List Mgmt. Lyon and the Cubs

wayToGo_

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I normally do a pretty intensive analysis mid season but have been strapped for time and cbf this year. But I did run some basic numbers just to see how we are tracking statistically, especially in some of the metrics that aren't widely publicised...

Given we've had Brad Hill (and his brother until recently) out for most of the year so far, it's impressive we have racked up some massive running numbers this season. We have run 62.7km more than our opposition in total. Only in two games has our opposition run further than us (Sydney and North). We ran 11.9km more than Richmond when they smashed us (clearly we ran harder but not smarter in that game). A lot of our run has come from our youngsters who have run hard pretty consistently and also each had some big running games (Giro - 16.7km, Crowden - 16.6km, Tucker - 15.4km, Langdon - 15.4km). Just imagine the running power when Brad Hill comes back in and guys like Giro, Crowden and Tucker are all running a bit smarter (like Langdon is now).

We've also run a total of 14.2km more at high speed than our opposition. Only four teams beat us at high speed running - North, Richmond, GWS and Sydney. But the differentials in those games weren't massive and we were missing some pretty pacy players in those games.

Probably the most interesting statistic I've found this season is Defensive Work Rate. Basically how hard we work when the opposition has the ball. In every single win we've worked harder defensively than our opposition. And in every single loss our opposition has worked harder than us defensively. Even more interesting is that in the games we got smashed in the differential for defensive work rate was big - eg Richmond -1.3km/h and Port -1.2km/h.

Obviously football is about more than just effort but you can see why with trend data like this that coaches (eg Ross) focus a lot on effort and especially defensive side of it. Supporting this even further is in our loss against Richmond and Port we actually ran a lot harder than they did when we had possession of the ball - like +1.5km/h and +1.4km/h respectively. And in our other losses the trend was the same - vs GWS +0.9km/h, WC +0.7km/h, Collingwood +0.7km/h. Meanwhile in wins our opposition often ran harder in attack - vs Dogs -0.4km/h, Carlton -0.2km/h.

So there is a fair case to make (at the least, theoretically) that if we had reallocated our energy in some games to work harder defensively instead of in attack, then we may have won more games or at least lessened the margins. And this isn't about just stopping goals or drying up scoring and keeping a lead, as the teams that are scoring big are often the ones with a much higher defensive work rate than their attacking work rate. Pressure creates turnovers and scoring opportunities, and (smart) running power is the key to creating that pressure.

tl;dr - We have some serious running power on our list now. Ross has arguably the best (raw) tools he's ever had at Freo. If he can continue to develop our players (especially the younger ones) to run smarter, we'll quickly start challenging top 8 teams and likely be finals bound next season.
 

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DaveLister

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I normally do a pretty intensive analysis mid season but have been strapped for time and cbf this year. But I did run some basic numbers just to see how we are tracking statistically, especially in some of the metrics that aren't widely publicised...

Given we've had Brad Hill (and his brother until recently) out for most of the year so far, it's impressive we have racked up some massive running numbers this season. We have run 62.7km more than our opposition in total. Only in two games has our opposition run further than us (Sydney and North). We ran 11.9km more than Richmond when they smashed us (clearly we ran harder but not smarter in that game). A lot of our run has come from our youngsters who have run hard pretty consistently and also each had some big running games (Giro - 16.7km, Crowden - 16.6km, Tucker - 15.4km, Langdon - 15.4km). Just imagine the running power when Brad Hill comes back in and guys like Giro, Crowden and Tucker are all running a bit smarter (like Langdon is now).

We've also run a total of 14.2km more at high speed than our opposition. Only four teams beat us at high speed running - North, Richmond, GWS and Sydney. But the differentials in those games weren't massive and we were missing some pretty pacy players in those games.

Probably the most interesting statistic I've found this season is Defensive Work Rate. Basically how hard we work when the opposition has the ball. In every single win we've worked harder defensively than our opposition. And in every single loss our opposition has worked harder than us defensively. Even more interesting is that in the games we got smashed in the differential for defensive work rate was big - eg Richmond -1.3km/h and Port -1.2km/h.

Obviously football is about more than just effort but you can see why with trend data like this that coaches (eg Ross) focus a lot on effort and especially defensive side of it. Supporting this even further is in our loss against Richmond and Port we actually ran a lot harder than they did when we had possession of the ball - like +1.5km/h and +1.4km/h respectively. And in our other losses the trend was the same - vs GWS +0.9km/h, WC +0.7km/h, Collingwood +0.7km/h. Meanwhile in wins our opposition often ran harder in attack - vs Dogs -0.4km/h, Carlton -0.2km/h.

So there is a fair case to make (at the least, theoretically) that if we had reallocated our energy in some games to work harder defensively instead of in attack, then we may have won more games or at least lessened the margins. And this isn't about just stopping goals or drying up scoring and keeping a lead, as the teams that are scoring big are often the ones with a much higher defensive work rate than their attacking work rate. Pressure creates turnovers and scoring opportunities, and (smart) running power is the key to creating that pressure.

tl;dr - We have some serious running power on our list now. Ross has arguably the best (raw) tools he's ever had at Freo. If he can continue to develop our players (especially the younger ones) to run smarter, we'll quickly start challenging top 8 teams and likely be finals bound next season.
Great analysis, it was a trend I noticed early in the year. Our team balance as a result of our trading and drafting has been heavily weighted towards increase volume of run and specifically increased volume of 'high speed run' and sprints. Since 2013 we have drafted;
  1. Pearce, Elite in, run volume, speed
  2. Langdon, elite in; run volume, high speed run volume, speed, sprints, repeat sprints
  3. Tucker, Elite run volume
  4. Logue, Elite in; run volume, speed, sprint, repeats sprints (especially for his size)
  5. Brayshaw, Elite in; run volume for young inside mid
  6. Crowden, Elite in, run volume, high speed volume; speed, sprints
  7. Banfield; Elite for volume at his age
  8. Giro, Elite in, run volume; high speed volume, sprints
A number have featured predominantly in average speed in defence

We have also recruited real speed in impact roles Recruited
  1. Harley, Elite in; speed
  2. Hill, Elite in; run volume, high speed run volume, speed, sprints, prepeat sprints
  3. Hamling, Elite in speed
  4. Kersten, Elite in speed
  5. Wilson, Elite in speed


The game really has turned into turnover ball, teams score much more efficiently of turn over so having speed and endurance increases the pressure on the opponent as well as decreases pressure on the team. More high speed run; increased and more damaging intercepts, fewer and less damaging intercepts

As you say, as the efficiency of run improves as a number of our younger runners gain experience we will start to be more punishing on turn over and decrease opposition turnover as well as their damage.

It's such a huge shame that we have been without Brad and Stephen Hill, Bennell, Logue as extended outs this year as they are all incredibly vital in our attempt to create a team based on high volume of high speed run. Considering their losses, as well as a number of other factors, it's genuinely impressive we how well we have done for periods in some games.

One more observation I had from checking those tracker stats during games. In games we went on to win we tended to have heavily out run our opponent in run volume and high speed run volume in the first quarter. In some games we were up by 2+km in high speed run by quarter time.
 
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dockshark

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tl;dr - We have some serious running power on our list now. Ross has arguably the best (raw) tools he's ever had at Freo. If he can continue to develop our players (especially the younger ones) to run smarter, we'll quickly start challenging top 8 teams and likely be finals bound next season.
Absolutely right. I know that folks are becoming concerned with the growing degree of athleticism creeping into the game, and the idea that this happening at the expense of natural football ability. The reality is though that workrate and ability to run all day to get to contests is incredibly important, in the current day zoned, structured defensive game plans that basically all teams play variations of.

I'm a lot more optimistic than many here, I think we have recruited well, and are actually developing well to boot. I do think we will push into the top 8 next year barring some kind of injury crisis.
 

theGav56

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I'm a lot more optimistic than many here, I think we have recruited well, and are actually developing well to boot. I do think we will push into the top 8 next year barring some kind of injury crisis.
These are also clear indications of a deliberate evolution of our game plan. There is nothing new about Lyon led teams having an effort based game plan mind you, but it is an impressive and clear driver of our list development. In my opinion, these are the kind of things that a coach in our current situation gets assessed by, certainly more important than win/loss, ladder position etc.

That is; What is the game plan that we are working towards, and how is our progress towards that developing?
 

PurpleReign

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These are also clear indications of a deliberate evolution of our game plan. There is nothing new about Lyon led teams having an effort based game plan mind you, but it is an impressive and clear driver of our list development. In my opinion, these are the kind of things that a coach in our current situation gets assessed by, certainly more important than win/loss, ladder position etc.

That is; What is the game plan that we are working towards, and how is our progress towards that developing?
Well said dude.
http://www.fremantlefc.com.au/news/2018-06-29/freo-better-than-last-year-lyon
 

Joao

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"results are just a distraction ".... gulp.

But at this stage I don't agree.
He's right and it applies to anything. You will do your best focusing on the stuff that affects the outcome than worrying about the outcome itself.

I had a mate at a cricket team a few years ago. He went out to bat and creamed his first ball (as good of a shot as he ever played). Next ball cleaned up. Said he started thinking about how he was going to celebrate his ton between balls. Was hilarious - valuable lesson too.
 

Vintage

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He's right and it applies to anything. You will do your best focusing on the stuff that affects the outcome than worrying about the outcome itself.

I had a mate at a cricket team a few years ago. He went out to bat and creamed his first ball (as good of a shot as he ever played). Next ball cleaned up. Said he started thinking about how he was going to celebrate his ton between balls. Was hilarious - valuable lesson too.
100% right Joao.
 

Paracleet

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He's right and it applies to anything. You will do your best focusing on the stuff that affects the outcome than worrying about the outcome itself.

I had a mate at a cricket team a few years ago. He went out to bat and creamed his first ball (as good of a shot as he ever played). Next ball cleaned up. Said he started thinking about how he was going to celebrate his ton between balls. Was hilarious - valuable lesson too.
Batting is an excellent tool to teach the value of process over results. Even batman known as highly aggressive don't prosper by trying to hit every ball for 6. A repeatable process is necessary (even it is slightly different for each player).
 

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Arcassius

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I can't recall where I saw this, but there was a study into elite tennis players, and what separated the elite champions was their ability to reset their mind between points. To momentarily process then completely let go of the outcome of the previous point and go in clear for the next one. All within a matter of seconds. Again - process over outcome, right down to how you set yourself for each point. I'd imagine football is the same - contest to contest. So I can see why the picture isn't about the outcome of each game or the season but working on what happens in each moment for the rest to take care of itself.
 

Square Peg

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So I've lost track, is this the 'Lyon needs to get better' thread now, or is there another one?
He put out a team that was under-prepared with no forward structure at all today.
I would love to know what he said to them when Sandi was injured in the warm up. Probably something asinine like "well we're f’ed but don't sweat, results don't matter"
 

Arcassius

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So I've lost track, is this the 'Lyon needs to get better' thread now, or is there another one?
He put out a team that was under-prepared with no forward structure at all today.
I would love to know what he said to them when Sandi was injured in the warm up. Probably something asinine like "well we're ****** but don't sweat, results don't matter"
This is the positive slanting Lyon thread. The melty Lyon thread is the 'Next Coach' one from memory :p
 

theGav56

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It seems my sense of direction is off. I'm not alone though, I think the whole coaching department got lost on the way to the box today, a couple of them are possibly still wandering around looking for their seats
Threads go in their own direction, but the focus for this one is Lyon's ability to develop young players.

Dreadful game. A bit difficult to comment on in terms of the thread focus. Plenty of vent options on other threads.
 

AAACockburn

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We have run 62.7km more than our opposition in total.
Yes it is well known that Lyons game plan is excessively over demanding.

We ran 11.9km more than Richmond when they smashed us


Supporting this even further is in our loss against Richmond and Port we actually ran a lot harder than they did when we had possession of the ball - like +1.5km/h and +1.4km/h respectively.
Most likely reason is when we get possession of the ball the overwhelmingly majority of players are behind play.

And in every single loss our opposition has worked harder than us defensively.
Well we have a tendency to turn it over in our forward half. Or it just ends up in scrappy stoppages that we lose.

TLDR: Ross Lyons game plan has been picked apart. The defensive, effort based strategy is clearly not the way of the future.
 

blue shark

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Hopefully next year we can actually have a forward line, structure in place for most games. The whole running thing looks
great statistically, but the Hawks proved that skilled kicking moves the ball quicker than you can run.
It's fantastic we have so many aerobic players, but we need to play smarter, use the ball better, and have something to
kick to.
Being from WA means we are already disadvantaged with more flights, less time for recovery.
A functioning forward line, locking the ball in with sustained pressure, otherwise all that running power is in vain.
 

Arcassius

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Looking at running distance in isolation doesn't tell the whole story.

Yes we run a lot at the moment.
Kind of important for when -
  • we don't have the ball and need to get it back
  • we do have the ball and need to spread to create options

Having more people around the ball increases the chance of us getting it back, and us getting it out. More people around the ball reduces our options when we do gain it - so there's a balance in how how we set up, how many people are in at a contest, and how well we maintain structure and spread either behind the ball when we don't have it, and forward of the ball when we do.

Right now - our kids don't maintain structure (it's improved over the season - last week aside, where it completely fell apart), and for a while they had too many getting sucked into the contests and then having an opposition player loose over the top making us look like we're running around like headless chooks that can't get near it (what happened last week).

Time and experience will help, as the team learn to gel and understand when to go, when not to, when to spread, as their skills and hardness improve, and they trust one another in a 1 on 1 situation to win the ball. Think of when we played Carlton, Weitering fell over, and Sheridan put on the jets running offensively even though we didn't have the ball (yet). That's what 2012/2013 was for us, and it's what we will be again as the team matures. We simply need more players who can beat their direct opponent 1v1 for this to happen - starting with getting Darcy up to speed for us to be effective from the centre bounce and at stoppages.

tl;dr; We run a lot at the moment because we're inexperienced and running hard but not smart. In time it will fix itself.
 

rgauci

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For a team with amazing aerobic ability I’m not sure why we don’t switch the ball a lot more. Get Ed and Brad and Co. to run wing to wing to wing. Blow up the opposition midfielders and chase an easy transition into the forward line. We switch poorly.
 

Arcassius

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For a team with amazing aerobic ability I’m not sure why we don’t switch the ball a lot more. Get Ed and Brad and Co. to run wing to wing to wing. Blow up the opposition midfielders and chase an easy transition into the forward line. We switch poorly.
We spread poorly which impacts our switching - our workrate when we had the ball coming out of the defensive 50 was shit last week. Losing Brad Hill can't be overstated - check out the number of repeat sprints he does in a game compared to our next best. Having him and Ed as options will help a bit, but also having all our players working harder to create options

You notice on the weekend that we'd get the ball out to the wing from defense - then not have options - whether it be on the 45 back into the centre, or down the wing. Brisbane on the other hand always had a player free on the 45 enabling them to take the corridor
 

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