Clarkson's Cluster

Ulittledipper

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Hi Gang

I have stayed out of the disscussions of late about how bad we are performing. (to a degree I had a crack at Laddo). But here is my take;

  • Clarko got the best out of the team in 2008 - result FLAG
  • Some of the lynchpins were not stars but played an important part in that last day in September
  • Experience (Crawford, Dew, Cambell etc) put the whole side into equilibrium)
  • Young players were blooded to overtake others but they too need time.
OK so what am I saying. I reckon that Clarko has more or less a communist 5 year plan. eg a flag every 5 years or so.

IS THAT SO BAD, I will take it every time - I know people want dynasties but I reckon wit GFC an GWS that is going to be an impossiblity in the near to longterm.

Clarko delivered our first flag in 17 years - in a short space of time - he will engineer our next, make no mistake!
 

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macdaddio

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#3
I see where you are going with this, it's obvious Clarko is in no hurry to get us our 11th flag and he is trying build another premiership team but what is painfull is that we could of made a prelim last year had the coaching staff and the board took the 2009 season seriously and not let the players get too content in just 1 flag and also we couldve traded/drafted players that we actually needed.
It wouldn't bother me if we win a flag every 5 yrs as long as We don't have to sit here helplesly and watch the Hawks fall from grace after every premiership!
 

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#4
Yep, you are probably close to his line of thinking and realistically, if we could be sure we would get a flag every 5 years (a macro level view), I think near on all of us would take it.

Now, the problem is, it can't be guaranteed and so what we do is look to see signs at a "micro-level" view....and thats the week in, week out game...

We have not won for the past 6 weeks! and before Melbourne, had only beaten Richmond in round 21 last year....which translates to a lot of time with not much return in the winners circle...

This is a time that is very frustrating and right now, reckon a lot of people would be saying 5 years - forget it - I want the team to WIN right NOW! (just a home and away "game")
A win is going to take a heap of pressure off all over the place...An unexpected win, even better - but right now ANY WIN WILL DO...
 

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#6
ive said it before and ill say it again... the whole team is being coached to win in 2012-2015
Utter rubbish, how do you explain trading for Burgoyne, he'll be past it come 2012 or 13. We went to get him because Clarkson thought we were a chance to go top 4 and perhaps another GF in 2010.
The facts ladies and gentlemen is that Clarkson, the coaching, conditioning and medical staff have ill prepared us for 2009 and again 2010.
As for the cluster, who cares, regardless of tactics, none will work work until;
1/ We get a key position backman
2/ We have some on ball balance (2 Rucks and some outside pace)
3/ We start to put pressure on the ball carrier especially in our forward 50
4/ We begin to tackle and protect the corridor again.
5/ We start playing for one another again.
6/ We start to play to our strength and kick again.
 

Ulittledipper

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Yep, you are probably close to his line of thinking and realistically, if we could be sure we would get a flag every 5 years (a macro level view), I think near on all of us would take it.

Now, the problem is, it can't be guaranteed and so what we do is look to see signs at a "micro-level" view....and thats the week in, week out game...

We have not won for the past 6 weeks! and before Melbourne, had only beaten Richmond in round 21 last year....which translates to a lot of time with not much return in the winners circle...

This is a time that is very frustrating and right now, reckon a lot of people would be saying 5 years - forget it - I want the team to WIN right NOW! (just a home and away "game")
A win is going to take a heap of pressure off all over the place...An unexpected win, even better - but right now ANY WIN WILL DO...
Good post Market - but i ask you and others - remember when Clarko first came in to HFC the situation is almost the same ( but we have a younger core of class).

I know evreyone is hurting but we are reloading and rebuiding.

Go you beautiful bastards in brown and gold:D
 

Mervyn Beasley

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#8
Utter rubbish, how do you explain trading for Burgoyne, he'll be past it come 2012 or 13. We went to get him because Clarkson thought we were a chance to go top 4 and perhaps another GF in 2010.
The facts ladies and gentlemen is that Clarkson, the coaching, conditioning and medical staff have ill prepared us for 2009 and again 2010.
As for the cluster, who cares, regardless of tactics, none will work work until;
1/ We get a key position backman
2/ We have some on ball balance (2 Rucks and some outside pace)
3/ We start to put pressure on the ball carrier especially in our forward 50
4/ We begin to tackle and protect the corridor again.
5/ We start playing for one another again.
6/ We start to play to our strength and kick again.
Yep. Agree:(
 

macdaddio

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#9
Why do we need all these zone and cluster crap, why cant we just kick it long and direct i am so sick of seeing the ball go sideways, back wards, sideways back wards, gees by the time the ball gets to our forwards they are out numbered, the last quarter against the Weagles we kicked it long and direct and what do you know Roughie kicked quick 4 goals.
 
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Moderator #10
I hate blaming injuries as much as the next guy but....

1/ We get a key position backman Gibson - at least he's serviceable
2/ We have some on ball balance (2 Rucks and some outside pace) Bailey/Taylor/Skipper would help, Gibbo in the side would also mean Hodge could play on ball. Mitchell in would be handy, Burgoyne too.
3/ We start to put pressure on the ball carrier especially in our forward 50 Hooper was recuited for this, a fit Rioli would be good too.
So I guess I'm saying, good point.
 
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Moderator #11
Why do we need all these zone and cluster crap, why cant we just kick it long and direct i am so sick of seeing the ball go sideways, back wards, sideways back wards, gees by the time the ball gets to our forwards they are out numbered, the last quarter against the Weagles we kicked it long and direct and what do you know Roughie kicked quick 4 goals.
Just to pick you up on something - the zone/cluster is a defensive tactic, which is completely different to our attacking tactics, which at this stage don't seem to be working.
 

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macdaddio

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#12
Just to pick you up on something - the zone/cluster is a defensive tactic, which is completely different to our attacking tactics, which at this stage don't seem to be working.


It worked when we had Croad and even when Laddo was at his best, but at the moment it looks so ridiculous down there. Its going to take Shoey and Stratton along time to figure it out, even Gilham looks out of sorts and murphy well say no more...
We dont have a back 6 that know each others moves any more becuase they swap and change each week.
It seems that when our midfield's work hard we make it look like it is working until they tire out and then you can see it is obviously not working
I remember Croad would even just bomb it long out of defense straight down the middle at times.
 

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#13
Utter rubbish, how do you explain trading for Burgoyne, he'll be past it come 2012 or 13. We went to get him because Clarkson thought we were a chance to go top 4 and perhaps another GF in 2010.
The facts ladies and gentlemen is that Clarkson, the coaching, conditioning and medical staff have ill prepared us for 2009 and again 2010.
As for the cluster, who cares, regardless of tactics, none will work work until;
1/ We get a key position backman
2/ We have some on ball balance (2 Rucks and some outside pace)
3/ We start to put pressure on the ball carrier especially in our forward 50
4/ We begin to tackle and protect the corridor again.
5/ We start playing for one another again.
6/ We start to play to our strength and kick again.
its not utter rubbish... explain why we have changed our game style so significantly and have held stead fast in its (poor) application. the direct style that we have employed in the past would have improved our win loss record this year, but not made us any better a contender for the premiership this year or next.

Our previous game style was clearly finely balanced with our structure in 2008. as the team structure changed the balance was tipped in the wrong direction.

How do i explain Burgoyne? He is as good an example of a ball carrier and user as there is in the game, it enhances the new game style the coaches are asking the team to adopt and apply. I am of the firm belief that the coaches saw the limitations about half way through last year and decided on a change of tact. Burgoyne was one of those pieces to the puzzle.

"ill prepared us"? not at all - more preparing us for a better tilt at sustained success.

Lyon came to St Kilda and changed their game style to make them more accountable and to control tempo. It clicked last year. Geelong took more than 1 year under bomber for things to come together, and in fact missed the finals after being pipped in a prelim. Look at the efforts of Carlton, Essendon and Freo and the adoption and eventual success of game plans impemented 2-3 years ago.

If you have expected more, then those expectations are your own and not those of the club.
 

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#14
Hi Gang

I have stayed out of the disscussions of late about how bad we are performing. (to a degree I had a crack at Laddo). But here is my take;

  • Clarko got the best out of the team in 2008 - result FLAG
  • Some of the lynchpins were not stars but played an important part in that last day in September
  • Experience (Crawford, Dew, Cambell etc) put the whole side into equilibrium)
  • Young players were blooded to overtake others but they too need time.
OK so what am I saying. I reckon that Clarko has more or less a communist 5 year plan. eg a flag every 5 years or so.

IS THAT SO BAD, I will take it every time - I know people want dynasties but I reckon wit GFC an GWS that is going to be an impossiblity in the near to longterm.

Clarko delivered our first flag in 17 years - in a short space of time - he will engineer our next, make no mistake!
-----------------------------------------------------------------------no worries...i'll only pay my m'ship every fifth year then! what about the past 17 years before 2008...do i get a credit for the 2 others i have missed?
we shouldnt be shite after a flag...we shouldnt have to rebuild that much after a flag!
 

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#15
I know often we are using man on man, but are we still using zone defence from opposition kick outs? Because teams seem to rip straight through us from their kick outs?
 
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#16
I'm not convinced we have the players for our gameplan.

It seems that unless we have a team full of elite runners with immaculate skills, we are always going to come undone, because either the players can't get back quick enough, or they turn the ball over resulting in a goal.
 

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#17
ive said it before and ill say it again... the whole team is being coached to win in 2012-2015

You are right, clarko is a shrewd customer, he knows the level of experienced we have lost. Looking at the games played by some of our players, we have a very inexperienced team. The twin towers will not reach there peak until 25-26 yrs old, but it frustrates the hell out of us supporters on how we have performed.

List of players who played on the weekend with fewer than 30 games under there belt.

RENOUF - 29 games
MORTON - 22 games
SHOE - 20 games
WHITECROSS - 17 games
SHIELS - 16 games
MUSTON - 9 games
PETTERSON - 6 games
STRATTON - 5 games
 

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#18
I'm not convinced we have the players for our gameplan.

It seems that unless we have a team full of elite runners with immaculate skills, we are always going to come undone, because either the players can't get back quick enough, or they turn the ball over resulting in a goal.
I might be guessing that the coaches are changing the game plan, but only hindsight will tell us if its the right game plan to choose...
 

Scribe

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#19
A revolutionary defensive tactic which delivered us a shock flag for which we will all be eternally grateful. Sadly, the use of the cluster as the cornerstone of our premiership made the playing group and most supporters believe our list was more talented than it actually is.

Add the fact most teams other than Geelong have seen fit to implement a similar defensive style and we returned to the pack.

The final factor has been the retirement and long term injuries suffered by key players.

End result: we have won 10 and lost 19 since the flag. Any suggestion that the coaching staff have been rebuilding for a new game plan since 2008 is an elite example of straw clutching.
 
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Moderator #20
If I take a completely non-emotional top-down view of things I would expect us to be seriouis threats once again when Buddy/Rough/Lewis/Rioli are aroudn 26 years of age. You'll find Muston, Dowler, Bailey, Ellis will ahve ironed out all their injury concerns and become extremely good players around this time or wither off into the netherworld.
 

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#21
Whatever our game plan is at the moment, I reckon that there are several players whose form is directly related to it.
Ie they dont suit it, or they havent adapted to it.

eg Ellis, Os, Laddo, Chang, Birch

This in turn effects our fwds because they arent getting effective delivery, and furthermore there are less crumbing opportunities.
 

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#22
its not utter rubbish... explain why we have changed our game style so significantly and have held stead fast in its (poor) application. the direct style that we have employed in the past would have improved our win loss record this year, but not made us any better a contender for the premiership this year or next.
This I can't explain that, as much as I'd like to be able to.
What I will say however is that the plan employed currently reminds me of the last 2 Schwab years. We're clueless in how to play with one another and nobody seems to know what each other is doing, some call this structure. We move the ball slowly and skills are mostly horrible. I think a lot of it is confidence (and personnel) but at least part of it seems to be tactical.
As for Clarkson and the club looking 2 years down the track for another tilt at a final, I can't accept that and I doubt the President would either. We didn't draft Burgoyne to fill a need in 2 years time, because he'll basically be on his last legs by then.
I'm of the belief that if things don't dramatically improve in the next few months there will be big pressure on the coach and all of our football department. If that happens we will know for certain if this is part of a grand plan by the actions of the President and CEO. To me it looks like Clarkson appears lost and he too seems devoid of confidence. I hope I am wrong.
 

B&GBlood

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#24
Yes I think we could be winning more games with a different style, but Clarko has shown he is an innovative coach, he knows more than me about the game. And you I suspect. May be there is plan?

Yes everyone else has adapted to the the cluster defense we used to make the finals in 2008.
Yes we are playing badly this year and we were not well prepared for 2009.

The players that did have a half decent preseason in 2009 were injured through the practice games and had to play because we had no-one else and could never heal.
That has affected all the players we expect to play better.
Ladson injured all last year now no form
Ellis same
Bateman injured leg all last year no pace this year
Brown injured ankle has not been too bad this year but had a shocker or two.
Ossie injured leg last year no form no pace this year
Young out all year.
Birchall has been identified by opponents as dodgy in the air and has been taken deep now he cannot provide the run he did in the past and has lost confidence.

Most of our young players we expected to come on have also been injured.
Tuck, Whitecross, Dowler, Stokes, Moss, Bailey, Muston. Some of the young ones will be ok in a stable side but not surrounded by other inexperienced players.
I refuse to accept our injuries are not the root cause of our problem, including the loss of confidence.

FFS look at Carlton, they get Judd into the side and look like world beaters, Reivolt(sp) out and the Saints look vulnerable, Cats drop games when they are without key players, Brissie with Brown playing injured not the same team as early in the year.

We are have been without mutiple key personnel from all over the ground in every game this year.

Played every game with a 22 yo ruck with a whole 22 games as of round one
Lost key backman in game two
Lost pacey forward in game two
No Sewell, then no Mitchel
Rioli not fit
Young just into the team
Franklin played 4? of 7 games
Star recruit not seen yet.

On a positive note. If we were to win the next five games. We would turn for the run home at 6/12. I recon the Saints were about there in 2008.
 

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#25
the zone/cluster can be an effective defensive strategy, but any defence will be vulnerable with effective clearances from the centre square. goals from the re-set were crucial to our success in 2008 and have been missing since. this can be simply explained by loss of personnel. this year alone we've struggled with 1 ruckman, and our clearance specialists also missing (sewell/mitchell), and our ace up the sleeve not playing a game yet. when all these players are in the side, we will get a better perspective on where the side is at.
 
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