Autopsy North lose to the Crows

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the flying ham

Norm Smith Medallist
Dec 12, 2006
6,705
14,017
AFL Club
North Melbourne
For no reason other than procrastination and self-flagellation, I decided to have a quick look at some numbers, ie our scoring and inside 50s, and put it in a table cos I'm a nerd. Not that this table says anything we all didn't already know, but it's interesting (and hard work) seeing the numbers.

AZEJe0K.jpg


What bothers me doubly so isn't just (as we all know) that we are worse than the opposition in every conceivable metric (I could have included opposition scoring which averages somewhere around 30 scoring shots per game), but more that we have been worse in offensive metrics in the last 7 games than the first 7. And I thought we sucked in the first 7. 37 inside 50s per game for the last 7 games is just insane - who the hell wants to play in a team that can't even find a way to move the ball into an attacking area, let alone kick a damn goal?!?

In a way, we're where we were in 2020 (but somewhat worse), when Shaw got concerned about how easily we got scored against so he went for a more conservative approach to ball movement, which backfired as it did little to stem the opposition flow while stifling ours, and made us more predictable. In some ways it cost him his job - the players hated it and and morale in the bubble went south. It seems to me that over the last 7 weeks we've gone back to that dry, dry well - in an attempt to prevent being scored against heavily we have slowed down our ball movement, but the only result is everything has gotten worse and surprise surprise, the players look like they hate it out there. I don't know if that's a coaching instruction or something the players are doing out of self-preservation, but it is on the coaches to do something about.

If I could request one thing for the last 8 games, it would be that our coaches just let the players have their heads a little, let them play with freedom - which was what 2021's glimmer of hope was built on (that at Cunners being the best damn midfielder in the game, bar absolutely no one, period). I don't care any more about the score, about winning and losing, I don't care about turnovers or mistakes or biting off more than they can chew (hell I'd actually prefer the latter right now) - I worry about players harting their jobs and getting despondent. You can see that despondency in the numbers. That's a cancer we have to cut out, and now. They need to find a spark, find some enjoyment, find some way to enjoy playing with other so they can start backing each other in and get some dash and daring back into their game. And I'll bet that if they get some excitement back into their offensive game, suddenly they'll get some energy and effort into the defensive game as well.

Well, I can dream I guess.
Well, this is right up there for best post I've read all year. Must've taken you a long time to put together, interesting and very concerning read. Thanks
 

astrovic

Premiership Player
Sep 27, 2007
3,588
12,694
Here
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Well, this is right up there for best post I've read all year. Must've taken you a long time to put together, interesting and very concerning read. Thanks

Nah it was pretty quick. AFL tables is an awesome website, just data with no frills. Just pinched it all from there.

It’s horrible isn’t it? And we haven’t even played Geelong down at Kardinia Park yet…
 

Themanbun

Norm Smith Medallist
Apr 19, 2019
7,813
22,848
AFL Club
North Melbourne
For no reason other than procrastination and self-flagellation, I decided to have a quick look at some numbers, ie our scoring and inside 50s, and put it in a table cos I'm a nerd. Not that this table says anything we all didn't already know, but it's interesting (and hard work) seeing the numbers.

AZEJe0K.jpg


What bothers me doubly so isn't just (as we all know) that we are worse than the opposition in every conceivable metric (I could have included opposition scoring which averages somewhere around 30 scoring shots per game), but more that we have been worse in offensive metrics in the last 7 games than the first 7. And I thought we sucked in the first 7. 37 inside 50s per game for the last 7 games is just insane - who the hell wants to play in a team that can't even find a way to move the ball into an attacking area, let alone kick a damn goal?!?

In a way, we're where we were in 2020 (but somewhat worse), when Shaw got concerned about how easily we got scored against so he went for a more conservative approach to ball movement, which backfired as it did little to stem the opposition flow while stifling ours, and made us more predictable. In some ways it cost him his job - the players hated it and and morale in the bubble went south. It seems to me that over the last 7 weeks we've gone back to that dry, dry well - in an attempt to prevent being scored against heavily we have slowed down our ball movement, but the only result is everything has gotten worse and surprise surprise, the players look like they hate it out there. I don't know if that's a coaching instruction or something the players are doing out of self-preservation, but it is on the coaches to do something about.

If I could request one thing for the last 8 games, it would be that our coaches just let the players have their heads a little, let them play with freedom - which was what 2021's glimmer of hope was built on (that at Cunners being the best damn midfielder in the game, bar absolutely no one, period). I don't care any more about the score, about winning and losing, I don't care about turnovers or mistakes or biting off more than they can chew (hell I'd actually prefer the latter right now) - I worry about players harting their jobs and getting despondent. You can see that despondency in the numbers. That's a cancer we have to cut out, and now. They need to find a spark, find some enjoyment, find some way to enjoy playing with other so they can start backing each other in and get some dash and daring back into their game. And I'll bet that if they get some excitement back into their offensive game, suddenly they'll get some energy and effort into the defensive game as well.

Well, I can dream I guess.
Great post. At one point during the Adelaide match we were 34 inside 50s a piece, with the Crows having like 5-8 more scoring shots. Damning.
 

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Mr Lloyd Christmas

Club Legend
May 5, 2022
1,874
3,765
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Great post. At one point during the Adelaide match we were 34 inside 50s a piece, with the Crows having like 5-8 more scoring shots. Damning.

Well it's perfectly understandable if you watch how poorly our forward line function.

Constantly leading to bad spots or constantly behind, Larkey always wanting over the back not leading at the ball carrier, and mids who too often can't nail the kick when in space doesn't make for great scoring potential.
 

astrovic

Premiership Player
Sep 27, 2007
3,588
12,694
Here
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Well it's perfectly understandable if you watch how poorly our forward line function.

Constantly leading to bad spots or constantly behind, Larkey always wanting over the back not leading at the ball carrier, and mids who too often can't nail the kick when in space doesn't make for great scoring potential.

I see it more as a whole of team breakdown, and more to do with the collective mindset. The mindset is negative and lacking confidence. They don’t trust their own abilities or that of their teammates, so everything becomes conservative and no one takes the initiative, whether with or without the ball.

And of course when the mindset gets negative, both individually and as a group…well that’s when the concrete boots get pulled on, the ball becomes a piece of wet soap on a dry day, oppo tackles are vicelike while tackling them is like tackling an eel, everything hurts more, the ball only bounces the wrong way etc etc…that’s where we are. It’s not fun.

Right now I’m not too interested in granular analysis. Everything is bad all over the ground. I think the coaching staff have to work on turning the mindset around first and foremost, so the boys find their spark and start enjoying the game again.

I have no idea whether Noble will be here next year but if he at least lasts out the season, the one thing I’d ask of him is to get the players enjoying their footy again. I shudder at the thought of what happens if this playing group goes into the end of year break (and trade season…) hating their jobs and their workplace. While we keep being told (eg by Goldstein the other night) that the playing group is in good spirits, I don’t buy it. If I wanted to see anything change then it would be the mindset. And that’s on the coaches now, to unlock some positivity. Easier said than done of course.
 

Mr Lloyd Christmas

Club Legend
May 5, 2022
1,874
3,765
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Right now I’m not too interested in granular analysis. Everything is bad all over the ground. I think the coaching staff have to work on turning the mindset around first and foremost, so the boys find their spark and start enjoying the game again.

All fantastic points you have made Astro.

One comment I will make though whilst I agree with you to get the lads to start enjoying their footy again, i'd strongly suggest that it should never have got to this point to start with if we had competent leadership and direction.

The body language is simply horrible, let alone how we are playing - so yes I think your point is correct, but also exactly why we need change at leadership level to get the exact result you are talking about. (may or may not happen this year of course)
 

astrovic

Premiership Player
Sep 27, 2007
3,588
12,694
Here
AFL Club
North Melbourne
All fantastic points you have made Astro.

One comment I will make though whilst I agree with you to get the lads to start enjoying their footy again, i'd strongly suggest that it should never have got to this point to start with if we had competent leadership and direction.

The body language is simply horrible, let alone how we are playing - so yes I think your point is correct, but also exactly why we need change at leadership level to get the exact result you are talking about. (may or may not happen this year of course)
No disagreement there, though my focus would be on how we change that. We're here now, what are we gonna do about it?

If that means changing the leadership now - do it. If changing the leadership now means just destablising the playing group even more for no appreciable gain - don't do it.

For me the next 8 games is a kind of pre-pre-season. We need the playing group want to be at North next year (it's the only playing group we've got!) and not deep in talks with their managers about their "options". While I don't want to see repeat of this past pre-season - I suspect 2021's "successes" (woo we won 4 games!) saw a few boys and some coaching staff drink a bit of their own bathwater, hence the "reality check" against Melbourne in March - I do think it's important that we have a playing group excited about being at North at 2023, not thinking of themselves and their futures.
 

Mr Lloyd Christmas

Club Legend
May 5, 2022
1,874
3,765
AFL Club
North Melbourne
No disagreement there, though my focus would be on how we change that. We're here now, what are we gonna do about it?

If that means changing the leadership now - do it. If changing the leadership now means just destablising the playing group even more for no appreciable gain - don't do it.


For me the next 8 games is a kind of pre-pre-season. We need the playing group want to be at North next year (it's the only playing group we've got!) and not deep in talks with their managers about their "options". While I don't want to see repeat of this past pre-season - I suspect 2021's "successes" (woo we won 4 games!) saw a few boys and some coaching staff drink a bit of their own bathwater, hence the "reality check" against Melbourne in March - I do think it's important that we have a playing group excited about being at North at 2023, not thinking of themselves and their futures.

Again, totally agree on all those points and to be honest, I don't even know what I think anymore this team/club has me so confused as to what the hell has happened and what is going on.

I have flipped on backing Noble and co in, to sack immediately, to give him more time as no point in rushing it, to sack immediately again etc I might as well be a carousel at a festival.

I still don't know which one is "right" (if a right does exist), all I know is something major is wrong.

100% on the sentiment though regarding treating the rest of the season in that fashion. I'd love to see some spark, some energy back, and as you say just make sure we are in right mindset going into next season one way or another.
 

GorillaMick

Rookie
Apr 8, 2015
46
55
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Again, totally agree on all those points and to be honest, I don't even know what I think anymore this team/club has me so confused as to what the hell has happened and what is going on.

I have flipped on backing Noble and co in, to sack immediately, to give him more time as no point in rushing it, to sack immediately again etc I might as well be a carousel at a festival.

I still don't know which one is "right" (if a right does exist), all I know is something major is wrong.

100% on the sentiment though regarding treating the rest of the season in that fashion. I'd love to see some spark, some energy back, and as you say just make sure we are in right mindset going into next season one way or another.
This is a great convo. Having listened to a few of Paul Roos's podcasts, he is about mindfulness, being in the moment and enjoyment. So there is certainly a disconnect somewhere here. It appears that gameday strategy is lacking and combined with strict accountability is stifling the players from playing a natural creative game. Tempting to suggest that Nobes takes a back seat for a game and says to the group that they can play an 'accountable free' game against Geelong, let Blakes manage the gameday and accept that as a loss is likely, just allow the players to enjoy a game for what it is.
 

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