Are we too offensive?

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flipper83

Club Legend
Jul 18, 2012
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Western Bulldogs
Attacking not off-putting.

I feel like, in a lot of our losses, the opposition is happy to play our midfielders from behind and let them get first hands on the ball but tackle them immediately so we can't get clean possession. If one of our midfielders gets the ball and hands off to a team mate they are immediately tackled.

Once we've been stopped offensively and our players are either on the ground, or offensively positioned, the opposition midfield can march it out of the front of the stoppage into an open forward line.

Our defenders too are usually playing in front of their opponents to be positioned to intercept pressured forward entries but can't defend these unpressured entries so we give up easy goals.

We don't seem to be able to change our attacking mindset so give up runs of goals when the opposition is on top.

I do also feel like often teams are allowed to get away with defensive tactics that are outside the scope of the rules but that is a league wide issue so we have to adjust to the way the competition is adjudicated at the moment.

Our midfield is always lauded as a strength but we never seem to be able to deliver a forward entry to our forwards advantage and our defenders are often caught out if position trying to defend unpressured entries into an open forward line. I'm but sure that our overpossession in the midfield helps our forwards or defenders.

I worry that we are too set in the mindset that if we win the contested ball everything else will flow from that and that our gamelan won't stand up against teams that are happy to defend first then rebound from there.

What are other people's thoughts?
 

weltschmerz

Norm Smith Medallist
May 23, 2019
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Are we too offensive?
To watch, yeah.

Attacking not off-putting.
Oh.

But yeah, one thing I notice is that our defenders are often in front of the play. If a ball comes out the back of a pack, there's nobody to mop it up and oppo forwards get an easy goal.
 

Jezdog

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Sep 21, 2020
23
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Western Bulldogs
our game plan is our mids are better than theirs. We don’t care if their best mid has 30 disposals at the end of the day we’ll beat them because our mids will get more of it. We don’t try and shut anyone down. We ball watch. So yes we’re too offensive. Unfortunately against the good sides we don’t kick enough goals but let them get easy goals.
 

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flipper83

Club Legend
Jul 18, 2012
1,422
2,308
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Attacking not off-putting.

I feel like, in a lot of our losses, the opposition is happy to play our midfielders from behind and let them get first hands on the ball but tackle them immediately so we can't get clean possession. If one of our midfielders gets the ball and hands off to a team mate they are immediately tackled.

Once we've been stopped offensively and our players are either on the ground, or offensively positioned, the opposition midfield can march it out of the front of the stoppage into an open forward line.

Our defenders too are usually playing in front of their opponents to be positioned to intercept pressured forward entries but can't defend these unpressured entries so we give up easy goals.

We don't seem to be able to change our attacking mindset so give up runs of goals when the opposition is on top.

I do also feel like often teams are allowed to get away with defensive tactics that are outside the scope of the rules but that is a league wide issue so we have to adjust to the way the competition is adjudicated at the moment.

Our midfield is always lauded as a strength but we never seem to be able to deliver a forward entry to our forwards advantage and our defenders are often caught out if position trying to defend unpressured entries into an open forward line. I'm but sure that our overpossession in the midfield helps our forwards or defenders.

I worry that we are too set in the mindset that if we win the contested ball everything else will flow from that and that our gamelan won't stand up against teams that are happy to defend first then rebound from there.

What are other people's thoughts?
Should also have mentioned we're s**t tacklers. Too often our tackles are broken which leads to opposition breaks and goals.
 

Dazb86

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 31, 2008
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Would like a defender to stay behind their man on the last line. We press pretty heavily when the balls in our F50. Often get done on the counter after a turnover.
 

Golden_6

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Aug 15, 2014
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One of our major issue is that most of our defenders are poor 1 v 1. Systems are put in place to avoid this but in reality Gardner, O’Brien, Dale & Daniel are poor in this regard and I would generally back a good forward to beat them.

Keath, Richards & Duryea are typically okay on this regard.
 

stefoid

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Mar 8, 2002
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The hallmark of our losses is usually not that the opposition scores too much, its that we fail to score enough. 70 pts or less is not enough to win a game of footy. Its not like teams are blowing us away - the highest score against us has been carlton with their 16.6.

There is some element of inaccuracy but I think this is overblown.

I think it comes down to that often, our forward line is a 16 on 16 rugby game. We just dont kick that many 'easy' goals.

Why? dunno - the quality of our clearances where we handball around to find a free man as compared to someone carrying the ball through traffic? Being too timid with our ball use out of defence instead of breaking lines and using the corridor to move quickly? Too many people worried about being behind the ball for team defence instead of offering options ahead of the ball?

Probably all of the above and more, its just our style. We are a defence-first team.

Thats why we just locked Bailey Dale away for 5 years thank god - someone with the ability and desire to attack with the ball in hand, even if it comes unstuck occasionally, it makes defenders think twice and avoids us being predictable down-the-line / switch style of play.

If we manage to turn half a dozen more inside 50s into scoring shots, we become as good as anyone.
 

doggies ftw

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Sep 22, 2008
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One of our major issue is that most of our defenders are poor 1 v 1. Systems are put in place to avoid this but in reality Gardner, O’Brien, Dale & Daniel are poor in this regard and I would generally back a good forward to beat them.

Keath, Richards & Duryea are typically okay on this regard.
Harsh on Dale, he wins 80% of his 1-on-1s, very very dependable these days. I agree on the overall point you’re making though.

But tbh I think our defensive system is terrible, we all agree Collins is a great one on one defender for GC, and a did a brilliant job on Naughty in the 2nd half. Now imagine GC asked him to take front position of Naughty by 15m and play him like that, how many would naughty kick? My moneys on about 8.

We cannot allow gun key forwards to run along on their own whilst we hold space 15m in front of them - and then on top of this allow space and time to the ball carrier just asking for it to come out over the back. Every single week they have a ball against us and it’s quite easy to see why

I’m not saying we can’t guard space but there has to be a balance, we do it way too aggressively and refuse to hold any defensive line whatsoever when there’s a contest further up the ground we haven’t even won yet.

Our personnel is not great but geez I wouldn’t want to be a key defender in our system, it is genuinely very close to the worst in the league
 

Golden_6

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Aug 15, 2014
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Harsh on Dale, he wins 80% of his 1-on-1s, very very dependable these days. I agree on the overall point you’re making though.

But tbh I think our defensive system is terrible, we all agree Collins is a great one on one defender for GC, and a did a brilliant job on Naughty in the 2nd half. Now imagine GC asked him to take front position of Naughty by 15m and play him like that, how many would naughty kick? My moneys on about 8.

We cannot allow gun key forwards to run along on their own whilst we hold space 15m in front of them - and then on top of this allow space and time to the ball carrier just asking for it to come out over the back. Every single week they have a ball against us and it’s quite easy to see why

I’m not saying we can’t guard space but there has to be a balance, we do it way too aggressively and refuse to hold any defensive line whatsoever when there’s a contest further up the ground we haven’t even won yet.

Our personnel is not great but geez I wouldn’t want to be a key defender in our system, it is genuinely very close to the worst in the league
It's certainly a tough one because it's simply the way Bevo's defensive philosophy works. The outcome is typically when the offense breaks through our press, our defenders look terrible because they've been pushed up so high and are then exposed either 1v1 or out the back. If we move away from that, then we're changing our whole defensive system that has actually worked over the years.

In terms of pure points against, we're not actually too bad and in the top 6-8 in the comp. It's just that when we get scored against, it looks way too easy.
 

dogwatch

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Jun 17, 2009
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The hallmark of our losses is usually not that the opposition scores too much, its that we fail to score enough. 70 pts or less is not enough to win a game of footy. Its not like teams are blowing us away - the highest score against us has been carlton with their 16.6.

There is some element of inaccuracy but I think this is overblown.

I think it comes down to that often, our forward line is a 16 on 16 rugby game. We just dont kick that many 'easy' goals.

Why? dunno - the quality of our clearances where we handball around to find a free man as compared to someone carrying the ball through traffic? Being too timid with our ball use out of defence instead of breaking lines and using the corridor to move quickly? Too many people worried about being behind the ball for team defence instead of offering options ahead of the ball?

Probably all of the above and more, its just our style. We are a defence-first team.

Thats why we just locked Bailey Dale away for 5 years thank god - someone with the ability and desire to attack with the ball in hand, even if it comes unstuck occasionally, it makes defenders think twice and avoids us being predictable down-the-line / switch style of play.

If we manage to turn half a dozen more inside 50s into scoring shots, we become as good as anyone.

I think this stacks up. As of this week here's the ladder based on the percentage of i50s for and against. The final column is the actual AFL ladder (where we lie 10th).


1655348673638.png


We are clearly the biggest outlier. We appear to be a massive underachiever based on the weight of our forward entries and the way we limit opposition forward entries. Gold Coast is also pretty bad. St Kilda looks to be the biggest over-achiever in that regard.

The conclusion may be that we have a problem at BOTH ends though. That is, we are good at getting forward entries but not good at converting. Meanwhile we are good at preventing entries into our d50 but not good at rebounding. I'd have to do some R50 analysis to see if that was really the case. (Maybe later today.)
 

doggies ftw

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Sep 22, 2008
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I think this stacks up. As of this week here's the ladder based on the percentage of i50s for and against. The final column is the actual AFL ladder (where we lie 10th).


View attachment 1425297

We are clearly the biggest outlier. We appear to be a massive underachiever based on the weight of our forward entries and the way we limit opposition forward entries. Gold Coast is also pretty bad. St Kilda looks to be the biggest over-achiever in that regard.

The conclusion may be that we have a problem at BOTH ends though. That is, we are good at getting forward entries but not good at converting. Meanwhile we are good at preventing entries into our d50 but not good at rebounding. I'd have to do some R50 analysis to see if that was really the case. (Maybe later today.)
My quick take from that would be we have a great midfield but struggle forward and defence - which I guess we all already know
 

stefoid

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a bit simplistic, IMO. ITs more about system. Certain teams always seem to beat us - perennially geelong, maybe the current incarnation of melbourne. these teams, when playing well, attack our defensive structure with quick and direct ball movement, while we struggle down the line into a crowded I50 in response.

Think about this - the more slowly your opponent moves the ball, the less they hurt you when your risky, direct ball movement results in a turnover. So why not play direct and risky against us? It seems to pay off.

One pattern I see when we are playing poorly is the opposition seems to own the corridor, while we are risk adverse and take it slowly around the outside, and when we turn it over they fast forward it thru the guts in the other direction. That seems to work very well against us for aggressive, confident sides that back themselves to win contests without relying on outnumbering, as seems to be our strategy.

The other thing is our press is so intense that when we do move it quickly on a turnover, there is often nobody to kick it to ahead of the play.

Its frustrating because I think we have the player quality, but we need to tweak the game plan - its just not working for us this year. We havent beaten anyone good
 

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VogonProsthetnic

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Apr 26, 2010
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a bit simplistic, IMO. ITs more about system. Certain teams always seem to beat us - perennially geelong, maybe the current incarnation of melbourne. these teams, when playing well, attack our defensive structure with quick and direct ball movement, while we struggle down the line into a crowded I50 in response.

Think about this - the more slowly your opponent moves the ball, the less they hurt you when your risky, direct ball movement results in a turnover. So why not play direct and risky against us? It seems to pay off.

One pattern I see when we are playing poorly is the opposition seems to own the corridor, while we are risk adverse and take it slowly around the outside, and when we turn it over they fast forward it thru the guts in the other direction. That seems to work very well against us for aggressive, confident sides that back themselves to win contests without relying on outnumbering, as seems to be our strategy.

The other thing is our press is so intense that when we do move it quickly on a turnover, there is often nobody to kick it to ahead of the play.

Its frustrating because I think we have the player quality, but we need to tweak the game plan - its just not working for us this year. We havent beaten anyone good

It’s all about contested marking. Teams like Geelong and Melbourne can outmark us at both ends.

Hence we go slow and indirect allowing the opp to flood back.

Our wingmen and flankers are weak in the air as well. Hence our zig zag method of play causing embarrassing turnovers.
 

doggies ftw

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 22, 2008
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It’s all about contested marking. Teams like Geelong and Melbourne can outmark us at both ends.

Hence we go slow and indirect allowing the opp to flood back.

Our wingmen and flankers are weak in the air as well. Hence our zig zag method of play causing embarrassing turnovers.
Our contested marking has been an issue for years I agree and like you said it probably comes down to our flankers and wings - but what frustrates me is the ease of which other teams seem to hit up leading targets to move the ball forward - or uncontested players that have found themselves free over the top etc whereas unless Dale or Daniel are biting off some ridiculous kick to open up the field we rely on kicking down the line, forcing a contest and then hoping to mop up at ground level and move the ball through a chain of handballs (which when breaks down leaves you open going the other way

We just don’t seem capable of playing a tempo style of football and generating that easy ball movement through simple lead up marks - when we’re hot we’re hot but there needs to be a balance to be a great side imo
 

adogsfan5

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Jun 12, 2020
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Not sure if it’s offence or just structure but my god we get opened up easy on the counter and most sides seem to have so much room inside 50 compared to us.
 

stefoid

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It’s all about contested marking. Teams like Geelong and Melbourne can outmark us at both ends.

Hence we go slow and indirect allowing the opp to flood back.

Our wingmen and flankers are weak in the air as well. Hence our zig zag method of play causing embarrassing turnovers.

Not convinced about that. Most sides, including us, average 10-12 contested marks a game. Its not a stat you base a game plan around.
 

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