Opinion Our 2020 season is back on track. We ain't coughing a high draft pick to Geelong.

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xInfected_Virus

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Our first game against the Dees wasn't even convincing, they are times when we let them back in the game and they still waltzed it out from our F50 with ease. They only lost because of poor decision making and missing set shots, had they been clean and kicked straight then I have no doubt they would've won. The games against Gold Coast showed that we weren't hungry for the footy and they've torn us apart in the middle especially Rowell. We were somewhat better against Brisbane but it was the same old same old of being too soft and going down the line. I wasn't even surprised that we're doing to get smashed by Port and I called Port will smash us by around seven goals even before the game starts.

We LITERALLY have NO reliable plan B. The only plan B is to go down the line and expecting for JK, Darling, Ryan and even Ah Chee or Allen to mark everything. Teams have figured us out by guarding the corridor and playing tight man on man so we don't do our signature kick mark game and allowed us to go back only to return to the same spot which will be contested. Dicky McGeezaks forward pressure is a HUGE concern where teams including the Dees easily get the footy out of our forward line and attacked the corridor hard since our mids don't work hard enough. Our transitional defense has been poor this year and teams are figuring out our backline. With Gov playing, teams will send a defensive forward tag on him to make him more accountable and to stop him from being the loose man.

Mids looked a bit harder in contests against Port as we're even in contested possessions against them but it wasn't showing in the games before. We get killed on the spread, teams with fast leg speed will punish us on the corridor and easily get numbers back to defend out kick mark game style even on the dry. I expect the Tigers to smash us next week by six goals if nothing changes but we do match up pretty well against them and they're not in the best of form but our form is even worst. If we lose against the Tiger then this season will be like 2008.

How could we change things?

Play Williams NOT Hickey or Allen as second ruck.


Bailey Williams provides the explosiveness and leaping ability to back up Nic Nat in the ruck and he can also go forward as well. Let's face it, Nic Nat cannot ruck by himself and he pretty much never rucked by himself for most of his career. Tom Hickey is great as a solo ruck since he's more of an endurance type of player not an explosive type and is also NOT a forward as well, having Hickey in the forward line with JK and Darling will make our already lumbering forward line even slower and he's not strong in the air to take that contested mark. Oscar Allen has been serviceable in the ruck but is too undersized and is best used in the forward line as JK's successor.

Improve forward delivery. Make sure every kick has a tactical meaning behind them instead of blind kick and hope.

JK, Darling and other forwards need great delivery to be effective. With the sub par delivery to the forward line, it be a nightmare for any KPF playing for West Coast with our sub par delivery. How on Earth can JK, Darling and Ryan mark the footy if delivery is bad? JK can still play if he gets a good delivery but becomes useless like the other forwards if delivery is poor. Every delivery in the forward line must mean something not just some blind bombs and hoping JK, Darling and Ryan can mark it everytime otherwise it doesn't work.

Everyone in the forward line needs to be targets not just JK and Darling and only ONE must go after the footy in the air.

It seems like we only target JK and Darling and expecting them to mark it. It doesn't work like that, teams are nullifying their influence by focusing on them and having crumbers ready to pounce when it goes to ground and it and rebounding it with ease. This maybe caused by three Eagles players going after the footy and we have no crumbers to pick up the ground ball. Ryan needs to play as the crumbing forward when someone goes after it and he should only try to mark it if it's uncontested or if the defenders are away from him, Ryan mainly plays as if he's a 195 cm KPF instead of a crumber which he's been good at but has to change his role to a crumber ever since we have no Rioli. With only one player going after the footy, if it goes to ground then we'll have an advantage.

Improve forward line work rate, forward pressure and play genuine crumbers.

So far the forwards have been lazy to tackle and the midfield who's already lazy have to pick up the slack the forwards left. As mentioned above, three Eagles players try to mark the same ball and when it's to ground there's no crumbers so the opposition can easily rebound out of our forward 50. If we can fix this issue, then teams will have trouble rebounding the ball in our forward 50. However this will need the right players to pull off. With no Rioli, we need Cameron in ASAP for his tackling ability and Cripps needs a rocket to his a** to improve his pressure since he's not showing any or his gone. Ah Chee makes us a bit too tall but he's ok and JK and Darling need to show more anger and play more smarter when defending since they especially JK are physically slowing down and being more faster than the opposition rebounder isn't an option. Both JK and Darling should play to guard space instead of chasing their man to prevent opposition rebounders from running it out.

Cut JK and Darling's time on ground and ALWAYS have someone deep.

JK and Darling average over 97% time on ground. We can't afford to have three KPFs in the forward 50 otherwise we'll be too slow and teams will continue to rebound the ball out with ease, we need to have TWO KPFs max. With less time on ground, JK and Darling can have more energy to provide more forward pressure which has been lacking in recent times and even take marks up high on the ground. With this set up, Nic Nat needs to ruck 60% of the match and Williams doing the other 40% of the ruck work. JK's game time should be cut to 75% and Darling's game time should be cut to 80%, this allows Williams to play as the other tall forward the other 45% of the time while EITHER JK or Darling is on the bench resting so they can get more energy needed for forward pressure. JK doesn't always have to be the deep forward, I think they should mix it up more from Darling, Ryan, Cripps, Petch, Cameron, Allen, Waterman, Ah Chee and whoever's playing at the time. Always maintain even numbers up forward and avoid getting sucked in to the contests should we win the contested possession and clearances.

There needs to be a rotation on who can be the interceptor and you can't always have Gov doing it.

Teams are figuring us out on defense and now send a defensive forward on Gov. Gov needs to play more often on the damaging KPF instead of peeling off and making Bunga go on the dangerous KPF more often which he's undersized to play on them. There's could be a rotation of Gov playing 30% as that interceptor, Barrass the other 30%, Bunga 30% and someone playing that other 10% as that peel off interceptor.

Petch and Gaff needs to play more of a link up role upfield.

Gold Coast, Brisbane and Port all have one thing in common: Midfield with fast leg speed. Their superior leg speed allows them to attack us hard on the corridor and also defend the corridor to prevent us kick marking it since our midfield is pretty slow in terms of leg speed. Petch has to play a link up role with the mids and use his speed in the midfield to distribute the footy. The problem with Petch though is his poor disposals at speed and his lack of tackling, aggression and has been invisible lately but I don't know anyone on our list other than Gaff who's quick to play that link upfield in attack or defense role, maybe Masten but he's more of an endurance type. Gaff can use his pace and endurance to link up on the corridor in attack and defense where teams kill us in. I expect to get grilled for suggesting Petch for this role but may as well try it since our season is disappearing fast.

Midfield needs to be more aggressive and hungry.

We're one of the worst teams in the comp for contested possessions and adding Kelly could help but it hasn't. Nic Nat is one of our best contested possession players and no one else seems to want it like he does. It's certainly improved as we've tied Port in contested possessions who are a strong contested possession team so we'll need to improve on that if we're going to be contenders. The we can do that is to play for each other and keep each others back. When if the opposition goes hard at the footy, we go harder at them and of course we can't push it too far to the point of Schoey and Gaff's brain fades. It's no coincidence that Shep, Nic Nat and Gaff are our most hungriest players in the team.

Play the midfield to their strengths.

It seems like the midfield aren't playing to their strengths. Shuey needs to be that main clearance and burst out the pack guy, Yeo needs to play a soft tagging run with role against the opposition's best midfielder and Kelly needs to play that link up role where he can use his class and polish disposals so our forwards can get good delivery. Sheed and Redden need to play inside more since they're not particularly quick when playing the outside mid role and Gaff needs to be the third or fourth guy in the possession chain so he can dispose of it cleanly because he's only a one footed player and disposes it poorly when being the first or second guy in the possession chain. I wouldn't mind seeing Hutch back since taking the best opposition mid out of the match seems to have a bigger impact on the game but he's only suited to those class and polish type mids who aren't particularly quick like a Sidebottom or Pendlebury. Brander could be used mainly as a tall marking target on the wing and can also go forward when up against his undersized opponent so he can out mark them, things are look good for Brander, he could be JK's successor but I digress.

Real plan B when plan A of kick mark doesn't work. Even have multiple plans for every match where everyone can change midway though.

I'm sure Dylan can come up with plan B but down the line as plan B is not working. Teams are putting extras at the contest so if it goes to ground the opposition gets first use and our backline is immediately under pressure. We could try a Richmond style chaos ball and change is later to kick mark whenever the situation calls for it such as dry weather. What made Richmond so good from 2017-2019 is that they have a game plan most situations. The only plans the Tigers didn't have was against our kick mark style in dry weather where we pounced on them in 2018 and did well in the first half in 2019 until it got wet.

The game plan is easy for our players to follow but makes us more predictable. It's like the Irish rugby union team where they have a game plan where everyone understands it but other teams are figuring them out which is exactly what's happening to us. Simmo lacks the adaptability and I bet if it's the survival of the fittest we'd be done first.

There's a old saying I heard about survival "It's not the strongest or the smartest that survives, it's the one who adapts to change the best that survives."

If we cannot adapt then we can kiss our 2020 goodbye and relive 2008 all over again and not only that, we'll have to cough up a high draft pick to Geelong from the Tim Kelly trade.

If there's anymore things that'll benefit us then let me know.

My analysis isn't the best but I'm saying what's on my mind and what we need to to otherwise it's 2008 all over again.
 

xInfected_Virus

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We've just lost the mojo. It's been evident since 2019 where we were okay at times, but never played four quarters. List/best 22 and game strategy needs a refresh circa 2017.
We're just way to predictable and Simmo has no real plan B, the only plan B is to go down the line. Midfield lacks leg speed so faster leg speed teams like the teams that beat us this year can attack and defend the corridor with ease and the kick mark style goes down the drain.
 

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daddy_4_eyes

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There's a lot of things that need to be fixed, as per your well thought out post.

SIMPSON has issues with a our older guys (Hurn, Redden, Schofield, Kennedy) apparently having fallen drastically off over the last 9 months.

Young kids aren't getting developed correctly (Allen, Brander) .

Senior guys seem off (Yeo, Gov, JD, Cripps, TK).

It goes on and on.

The question is how do SIMPSON respond? Does the obvious quality of SIMPSON'S list turn this season around? Or does Simpson call time on the older guys, move on some guys with trade value, blood a new look best 22, and hope to build for 2022+?

I suspect neither. SIMPSON won't have the kahunas to cull the deadwood and the players won't have the fortitude to dig themselves out.
It scares me thinking of the kids teams like GC, GWS, Brisbane, Port, etc have on their list, compared to our plethora of late picks.

Edited for kaiserchief13 benefit
 
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xInfected_Virus

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We'll win some games when we get back to Perth, but reckon we'll finish mid-table. Making up the numbers if we make finals this year.
Lets hope so but the way we're playing, it's looking slim and if it rains then our home advantage evaporates.
Who's going to be the scapegoat? It is really unacceptable after last season that the coaches didn't think of a plan B. Honestly buck stops with Simpson and he needs to implement a plan B immediately or get another coach who can
Now having Dylan as our assistant coach is NOT a radical idea. It's not like the coaching panel can come up with a reliable plan B.
There's a lot of things that need to be fixed, as per your well thought out post.

We have issues with a our older guys (Hurn, Redden, Schofield, Kennedy) apparently having fallen drastically off over the last 9 months.

Young kids aren't getting developed correctly (Allen, Brander) .

Senior guys seem off (Yeo, Gov, JD, Cripps, TK).

It goes on and on.

The question is how do we respond? Does the obvious quality of our list turn this season around? Or does Simpson call time on the older guys, move on some guys with trade value, blood a new look best 22, and hope to build for 2022+?

I suspect neither. We won't have the kahunas to cull the deadwood and the players won't have the fortitude to dig themselves out.
It scares me thinking of the kids teams like GC, GWS, Brisbane, Port, etc have on their list, compared to our plethora of late picks.
This looks like the last year the older guys can play, any longer and the younger guys won't get the proper development. We need leg speed in our midfield but we don't know who has that leg speed. Not sure about Gaff's speed since he's more of an endurance type and Redden certainly doesn't help in that department.
 
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kaiserchief13

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There's a lot of things that need to be fixed, as per your well thought out post.

We have issues with a our older guys (Hurn, Redden, Schofield, Kennedy) apparently having fallen drastically off over the last 9 months.

Young kids aren't getting developed correctly (Allen, Brander) .

Senior guys seem off (Yeo, Gov, JD, Cripps, TK).

It goes on and on.

The question is how do we respond? Does the obvious quality of our list turn this season around? Or does Simpson call time on the older guys, move on some guys with trade value, blood a new look best 22, and hope to build for 2022+?

I suspect neither. We won't have the kahunas to cull the deadwood and the players won't have the fortitude to dig themselves out.
It scares me thinking of the kids teams like GC, GWS, Brisbane, Port, etc have on their list, compared to our plethora of late picks.
We? Who's we? Isn't it Simpson's call?
 

xInfected_Virus

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Hoping for a massive corona outbreak amongst AFL clubs. cancel the season and we dodge a bullet and put a bandaid over our broken and gangrenous leg.

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I reckon we dodged a bullet against the Dees in round 1. They were poor with their goalkicking and F50 entries, had they been more cleaner and straighter then we'd unfortunately be 0-4.
 

Cuzz09

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Its interesting. it wouldve probably been about round 12 or something right now.

I dare say we would be top 4-6 right now due to the season flowing normally and being an experienced side.

No doubt Corona hasnt helped us.

i agree with others saying young run n gun sidss wotg nothing to lose are doing well.

I expect us to come home strongly but we prob do a Sydney from a couple of years back and trying to win so many games late in the year gets the better of us.

(Im really hoping we arent going to watch this effort all year)

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xInfected_Virus

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Its interesting. it wouldve probably been about round 12 or something right now.

I dare say we would be top 4-6 right now due to the season flowing normally and being an experienced side.

No doubt Corona hasnt helped us.

i agree with others saying young run n gun sidss wotg nothing to lose are doing well.

I expect us to come home strongly but we prob do a Sydney from a couple of years back and trying to win so many games late in the year gets the better of us.

(Im really hoping we arent going to watch this effort all year)

On SM-G925I using BigFooty.com mobile app
I think the premiership players don't have the hunger since they've been there done that and the players who didn't play in the premiership team Nic Nat, Gaff and Shepperd are the most hungriest, not sure about TK though since he still needs time to gel with the midfield and being a slow midfield doesn't help. I'd have us at around 7th to 10th at this stage since our gameplan is too predicatable and teams figured us out.
 

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Rowan18

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Team is not travelling too well but it is good to remember that we have played the teams that are currently 1-3 on the ladder. It has ended up being a nightmare draw. Clearly we are not one of the contenders this year, but that doesn't mean we have to give up trying to play finals.

The challenge now is to keep the spirit up. We will start getting a run of winnable games when we get to Perth. It would be amazing if we can win our next two. Richmond is also having form challenges and Adelaide will win the spoon.

The team has shown patches of form, but they need to tweak the gameplan and get a win soon to keep their spirits up.
 

Carbine Chaos

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Team is not travelling too well but it is good to remember that we have played the teams that are currently 1-3 on the ladder. It has ended up being a nightmare draw. Clearly we are not one of the contenders this year, but that doesn't mean we have to give up trying to play finals.

The challenge now is to keep the spirit up. We will start getting a run of winnable games when we get to Perth. It would be amazing if we can win our next two. Richmond is also having form challenges and Adelaide will win the spoon.

The team has shown patches of form, but they need to tweak the gameplan and get a win soon to keep their spirits up.
Those teams are near the top primary because of who they have played. All very beatable sides if we went in with the right attitude.

What patches have form have we shown? I must have missed them. A 5 min burst against Port?
 

kid_a

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One thing we have lacked for many a year is the mongrel at the contests.
Even in our pomp not many of our lads could wrap up an charging opponent and nail them with a tackle and the stats of our contested ball wins speak for themselves.
Luckily for the last few years we've had very skilled players able to play the ''outside' kick and pass style of game, which is all good, but you need a healthy dose of hard nose mole-rats who are gonna get in there or sit a player from the other team on their ass when and if the game turns into a slog.
Unfortunately now it looks as if our most skilled players are just either passed it or not interested in playing their best footy and thus now we're left with a team unable to execute the skilful brand of football and our lack of battle hardened warriors is telling because we have nobody to rely on to try get dirty in the trenches.
I'll give ah chee some credit over the last few weeks, he usually looks like he wants to put his body on the line and Shep has done his usual defensive best, but the less said of the rest the better.
 

xInfected_Virus

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One thing we have lacked for many a year is the mongrel at the contests.
Even in our pomp not many of our lads could wrap up an charging opponent and nail them with a tackle and the stats of our contested ball wins speak for themselves.
Luckily for the last few years we've had very skilled players able to play the ''outside' kick and pass style of game, which is all good, but you need a healthy dose of hard nose mole-rats who are gonna get in there or sit a player from the other team on their ass when and if the game turns into a slog.
Unfortunately now it looks as if our most skilled players are just either passed it or not interested in playing their best footy and thus now we're left with a team unable to execute the skilful brand of football and our lack of battle hardened warriors is telling because we have nobody to rely on to try get dirty in the trenches.
I'll give ah chee some credit over the last few weeks, he usually looks like he wants to put his body on the line and Shep has done his usual defensive best, but the less said of the rest the better.
We have Yeo, Kelly, Shuey, Redden and Nic Nat for the mongrel at contests but they haven't shown or performed enough of it. Our top mids mentioned needs to be more mongrel and they were good signs against Port Adelaide where we tied them in contested possessions it's just we got killed on the outside because some of our mids are slow and lazy. We also need to be more aggressive in the midfield and stick our tackles. There's some damning vision of Port players outworking us on the spread and getting clean entries to their forward line as a result where Dixon played like a god against us just like in the 2017 EF. We need to outwork the opposition in every game and take advantage of the shortened quarters if we're ever going to have a chance to salvage our chances for finals.
 

shooshka

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Those teams are near the top primary because of who they have played. All very beatable sides if we went in with the right attitude.

What patches have form have we shown? I must have missed them. A 5 min burst against Port?
We showed patches against port in the first half, then briefly in the 3rd quarter.

Same with Brisbane.

Both times we lost the momentum (in some part due to questionable umpiring in our back half, either paid or not paid - but we mostly have ourselves to blame for the ball being there in the first place). We then didn't have the mental (and then physical - but it starts with the mental) application to turn it back our way.

We demolished port in hitouts, clearances and centre clearances - and equaled them for contested possessions. The issue then was that our disposal efficiency was 67% to their 75% - and we had 61 turnovers to 40. Of course the scoreboard shows that they were much better than us (the previous stats aren't there to say we were the better team!)

Some of the issues no doubt come down to the opposition pressure applied - but others come down to structure:
- Around the contest - i.e. a handball - usually dodgy as we don't seem to practice handballing and certainly not on our opposite hand from what I see in games - to a flat footed Gaff as a quarterback is insane. He ends up kicking around a corner at best and usually to a contest.
- In front of the ball (how often, from a rushed centre clearance, did a port defender lead our forward to the ball - I reckon 7-8 times minimum. We have the players to win the clearance, and need a better contest on our half forward line)
- Behind the ball. It seems like we have a lot of 'attacking' defenders. That is great when things are going well - but when we are turning it over a lot we need at least one or two to take some responsibility to be defenders first (I think Gaff, after a turnover he kicked into our F50, ended up on Dixon down the other end. How does that happen? Obviously running and effort is part of it - but as a defender they should always have in the back of their mind 'what is the play here if we turn the ball over')

Then there are a few instances of direct turnovers coming out of our back half - they are killing us at the moment (and we are not applying enough pressure to get them the other way).

I doubt our coaches are that poor that they haven't seen all of the above - and attempted to rectify it. I'm going to go out on (not that much of) a limb here and say that the players just aren't in the right headspace at the moment to execute.
 

xInfected_Virus

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We showed patches against port in the first half, then briefly in the 3rd quarter.

Same with Brisbane.

Both times we lost the momentum (in some part due to questionable umpiring in our back half, either paid or not paid - but we mostly have ourselves to blame for the ball being there in the first place). We then didn't have the mental (and then physical - but it starts with the mental) application to turn it back our way.

We demolished port in hitouts, clearances and centre clearances - and equaled them for contested possessions. The issue then was that our disposal efficiency was 67% to their 75% - and we had 61 turnovers to 40. Of course the scoreboard shows that they were much better than us (the previous stats aren't there to say we were the better team!)

Some of the issues no doubt come down to the opposition pressure applied - but others come down to structure:
- Around the contest - i.e. a handball - usually dodgy as we don't seem to practice handballing and certainly not on our opposite hand from what I see in games - to a flat footed Gaff as a quarterback is insane. He ends up kicking around a corner at best and usually to a contest.
- In front of the ball (how often, from a rushed centre clearance, did a port defender lead our forward to the ball - I reckon 7-8 times minimum. We have the players to win the clearance, and need a better contest on our half forward line)
- Behind the ball. It seems like we have a lot of 'attacking' defenders. That is great when things are going well - but when we are turning it over a lot we need at least one or two to take some responsibility to be defenders first (I think Gaff, after a turnover he kicked into our F50, ended up on Dixon down the other end. How does that happen? Obviously running and effort is part of it - but as a defender they should always have in the back of their mind 'what is the play here if we turn the ball over')

Then there are a few instances of direct turnovers coming out of our back half - they are killing us at the moment (and we are not applying enough pressure to get them the other way).

I doubt our coaches are that poor that they haven't seen all of the above - and attempted to rectify it. I'm going to go out on (not that much of) a limb here and say that the players just aren't in the right headspace at the moment to execute.
Good analysis.

We just cannot seem to play four quarters and our mids look lazy to run the other way. Defenders too unaccountable and ball use has been poor. Ever since winning the flag, our premiership players lost the hunger to win another because they already have one already. We need to work more harder running both ways to compensate for the slower leg speed of the midfield.
 

shooshka

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Good analysis.

We just cannot seem to play four quarters and our mids look lazy to run the other way. Defenders too unaccountable and ball use has been poor. Ever since winning the flag, our premiership players lost the hunger to win another because they already have one already. We need to work more harder running both ways to compensate for the slower leg speed of the midfield.
Yes harder running, but also smarter. We don't need 6 backs attacking at the one time - just like we don't need JK and JD jumping for the same ball in the air.

I played a lot of (very low grade) amateur footy - and one of the lightbulb moments as a team was when a coach spent basically an entire preseason drilling all players to get to the front of a pack to crumb (training not to run past, and also not to be lazy and go to the side of the pack). Of course it is way too simple to say that to elite players - but I take mental notes when I see it (and I have been seeing it a lot in the past 2 weeks). It's something like 70% off the balls fall to the front of the pack when not marked (yes, made up stat alert) with some then going to the back and side. We seem to have a lot of players 'hoping' it goes to the less likely places - rather than being in the likely place (and sometimes you will be wrong... but that is ok if you are right more than wrong).

I think the fitness in general is there - but we do some really dumb running (and extra running) when literally standing still is the best option. And also, sometimes don't run when it is clear that there is a turnover coming and we need to cover (Gaff excluded). We know they are capable of it - so I'm assuming it is 100% between the ears.
 

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