaide, Greater Western Sydney, West Coast and Collingwood, before beating Carlton, losing to Port Adelaide in China with half the team fighting a stomach bug, beating Gold Coast again, and losing to current sixth-placed Brisbane Lions.
In other words, the Saints’ losses have all been inflicted by teams currently in the top eight.
After Round 14 they have already surpassed last season’s win-loss record, which is improvement in itself, and in my book a solid case to say they are competitive.
In the middle of a rebuilding phase, this is a reasonable position for St Kilda to be in.
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Let’s look even closer.
Hawthorn finished fourth in the 2018 home-and-away season. Melbourne was fifth and Sydney sixth. These three clubs now sit a game or more below St Kilda on the ladder.
The Saints take on Richmond tomorrow. The Tigers finished top of the ladder last year before finals. They are now ninth, just a game ahead of the Saints.
So why is it that from this pack of clubs, the Saints, and coach Alan Richardson, are under the heaviest scrutiny? They are the improvers.
Let’s delve deeper again.
Recruit Dean Kent celebrates a goal during St Kilda’s win over Gold Coast.
Clubs on the edge of breaking into the top eight need a full contingent of key personnel to have the best chance of making it.
High-profile clubs with great depth can cover injuries. When you’re a battler, injuries to key players are catastrophic.
St Kilda has had the fewest number of soft tissue injuries in the competition this year and the club should be commended for this.
But what the Saints have had is bad luck, losing important players to contact injuries, concussion and mental health issues.
Has Alan Richardson been judged harshly?
Key forward Paddy McCartin; key backs Dylan Roberton and Jake Carlisle; key mid and inspirational leader Jack Steven; and captain Jarryn Geary have all had long stints on the sidelines. Big-name recruit Dan Hannebery played just his first game for the club last week after arriving with soft-tissue problems.
I’d defy anyone to suggest you can compete at your best without those names, especially when you lack the depth to efficiently cover them.
Contact is part of the game, and while you’d love not to have them, sometimes the injury gods smile on you, and other times they don’t. St Kilda hasn’t used its long list of injuries as an excuse for any loss, but it must be highly frustrating and certainly debilitating.
We also need to look at the draw.
The Saints travelled to Shanghai for their clash with Port Adelaide, where a virus felled half the team and the staff. Yes, they then had the bye. But their next game was in Townsville of all places. More travelling.
Sans fans had to wait until Round 14 to see marquee recruit Dan Hannebery in action.
Port Adelaide also played away in this round and lost. Surely the AFL needs to put more thought into this scenario.
Now, let’s look at the positives for St Kilda.
Jack Billings has emerged as an AFL A-grader. Jade Gresham has exploded into the top echelon of small forwards. In ruckman Billy Longer’s absence, Rowan Marshall has been a revelation and reminds me of a more athletic Shane Mumford — a brutal goal-kicker who could have a massive impact on the competition.
Jack Steele has given them a handy midfield, tag, and ball-getting option (although he too is now sidelined with a knee injury.) Seb Ross still serves the Saints well. Dean Kent has been a wonderful pick up from Melbourne and will only get better.
And if Josh Bruce can improve his workload and consistency, together with Tim Membrey and Max King they have the potential to worry any opposing backline.
Jack Billings’ emergence as an A-Grader has been a huge positive from St Kilda’s year.
The Saints rely heavily on a handful of top-line players, so when they lose one or two of them it loads up the remaining quality players who become easy targets for a hard tag.
But they have been outstanding in some contests. When St Kilda moves the ball quickly and directly, it is capable of beating anyone. When movement is slow and overuse seeps into the Saints’ game, they become vulnerable to being easily scored against.
St Kilda isn’t out of the woods yet. It needs to recruit well in the next couple of seasons and should fight hard for a big-name free agent.
But to suggest the Saints are failing and deserve unrelenting scrutiny is to fail at basic math. Add in the key components of past seasons, injuries, the draw and compare with other teams around them on the ladder, and the sum will equate to a different answer.
Yep, classic AFL journalism. Cherry pick evidence to suit your argument.Makes some good points, also some bad ones just to justify his argument.
Goddard should be happy if we sack Richo, then he can coach his beloved Bombers. :OFormer St Kilda star Brendon Goddard claims under-siege coach Alan Richardson was “somewhat set up to fail” by the Saints’ administration and its unrealistic expectations.www.foxsports.com.au
The quarter time address would be interesting.SAINTS APPOINT CLARKSON
St Kilda have appointed TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson as head coach effective immediately.
In the leftist of left field moves, CEO Matt Finnis told the media that the Saints were once again proud to be at the forefront of innovation. The club initially attempted to lure an unnamed one legged lesbian gymnast from Norway to the head position. After that failed they could’ve been excused from giving up and appointing a safe option. But Finnis remained undeterred and looked like a proud dad as the Saints hit back by being the first AFL club to appoint someone who has absolutely no experience in the job. Finnis added that another first was achieved as Clarkson is also the first AFL coach to have never even heard of AFL footy.
The British motoring expert told the assembly he would aim to overcome his inexperience by appointing experts to handle the day to day stuff, and also the match day stuff and most of the other stuff. He expects to shortly announce the signing of sports scientist Stephen Dank who he said should be able to provide his players with all the “top gear”.
I really want that podcast to be better but it’s a bit s**t. It’s too much the locker room view and none of them are funny. It needs a fan with actual broadcasting experience to anchor it.The lads are joined by the great man known as Pretzel, Horse and Four-One among many other monikers, as emerging star backman Josh Battle joins TJWJ. Teeth whitening, tatts and the infamous Green Machine are just the tip of the iceberg for Batts, who audibly squirms as the boys dish out a...player.whooshkaa.com
That’s genuine gold. Hawthorn are untouchable clearly. Why does he even mention Birchall? Hasn’t got on the park I’m forever and doesn’t look like it.How do you think this would read if we'd traded Pick 15, 35 and Josh Battle for Dan Hannebery.
Apparently its all positive for the Hawks on the Wingard trade.