Analysis Geelong 2021 - contenders or a decline

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PhatBoy

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Probably top 4 again, but there is a cliff coming.

Just a comment on the first half dominance. Losing Vlas early meant our defence was all at sea for quite a while. We looked very unlike ourselves until the later part of the 2nd quarter. Geelong did really well to take advantage, but ran out of steam. I reckon this is their weakness, they find the hard running repeat multiple effort game style hard to deal with. And that game style is what teams are successful doing now. Unless they change their style, which requires new players, I can't see them winning the GF next year. But then they are very good and some smart tactics might make it work.

Disclaimer: I don't disagree with the points you're making.
BUT. This is something i don't understand about footy commentary. 3 days ago the Cats got within maybe a couple of goals of probably putting that game beyond reach. Why would the issue that, while it admittedly hurt us, prevent us from winning on another day? On another day the opposition guy doesn't nail 4 brilliant goals and might kick 1.3. On another day we run into a side as frozen as 2019 GWS. On another day Hawkins kicks 3.0 in the first half instead of 1.2.

You don't have to completely restructure a team on the basis of about 25 minutes of average footy against a good side. You just have to tweak some things and, like any side that wins anything, hope the cards fall your way.
 

Saint

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I think the cats made some real mistakes this year. Playing Steven instead of getting games into somebody like Constable. Clark also couldn't get a game. Still not really sorting out their ruck 2nd/ruck dilemma.

Much like the last list turnovers, they're due for one. They've got early draft picks this year, some of which will go to GWS for Cameron.

They really need another young gun midfielder for when Selwood declines and to replace Ablett in the midfield rotations. Parfitt is a good, hard player, but they need somebody in there with energy who is good with ball in-hand.

Backline still looks very solid even if Taylor retires.

The need a bit of pace in the team and a bit of youthful exuberance to keep pressure on the older guys. Geelong struggled to slow the game down against Richmond once they got their tail up.

Ablett and Taylor out will help. But replacing those two with Higgins and Cameron (with a re-shuffle) would be a mistake.

They'll be top 4 again. But I think this Richmond team will beat them in a PF/GF 9 times out of 10.
 

Dr Tigris

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Disclaimer: I don't disagree with the points you're making.
BUT. This is something i don't understand about footy commentary. 3 days ago the Cats got within maybe a couple of goals of probably putting that game beyond reach. Why would the issue that, while it admittedly hurt us, prevent us from winning on another day? On another day the opposition guy doesn't nail 4 brilliant goals and might kick 1.3. On another day we run into a side as frozen as 2019 GWS. On another day Hawkins kicks 3.0 in the first half instead of 1.2.

You don't have to completely restructure a team on the basis of about 25 minutes of average footy against a good side. You just have to tweak some things and, like any side that wins anything, hope the cards fall your way.
I agree with you. But am also aware that Geelong has failed in finals for the last few years in exactly the same way. Geelong will lose some talent this year, and gain some.

However the list is still getting older and those guys tend not to improve, and often suddenly fall of the cliff.

And, I guess, the core of what I am saying is that more teams are trying to play in the way that beats Geelong. Richmond obviously, as well as the Pies (list might be imploding though ;)) , Dogs (who knows which version turns up to play), Port, Saints definitely. Geelong's slower controlled style of open to being gazumped by speed and pressure. So as teams get better at that style Geelong needs to up it's game, in terms of style. I see the Cats having a great list to win it all, but being vulnerable both in terms of age profile and ability to counter speed and pressure.

And once again, the loss of Vlastuin is huge in how Richmond played in the first half. Our defensive structures were shot, and it took time to rebuild them. To me that isn't taken into account in why the Cats were so dominant in the 1st half. Anyway, the Tigers over ran the Cats. What I see is that the underlying reasons why that happened will still be there in 2021.

Geelong could easily win a premiership or two in the next few years. But I suspect they will be top 4 and get knocked out by pressure teams that run them into the ground. That's my view. Happy for you to disagree. But I reckon it's baked into the team now. Geelong is what it is, a very successful and competitive team, whose style is vulnerable to the newer wave of teams around now.
 

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PhatBoy

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I agree with you. But am also aware that Geelong has failed in finals for the last few years in exactly the same way. Geelong will lose some talent this year, and gain some.

However the list is still getting older and those guys tend not to improve, and often suddenly fall of the cliff.

And, I guess, the core of what I am saying is that more teams are trying to play in the way that beats Geelong. Richmond obviously, as well as the Pies (list might be imploding though ;)) , Dogs (who knows which version turns up to play), Port, Saints definitely. Geelong's slower controlled style of open to being gazumped by speed and pressure. So as teams get better at that style Geelong needs to up it's game, in terms of style. I see the Cats having a great list to win it all, but being vulnerable both in terms of age profile and ability to counter speed and pressure.

And once again, the loss of Vlastuin is huge in how Richmond played in the first half. Our defensive structures were shot, and it took time to rebuild them. To me that isn't taken into account in why the Cats were so dominant in the 1st half. Anyway, the Tigers over ran the Cats. What I see is that the underlying reasons why that happened will still be there in 2021.

Geelong could easily win a premiership or two in the next few years. But I suspect they will be top 4 and get knocked out by pressure teams that run them into the ground. That's my view. Happy for you to disagree. But I reckon it's baked into the team now. Geelong is what it is, a very successful and competitive team, whose style is vulnerable to the newer wave of teams around now.

I don't disagree about Vlastuin but it's also worth remembering our most creative player up the same end of the field was basically non-existent during the time he was on the field after getting hurt himself.
 

Dr Tigris

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I don't disagree about Vlastuin but it's also worth remembering our most creative player up the same end of the field was basically non-existent during the time he was on the field after getting hurt himself.
Agree. I reckon Vlas is more important structurally.

Anyway, my position is sort of half in half out. I can easily see the Cats winning a premiership in the next couple of years. But I can also (maybe more plausibly) see the team dropping suddenly as older guys lose it. Probably result is in between, top4 and go deep in finals.
 

PhatBoy

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Agree. I reckon Vlas is more important structurally.

Anyway, my position is sort of half in half out. I can easily see the Cats winning a premiership in the next couple of years. But I can also (maybe more plausibly) see the team dropping suddenly as older guys lose it. Probably result is in between, top4 and go deep in finals.
i think when we assess whether a team can 'win a flag' we are often making a judgement, subconsciously, on how that team would go if they played the team/s that they're competing with a whole bunch of times.

I know beyond doubt at the moment that if the current Cats and Tigers side met five times in five weeks, we would probably lose four of those. But when we get people making these blanket statements (not talking about you here) like 'they can't win with their current team' it just completely ignores a whole host of historic precedents where the opposite has happened. The obvious example from our perspective is 2008. That team didn't just theoretically do this - they went out and physically beat that Hawthorn team 12 times in a row or something. But that one day, where it counted, we had an off day with the boot, Hawthorn - already a good side but not a great one - had an above average day, and we all saw the result.

Planning to 'get lucky' on grand final day is no way to build towards success, absolutely I'm not saying it is. But when you know, factually, that you are close, i don't believe in making wholesale changes. Player goes out, player comes in. If they can play that same role to the same level, or slightly better, you are going to still be thereabouts.
 

Dr Tigris

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i think when we assess whether a team can 'win a flag' we are often making a judgement, subconsciously, on how that team would go if they played the team/s that they're competing with a whole bunch of times.

I know beyond doubt at the moment that if the current Cats and Tigers side met five times in five weeks, we would probably lose four of those. But when we get people making these blanket statements (not talking about you here) like 'they can't win with their current team' it just completely ignores a whole host of historic precedents where the opposite has happened. The obvious example from our perspective is 2008. That team didn't just theoretically do this - they went out and physically beat that Hawthorn team 12 times in a row or something. But that one day, where it counted, we had an off day with the boot, Hawthorn - already a good side but not a great one - had an above average day, and we all saw the result.

Planning to 'get lucky' on grand final day is no way to build towards success, absolutely I'm not saying it is. But when you know, factually, that you are close, i don't believe in making wholesale changes. Player goes out, player comes in. If they can play that same role to the same level, or slightly better, you are going to still be thereabouts.
I definitely think wholesale changes to build a team that better matches the sort of changed game styles I'm talking about would be a mistake for the Cats. They are supreme at what they do. Changing that would be nuts, until you aren't competitive at least.

The Cats can win a premiership soon, but the window is closing as more true competitors emerge. It's not hard to tell a story of the Cats winning Saturday.

If you get Cameron then that does 2 things; 1) massively improves your firepower, and 2) dramatically changes the forward structure. It might make the Cats invincible, or it might take all year to settle down.

I guess to me the biggest issue is that Geelong has about 1/2 of their top 18 at the age where injuries and performance can suddenly stop them dead. But the cats have survived gravity for years, so I expect another top 4 finish. However, as I said I don't expect a premiership. It might happen, but I don't expect it.
 

PhatBoy

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I definitely think wholesale changes to build a team that better matches the sort of changed game styles I'm talking about would be a mistake for the Cats. They are supreme at what they do. Changing that would be nuts, until you aren't competitive at least.

The Cats can win a premiership soon, but the window is closing as more true competitors emerge. It's not hard to tell a story of the Cats winning Saturday.

If you get Cameron then that does 2 things; 1) massively improves your firepower, and 2) dramatically changes the forward structure. It might make the Cats invincible, or it might take all year to settle down.

I guess to me the biggest issue is that Geelong has about 1/2 of their top 18 at the age where injuries and performance can suddenly stop them dead. But the cats have survived gravity for years, so I expect another top 4 finish. However, as I said I don't expect a premiership. It might happen, but I don't expect it.

I don't expect one either, I've learned not to, but i expect us to be thereabouts and then hopefully it just becomes a matter of turning it on for a month when it counts and hopefully building on whatever it was that allowed us to make it that far in the first place.

As simply and un-footy-science as it may sound, I think we need one hard nut. The talk in that dream team thread about the great players from the four dynasty teams of the century got me thinking of the value of a player like Paul Chapman. Not just his goals and touches, but the attitude and demeanour he brought to his game. Guys that play on Danger, Selwood, Hawkins, Duncan to an extent, they know they are in for a hard day in terms of the running and effort they're going to have to make. But none of their oppositions would look at them with physical fear. 10 years ago an opponent lining up on Paul Chapman would know they were going to get bumped and bruised for 2 hours straight if they were going to negate his impact on the game.
 

Marmozet

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At the end of last year the talk was "GWS have too much talent and quality to drop off" and look how that's aged, and imagine if someone said to you after 2017 that Adelaide would be wooden spooners by 2020.
 

PhatBoy

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At the end of last year the talk was "GWS have too much talent and quality to drop off" and look how that's aged, and imagine if someone said to you after 2017 that Adelaide would be wooden spooners by 2020.
They've missed one finals series.
Hawthorn missed the finals the year after they won the thing. Look how that worked out for everybody.

Given how unpredictable the game is based on everything we've seen through the last 20 years, wouldn't the best comparison be to Geelong themselves?

"Well every year we go deep into the season and people think we will drop away the next year, but this time around we went one game further so now it will happen."
 

Saint

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I also think the short quarters and shorter season was a slight advantage for the cats with their ageing list. They'd been running out of puff in previous seasons but were still going strong in finals this year.

Richmond could have gone 4 more rounds and were only getting better.

I think the point is that more of the same from the cats is not going to beat the Tigers next year. Maybe they just hope somebody else beats them in the Prelim.
 

PhatBoy

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I also think the short quarters and shorter season was a slight advantage for the cats with their ageing list. They'd been running out of puff in previous seasons but were still going strong in finals this year.

Richmond could have gone 4 more rounds and were only getting better.

I think the point is that more of the same from the cats is not going to beat the Tigers next year. Maybe they just hope somebody else beats them in the Prelim.
Which is exactly my point a few posts above. More of the same from the Cats PROBABLY won't beat the Tigers. But what they dished up on Saturday very nearly could have so it's not like they have to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
 

PhatBoy

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The one thing i would really like to see us try because it's the one thing we've never really been known for over the last 10 years - and yes, I recognise our age profile can limit to what extent we do this - is to put a central focus on tackling and high pressure. It would be hard to make it a focal point as it would make our passing and possession game difficult to execute to the point we did this year. But we've only ever been a 'good' tackling and pressure side. I would really like to see us put in a huge pre-season fitness wise and just improve our 'freneticism' for want of a better term, around the ball when the opposition have it.
 

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CharacterFirst

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Its likely Geelong won't win the whole shebang next year.

But there is only so much a club can do within draft, trade and cap rules.

Its one thing to say Cats can't match it with Tiges, but what do you expect them to do?


I expect them to make the best of every opportunity they have.

And that is what Geelong seem to do every year. Next year will be no different I think.

Who knows what sort of hangover the Tiges might have.

Maybe 2021 is actually the year of the Cat.

Unlikely, but certainly possible.
 

gingernuts

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The one thing i would really like to see us try because it's the one thing we've never really been known for over the last 10 years - and yes, I recognise our age profile can limit to what extent we do this - is to put a central focus on tackling and high pressure. It would be hard to make it a focal point as it would make our passing and possession game difficult to execute to the point we did this year. But we've only ever been a 'good' tackling and pressure side. I would really like to see us put in a huge pre-season fitness wise and just improve our 'freneticism' for want of a better term, around the ball when the opposition have it.
I am behind the eight ball at the moment but I dont understand the indication that Geelong require Higgins and Smith who are both 30 plus.We need to become "electric' and inject some youth, who mixed with the mature players will take us to the next level.
 

Dogs till i die

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Dips me lid to the Cats so competitive and above average for so long, however longer quarters and longer season again next year won't do their ageing legs any favours.

Cameron and Higgins will keep them up there again but.........
 

David_Full

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I can't see how The Cats don't play finals next year.

But if you would have told me GWS would not play finals in 2020.. I wouldn't have believed you. I could understand Adelaide dropping after we beat them because they were an old side & that was definitely their last chance with that group.

People have been saying every year the Cats will drop off and the cliff is coming yeah the shorter season would have helped them this year and probably won't be as good with the longer season quarter's etc but lock it in they will 100% play finals in 2021.
 

Brutalitops

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Glaring lack of speed from the back half. They'll be a contender but they won't win. They are too slow as a whole. In a high pressure game where you can't rely on finding easy uncontested marks, you need to be able to take the game on. Geelong can't do that and Jeremy Cameron and Shaun Higgins will help when the ball is in the forward half, but Geelong's issues stem from their transition from the back half. When forward pressure sides get the ball forward, Geelong cannot transition it. Too many players with a lack of composure, clean footskills and pace to break it open over the top.

If I was Geelong, I would forget about Higgins, move Touhy into the half forward line and bring Clark in at Half Back.
Should Geelong be targeting Markov? He would address this issue and then some. He'd come cheap and Wells wouldnt have an issue in acquiring...
 

Grockadoc

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Should Geelong be targeting Markov? He would address this issue and then some. He'd come cheap and Wells wouldnt have an issue in acquiring...
Would be a good option for them. Bringing in Markov and Clark on both Flanks would certainly improve the speed, linebreaking ability and kicking skills.
 

doyley

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I think the cats made some real mistakes this year. Playing Steven instead of getting games into somebody like Constable. Clark also couldn't get a game. Still not really sorting out their ruck 2nd/ruck dilemma.

Much like the last list turnovers, they're due for one. They've got early draft picks this year, some of which will go to GWS for Cameron.

They really need another young gun midfielder for when Selwood declines and to replace Ablett in the midfield rotations. Parfitt is a good, hard player, but they need somebody in there with energy who is good with ball in-hand.

Backline still looks very solid even if Taylor retires.

The need a bit of pace in the team and a bit of youthful exuberance to keep pressure on the older guys. Geelong struggled to slow the game down against Richmond once they got their tail up.

Ablett and Taylor out will help. But replacing those two with Higgins and Cameron (with a re-shuffle) would be a mistake.

They'll be top 4 again. But I think this Richmond team will beat them in a PF/GF 9 times out of 10.
Constable I think will play more next year. Clark was injured for a fair chunk of the season and I think he’ll be a lock.
 

doyley

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At the end of last year the talk was "GWS have too much talent and quality to drop off" and look how that's aged, and imagine if someone said to you after 2017 that Adelaide would be wooden spooners by 2020.
Part of the issue with gws is their cap though.
 

Saint

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Constable I think will play more next year. Clark was injured for a fair chunk of the season and I think he’ll be a lock.
Constable will play more because he'll be at another club if he knows what is good for his career. He'd knock up his 50th game this season if he was at another club. It's one thing to develop at a strong club, but there comes a point when being on the park is more important for career development. Same goes for Narkle, Cockatoo and Clark. All of these guys must realise that they can't all break into a side, particularly when the coach is hell-bent on recruiting 30yo players instead of developing young players.
 

Saint

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Would be a good option for them. Bringing in Markov and Clark on both Flanks would certainly improve the speed, linebreaking ability and kicking skills.
Doesn't sound like something Chris Scott would do though. His defenders don't break lines. They clamp down and kill the ball then chip it around. They haven't even pretended that line-breaking pace or kicking is required in any of their defenders.
 

PhatBoy

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Doesn't sound like something Chris Scott would do though. His defenders don't break lines. They clamp down and kill the ball then chip it around. They haven't even pretended that line-breaking pace or kicking is required in any of their defenders.

Tom Stewart is actually our second fastest player
 

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