2020 Yearly review. The good, the bad and the ugly.

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Dazb86

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 31, 2008
12,830
8,686
melbourne
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Wigan
Now the seasons dead in the water we can look back on things that have worked, been bad or been horrible.

The Good -

Wallis up forward. Many people called for this last year when he was taking midfield minutes off Dunkley. Was great this year and has developed into a real leader on field. Kudos to Wally for making it work in an unnatural position.

Vandemeer. A real surprise packet up forward. He really impressed when he got his chance this year. He's exactly the type we need. Speedy, penetrating kick and willing to take the tackler on. Big tick.

The mid sized/smaller backline. Crozier, Williams and Daniel were great all year. Probably our most dependable area of the ground. I hope all 3 feature highly in the BnF.

The onballers. We have an elite midfield. Question marks on F50 entries and the penetration/pace of some of our high posession winners but overall it's a great group.

The Bad -

The ruck situation. English will be great but needs help. It's cost us dearly a few times in the last couple years. A 2nd ruck seems like the obvious solution but not sure our coach agrees.

Our talls. Still not a great group. Keath has helped a little down back but we still get beaten in the air far too often at both ends of the ground.

Our half forwards. Not producing enough on the scoreboard or with asissts. Played the entire year switching and changing our half forwards and we're still no closer to knowing what our best set up looks like.

The Ugly -

Some very strange selection calls. Bevo likes to innovate a little too much for mine. I still think he has no idea of what his best 22 looks like. Many baffling decisions during the year made an impact on our performance.

Performance of Bruce. A bit harsh but he was a disaster for the majority of the year. I'd argue had we played Schache ahead of him we'd have seen a better result. Hopefully he can get fit and get in a full Summer of training with Naughton and our mids.

Rounds 1 & 2. We completely shot ourselves in the foot with our start of the year.

Lachy Hunter. A Vice Captain missing multiple weeks from off field discretions isn't good enough. This arguably had the biggest impact on our year out of all of the above.
 

NBates

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 4, 2007
6,510
6,959
West Footscray
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Bevo thought we had the answers. Those answers either aren't up to it or too slow to develop. Meanwhile our best players prime is being wasted and in some cases the load on them is dragging them down in form. I've lost the faith that we'll all gel again in time to sync in unison to make a play for another flag. Too many issues to address.



Heartbreaking

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cherrypie

Team Captain
Oct 28, 2017
424
1,455
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Good
  • Making finals despite a horrible start
  • Williams going from fringe to guaranteed starter
  • Additions of Alex Keath and Laitham Vandermeer
  • Libba returning to form
Bad
  • English having no support
  • Nobody forcing their way in for Richards
Ugly
  • Schache, Young etc not forcing their way in for Bruce
  • Last quarter against Carlton
  • Rounds 1 & 2
 

Northern Dogs

Team Captain
Jul 9, 2016
452
697
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
A very good summary by the OP.

I'd like to add that I am mystified as to why Sweet was not tried out during the year. I know that Bevo has stated that he's not ready, but being only a few months younger than English (who is clearly not ready as a ruckman, though quite good as an on-baller), you really have to wonder why. Our senior assistant coach, Steven King, was an excellent ruckman and he has had both English and Sweet to work with for 3 years now, so what the hell has he been doing?

I also don't think the answer is to trade for more aging players from other clubs - Lloyd was good last year but dropped off badly this year, Bruce has been disappointing, Keath has been good so far and Duryea can be good but always seems to have injury concerns. There is often a reason that clubs trade these players......
 

Dogsman16

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 19, 2012
10,621
11,510
Minas Morgul
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Good
VDM
Keath
Williams
Small defenders

Bad
Rucking against elite teams
Bruce
Naughton Injury continuity

Ugly
Richards lack of improvement
Silly team selections
Makeshift small forwards.
 
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Yojimbo

Brownlow Medallist
Nov 14, 2012
10,733
9,586
The "Elephant" in the room.
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Our metres Gained had a low of 3,385 and a high of 5,627.
Our score involvements had a low of 39 and a high of 116.
Our inside 50's had a low of 22 and a high of 61.
Our disposal differential was +301 off the back of our handball.
Our marks differential was -185 and our total of 1,089 only ahead of North and Adelaide.

My season review is 10 pages so be patient and i will cherry pick the vital career defining details so to not offend as much as it could.
 

weltschmerz

Premiership Player
May 23, 2019
3,139
5,664
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Good: Libba, the recruitment of Keath, Bailey Williams' improvement, Vandermeer, Wallis becoming a forward, some good glimpses from recruits

Bad: Bailey Dale not living up to his promise, Naughton and Bruce not having time to develop a good dynamic, injuries, Cavarra not getting a chance to plpay a string of matches

Ugly: Bruce's drop in form, team selections, inconsistency, Dunkley rucking/the general "well we're going to lose the hitouts anyway" attitude.
 

Boyd oh Boyd

Premium Platinum
Nov 29, 2018
1,005
1,742
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
The Good

Our defence. It's not yet perfect but it's a huge improvement from last year. We finally stopped big key forwards kicking bags while keeping our trademark rebound gameplay. Duryea's injury was unfortunately a blessing in disguise because as soon as he was available we messed the system up. But for the majority of the year it was our biggest improvement and finally somewhat reliable.

The Bad

Our midfield. I know, what? Two AA mids like last year, this should be our good. But neither Bont or Macrae were near their amazing last seasons. Dunkley faced injury troubles but when he was fit didn't have the same influence on games. I'm talking about his work in stoppages btw, I know his overall game was different due to forward time, but when he was in the middle he was off. Libba was amazing and Bailey Smith had some good patches but he also had 4 games without a tackle which is bad for any player let alone an inside mid. More importantly than individual form, they did not pressure enough and the opposition had free run in transition way too much, and they made bad decisions going inside 50. Our three best mids had a massive decline in goal assists, bigger than the difference in length of games (Bont 21 to 11, Macrae 22 to 5, Dunkley 11 to 5). The quality of the kick inside 50, and the decision of which player to hit up, was terrible.

The Ugly

Our forward line. Wallis had a very nice season but after that it falls away. Naughton only had half a season but when he was fit he struggled. Part of that being he was not our chosen forward target very often which is why his best game was when Bruce was out and there was no other choice. The way he plays makes it seem like kicking it to him would not be to our advantage. He basically comes out of nowhere at the last second and it almost looks like an intercept. But how can other players tell when he's positioning himself to make that leap over the top, and when he's truly out of position? He can continue to play this way but he needs to demand the ball more, whether it's with more simple leads or better signalling to his team. Bruce was a disappointment. He's a solid big body to take attention away from Naughton, and was able to bring it to ground, but he didn't provide much else. Not enough goals, not enough second efforts, not good enough to take time in the ruck. Speaking of bring it to ground, our lack of smalls exposed us. We had one solid crumbing player in Cavarra but apparently that's not what we wanted. Richards has become less of a goal threat than he was in his first season. Gowers became the worst player on our list. Dale looked nothing like the player he was last season. Schache was not able to prove himself when he needed to. Individually it was bad, collectively it was worse. It was congested nonsense which makes it harder to mark, but our only three capable forwards are all marking forwards. Congest it if we have kick smalls that can work in chaos but seeing as we have none, can we try to create some space in there? There needs to be some major work put into this area.
 

Norm De Guerre

Left of the dial.
Mar 27, 2004
8,468
24,037
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Australian Farnarkling XI
The Good:

Another year of you getting my opinions on the game for free.

Caleb Daniel. Put the doubters to rest in the best possible way.

The return to form of Wallis and Libba.

Alex Keith.

Vandermeer. No surprises here.

Two out of three Baileys having exceptional seasons.

The Bad:

The other Bailey may be close to going down the drain.

Tim English not being able to physically cope with bigger and stronger ruckmen. A situation made worse at boundary throw ins or around the ground where ruckman jostle for position. It was sad watching the confidence drain from his body in real time on TV during a number of games as his opponent knowingly waited for another opportunity to smash into him. That Beveridge thought that sending Dunkley to relieve him was a masterstroke beggars belief.

The ramshackle nature of our forward line. A situation not helped by a number of our premier mids inability or unwillingness to hit the scoreboard. For all of the hard work aand accumulation of possessions that Macrae and Hunter get its all for naught if they don't contribute to the score. Its not like we have Riewoldt and Lynch waiting to finish off their hard work. That Bailey Smith doubled their scoring output and Bailey Williams and JJ coming off half-back either equalled or doubled the scoreboard contributions of two of our most consistent mids is a real issue for a team that doesn't score heavily as it is.

The ramshackle nature of our KPDs. We dodged a bullet with Keiths resilience. Good help us if we had Cordy and Garner as our sole key posts.

Leaving a clearly out of sorts Bruce deep forward for entire games let alone the season in preference for playing Josh Dunkley as English's relief. A situation that helped get neither Bruce nor Dunkley into games.

Zero improvement in team selection transparency. The scratch match reports such as there were felt like they were redacted to a level that made them of less use than those that we got covering the VFL games. Crazy talk I know.

The Ugly:

Toby McLean doing his knee forcing him out of the side for a year just as he was returning to the kind of form we know he is capable of.

The randomness of team positioning at times had me screaming into the void. Something exemplified on Saturday night by Crozier starting forward. It smacked of a coach outsmarting himself once again. As Struggle noted above, having the worst kick in the side kick in from full back was ust an incredible sight to see. It kinda set the stage for the peak Bevoness that is my next and final point.

Beveridges bewildering outright insanity when it comes to the relief ruck debacle all season. Something that Ive moaned about already here. So I shall leave it for now by saying that the man is really testing my until now steadfast faith in where he is taking the side.
 
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BEaston

Hungry
Oct 9, 2013
6,457
6,983
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
The Good:

Another year of you getting my opinions on the game for free.

Caleb Daniel. Put the doubters to rest in the best possible way.

The return to form of Wallis and Libba.

Alex Keith.

Vandermeer. No surprises here.

Two out of three Baileys having exceptional seasons.

The Bad:

The other Bailey may be close to going down the drain.

Tim English not being able to physically cope with bigger and stronger ruckmen. A situation made worse at boundary throw ins or around the ground where ruckman jostle for position. It was sad watching the confidence drain from his body in real time on TV during a number of games as his opponent knowingly waited for another opportunity to smash into him. That Beveridge thought that sending Dunkley to relieve him was a masterstroke beggars belief.

The ramshackle nature of our forward line. A situation not helped by a number of our premier mids inability or unwillingness to hit the scoreboard. For all of the hard work aand accumulation of possessions that Macrae and Hunter get its all for naught if they don't contribute to the score. Its not like we have Riewoldt and Lynch waiting to finish off their hard work. That Bailey Smith doubled their scoring output and Bailey Williams and JJ coming off half-back either equalled or doubled the scoreboard contributions of two of our most consistent mids is a real issue for a team that doesn't score heavily as it is.

The ramshackle nature of our KPDs. We dodged a bullet with Keiths resilience. Good help us if we had Cordy and Garner as our sole key posts.

Leaving a clearly out of sorts Bruce deep forward for entire games let alone the season in preference for playing Josh Dunkley as English's relief. A situation that helped get neither Bruce nor Dunkley into games.

Zero improvement in team selection transparency. The scratch match reports such as there were felt like they were redacted to a level that made them of less use than those that we got covering the VFL games. Crazy talk I know.

The Ugly:

Toby McLean doing his knee forcing him out of the side for a year just as he was returning to the kind of form we know he is capable of.

The randomness of team positioning at times had me screaming into the void. Something exemplified on Saturday night by Crozier starting forward. It smacked of a coach outsmarting himself once again. As Struggle noted above, having the worst kick in the side kick in from full back was ust an incredible sight to see. It kinda set the stage for the peak Bevoness that is my next and final point.

Beveridges bewildering outright insanity when it comes to the relief ruck debacle all season. Something that Ive moaned about already here. So I shall leave it for now by saying that the man is really testing my until now steadfast faith in where he is taking the side.
nailed it
 

Yojimbo

Brownlow Medallist
Nov 14, 2012
10,733
9,586
The "Elephant" in the room.
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
The Good:
- Making the finals.
- Having three All Australians.
- Laitham Vandermeer until injured.
- Weightman's first goal banana.
- Alex Keath, Bailey Williams and Tom Liberatore stepping up.

The Bad:
- Inept start to the season and attitude of some.
- Lack of respect for the forward half.
- Goal kicking depth.
- Playing too safe to protect flawed structure.
- Suspect form rewarding.

The Ugly:
- Team selection.
- The Crozier defense at the MRP.
- Lack of support for Big Sally.
- Method of defeat and lack of action.
- The rinse and repeat nature of our bests.

I tried not to get too personal as it has been a hot topic this season in particular.
 

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lachy

Premiership Player
Jul 5, 2004
3,490
3,261
Western
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Bulldogs
The Good:
- Development of Williams to at the very least a b Grader and still improving
- Wallis in the forward line
- VDM development
- 3 deserved All Australians
- At least making finals

The Bad:
- Lack of improvement year on year
- Stagnation or deterioration of too many players to mention leading to an imbalanced list
- Not taking the opportunity to at least try and develop an English/Sweet rock forward combo
- Injuries to key players
- Connections into our forward line

The Ugly:
- Poor start to the year
- Inconsistent team selection
- Lack of clear vision for improvement
- Issues the same at the end of this season that were there last season
- Goal kicking accuracy
 

Yojimbo

Brownlow Medallist
Nov 14, 2012
10,733
9,586
The "Elephant" in the room.
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
From one to ten (A journey of greatness through the eyes of our 1st and 10th ranked Players).

Contested Possessions:

1st- Jackson Macrae, AFL Rank: 11, Games: 17, CP = 178
10th- Bailey Williams, AFL Rank: 195, Games: 17, CP = 69

Uncontested Possessions:
1st- Jackson Macrae, AFL Rank: 2, Games: 17, UP = 286
10th- Patrick Lipinski, AFL Rank: 138, Games: 12, UP = 134

Inside 50's:
1st- Jackson Macrae, AFL Rank: 4, Games: 17, I50's = 73
10th- Tim English, AFL Rank: 189, Games: 17, I50's = 27

Clearances:
1st- Marcus Bontempelli, AFL Rank: 6, Games: 17, Clearances = 90
10th- Patrick Lipinski, AFL Rank: 167, Games 12, Clearances = 15

Metres Gained:
1st- Bailey Williams, AFL Rank: 9, Games: 17, MG = 6,682
10th- Ed Richards, AFL Rank: 189, Games: 16, MG = 2,927

Score Involvements:
1st- Jackson Macrae, AFL Rank: 10, Games: 17, SI = 90
10th- Josh Bruce, AFL Rank: 108, Games: 16, SI = 56

Disposals:
1st- Jackson Macrae, AFL Rank: 2, Games: 17, Disposals = 455
10th- Josh Dunkley, AFL Rank: 161, Games: 11, Disposals = 205

Kicks:
1st- Caleb Daniel, AFL Rank: 16, Games: 17, Kicks = 211
10th- Tim English, AFL Rank: 173, Games: 17, Kicks = 122

Handballs:
1st- Jackson Macrae, AFL Rank: 1, Games: 17, Handballs = 262
10th- Lachlan Hunter, AFL Rank: 94, Games: 9, Handballs = 107

Marks:
1st- Bailey Williams, AFL Rank: 32, Games: 17, Marks = 76
10th- Josh Bruce, AFL Rank: 192, Games: 16, Marks = 46

You can decide whether a category is good, bad or ugly, though it is worth noting the only top ten fully within the AFL Ranked top hundred was Handballs and lets face it we are famous for our handballs.
 

threenewpadlocks

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 10, 2012
11,051
14,266
Melbourne
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
It's funny how English is in the "bad" category yet played an absolute dominant BOG performance this season (among other good performances), something that many would have predicted as wildly unrealistic 12 months ago.
 

Doggies_13

Norm Smith Medallist
Dec 29, 2009
5,476
5,653
Hobart
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
The good:
Making finals
Williams, keath and libba
VDM showing great signs
Baz continual improvement
3 all Australians
Beat GWS

The Bad:
Richards and lipinski not taking the next step
The ruck situation
Naughton injuries

The Ugly:
Bruce not performing
Team selection bingo
McLeans knee
Finals loss
Rounds 1 and 2, rich and Carlton games
 

Golden_6

Premiership Player
Aug 15, 2014
4,898
8,636
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Chicago Bulls
It's funny how English is in the "bad" category yet played an absolute dominant BOG performance this season (among other good performances), something that many would have predicted as wildly unrealistic 12 months ago.
It’s a shame for Tim. He has so many positive attributes and things going for him football wise. His IQ, endurance, skills, marking etc. but he is just so hilariously bad at ruckwork that it’s really hard to gauge the year he’s had.

He’s improved in a lot of areas but he hasn’t improved at all in the ruck.
 

Libba39

Premiership Player
Mar 10, 2008
4,337
4,275
Murrumbeena
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
The Good:

Bailey Williams rise
Vandermeer's first 10 games
Weightman's first goal

The Bad:

The inconsistent effort. You never knew what you were going to get each week, but could usually tell within the first 10 minutes.

The Ugly:

The forward line. Never settled, never structured. Players leading to bad spots, terrible kicking inside 50, Naughton's interrupted year, Vandermeer going down, Bruce have several shockers, and reliance on a 185cm foot-soldier to be your main target in attack.

Toby Mclean going down just when it seemed everything had clicked for him in terms of fitness, attitude, and team role.
The agony and ecstasy of AFL wrapped up in 2 minutes of football...
 

Yojimbo

Brownlow Medallist
Nov 14, 2012
10,733
9,586
The "Elephant" in the room.
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Aaron Naughton and Josh Bruce (When two become one):

Aaron Naughton (2019):
23 x Games, 170 x Kicks, 80 x Handballs, 132 x Marks.
32 x Goals, 27 x Behinds, 53 X Contested Marks.

A young man with a plan redefining contested marking as a young man forever, sure some dominant games, but also some stinkers that is a pretty common trait among the power forwards of the competition.

Aaron Naughton (2020):
12 x Games, 46 x Kicks, 38 x Handballs, 42 x Marks.
15 x Goals, 6 x Behinds, 20 x Contested Marks.

Rushed in off a poor preparation when clearly underdone, the colt from old regret whose wildness and flair was such a highlight of the previous year left to become a low volume cameo player.

Josh Bruce (2020):
17 x Games, 55 x Kicks, 81 x Handballs, 47 x Marks.
14 x Goals, 8 x Behinds, 18 x Contested Marks.

Had to learn a new system and adapt to a different and uncertain start to the year, using the term system is unusual when discussing the Bulldogs forward line functionality because as we know the Goals kick themselves.

It pays to remember that 2020 saw a gross reduction in game time of approximately 20%, but in the words of the Spice Girls did "Two become one" if the Spice Girls did not sing that i am sorry as i was distracted by "Baby Spice" and her epic levels of performance and she may have been smoking hot as well.
 

_Mike_

Super Moderator
Aug 10, 2009
26,478
22,064
Victoria
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Tottenham, Montreal Canadiens
The Good

- B Williams, was great to see him poll well in the B&F
- CD - gone to another level with his disposal & impact
- Libba - he's back to his best footy
- Baz Smith & VDM - developing nicely
- Wally - cemented his spot in the team this year
- Crozier - one of our best defenders

The bad

- Injuries to important players derailed the season
- no consistent forward structure, hoping for something to happen or for the goals to kick themselves
- tackling ability has gone south
- a number of players (premiership) struggling for form or to have a consistent impact

The ugly

- lack of ruck options, not using Trengove to fill a glaring gap
- the amount of goals conceded from turnovers due to poor kicking options
- the lack of the ability to play 4 solid quarters of footy
 

Yojimbo

Brownlow Medallist
Nov 14, 2012
10,733
9,586
The "Elephant" in the room.
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Rucking A Three Year Journey To Greatness: (2020-2019-2018)

2020:
Tim English: 18 x Games, 288 x Hit Outs.
Josh Bruce: 17 x Games, 19 x Hit Outs.
Josh Dunkley: 12 x Games, 12 x Hit Outs.
Jackson Macrae: 18 x Games, 7 x Hit Outs.
Zaine Cordy: 14 x Games, 5 x Hit Outs.
Marcus Bontempelli: 18 x Games, 1 x Hit Out.

2019:
Tim English: 20 x Games, 383 x Hit Outs.
Jackson Trengove: 16 x Games, 97 x Hit Outs.
Zaine Cordy: 23 x Games, 20 x Hit Outs.
Aaron Naughton: 23 x Games, 20 x Hit Outs.
Josh Schache: 14 x Games, 19 x Hit Outs.
Josh Dunkley: 23 x Games, 10 x Hit Outs.
Marcus Bontempelli: 23 x Games, 7 x Hit Outs.
Jackson Macrae: 23 x Games, 2 x Hit Outs.

2018:
Tom Boyd: 12 x Games, 204 x Hit Outs.
Jordan Roughead: 12 x Games, 146 x Hit Outs.
Jackson Trengove: 16 x Games, 136 x Hit Outs.
Tim English: 7 x Games, 97 x Hit Outs.
Josh Dunkley: 19 x Games, 8 x Hit Outs.
Zaine Cordy: 18 x Games, 7 x Hit Outs.
Marcus Bontempelli: 19 x Games, 4 x Hit Outs.
Marcus Adams: 6 x Games, 3 x Hit Outs.
Billy Gowers: 20 x Games, 3 x Hit Outs.
Aaron Naughton: 18 x Games, 2 x Hit Outs.
Ed Richards: 21 x Games, 1 x Hit Out.
Josh Schache: 13 x Games, 1 x Hit Out.

Once again you can determine Good or Bad or Ugly, but it's all truly fascinating in the broader understanding of life as we know it.
 

ringa5

CRAZY HORSE
Jun 1, 2009
834
1,033
goldcoast
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
The good ::::: making finals despite ludicrous selections entire season.

The bad ::::: rediculous selection costing us further advancement into finals.

The cure :::: an overseer to look beyond the hub bubble to bring clarity and sense to selections.
 

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