Is Ross Lyon averse to risk?

gungho

All Australian
Dec 31, 2013
795
1,124
AFL Club
Fremantle
Bare with me on this one.
He starts the season with the same old foot soldiers.
For a whole lot of reasons, this was a year that literarily cried out for change at the beginning of the year. In round 3, after 2 beltings, he brings in the youth and, surprise surprise, we topple last year's premiers.
He plays Griffen as ruck a few weeks ago when literarily every training watcher on here was singing the praises of Darcy. Finally, the new kid Darcy gets a shot and surprise, surprise, he knocks it out of the park. It just seems to me that Ross is too conservative. He stifles youth. He lacks risk. He stifles exuberance and therefore stifles growth.
The truth is we've got some bloody good young talent and I don't think Ross is the guy for the rebuild.
 
Last edited:

(Log in to remove this ad.)

mike91

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 13, 2011
8,427
10,584
Melbourne
AFL Club
Fremantle
I see where you're coming from mate and I agree. I don't think Ross has fully committed to the rebuild, he still has/had hope of finals and instead of rebuilding properly, he tried to make finals. Darcy should of played a month ago. Ross played Darcy because he had too, Sandi/Griff/Clarke all injured, Ross had no choice, choosing to play Griff three times over Darcy was well and truly abysmal coaching. Playing Sheridan/Sutcliffe over Nhyuis makes no sense. I'm not saying he isn't the man for the rebuild, but he needs to commit to it.
 

DeanS

Club Legend
May 16, 2007
1,180
2,025
North Perth
AFL Club
Fremantle
Other Teams
East Perth
Firstly, you meant to say is he averse to risk, as in does he have an aversion to risk.

Secondly, and bear with me on this, I will not bare with you as I only get bare with people I know (or who I have just met and they are very very drunk).

Thirdly, apart from that, I agree with everything you said.
 

Midnite65

Club Legend
Sep 27, 2013
1,496
1,775
AFL Club
Fremantle
Other Teams
Philadelpia 76'ers
Bare with me on this one.
He starts the season with the same old foot soldiers.
For a whole lot of reasons, this was a year that literarily cried out for change at the beginning of the year. In round 3, after 2 beltings, he brings in the youth and, surprise surprise, we topple last year's premiers.
He plays Griffen as ruck a few weeks ago when literarily every training watcher on here was singing the praises of Darcy. Finally, the new kid Darcy gets a shot and surprise, surprise, he knocks it out of the park. It just seems to me that Ross is too conservative. He stifles youth. He lacks risk. He stifles exuberance and therefore stifles growth.
The truth is we've got some bloody good young talent and I don't think Ross is the guy for the rebuild.
Lyon can never win in the eyes of some people, if he brings in people like Darcy from the second or third game and they get injured as they have not had WAFL games then he would get blasted. There is no point bringing people in and throwing them to the wolves if they are not ready, i.e. Logue.
 

E Shed

Fremantle Obsessive
Sep 10, 2006
17,453
22,927
Perth WA
AFL Club
Fremantle
Its his blind spot and the main thing that keeps him from being a great coach as opposed to a very good one.
The very best leaders know when to take a risk.
Ross calls it loyalty and I expect thats part of what gets the players to buy in but IMO there is no disputing that he backs in incumbent players beyond the point of what is reasonable at times.

The most notable examples:
Picking Chris Mayne over and over again and not even trying to see what Duffy or someone else might have been able to bring to the role. We've seen what happens at Collingwood where Mayne is part of a squad where he is selected on results. In the case of a Mayne I believe Lyon actually does the player a disservice not just the team by not dropping them when the players themselves might actually benefit from being out of the spotlight and with the pressure taken off to work on their game and confidence.

Refusing to bring in Blakely or Weller or Langdon in 2015 when blind Freddy could see the team dynamics were completely screwed.
Please note that I'm not saying that playing any or all of those players would have won us a flag I'm saying that SOMETHING, anything needed to be tried to shake things up. It was worth the gamble when were coasting toward finals to try changing the dynamics.

Starting out this year with the most unimaginative and conservative team selection possible & most recently he said after the Brisbane game that Darcy was not ready to play AFL and its very probably Darcy wouldn't have been selected if Griffin was fit.

Having said all that I believe he is a brilliant man manager and an excellent tactician who is doing an excellent job of developing the team.
Note to people who dislike this kind of conjecture, its possible to discuss hight performance roles and disagree with certain aspects of the way someone does something and still consider them generally excellent at what they do. The way elite people become elite is by being open to criticism and ergo improvement. Lyon himself is constantly saying things like failure is feedback and does not shirk from self criticism and I think he needs to learn when to take a risk.
Lyon is a superb coach but he needs to learn the Napolean touch.
 

Ysaye

Premiership Player
Nov 10, 2005
3,452
2,215
Perth
AFL Club
Fremantle
Other Teams
Fremantle
With respect to the question: The majority of the time he plays cards for which he knows roughly what he is going to get and which align with the plan. He ocassionally plays high risk when things aren't going right. So yes he doesn't buy that often into high risk strategies and sometimes he misses a trick because of it.

I would not however make the leap to an implication on his ability to develop of youth. The thing I think people forget is that young players develop both in the WAFL and at AFL level - if you look our current stars Sandilands, Mundy, Neale and even Fyfe they all spent time in their first year minimum (under different coaches) in the WAFL. It doesn't help, but actually it is in manys ways is a better training ground because it is slower and that gives players the chance to iron out their issue areas in an environment where they have more control.

As Chris Bond said earlier in the year, Blakely is a testament to his ability to develop the best out of people. And judging by his game today that's been some development. I was suprised today just how much better his kicking was - he would have not been a person that I would allow taking kick-ins ever. And yet he carved through the offensive pressure as well as anyone this year.

Darcy was (assuming form and no injuries) always going to play once the inevitable injuries came. He came in and brought with him the confidence he has had from crafting and consolidating his trade in the WAFL. If he had been brought in ahead of Griffin earlier, then maybe he would have had some good games but also not smooth out some of the defiencies as well.

Having the nerve to hold players back till they are ready (in the face of media and fans) is a sign of a good developer of players IMO.
 

ydraw

Norm Smith Medallist
Apr 27, 2015
5,515
6,283
AFL Club
Fremantle
Its his blind spot and the main thing that keeps him from being a great coach as opposed to a very good one.
The very best leaders know when to take a risk.
Ross calls it loyalty and I expect thats part of what gets the players to buy in but IMO there is no disputing that he backs in incumbent players beyond the point of what is reasonable at times.

The most notable examples:
Picking Chris Mayne over and over again and not even trying to see what Duffy or someone else might have been able to bring to the role. We've seen what happens at Collingwood where Mayne is part of a squad where he is selected on results. In the case of a Mayne I believe Lyon actually does the player a disservice not just the team by not dropping them when the players themselves might actually benefit from being out of the spotlight and with the pressure taken off to work on their game and confidence.

Refusing to bring in Blakely or Weller or Langdon in 2015 when blind Freddy could see the team dynamics were completely screwed.
Please note that I'm not saying that playing any or all of those players would have won us a flag I'm saying that SOMETHING, anything needed to be tried to shake things up. It was worth the gamble when were coasting toward finals to try changing the dynamics.

Starting out this year with the most unimaginative and conservative team selection possible & most recently he said after the Brisbane game that Darcy was not ready to play AFL and its very probably Darcy wouldn't have been selected if Griffin was fit.
Picking De Boer to start on the field over Lachie Neale in the 2013 gf.
 

tonygeeks

Premiership Player
Sep 11, 2016
3,300
4,055
AFL Club
Fremantle
Its his blind spot and the main thing that keeps him from being a great coach as opposed to a very good one.
The very best leaders know when to take a risk.
Ross calls it loyalty and I expect thats part of what gets the players to buy in but IMO there is no disputing that he backs in incumbent players beyond the point of what is reasonable at times.

The most notable examples:
Picking Chris Mayne over and over again and not even trying to see what Duffy or someone else might have been able to bring to the role. We've seen what happens at Collingwood where Mayne is part of a squad where he is selected on results. In the case of a Mayne I believe Lyon actually does the player a disservice not just the team by not dropping them when the players themselves might actually benefit from being out of the spotlight and with the pressure taken off to work on their game and confidence.

Refusing to bring in Blakely or Weller or Langdon in 2015 when blind Freddy could see the team dynamics were completely screwed.
Please note that I'm not saying that playing any or all of those players would have won us a flag I'm saying that SOMETHING, anything needed to be tried to shake things up. It was worth the gamble when were coasting toward finals to try changing the dynamics.

Starting out this year with the most unimaginative and conservative team selection possible & most recently he said after the Brisbane game that Darcy was not ready to play AFL and its very probably Darcy wouldn't have been selected if Griffin was fit.

Having said all that I believe he is a brilliant man manager and an excellent tactician who is doing an excellent job of developing the team.
Note to people who dislike this kind of conjecture, its possible to discuss hight performance roles and disagree with certain aspects of the way someone does something and still consider them generally excellent at what they do. The way elite people become elite is by being open to criticism and ergo improvement. Lyon himself is constantly saying things like failure is feedback and does not shirk from self criticism and I think he needs to learn when to take a risk.
Lyon is a superb coach but he needs to learn the Napolean touch.
I was going to post something but you've nailed it , everything I've been saying for ages particularly the 2015 angle wish I could like it twice


On iPad using BigFooty.com mobile app
 

Nightrain

Club Legend
Mar 21, 2017
1,065
1,913
AFL Club
Fremantle
I was asking myself the same thing yesterday arvo in the 3rd quarter. We had Geelong on the ropes and had all the play but still only played with one less in the forward line. 5 goals in front and dominating the midfield I was expecting him to put the foot on the throat and man up their free man in defence, who our midfield kept kicking to.

He played it safe and kept the defensive structure which fell short in the end.

I couldn't give a stuff about this season. We are nowhere near it but in a situation like that I would have preferred if he tried to be a bit more attacking and see what the outcome was. If we lose, so be it but at least we find out something about ourselves. Maybe something we can work on. Now all we know is no more than what we already know; our defence can't stand up.
 
Last edited:

eastfreo75

Norm Smith Medallist
Feb 11, 2011
7,316
5,696
pakenham
AFL Club
Fremantle
Lyon is very consistent with rewarding hard work and dedication over a continuous amount of time.

The thing is that young players need to confidence that they belong in the AFL.

He needs to understand that he needs to reward players in the short time as well.

Dropping Simpson after a good debut was a key example of this. Sure, Simpson most likely would have done what he did but for me, reward performance.

The short term for young players game time very important. Sure, you can get inconsistent performances but they can go back and work on their game.
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

_F7_

Rookie
Apr 12, 2017
47
222
AFL Club
Fremantle
I was asking myself the same thing yesterday arvo in the 3rd quarter. We had Geelong on the ropes and had all the play but still only played with one less in the forward line. 5 goals in front and dominating the midfield I was expecting him to put the foot on the throat and man up their free man in defence, who our midfield kept kicking to.

He played it safe and kept the defensive structure which feel short in the end.

I couldn't give a stuff about this season. We are nowhere near it but in a situation like that I would have preferred if he tried to be a bit more attacking and see what the outcome was. If we lose, so be it but at least we find out something about ourselves. Maybe something we can work on. Now all we know is no more than what we already know; our defence can't stand up.
I have a theory... usually when tanking you play the youth and try new structures and lose in the process while learning something. But thats too obvious. Besides, Ross has already learnt that our youth WIN games. So he backs in the griffins and sutcliffs under the guise that he's a stuffy old coach thats afraid of change until the backlash reaches near riot point. Then, in classic overly-defensive-guilty-man fashion, he gets narky at any suggestion that he's not developing youth or trying new things after a loss. #Cantankeross
 

ydraw

Norm Smith Medallist
Apr 27, 2015
5,515
6,283
AFL Club
Fremantle
He needs to understand that he needs to reward players in the short time as well.

Dropping Simpson after a good debut was a key example of this. Sure, Simpson most likely would have done what he did but for me, reward performance.
He only got to play for 1 quarter then was dropped for Mayne who was still injured and hadn't played a good game in 6 months.

Terrible example.
 

gungho

All Australian
Dec 31, 2013
795
1,124
AFL Club
Fremantle
Lyon can never win in the eyes of some people, if he brings in people like Darcy from the second or third game and they get injured as they have not had WAFL games then he would get blasted. There is no point bringing people in and throwing them to the wolves if they are not ready, i.e. Logue.
See, here's where I completely disagree with you. Is Logue ready if the side is challenging for a premiership? Absolutely not. Is Logue ready if we are in year 1 of a 4 year rebuild? Absolutely.
 

estibador

purple haze
Mar 2, 2007
38,550
43,497
AFL Club
Fremantle
Other Teams
Liverpool
I have a theory... usually when tanking you play the youth and try new structures and lose in the process while learning something. But thats too obvious. Besides, Ross has already learnt that our youth WIN games. So he backs in the griffins and sutcliffs under the guise that he's a stuffy old coach thats afraid of change until the backlash reaches near riot point. Then, in classic overly-defensive-guilty-man fashion, he gets narky at any suggestion that he's not developing youth or trying new things after a loss. #Cantankeross
Haha, must admit, the thought did cross my mind that maybe Ross was worried we'd beat Brisbane if Darcy played, so turned to his tried and trusted (now) crab in Griffin to 'get the job done'.

Then, thinking we had no chance against Geelong he brought Darcy in, but even Ross underestimated the brilliance of the big fella who nearly ruined our plans.

Not really serious, but thinking of that sweet top 3 draft picks helps ease the pain of the types of seasons. Must suck to be Hawthorn at the moment lol.
 

TheMcManusNose

Club Legend
Apr 21, 2014
2,663
3,723
AFL Club
Fremantle
Other Teams
Vancouver Canucks
Its his blind spot and the main thing that keeps him from being a great coach as opposed to a very good one.
The very best leaders know when to take a risk.
Ross calls it loyalty and I expect thats part of what gets the players to buy in but IMO there is no disputing that he backs in incumbent players beyond the point of what is reasonable at times.

The most notable examples:
Picking Chris Mayne over and over again and not even trying to see what Duffy or someone else might have been able to bring to the role. We've seen what happens at Collingwood where Mayne is part of a squad where he is selected on results. In the case of a Mayne I believe Lyon actually does the player a disservice not just the team by not dropping them when the players themselves might actually benefit from being out of the spotlight and with the pressure taken off to work on their game and confidence.

Refusing to bring in Blakely or Weller or Langdon in 2015 when blind Freddy could see the team dynamics were completely screwed.
Please note that I'm not saying that playing any or all of those players would have won us a flag I'm saying that SOMETHING, anything needed to be tried to shake things up. It was worth the gamble when were coasting toward finals to try changing the dynamics.

Starting out this year with the most unimaginative and conservative team selection possible & most recently he said after the Brisbane game that Darcy was not ready to play AFL and its very probably Darcy wouldn't have been selected if Griffin was fit.

Having said all that I believe he is a brilliant man manager and an excellent tactician who is doing an excellent job of developing the team.
Note to people who dislike this kind of conjecture, its possible to discuss hight performance roles and disagree with certain aspects of the way someone does something and still consider them generally excellent at what they do. The way elite people become elite is by being open to criticism and ergo improvement. Lyon himself is constantly saying things like failure is feedback and does not shirk from self criticism and I think he needs to learn when to take a risk.
Lyon is a superb coach but he needs to learn the Napolean touch.
Nailed it. Yes he is a touch too risk adverse from the outside looking in. It would be ideal if that changed.

My quarrel is not so much with team selection because I do think the last couple of years have fixed him somewhat in that respect. I more have an issue that we tend to play a touch more conservatively than I would like.

However on his body of work with us I would still prefer him to be the coach.
 

Joao

Norm Smith Medallist
May 2, 2017
7,664
11,097
QLD
AFL Club
Fremantle
Nailed it. Yes he is a touch too risk adverse from the outside looking in. It would be ideal if that changed.

My quarrel is not so much with team selection because I do think the last couple of years have fixed him somewhat in that respect. I more have an issue that we tend to play a touch more conservatively than I would like.

However on his body of work with us I would still prefer him to be the coach.
The other option is to take an untried coach. If we are being realistic, the odds that the new guy is better than Ross is low. For every Clarkson or Bevo there are 3 Watters and a Dimma. People are singing Bolton's praises and he is more defensive than Ross (and Beveridge is about equal IMO - just has a better spread of players).

If we get the draft/trading right over the next 3-4 years, I think Ross is as good of an option that we have to give it a shake. I don't buy the "his gameplan doesn't win premierships" garbage either. They were close enough for luck to decide it at least once and that is good enough for me. I am also fairly sure the instruction yesterday was not to bomb it to Harry Taylor. Obviously coaches cop some of that because the message isn't getting through (the rest is probably player inexperience) but we have played some nice football at times this year. We are going to be inconsistent for some time yet and we just happen to be the worst looking team when playing poorly.

He is not perfect, but I think his results are often judged on his personality and perception.
 
Last edited:

Okinakashi

Club Legend
Sep 18, 2013
2,094
4,632
AFL Club
Fremantle
Other Teams
Swan Districts Vancouver Canucks
It's funny. People talk about Ross and his defensive game plans, but this week in 6 / 8 games no team score over 100.

Looking back over the last few weeks the majority of games were also games where neither team score more than 100.

I think Ross is risk averse to a certain extent, but a lot of it is risk management - young guys are more likely to be injured if they're physically not ready and playing a lot of young guys (who don't play as many minutes) puts extra load into our senior guys.

I do often want our team to take the game on more, but we're really not that far off where the game's currently at.
 

Wally Walpamur

Premiership Player
Sep 23, 2016
4,904
8,736
Beaconsfield
AFL Club
Fremantle
Other Teams
Chelsea, Boston Celtics
I'm not frustrated by Ross at the selection table; kids will get games when the selection committee think they're ready. What I hate is when (as an example) we had a lead going into the fourth quarter and it looked as if the game plan reverted back to a flood and hope method where we couldn't get it past half way line. That was in complete contrast to how we played in the second quarter to get the lead in the first place. Maybe it will get better as the kids learn the game plan more (like in Ross's first year where we looked like trash in the first half then eventually got the offensive game going).
 

Joao

Norm Smith Medallist
May 2, 2017
7,664
11,097
QLD
AFL Club
Fremantle
I'm not frustrated by Ross at the selection table; kids will get games when the selection committee think they're ready. What I hate is when (as an example) we had a lead going into the fourth quarter and it looked as if the game plan reverted back to a flood and hope method where we couldn't get it past half way line. That was in complete contrast to how we played in the second quarter to get the lead in the first place. Maybe it will get better as the kids learn the game plan more (like in Ross's first year where we looked like trash in the first half then eventually got the offensive game going).
Yeah he has been really good with selection on the whole this year. The other issue is definitely not confined to us though. It has happened to a lot of teams that have done the same thing this year. Essendon on Friday for example. I wonder how much of that is coaching and how much is players though. Every time you see a team do it they invite the opposition into the match. Surely not what any coach wants? There must be some basis for instructing that. For the younger teams especially (like us) I expect a lot of it has to do with not being able to play 4 quarters. We haven't managed that all year.
 

_F7_

Rookie
Apr 12, 2017
47
222
AFL Club
Fremantle
For the younger teams especially (like us) I expect a lot of it has to do with not being able to play 4 quarters. We haven't managed that all year.
Agree with this. It's surely a result of our unrewarded pressure tactics. I remember thinking during the first when we were creating repeat entries through sheer effort/pressure (then burning them with no reward) that our young guys would eventually run out of legs (and the whole team as a result as others pick up the slack). How many times have you seen this script play out under Ross? Can't fault the endeavour, but just really felt like we had to work doubly hard just to break even or limit the scoreboard damage. Compare that to the second when scoring seemed to come all too easily - obviously still working hard, but in a different way. I guess because scoring allows you to reset, turning it over means you have to immediately set up to pressure the opposition again.

Once we sort out our forward line and entries, hopefully we can reproduce more of those second quarter scoring avalanches and not labour through matches so much. It looked effortless at times in the second.
 

Joao

Norm Smith Medallist
May 2, 2017
7,664
11,097
QLD
AFL Club
Fremantle
Agree with this. It's surely a result of our unrewarded pressure tactics. I remember thinking during the first when we were creating repeat entries through sheer effort/pressure (then burning them with no reward) that our young guys would eventually run out of legs (and the whole team as a result as others pick up the slack). How many times have you seen this script play out under Ross? Can't fault the endeavour, but just really felt like we had to work doubly hard just to break even or limit the scoreboard damage. Compare that to the second when scoring seemed to come all too easily - obviously still working hard, but in a different way. I guess because scoring allows you to reset, turning it over means you have to immediately set up to pressure the opposition again.

Once we sort out our forward line and entries, hopefully we can reproduce more of those second quarter scoring avalanches and not labour through matches so much. It looked effortless at times in the second.
Here is hoping. Our forward line is extremely inexperienced even with Ballas back. Probably lacks talent too. Think it will improve with time and some higher draft pick/s in that area.
 

GoFreo4eva

Freo Tragic Since the Beginning
Sep 15, 2013
255
500
AFL Club
Fremantle
He may well be averse to some risk however his public and positive support for the aggressive kick by Blakely to Weller in the last Q suggests he wants the guys to take the game on and take some risks. He can't kick it for them though. They have to have the courage to take it on. Selections have been really good over the last few weeks in terms of new blokes getting a look in and Darcy was a ripper on Sunday. That said there was no way he was ready to step in to the seniors when Sandi went down. The extra couple of weeks leading the ruck for Peel were invaluable for him in terms of belief and probably match fitness and he brought that to Geelong on Sunday.

Could be that with 6 wins in the bank he now feels free to experiment a little more with selections and gameplan as he has proven to the club, members and press we can win enough games so no real heat on him for the rest of the year as long as we see some development of the younger guys in the team. Imagine the cries for his head if we started as badly as last year. I think the change in the game on Sunday was the young guys who were sprinting forward to create options in the earlier part of the game were out of legs to do so in the last Q. The lack of a reliable contested marking option like Sandi , Fyfe or even Taberner made it very hard late in the game when Geelong's pressure went up a notch. With a couple of these guys we may well have been able to stop the rapid repeat entries that were the real reason Geelong got on top on Sunday.

Failure is feedback as Ross has said and no doubt there will have been a long and careful review of what changed in the last Q on Sunday. Leaving Taylor loose at the back and keeping our own spare may have been a deliberate tactic to see how the payers adapted by themselves to the change in game momentum. Hell if we had manned up Taylor and taken away the spare the floodgates may have been opened even further early in the quarter. Then we'd be talking about this differently.

As for stifling youth, I don't see Blakely, Weller or Langdon as looking stifled in their development. They served maybe a slightly longer apprenticeship than some may have liked but boy do they look polished now. Or for that matter Walters who had not established himself in the team before Ross arrived.
 

Deveraux

Club Legend
Apr 3, 2015
1,031
1,822
AFL Club
Fremantle
Two points from me..

Firstly I think young kids need on-field senior guidance to develop properly.

Secondly, you may have been right circa 2013 Ross, but we would never have heard Ross in a press conference praise a kick like Blakely's to Weller in the 4th back then, but he was positively proud about it. Previously, he would have been all for the percentage play up the boundary.

So I respectfully disagree.
 

Top Bottom