Analysis Mid-Season Review - The Good, The Bad, and The Entirely Forgettable

Land of the Giants

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I think we can be reasonably satisfied with our performance this afternoon against North Melbourne. They made us earn it, and we responded appropriately. Can't ask for much more than that.

With no match this week, I thought we could spend some time reflecting on the first half of the season.

The Good

The Performance of the Midfield

There was some trepidation at the end of last season when Dylan Shiel packed his bags and returned home to Victoria. How would we cope? Well, the answer to date has been, "just fine". Tim Taranto and Jacob Hopper have stepped up, provided a bit of grunt, and generally performed above expectations, allowing Josh Kelly and especially Stephen Coniglio to shine. Perhaps more importantly, everyone seems to have "clicked". Are we better off without Dylan? It's a reasonable conclusion.

Round 4 - Victory in Geelong

After being utterly humiliated at the same venue last season, we enjoyed a character-testing win against a team we've always struggled against, and on their home turf, where just about everyone struggles. The win was bitter-sweet, as we lost our inspirational captain Callan Ward for the season to an ACL. But we responded just the way Callan would have wanted.

Was this a grand final preview? Plenty seem to think so.

The Bad

Injuries roll on, but...

The glissando of injuries that seriously affected the team over the past two seasons seems to have continued - just have a look at the list before today - but for some reason, it doesn't seem to be as debilitating as in 2017 and 2018. We must be doing something in terms of managing training loads that is working, but we're still a bit banged up. The bye couldn't have come at a better time.

Round 5 - The Dockers burst our Canberra bubble

Our first loss in the nation's capital in four years. It wasn't expected either. Most disappointing.

More members than ever, but where are the crowds?

We've now got over 28,000 members (wow!), but where are they on match days, especially in Sydney? After a bright start against the Bombers, the crowds have steadily dribbled away to half of those who showed up in Round 1. There's a chance for redemption with matches to come against Brisbane, Collingwood, Big Brother and the Bulldogs, so come on, all you Westies. We've even got a Penrith boy in the team these days!

The Entirely Forgettable

Round 8 - More MCG misery

Our record at the home of football is appalling. We certainly rolled back the hands of time against the Hawks, scoring only five goals, and equaling our seventh lowest score ever. Like Geelong at the Cattery last year, when we're bad, we're horrid.

It's time to open up the discussion. Have at it.
 
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Giant Strides

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Good summary LotG.

I'd add:

The good:

For the most part, the forward line is firing, with Cameron leading the Coleman (albeit dropping back to the pack in recent weeks), Finlayson having a breakout season (equal 7th in the Coleman) and HH (equal 15th). Plus getting goals from the midfield.

Matt de Boer has been a revelation in the tagging role, which has been instrumental in a number of performances.

The continued rise of Sam Taylor as a tightly-defending KPD, which has meant we haven't really missed the loss of Aidan Corr for the majority of the season to date.

The bad:

Toby Greene continuing to have an unsettled run with injuries. But boy, when he plays, can he make things light up.
 

Determinant

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Great thread Land of the Giants as always.

Personally the development of Taranto, Hopper, Finlayson, Taylor, Hately (when Leon remembers his name) in particular has been great to watch.
Jeremy's acceptance and stellar performance as a genuine CHF has been amazing given he probably gave up a 100 goal season in doing so.

For the bad, Callan Ward.
 

fridgeman

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Plenty of goods from me
De Boer, Cameron, TOJ, Hopper and Taranto
Geelong win, Swans win, Bombers win
Bad
Ward injury,
Hawks loss
Ugly
Media, Blight the fool

Hopes for the second half of the season
Top 2 finish
Patton to make a succesful come back
Injuries to be at a non serious level and only minor ones as well
Coniglio to re-sign
First premiership
 

General Giant

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Lots of good;
Taranto and Hopper stepping up. They actually can aim. I will call it now, we are better without Shiel (Loved him though).
MDB being THE tagger and should be in AA discussion.
Shaw returning to form.
Jezza kicking ass.
Toj finding himself.
Our defence is going strong with Davis, Kenners and Williams enjoying close to, if not career best, form.
Nice surprise of Stein getting a solid debut, we will see more of him.
Responding to losses well the next week.
When our star Fwds have an off day others seem to step up.

Bad
Injuries. Bloody hell. Ward gone for the year and niggling injuries to all our stars.

Crowds. Yep it started well but with almost 29k members we should be able to crack 15k avg and over. Its a generation build though and as majority are 3 game members you don't waste them on the Suns etc.

Disgusting
Freo and Hawks games :mad:
The continued treatment by the media and AFL of Toby Greene, an absolute disgrace and getting close to bullying.
 

Danny88

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Like most i have really enjoyed the development of the midfield. The forward line seems to have improved (partly off the back of some continuity and parrtly from some better delivery)

Personally I am concerned about the away record- particularly against big teams. The reality is if we are going to win the big dance it will be an away game. I am concerned with the flat track bully tag (I know we beat Geelong) but its a genuine concern of mine.

Hopefully we will sort out some of those bigger teams in the back half of the season and put my mind to rest
 

dlanod

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Personally I am concerned about the away record- particularly against big teams. The reality is if we are going to win the big dance it will be an away game. I am concerned with the flat track bully tag (I know we beat Geelong) but its a genuine concern of mine.
I get where you're coming from but IMO it's more a "we do stupid losses" record rather than an away vs home. We've dropped games at home to Freo, Essendon and arguably Sydney in the last couple of years that we should've won. Away it's NM last year and Hawthorn (and maybe Adelaide) this year.

I'm definitely more willing to concede the "flat track bully" tag though - a team stands up to us and takes away what we do best and we struggle to adjust time and time again, which was the case in all of those losses. Sometimes we get close and lose (Adelaide, Freo; Collingwood in last year's final), sometimes we get close and win (Geelong; Richmond last year), sometimes we s**t the bed (Hawthorn; Geelong and Melbourne last year).
 

fridgeman

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I am not sure on stats from the last few years to compare and also v other clubs but 11 players have played every game
Hopper, Taranto, Daniels, Cameron, Tomlinson, Shaw, De Boer, HH, TOJ, Kennedy and Reid with Taylor and Coniglio only missing the one game and overall 33 players have been used this year
Having that core 11 in every game I think has been important and only Cameron the big name player and maybe 3-4 more to play in the season depending on fitness I could see Bonar, Shipley, Hill, Caldwell and Flynn seeing a game this year but it looks to be a hard team to break into at the moment
 

Pres

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Good

De Boer and Cameron's improvements in 2019 (for different reasons) I think are the two individual things that have contributed most to the team's better half way ladder placement compared to 2018.

That said Finlayson could be the most improved player in the comp.

Sam Taylor should win the Rising Star should anyone realise he's actually on an AFL list let alone held down CHB all season in the side coming second on the ladder.

Shaw has reinvented himself after looking cooked at various stages last year.

David Joyce being replaced as host of the Westfund rehab report - followed by an instantaneous improvement in the injury list!


Not so good

Outside yesterday and 1-2 other games Toby has had a poor year - hope he's turned the corner now.

The ruck remains a problem.

Bonar - not sure what to make of all that.


Ugly

The injuries to Ward and Caldwell. The latter I'm certain would be a genuine x-factor in this current side if he was up and about. Very similar to a 2007 Joel Selwood.
 

gee whiz giant

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I agree with everything Pres said above. So these are extras;
Good
Binga Daniels.
He's building steadily game by game. Has great energy and balance. Talked to a bloke from Swan Hill who said he was getting 3 votes when a 15 year old playing in the Nyah Nyah seniors. The spot is his (sorry Zaccy), love his close stuff out on the boundary to get that wide work going.

Lenny & Matthew Nicks up in the box, Leon on the pine.
Leon's been doing it longer than most, but the support coach staff have also impressed. They out-thought North , MDB on Cunnington obviously, but Kenners on Polec also worked a treat. There is far less aimless punting into the forwards this year, thanks whoever coached a more methodical entry.

MDB renaissance.
The guy's football story was done, nearly. Don't trust his hands and feet that much, but has found the perfect role. Is the Gentleman Tagger. No thuggishness, no spite, brings 'tone' to the club.

List management
Done really well past few years. (Keep Perryman, cut Matt Kennedy); the draft successes. Only Aiden Bonar from his year remains an enigma, and from last year, surely there will never be room in the side for all 3 of Hately, Caldwell, XO. Bobby Hill to come. Jake Stein didn't look overwhelmed (maybe Shipley might not either 2nd time round).

Depth.
Buntine was back last week and did well. Competition for spots is very healthy.

Bad.
Got nothin' in particular. There's more grunt than 2016, can we go further than a home prelim? So overall is positive.
Aiden Corr's injury lay-off extending further. It's a lot to ask of young Sammy T that he plays all season without a chop-out.
Our ruck stock dearth.

Beautiful
Last quarter against Cats/ Cattery. What a win.
Third quarter in Hobart. Three top shelf goals in a tight tussle, Coniglio/ Taranto/ Deledio was hard, skilful footy.
 

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Adroyo

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I agree with everything Pres said above. So these are extras;
Good
Binga Daniels.
He's building steadily game by game. Has great energy and balance. Talked to a bloke from Swan Hill who said he was getting 3 votes when a 15 year old playing in the Nyah Nyah seniors. The spot is his (sorry Zaccy), love his close stuff out on the boundary to get that wide work going.

Lenny & Matthew Nicks up in the box, Leon on the pine.
Leon's been doing it longer than most, but the support coach staff have also impressed. They out-thought North , MDB on Cunnington obviously, but Kenners on Polec also worked a treat. There is far less aimless punting into the forwards this year, thanks whoever coached a more methodical entry.

MDB renaissance.
The guy's football story was done, nearly. Don't trust his hands and feet that much, but has found the perfect role. Is the Gentleman Tagger. No thuggishness, no spite, brings 'tone' to the club.

List management
Done really well past few years. (Keep Perryman, cut Matt Kennedy); the draft successes. Only Aiden Bonar from his year remains an enigma, and from last year, surely there will never be room in the side for all 3 of Hately, Caldwell, XO. Bobby Hill to come. Jake Stein didn't look overwhelmed (maybe Shipley might not either 2nd time round).

Depth.
Buntine was back last week and did well. Competition for spots is very healthy.

Bad.
Got nothin' in particular. There's more grunt than 2016, can we go further than a home prelim? So overall is positive.
Aiden Corr's injury lay-off extending further. It's a lot to ask of young Sammy T that he plays all season without a chop-out.
Our ruck stock dearth.

Beautiful
Last quarter against Cats/ Cattery. What a win.
Third quarter in Hobart. Three top shelf goals in a tight tussle, Coniglio/ Taranto/ Deledio was hard, skilful footy.
Beautifully said. Especially agree with the 'Good'

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