Norm Smith Medallist
- Oct 27, 2007
- AFL Club
Did Goodes earn faith when he was dropped? I’ll mount that argument!You can produce all the stats you like, I had Rose in our bottom four performers against the Suns (not that he was bad, the whole team was just very good), and Florent and Hayward somewhere in the middle ranks. We may have to agree to disagree on that one.
Where Florent and Hayward have earned faith is that they have had some very good games, and quite recently in fact. Hayward has the yips in front of goal at the minute, but the yips are the only thing between his current output and him being our leading goalkicker this year. Yes it's the most important part of his game and he's struggling with it at the moment, but he's doing nearly everything else right. He's working his arse off up and down the ground better than most Swans (after that label was unfairly hurled against him earlier this year), he's getting himself into positions to have multiple scoring opportunities every week and just robbing himself of the rewards for it. None of that constitutes being dropped.
And Florent has earned faith because he's had some very good games for us this year. His game against West Coast was the exemplary Florent game that we had all hoped to see. The bye comes along and robs him of any potential momentum, and that was only a month ago, so unless we've all collectively been diagnosed with dementia, he deserves the chance to find that form back. But it wasn't even just that one. I liked his game down in Geelong, where I thought he had his best game pressure-wise for us. Down in Tassie against North he worked hard to cover the ground and was a key component of our midfield on a night when we fielded the youngest Swans side in years and needed the youngsters to stand up - he did. Against the Tigers he had 31 possessions and along with Dawson really set the tone for us early in the match 9 first-quarter possessions. The Melbourne debacle in round 4 he was one of the only reasons we were even in with a chance in that match after he was a clear BOG in the first half when we established a healthy lead.
I've just named five games this year alone where Florent was better than Rose has ever been in any match. That's less a knock on Rose and more praise of Florent. That's earning faith and showing he's worth persevering with. But if they aren't enough, I can also go into last year where he produced a string of games that were better than any Rose has ever played. That would be counter-productive since I don't think 2018 form should count for much in 2019, but then again, you're going back to 2015 and 2016 to mount your argument for Rose, so maybe the rules have changed..