Norm Smith Medallist
- Dec 12, 2006
- 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. ThanksFor 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.
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.