Great post!Gerard Healy summed it up best the other week when he simply asked of Bucks why?
Why did he feel the need to make alterations to our game plan over summer and why did he do it with the talent available on our list?
If he did it with the desire to reduce our turnover numbers then by all reports it hasn't worked.
Some people have suggested that we have tried to copy the Eagles and what we are attempting is not all to different to the system employed by other top 4 contenders in Geelong and G.W.S.
Perhaps there is some truth to this and after 4 straight losses to the eventual Premier perhaps some merit in exploring another system of play was warranted.
It could also be argued though that by looking to mimic an opponent you might well only end up becoming a poor imitation and in doing so you only limit the differences and strengths that lead you to your successes in the first place.
Further to that I would suggest that after suffering a narrow grand final defeat in a season wracked by injury not making any system changes would have been justified by the coaching panel and simply looking to improve on your own brand instead of impersonating another should have been the first option taken.
With the additions of Beams, Roughead and hopeful return to fitness of Moore and Elliott it wasn't unreasonable to assume at the start of the season that not much else besides some luck with injuries was required to see us be right in the hunt for the flag.
While I suspect Healy was referring to our overall list quality in the second question he posed of Buckley there is one major difference between us and the other 3 teams named above and why IMO this more measured style of ball movement seemingly doesn't suit our list as well.
Unlike us they all possess A grade key forward options.
I think this is important because not only are they proven players over long periods and consistent goal scorers they provide the luxury of knowing that if the opposition is doing a good job of limiting how you want to move the ball you still a reliable avenue to goal by just bombing it long to the goal face such is their quality.
It's a get out of gaol free card we don't have to play.
While Mihocek proved a revelation last season and has been solid this year he isn't your No.1 key forward.
Cox could be if he can replicate his performance in last years Preliminary final often but displays even approaching that kind of level have been few and far between for him.
They aren't rare for the likes of Kennedy, Darling, Cameron and Hawkins though and it's a massive advantage they have over us.
Right now I don't recognise this side in comparison to the one I admired last season or even our very best of earlier this year.
Worryingly I do see some of the same weaknesses that plagued us in the years prior to last.
Most notably the disconnect between our defence and forward line because we lack any cohesion with our method of transition.
At times we've started to look more vulnerable out the back to our old foe the slingshot also.
Honestly at times last week it was like our players had totally forgotten our system and were making it up as they go. We were back to the bad old days when it was hard to decipher how we exactly wanted to play and what our brand of football was.
Obviously personnel missing or opposition tactics can be playing a part in our current malaise but it's the confidence issue that is more intriguing to me.
I see it as a bit of a chicken or the egg argument in that are we playing like we are because our confidence levels are low or have our confidence levels become low because of how we are being asked to play.
I can't help but feel it's more of the latter and that the players are either being caught in between a desire to play on instinct and adhere to team instructions and it's leading to a jumbled mess of two competing mindsets or those players who went so close to living the premiership dream last year are losing faith in or not enjoying the method they've been asked to play in 2019 more and more as the season has progressed.
While our current predicament certainly doesn't fall squarely on the shoulders of Buckley as there are circumstances at play outside his control he as coach does have one important element that he absolutely can influence and that's the structures and instructions he wants our players to adhere to.
Buckley deserved his coach of the year title last season but he'll deserve it even more now if he can swallow a little pride, take the advice of every caretaker coach in history by freeing the players up and discarding any alterations made to our 2018 game plan.
Will it be the panacea for all our problems overnight?
No but it's the critical starting point that everything else can be built back up around during the remainder of the home and away season.
Like for “6’s and 7’s” reference. You’re a renaissance man Gimpy!How we'll beat the Eagles.. the Gimp way..
Buckley to release the shackles.. play like donks for the first 5 minutes.. set the up the same way as we have been for the last 8 weeks.. play that s**t side to side safe s**t.. itll ease the Eagles mindset.. they'll know what to expect.. then bammmmmm.. play that loose aggressive style of play we saw last yr.. and catch em off guard.. they'll be in 6s and 7s and that re..
4-5 goal win for the Pies.