- Sep 20, 2018
- AFL Club
- North Melbourne
As mentioned in the Autopsy thread, I took the time last night to go back through the replay and track his disposals. (Happy to list them all, but figured it wouldn't make for the most exciting read.) Much as I expected, it wasn't nearly as damning as some posters are making out. Definitely some confirmation bias at play here. Yes, he made some mistakes, but they are being exaggerated and overblown. Statements like 'can't hit a target', 'burns teammates every single time', 'kills scoring chains', etc, are the kind of lazy hyperbole that craps up this forum.
In the interest of a slightly more nuanced take on his game.....
Start with the stats - equal highest possession getter with Jy. Identical DE% (69.6) for the both of them, too. (And in case anyone is wondering, the 69.6% figure checked out upon tracking his disposals on the replay.) Obviously, I'm not about to suggest that the quality of Hall's 16 effective disposals was as high as Jy's 16 effective disposals, but IMO the more significant disparity came in the remaining 30.4% that went awry. Within that 30.4%, Hall had some absolute shockers. Jy not so much. Aaron was indeed guilty of some regrettable instances of ball-butchering and teammate burning. Not as much as some folks are making out, but it happened. Some of his I50's sucked a fair bit, too. Had 4 clangers in total for the game, the same as Jy, Browny, and Pittard. (Goldy and Ats both had 5.)
But still, the reality is that most of his possessions on the night were indeed effective. Hence, the "exaggeration" call.
I think a few people have nailed it. Aaron seems to take on the responsibility of making things happen, and it's not always the right decision to do so. But the fact remains that he's a 'live and die by the sword' type. He's a bloke that's trying to make stuff happen in a side that currently struggles with the creative side of footy. He's also one of the few players on our list that offers genuine pace. And he's a guy that for the most part gets on his bike while others are standing around flat-footed. Prefer a bit of dare to the boring, predictable, ridiculously impotent 'kick down the line' footy we saw on Saturday night.
Said it before and I'll say it again, he should be attending more centre bounces. When he is in there, with the aid of some of Goldy's brilliant tapwork, he invariably gets his hands on it. Don't want to harp on about the whole 'out of position' thing, but if we're to play him, he needs to get more midfield minutes. Can all too often go missing on a HFF. His game last night only really got going once he was swung into the midfield.
Couple of other things....his first miss on goal was undoubtedly a cringe-worthy moment (that I'm sure did his confidence no good), but re the second miss - as anyone crazy enough to brave the replay will see - he was actually slung at the last second just as he kicked, causing the shot to stray off line and hit the post. Didn't pick it up until I went back and watched it again.
Oh yeah, he was also 3rd in score involvements for the game, too.
So in a way it becomes almost a philosophical question. You could argue that without the 16 effective disposals and the score involvements that we would have been worse off. But at the same time his errors certainly didn't help our cause. The dilemma being how much weight to afford each? Does Shawry come after the bloke who's trying to make things happen and sometimes (perhaps a little too regularly) stuffs it up, or does he come after the blokes standing around with their thumbs up their arses doing 3/5ths of **** all?
Very much doubt he'll be dropped next week off the back of that effort, but I could be wrong.
Anyway, back to the insults.....
You are right about confirmation bias. Once a player slips into that dreaded whipping boy territory their detractors spend the whole game looking for their perceived weakness and tend to ignore anything good they do.