I'm kind of a big deal on the east side
- Jul 12, 2013
- AFL Club
- Other Teams
- Newcastle, Rockies, Oceanics
Well, the million dollar question is 2019/2020 underperformance or was 2018 a year where the Eagles overperformed? I know the talent on paper is good, but one should never trust 'on paper'.Yeah their midfield IS very good when you look at the talent, which makes the under performance even more stark.
To quote from the eagles own board
Does it need a revamp? Our midfield has clearly gone downhill since Mitchell has gone and the appointment of Rosa in particular seemed a strange addition given his style of play/role back in the day. I’m pretty sure that Webster was retained and given a new role in spite of the poor job he did...www.bigfooty.com
Taking a gander through the 2018 team v opponents differentials, a part of me believes 2018 was very much everything clicking for West Coast, seeing they were averaging 26 more kicks than their opponents, 12 more marks and yet, and an absolutely staggeringly 7 less clangers (which includes 4 less turnovers) a game with on average 231 meters gained. Not even Hawks of 13-15 could claim that seeing they never managed 7 less clangers (usually hovering around the 2-3 mark which is still insane for the amount of kicking they're doing) and they were pulling similar numbers offensively. Defensively, they were ok. Didn't do many of the 1% (losing out on average by 6), and they were on par with their opponents with tackling, and were one of the best components of intercepting marks.
If we do look at 2019, defensively, West Coast improve. They're tackling more regularly than their opponents (on average 3.0 tackles better), and doing more 1%ers. Intercepts though, well they go from top 4 to bottom 4. 2020 sees the tackling drop off, to a bottom 4 side standard, the 1%ers get even better and intercepts remain a bottom 4 side. Offensively is more interesting. 2019 comes down with a thud. Averaging 4 more kicks, 8 more marks and only 0.2 clangers less than their opponents despite being 16th in the league for meters gained. 2020 is slightly better averaging 10 more kicks, 6.5 marks, and the clanger rate is 3.6 less per game than their opponent, though they are still rooted to the bottom 4 in meters gained.
There are a lot of questions with 2018. Was there a premiership hangover? Was NVB as a coach not particularly meshing with a side like West Coast? Did West Coast get worked out (the Weagles Web all but dies in 2019)? Did the acquisition of Tim Kelly, and a few others returning from injury just completely mess up the balance of their midfield (seeing West Coast didn't have Gaff or NicNat for finals)? Just looking at the data it does read like a club that jagged one by everything falling into place. In terms of a summary, It does seem NVB does go alright with defensive side of things, at least, which probably bodes well with having good synergy with Nicks, and offensively was at least picking up from 2019 a bit. We'll never know if keeping Mitchell turns West Coast into a dynasty side, or they regress either.