Pies narrowing window, last chance saloon.

Carringbush2010

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They aren’t now certainly, but a lot of players fall off a cliff when they get to 30. Certainly not many play their best footy after their late 20s.

They might still be in the 22 a few more seasons but not necessarily delivering at the level they have the last few years.

Of course every now and then you get an evergreen but, for example, Ball, Didak, Cloke, Johnson, Jolly etc were all cooked in their early 30s.
Oh no doubt but you could argue guy's like Sides and Howe will still be playing their best footy this year and next. After that who knows but unlikely, it's not the Pies window is not open it is but not as wide as the other 3 teams I've mentioned.
 

Muddiemoose

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That's the beauty of system based teams, they're not personnel reliant. Both of these teams have an edge of the rest of the competition for this reason. The 'roles' are based on footy fundamentals and effort no dazzling skills required - you get your transition by suffocating the opposition. The pressure stuff is developed into the squad at training and they continue to develop their squads this way from draftees to Cotchin and Pendles.

The blue chip talent of both these teams are the bonus.

Yeah teams that are system focused don’t rely on the top line players to keep them competitive and it lets them play to thier strengths and play for the big moments because they can trust for the most part everyone will do what is required of them

it also definitely helps with injury management as shown by the pies over the last few seasons and Richmond last year when the injury’s came even to top tier players we saw Guys from the vfl just step up
They weren’t expected to be world beaters they just needed to come in play the role and do the best they could

it also has that benefit of giving those secondary tier players vital match experience and will hopefully aid in the transition of some of these older cattle players moving on
 

Coach_Required

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Pies are genuine top 4 side. Their forward line is the concern for me as to whether they are able to take that next step and win a premiership.

DeGoey is a gun and Stephenson is going to be a massive inclusion for them this year, Mihocek & Elliott give them spread but apart from Mason Cox I still believe they are one tall too short. Will Darcy Moore or Roughhead push forward? The Pies seem to have plenty of tall defenders.

Their strength is their midfield and provides so much opportunity to their forwards that if they can keep the ball locked in the forward line then they will get enough scoring chances, I just have question marks over their depth however.
 

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Carringbush2010

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Yeah teams that are system focused don’t rely on the top line players to keep them competitive and it lets them play to thier strengths and play for the big moments because they can trust for the most part everyone will do what is required of them

it also definitely helps with injury management as shown by the pies over the last few seasons and Richmond last year when the injury’s came even to top tier players we saw Guys from the vfl just step up
They weren’t expected to be world beaters they just needed to come in play the role and do the best they could

it also has that benefit of giving those secondary tier players vital match experience and will hopefully aid in the transition of some of these older cattle players moving on
And that's why these teams pose the biggest threat to transition teams like wc and gws and probably geelong.
 

Carringbush2010

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Pies are genuine top 4 side. Their forward line is the concern for me as to whether they are able to take that next step and win a premiership.

DeGoey is a gun and Stephenson is going to be a massive inclusion for them this year, Mihocek & Elliott give them spread but apart from Mason Cox I still believe they are one tall too short. Will Darcy Moore or Roughhead push forward? The Pies seem to have plenty of tall defenders.

Their strength is their midfield and provides so much opportunity to their forwards that if they can keep the ball locked in the forward line then they will get enough scoring chances, I just have question marks over their depth however.
The midfield is the worry, remembering the Pies success is on the back of swarm and spread. They'll need to take advantage of Grundy's dominance not like they didn't last year. If they can do that then half the battle is won, they'll get their spread, get their spread and suddenly KPF's aren't such a big issue.

They'll have to play at optimum at the right time of year, no margin for error. The other 3 have margin for error.
 

Boston tiger

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Was perplexing to watch that game from the stands. You'd think they'd come out breathing fire but instead played probably their worst game for the year.
The 2 games in 4 weeks playing someone on 3 games in 4 weeks maybe a problem. Great if you get through to Granny against a knackered team but that prelim may be the tricky one.
 

HeathComeBack

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My take is that our list is good enough, but Justin Longmuir is a huge loss. Want to see how we travel without him before being definitive in my opinion.
 

Carringbush2010

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My take is that our list is good enough, but Justin Longmuir is a huge loss. Want to see how we travel without him before being definitive in my opinion.
Not really too worried about the Longmuir loss, after all it's the club culture that has seen us move up the ladder in the last two seasons. The list is good enough but it's not as good as wc or giants, but our system can counter act that.
 

Captain chaos

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There's been other threads on the main board around WC flag prospects, stopping the tigers, the only 3 that can win it etc.

So in before that, good enough for the goose good enough for the gander.

My take on why the Pies can and can't win it.

Can:

  • There's no doubting the Pies system when it's on, it's not personnel reliant like other teams. They literally suffocate the opposition into submission to turnover, hence their high possession rate. It has proven when it's on as almost impossible to defeat.
  • Their core group is in the optimum age bracket. There's a misnomer that Collingwood is an old team, on face value yes they are. But they have a number of players of 50 to 100 gamers in the 24 - 28 yo bracket. Take out old hats like Varcoe, Reid, Pendles and the 'age' drops dramatically.
  • Unfinished business. There's a lot of talk about the Pies will be mentally broken after the pf and gf losses - yeah I don't buy that. Might as well write off GWS, no one's doin that. If anything logically thinking it will steel their resolve.
Can't:

  • The ageing stars, Pendles is pretty much irreplaceable, there has never been another player that has literal ability to bend time to his will - he pre empts things before they happen and usually correctly. At the moment he looks like it's carry on nothing to see here, but I seriously doubt he can carry his current form past this year. Father time gets everyone. Varcoe probably less important from a profile point of view but his pressure epitomises the Pies game plan, can he get enough game time? If so can he still have that necessary impact?
  • Executing the game plan, 2019 was an experimental year for the Pies from a system point of view. They experimented with 'controlling transition' with disastrous results, see the North game, yet they still made a prelim as hot favourites. The mind boggles. If they continue to tweak on the path of controlling transition rather than swarm and spread that served them so well then simply they won't win it. Bookmark that.
  • The injury curse, even though when they play the way they should equals not personnel reliant you still have to have enough players to make a starting 22. For memory they were down to 27 available to pick from at least once in the last two seasons. That is far from ideal. One would argue that not having Moore in the gf was the deciding factor, even though I don't buy that it's not ideal. The Pies are arguably the worst league wide for injuries, I'd argue management hasn't been ideal in this area either.
  • Other teams windows are wider. This is key, it's not that Pies windows has lessened but other teams have widened namely WC, Richmond and GWS. I'd argue that everything has to fall into place to give the Pies an opportunity, that might be under rating, I certainly hope so. It fell into place this year with Hawthorn handing us top 4 at the expense of the Eagles and then suffocated a wily Geelong outfit in the QF - still blew their chance.
I maybe wrong but I'm more pessimistic than optimistic about the Pies, sure if they get their mojo there are few if any that can defeat the system. That's the $64 thousand dollar question though, it's not if they can they certainly can but will they?

Is it last chance saloon or is it not given already established stars beginning their careers like De Goey, Moore, Stephenson and another at least 5 productive years from Grundy?

Are they a contender or not? Very curious position the Pies find themselves in.

Discuss.
Pretty good summary... grundy hardly seems to miss any games nor pendles or sidey... just hope that dream run continues.
 

Carringbush2010

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Pretty good summary... grundy hardly seems to miss any games nor pendles or sidey... just hope that dream run continues.
They're both durable athletes, don't think that game time for them is the issue. There are more pressing issues as outlined in the op.
 

Captain chaos

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They're both durable athletes, don't think that game time for them is the issue. There are more pressing issues as outlined in the op.
Yes but as with a rance or reiwodlt who barely missed a game for years, injury gods usually visit you at some stage. The pies have been very lucky with these three... arguably you three best rarely missing a game .
 

Carringbush2010

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Yes but as with a rance or reiwodlt who barely missed a game for years, injury gods usually visit you at some stage. The pies have been very lucky with these three... arguably you three best rarely missing a game .
You're forgetting the rest of the team. De Goey, Moore, Stephenson,Sides, Treloar, Adams,Grundy, Elliott all blue chip talent and to a lesser extent but no less important. Maynard, Langdon, WHE, Adams, Roughead, Mayne, Quaynor, Noble, Daicos, Brown, Checkers............. do I need go on?. It's a serious list that is in a team that is not so personnel reliant.

Richmond says hello, this is a serious contender however you want to boil it down and dissect it. Probably the biggest threat to the tigs.

Along with the tigs, when it's on has a near impenetrable system, that can't be argued.

Is their window open? Yes, is it as open as Richmond, WC, GWS? No, but don't be surprised if this team takes the cup. No one should be. Bookmark that.
 

Carringbush2010

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Yes but as with a rance or reiwodlt who barely missed a game for years, injury gods usually visit you at some stage. The pies have been very lucky with these three... arguably you three best rarely missing a game .
Also, players like Rance and Reiwolt are not role player replaceable. Akin to Grundy and Pendles goin down. STILL these teams have an edge purely on the back of their systems, to suggest otherwise would be to suggest that Richmond has THE best list. Only a one eyed pure fanatical Richmond fan would agree to that.
 

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Captain chaos

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You're forgetting the rest of the team. De Goey, Moore, Stephenson,Sides, Treloar, Adams,Grundy, Elliott all blue chip talent and to a lesser extent but no less important. Maynard, Langdon, WHE, Adams, Roughead, Mayne, Quaynor, Noble, Daicos, Brown, Checkers............. do I need go on?. It's a serious list that is in a team that is not so personnel reliant.

Richmond says hello, this is a serious contender however you want to boil it down and dissect it. Probably the biggest threat to the tigs.

Along with the tigs, when it's on has a near impenetrable system, that can't be argued.

Is their window open? Yes, is it as open as Richmond, WC, GWS? No, but don't be surprised if this team takes the cup. No one should be. Bookmark that.
Nobody ( not me) suggested the lust isnt any good but the fact remains it hasnt ben tested for any period of time without grundy pendles and sidey.
These guys never miss games ( or rarely)
 

Dr Tigris

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Pies have a nice mix age wise, a great midfield, and a solid spine. Grundy is awesome. But I see them as needing it all to go right because their get out of jail free card is fairly weak. By that I mean that unlike the Tigers - whose style is very similar - the Pies cannot just kick it long to very good KPFs and expect a good result. Similarly, their defenders are good but not great. So, I think much like the OP said, the Pies can go all the way, but have to get is exactly right. The other contenders have options to rely on star players in key positions and so have more scope for things not being perfect.
 

tiger_tough

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Hard to get a read on them. Can see them contending for the flag again but also wouldn't be surprised if they fell out of the 8.

Question for pies fans - Is Grundy just not great at getting hit outs to advantage, or are the midfield not getting in the right spots? They should dominate in the midfield with their mids plus Grundy but seem to get beaten in the clearances pretty often. And yes, I know Tigers are a poor clearance team (18th) and quite often accept the fact we'll lose the clearance and focus on winning the ball back, BUT we don't have the dominant big man pies do. If we did, I daresay our clearance numbers would skyrocket. Surely it's easier to win the ball straight up rather than have to win it back over and over?

If Grundy can get the hitout out to advantage dominance Gawn does he'd be unstoppable.
 

robbos13

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Hard to get a read on them. Can see them contending for the flag again but also wouldn't be surprised if they fell out of the 8.

Question for pies fans - Is Grundy just not great at getting hit outs to advantage, or are the midfield not getting in the right spots? They should dominate in the midfield with their mids plus Grundy but seem to get beaten in the clearances pretty often. And yes, I know Tigers are a poor clearance team (18th) and quite often accept the fact we'll lose the clearance and focus on winning the ball back, BUT we don't have the dominant big man pies do. If we did, I daresay our clearance numbers would skyrocket. Surely it's easier to win the ball straight up rather than have to win it back over and over?

If Grundy can get the hitout out to advantage dominance Gawn does he'd be unstoppable.
he is not a great ruckman in a sense that he often burns his midfielders but playing the ball to close to the contest so he can mop up "and be the extra midfielder" rather than just palming it off to a dedicated midfielder with more speed and skill.

quite frustrating to watch.
 

tiger_tough

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he is not a great ruckman in a sense that he often burns his midfielders but playing the ball to close to the contest so he can mop up "and be the extra midfielder" rather than just palming it off to a dedicated midfielder with more speed and skill.

quite frustrating to watch.
Yeah he quite often taps the ball straight down to his feet. It is odd.
 

Carringbush2010

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Very interested in your explanation of the difference between "System" (Richmond, Collingwood) and "Transition" (WC, GWS)?
Glad you asked, WC and GWS are skill laden and use movement of the ball as their one wood, teams like Coll and Rich like to deny those teams movement of the ball through pressure, their one wood.

Of course there is football fundamentals, but beyond that, that's a basic definition of the differences.
 

Carringbush2010

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Hard to get a read on them. Can see them contending for the flag again but also wouldn't be surprised if they fell out of the 8.

Question for pies fans - Is Grundy just not great at getting hit outs to advantage, or are the midfield not getting in the right spots? They should dominate in the midfield with their mids plus Grundy but seem to get beaten in the clearances pretty often. And yes, I know Tigers are a poor clearance team (18th) and quite often accept the fact we'll lose the clearance and focus on winning the ball back, BUT we don't have the dominant big man pies do. If we did, I daresay our clearance numbers would skyrocket. Surely it's easier to win the ball straight up rather than have to win it back over and over?

If Grundy can get the hitout out to advantage dominance Gawn does he'd be unstoppable.
he is not a great ruckman in a sense that he often burns his midfielders but playing the ball to close to the contest so he can mop up "and be the extra midfielder" rather than just palming it off to a dedicated midfielder with more speed and skill.

quite frustrating to watch.
Interesting question, I don't think he deliberately burns his mids, if that was the case I'd imagine the coaching panel would be all over that. I think the mids group as a whole just hasn't quite got it right, Grundy is good around the ground and can do his own 'mid' work i:e can win his own ball in traffic and or at stoppages.

The mid group really need to take advantage of Grundy's dominance, would be fair to speculate that opp match committees have figured Grundy out and are using him to advantage or at least disrupt the Pies mid movements.
 

adammania9

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Not really too worried about the Longmuir loss, after all it's the club culture that has seen us move up the ladder in the last two seasons. The list is good enough but it's not as good as wc or giants, but our system can counter act that.
We’ve seen some very good sides fall apart following the departure of a key assistant coach. Port in ‘15 with Richardson and Walsh and Sydney in ‘18 after Walsh. Our back line was probably the league’s best in 2019, so losing the man in charge isn’t ideal by any means. It’s something I reckon Pies supporters need to be mindful of because if our back six lets down then I can’t see us winning a flag.
 

Carringbush2010

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We’ve seen some very good sides fall apart following the departure of a key assistant coach. Port in ‘15 with Richardson and Walsh and Sydney in ‘18 after Walsh. Our back line was probably the league’s best in 2019, so losing the man in charge isn’t ideal by any means. It’s something I reckon Pies supporters need to be mindful of because if our back six lets down then I can’t see us winning a flag.
Yeah fair enough, those examples are true. There's no doubt the coaching culture has improved with acquisition of Longmuir, Hocking, Boyd etc. And that's been the key - culture - I'm fairly confident that will continue and hopefully his departure will have little if any tangible negative effect.
 

vicparksfinest

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Hard to get a read on them. Can see them contending for the flag again but also wouldn't be surprised if they fell out of the 8.

Question for pies fans - Is Grundy just not great at getting hit outs to advantage, or are the midfield not getting in the right spots? They should dominate in the midfield with their mids plus Grundy but seem to get beaten in the clearances pretty often. And yes, I know Tigers are a poor clearance team (18th) and quite often accept the fact we'll lose the clearance and focus on winning the ball back, BUT we don't have the dominant big man pies do. If we did, I daresay our clearance numbers would skyrocket. Surely it's easier to win the ball straight up rather than have to win it back over and over?

If Grundy can get the hitout out to advantage dominance Gawn does he'd be unstoppable.
Grundy is not a great tap ruckman, nor are our mids great at reading the tap (Pendles excluded), it’s a negative combination, but Grundy and our mids are good contested so we continually tap to the feet and expect to win it from there....VERY frustrating to watch. The inclusion of DeGoey would go a long way of rectifying that, the reported trial of Elliott in the guts also does this, pace and class is a massive area we lack.
Mabey in the future Stephenson also fills this role, but being so slight and such a good forward it may not be a good move. The fact Steele has moved almost permanently to the wing/outside is another head scratcher, after his best season ‘18 playing that classy inside role. I would love to see a combination of Steele, DeGoey and Elliott in every centre bounce and or contest around the ground, workhorses like Adams, Pendles and Treloar mixed the above would go A LONG way in rejuvenating a stale, slow and predictable set up.
 

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