Analysis 2020 Forward Focus

John Who

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With the departures of several of our ex-Crows veterans in 2019, there is a gaping hole in the forward zone that needs to be addressed if we are to remain competitive in season 2020. Forward potency lost with these departures:

- Betts: our greatest small forward ever.
- Jenkins: our most consistent tall forward for the past 4 years (excluding the second half of 2019).
- Jacobs: at his peak, he was in the top 3-4 ruckmen in the league, and he was also handy with the goals when resting up forward.
- Greenwood: X-factor up forward with his customary pack marking, and usually a good kick for goal.

With Betts gone, I can see Stengle doing ok if given the chance, but the question remains: will Stengle reach the giddy heights of what Betts had achieved?

JJ's departure allows Berg or Billy to have a fair crack at playing regular AFL games and hopefully one, or both, will settle in a spot either up forward/ruck/both.

ROB has already done an admirable job as a ruckman, but he needs to improve more his output up forward when resting up there. Hopefully he can further improve his goal kicking, and something I'm keen to note any improvements over this preseason.

Who will replace Greenwood as the X-factor with good abilities overhead as well as ground-ball gets?

--------------------------

How do we see the forward line to look like in 2020?
 

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Thetrader15

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Betts kicked about 20 goals excluding GC

Jenkins played half the year in the SANFL

Jacobs played 3 games and has never been a forward threat. ROB was better last year than Sauce has been for 5 years

Greenwood 'customary pack marking'? I remember 3 all year

I can't see these 4 being too hard to replace
 
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Mutineer

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Betts kicked about 20 goals excluding GC

Jenkins played half the year in the SANFL

Jacobs played 3 games and has never been a forward threat. ROB was better last year than Sauce has been for 5 years

Greenwood 'customary pack marking'? I remember 3 all year

I cant't see these 4 being too hard to replace
Murphy to full forward?

Bring the ball to the ground for the crumbers? Oh wait...
 

1990crow

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Midfield..
Smith Crouch Seedsman
ROB Gibbs Crouch

Forwards
Lynch ~ Walker ~ Sloane
McHenry ~ Fogarty ~ Jones

Atkins, Galluci, Gibbs and B.Crouch to rotate through.

Second ruck? No idea. Feel Frampton and Berg arent good enough to be full time forwards and Nicks is prioritisng forward pressure. Has stated he prefers two tall forward model which leaves even Lynch borderline. Including either berg or frampton in on top of fog, tex and lynch would be out of line of what has been mentioned.
 
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Midfield..
Smith Crouch Seedsman
ROB Gibbs Crouch

Forwards
Lynch ~ Walker ~ Sloane
McHenry ~ Fogarty ~ Jones

Atkins, Galluci, Gibbs and B.Crouch to rotate through.

Second ruck? No idea. Feel Frampton and Berg arent good enough to be full time forwards and Nicks is prioritisng forward pressure. Has stated he prefers two tall forward model which leaves even Lynch borderline. Including either berg or frampton in on top of fog, tex and lynch would be out of line of what has been mentioned.
Jones is a midfielder. Should not be playing in a forward pocket. Stengle, McAdam or Murphy get that spot.

F*** knows where we play Milera. He's in danger of becoming the next Ricky Henderson (AFC version).
 

John Who

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Jones is a midfielder. Should not be playing in a forward pocket. Stengle, McAdam or Murphy get that spot.

F*** knows where we play Milera. He's in danger of becoming the next Ricky Henderson (AFC version).
Milera is best suited in the midfield in my opinion, and can be used as a utility if we need an extra option either in attack or in defense.
 

John Who

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Betts kicked about 20 goals excluding GC

Jenkins played half the year in the SANFL

Jacobs played 3 games and has never been a forward threat. ROB was better last year than Sauce has been for 5 years

Greenwood 'customary pack marking'? I remember 3 all year

I cant't see these 4 being too hard to replace
You’re right, won’t be too hard to replace on 2019 form. But the topic is to focus on a forward line to match that of where we were at sometime in 2017. The issue is about picking the players to give us the next best tilt at the Cup (probably not likely in 2020, but hopefully within the next 2-3 years); as opposed to picking a team to match the side that was a shit show in 2019.
 

Firewalker

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Midfield..
Smith Crouch Seedsman
ROB Gibbs Crouch

Forwards
Lynch ~ Walker ~ Sloane
McHenry ~ Fogarty ~ Jones

Atkins, Galluci, Gibbs and B.Crouch to rotate through.

Second ruck? No idea. Feel Frampton and Berg arent good enough to be full time forwards and Nicks is prioritisng forward pressure. Has stated he prefers two tall forward model which leaves even Lynch borderline. Including either berg or frampton in on top of fog, tex and lynch would be out of line of what has been mentioned.
One thing I will be super critical of all year is if they try to pursue with that forward line of Lynch, Walker and Fogarty. They are far too similar players to all play together in the same forward line; they are hybrid, lead up forwards, 2 of that type is max and in the last 4 games of the season they tried all 3 and it never gelled once.

They need an actual tall marking forward for Nicks’ plan of two key position forwards to work and the only two on the list are Himmelberg and Frampton so one of them needs to play.

It’s exactly what (and I hate to agree with him) Dermott Brereton has carried on incessantly about for years when talking about the crows, none of Walker, Lynch or Fogarty are big marking forwards you need a key forward to take a pack mark inside 50 or you’re far to predictable to read and have the ball exit 50 far too much like it has been.

McGovern and Tippett were the last two players we had do this and it’s no coincidence the club’s most dangerous forward lines of the past 20 years had them in it.
 

DroppingTheBall

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You’re right, won’t be too hard to replace on 2019 form. But the topic is to focus on a forward line to match that of where we were at sometime in 2017.... as opposed to picking a team to match the side that was a shit show in 2019.
In 2017 we kicked 400-500 points more than any other team that year or any year since. It is not the output required to win a flag.

This year's premier scored 116 points more than we did -- this year. That's 5 points a game.

OTOH in 2017 we had the most one-percenters in the league. This year we were bottom. That's between the ears IMHO.
 

ShadeyP

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Midfield..
Smith Crouch Seedsman
ROB Gibbs Crouch

Forwards
Lynch ~ Walker ~ Sloane
McHenry ~ Fogarty ~ Jones

Atkins, Galluci, Gibbs and B.Crouch to rotate through.

Second ruck? No idea. Feel Frampton and Berg arent good enough to be full time forwards and Nicks is prioritisng forward pressure. Has stated he prefers two tall forward model which leaves even Lynch borderline. Including either berg or frampton in on top of fog, tex and lynch would be out of line of what has been mentioned.
Frampton will surprise and he will both make a contest to bring others into it and take a decent amount of contested marks at full stretch .
I am bullish that between Frampton and Himmelberg we have a couple of versatile , competitive talls who are 1 and 3 years away from their true AFL baseline .
They are 21 and 22 and both have plenty of upside ... don't write them off
 

John Who

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In 2017 we kicked 400-500 points more than any other team that year or any year since. It is not the output required to win a flag.

This year's premier scored 116 points more than we did -- this year. That's 5 points a game.

OTOH in 2017 we had the most one-percenters in the league. This year we were bottom. That's between the ears IMHO.
I don’t think we should simplify things to total scores only. Rather, it should be the question of “how functional is our forward setup?”

In 2017, generally, very functional!
In 2019, inconsistent to poor, other than the 2 Gold Coast games. In other words, our forward line was a mess/dysfunctional.

Part of the shambles was due to our slow and indecisive transition from defense/midfield to the forward entries. The other part was obviously our forwards weren’t consistent enough to beat their opponents.

Already the dynamic up forward looks interesting with us having more options of players who aren’t afraid to crash into packs: Fog, Frampton, McAdam. It’s just a matter now of who trains the hardest and grabs their chance in 2020?
 

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Flip Side

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Richmond generates 65.6 per cent of its scores from turnovers (No.1 in the AFL), whereas GWS scores just 51 per cent from this source (18th).

= teams generate 51% to 65% of score from turnovers

The Giants make up for that by producing 45 per cent of their points from clearances (No.1) compared to the Tigers' 31 per cent (18th).

= teams generate 31% to 45% of score from clearances

82% to 96% of team scores are generated from turnovers and clearances

2019 Crows
12th for centre clearance differential
11th for stoppage clearance differential
11th in positive turnover differential
14th inside 50 differential

Crows were top 4 in all these categories apart from centre clearances in 2017. The inside 50 differential indicates the Crows are not defending their 50 well enough or getting it inside their 50 enough or a combo of both.

basically in 2019 the Crows failed to generate more scoring opportunities for their forwards than their opponents. If the 2020 forwards are to be successful this will need to change.

Forward setup is the end of the chain.

The pivotal elements start with:
1. working hard without the ball, structuring up well, creating contests, winning contests, forcing stoppages or turnovers, all over the ground.
2. defending and winning clearances
3. moving the ball inside 50 to advantage, more often than opponent.

This is only done through fitness, work rate, mindset, desire, unity, competitiveness and execution of skills.

personnel becomes important to finish and make the most of opportunities but if the Crows can’t generate more opportunities most Forwards will struggle.
 

Golumless

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It is again, such a shame we didn't trade Lynch, albiet much more forgivable this year due to degree of difficulty and we did lose a lot others. Would have been a PR nightmare even if it is the right move.

After all he is a round peg for what is a very square hole.

Really the best forward line structure we could have in 2020 tall forward wise is:

Himmelberg/Frampton - Fogarty
Tex/Lynch.

Unfortunately that round peg who is paid a lot of money is going to be a millstone, again and played alongside Tex, despite being a terrible fit when there isn't four talls. Considering 4 talls would be an abject failure with what we have, I am certainly not suggesting that.
 
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John Who

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It is again, such a shame we didn't trade Lynch, albiet much more forgivable this year due to degree of difficulty and we did lose a lot others. Would have been a PR nightmare even if it is the right move.

After all he is a round peg for what is a very square hole.

Really the best forward line structure we could have in 2020 tall forward wise is:

Himmelberg/Frampton - Fogarty
Tex/Lynch.

Unfortunately that round peg who is paid a lot of money is going to be a millstone, again and played alongside Tex, despite being a terrible fit when there isn't four talls. Considering 4 talls would be an abject failure with what we have, I am certainly not suggesting that.
I’m curious to know what you mean by “round peg, square hole”? Lynch tends to float around the midfield more than any other of the notable forwards in recent years. He has versatility on his side which can hopefully allow him to adapt to our new game plan.
 

Golumless

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I’m curious to know what you mean by “round peg, square hole”? Lynch tends to float around the midfield more than any other of the notable forwards in recent years. He has versatility on his side which can hopefully allow him to adapt to our new game plan.
The primary function of a third tall is to act as a second target in the forward line in a quick break and to force a better number situation in the forward line in these situations. Alongside, as acting as an outlet in a slower build up. Lynch is a liability in the quick break now as we lost McGovern (who covered that deeper target role and allowed Lynch to roam), and pretty solid in the second facet. The big issue though is you aren't going to score much if you can't capitalise on quick breaks and any side who doesn't plan on that being the main avenue to scoring will inevitably be exposed. You need to make the most of the situations where the odds are in your favour, especially as it is much easier to defend the more patient build-up style.

The ideal 3 tall structure right now is opting for a CHF to offer link play, as well as being a goal threat in the back end of a 50. Then you'd have your FF, and 3rd tall acting primarily as deeper targets with your main offensive small forward, with the intention of creating a 3 v 2 with one of the key forwards (assuming the small forward goes towards this contest), and a 1 v 1 with the other when on the fast break. The rest of your smalls should be focused more on the defensive side of things to shut down ball movement from the half-back line, though this should be positions that are heavily rotating with the midfield as a means to give a rest, create awkward matchups etc.

The fact Lynch floats around the midfield more is the exact reason he is a round peg for a square hole. He plays a CHF game to the extreme when we already have Tex providing that. You can see our forward structure break down every time we opt for Murphy as our deep target because he is covering for Lynch's roaming. Whilst, not the entire reason it broke down badly this year, it's certainly one of the key reasons why.

If anything, Lynch showed this year he's had that versatility beaten out of him. He's not a winger and has no chance of being a winger outside of an Embley cameo every now and then, no matter how much you wish it so.
 

DroppingTheBall

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Richmond generates 65.6 per cent of its scores from turnovers (No.1 in the AFL), whereas GWS scores just 51 per cent from this source (18th).

= teams generate 51% to 65% of score from turnovers

The Giants make up for that by producing 45 per cent of their points from clearances (No.1) compared to the Tigers' 31 per cent (18th).

= teams generate 31% to 45% of score from clearances

82% to 96% of team scores are generated from turnovers and clearances
Interestingly, both Richmond and GWS generated 96% of their scores from TO and CL.

But what does it matter? Everyone generated 100% of their scores from somewhere. If a team had 20% from other sources instead of 4%, is that bad?
 

Golumless

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Interestingly, both Richmond and GWS generated 96% of their scores from TO and CL.

But what does it matter? Everyone generated 100% of their scores from somewhere. If a team had 20% from other sources instead of 4%, is that bad?
If you ever want to see how misguided Pyke and co were to go a slow build up game the 82% to 96% scoring rate shows you that.
 

Flip Side

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[/QUOTE]
Interestingly, both Richmond and GWS generated 96% of their scores from TO and CL.

But what does it matter? Everyone generated 100% of their scores from somewhere. If a team had 20% from other sources instead of 4%, is that bad?
The percentages demonstrate the main avenues of attack. Neither is good or bad in isolation. However, the dominance of the two avenues across all scoring add weight statistically to their importance and the importance of winning the supporting attributes to provide this scoreboard advantage (80/20 rule).

The statistical differential between GWS and Richmond reflect two distinct and deliberate executions of game styles.

By looking at these numbers this allows us to look beyond individual forward personnel and assess the broader implications of the game style and its execution. To identify where to improve systems that are not reliant on individual players.

It matters because the Crows were no longer competitive in the key attributes that support these primary avenues of attack, that then resulted in less opportunities for the forwards. Their game style was ineffective, irrespective of Betts, Jenkins or individual abilities. The focus therefore needs to be on finding a game style that gives the Crows forwards more opportunities than their opponents.
 

John Who

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The primary function of a third tall is to act as a second target in the forward line in a quick break and to force a better number situation in the forward line in these situations. Alongside, as acting as an outlet in a slower build up. Lynch is a liability in the quick break now as we lost McGovern (who covered that deeper target role and allowed Lynch to roam), and pretty solid in the second facet. The big issue though is you aren't going to score much if you can't capitalise on quick breaks and any side who doesn't plan on that being the main avenue to scoring will inevitably be exposed. You need to make the most of the situations where the odds are in your favour, especially as it is much easier to defend the more patient build-up style.

The ideal 3 tall structure right now is opting for a CHF to offer link play, as well as being a goal threat in the back end of a 50. Then you'd have your FF, and 3rd tall acting primarily as deeper targets with your main offensive small forward, with the intention of creating a 3 v 2 with one of the key forwards (assuming the small forward goes towards this contest), and a 1 v 1 with the other when on the fast break. The rest of your smalls should be focused more on the defensive side of things to shut down ball movement from the half-back line, though this should be positions that are heavily rotating with the midfield as a means to give a rest, create awkward matchups etc.

The fact Lynch floats around the midfield more is the exact reason he is a round peg for a square hole. He plays a CHF game to the extreme when we already have Tex providing that. You can see our forward structure break down every time we opt for Murphy as our deep target because he is covering for Lynch's roaming. Whilst, not the entire reason it broke down badly this year, it's certainly one of the key reasons why.

If anything, Lynch showed this year he's had that versatility beaten out of him. He's not a winger and has no chance of being a winger outside of an Embley cameo every now and then, no matter how much you wish it so.
How I see Lynch is that he has an excellent tank and rarely gets beaten in marking contests. If we win more contests in the midfield and/or have better methods of transitioning from defense, Lynch would look a whole lot better. Your judging him seemingly on the team’s 2019 form, but 2020 will be quite different with the personnel and a new game plan.
 

John Who

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The percentages demonstrate the main avenues of attack. Neither is good or bad in isolation. However, the dominance of the two avenues across all scoring add weight statistically to their importance and the importance of winning the supporting attributes to provide this scoreboard advantage (80/20 rule).

The statistical differential between GWS and Richmond reflect two distinct and deliberate executions of game styles.

By looking at these numbers this allows us to look beyond individual forward personnel and assess the broader implications of the game style and its execution. To identify where to improve systems that are not reliant on individual players.

It matters because the Crows were no longer competitive in the key attributes that support these primary avenues of attack, that then resulted in less opportunities for the forwards. Their game style was ineffective, irrespective of Betts, Jenkins or individual abilities. The focus therefore needs to be on finding a game style that gives the Crows forwards more opportunities than their opponents.
[/QUOTE]
It’s kind of like the ‘chicken and the egg’ argument. Were the forwards looking average due to our poor clearances or ineffective transitioning from defense? Or our forward entries appear disorganised because the forwards couldn’t beat their opponents? I’d say likely both.

Already we’re looking likely to inject a lot more youth and likely more speed into the mix. How this translates into onfield performance is anybody’s guess right now. Which to me, makes it interesting to guess what’s the best makeup of our forward line for 2020.
 

BringbacktheBiff2005

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Was just looking where to post this.

I think Tex needs to get some more sleep.

I would love to see the delivery into the forward 50 and would provide a good link up, but where does that leave Lynch?

Most encouraging thing is that he has shed some KGs and is ready for a big pre season.

Big year next year for Tex, just not so sure it will be on the wing.
 

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