Pies narrowing window, last chance saloon.

Carringbush2010

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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.
That pretty much sums up the issue we have in the middle, Grundy IS a good tap ruckman his other attributes make him the player he is. If we can take advantage of the supposed elite midfield then we'll step up another gear. Currently our contested footy somewhat covers this deficiency.

This is not our greatest issue however, we need to stop massaging the ball i:e stop phuckin around with in transition. It just invites pressure and allows the opp to out Collingwood Collingwood. This the most frustrating part, we aren't playing with freedom like we were in 2018.

The qf was the closest to what we should be playing like in a long time.

Hopefully the message will be let's get back to swarm and spread.
 

old55

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Grundy is a great player but those last two minutes vs GWS in the PF when it was locked in the Pies forward 50 were dire. Mumford won at least half of the contests and both ruckmen just dropped it into the contest about 9 times in a row to produce yet another stoppage. Grundy needed to change the pattern and knock it clear into space, sure GWS may have cleared and gone on to score, but repeating the same thing over and over and hoping for a different result was dumb football. I expect the Pies will have learnt from that.
 

PetterdHoisted

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Pies will be fine, suffered a freak event with Keeffe coming back from oblivion, with revenge on his mind, in a PF. Poor Mihocek, this summer must be feeling so long.

Otherwise just need to have plans for when Sidebottom is getting shut out. '18 GF, '19 PF would both have been reversed if he had been freed up to contribute.
 

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Carringbush2010

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Pies will be fine, suffered a freak event with Keeffe coming back from oblivion, with revenge on his mind, in a PF. Poor Mihocek, this summer must be feeling so long.

Otherwise just need to have plans for when Sidebottom is getting shut out. '18 GF, '19 PF would both have been reversed if he had been freed up to contribute.
There's merit in the 2nd paragraph, if Sides has a good game in the gf or pf it's likely a Pies win and one could argue that IF they made the gf in 19 they're a chance. A good chance. If the form would warrant.
 

Johno9911

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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.
This is a very accurate post, and I have often felt the same way. When push comes to shove, GWS WCE and Richmond have tall targets who can manufacture marks inside 50 and multiple scoring shots, something the Pies lack. Granted this luxury doesn't come easily, as most of the other clubs will agree, however Collingwood have to find a reliable avenue to take contested marks inside 50, whether internally or recruiting externally.
 

greatwhiteshark

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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.
Good post mate, I think they are well and truly contenders. Like all other sides a lot needs to go right but I think you are right in the mix.
Strengths in order are Midfield, Forward line and then defense.
Now obviously i don't watch you guys as closely as you do but from a far I just see a forward line that depends on to few and a back line that can be overwhelmed at times.
Your midfield covers for it quite often but it's hard to maintain it.
I still think a key forward is the missing part of the puzzle for you guys but make no mistake I think you will be in the 2020 season up to your ears.
All the best.
 

Scotland

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The Pies don't have a particularly old list.

32 this year: Pendlebury, Mayne, Varcoe
31: Greenwood, Reid
30: Roughead, Howe, Beams
29: Sidebottom, Cox, Thomas

2019 Collingwood best and fairest:

1. Brodie Grundy 174
2. Scott Pendlebury 158
3. Jack Crisp 147
4. Adam Treloar 141
5. Brayden Maynard 124

6. Steele Sidebottom 118
7. Tom Phillips 116
8. Jeremy Howe 115
9. Brody Mihocek 106
10. Jordan Roughead 105

Bolded 27 or under this year. Their two brightest young stars (Stephenson and De Goey) didn't play enough games to feature.

I think they'll be around the mark for a while, but I agree they need a better key forward target. And to keep their key defenders on the park.
 

Dr Tigris

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This is a very accurate post, and I have often felt the same way. When push comes to shove, GWS WCE and Richmond have tall targets who can manufacture marks inside 50 and multiple scoring shots, something the Pies lack. Granted this luxury doesn't come easily, as most of the other clubs will agree, however Collingwood have to find a reliable avenue to take contested marks inside 50, whether internally or recruiting externally.
Thanks. From the Tigers I learnt that having that genuine quality tall forward makes so much difference. Tom Lynch was essential to 2019 (no premiership without him). He and JR provide a target that can either mark it or cause a ground ball. In 2017 the one tall went OK because other teams hadn't worked out how to stop the pressure game. They have now and that quality KPF makes so much difference when you don't have much of an option and so just bang it long to the hot spot. Cox can do that - against the Tigers :p. But he's nto the consistent get out of jail free card type.

In defense it's that consistent shape and ability to defend and quickly rebound in the pressure style - to ensure that the game doesn't slow down and the opposition can regain their structure. Pies do OK, but I reckon they're a little undermanned there.

The Pies have focused on the midfield as the key to winning. And I'd say that they have had a better midfield than the Tigers (maybe not 2020,but we'll see how the newer guys go). It's just that little extra. However if you can dominate the midfield then all else is secondary. And I reckon the Pies and WC have the best midfields, on paper, for 2020. So no reason you can't be in there up to your eyeballs, if the forwards and defenders can keep their ends up.
 

Johno9911

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Thanks. From the Tigers I learnt that having that genuine quality tall forward makes so much difference. Tom Lynch was essential to 2019 (no premiership without him). He and JR provide a target that can either mark it or cause a ground ball. In 2017 the one tall went OK because other teams hadn't worked out how to stop the pressure game. They have now and that quality KPF makes so much difference when you don't have much of an option and so just bang it long to the hot spot. Cox can do that - against the Tigers :p. But he's nto the consistent get out of jail free card type.

In defense it's that consistent shape and ability to defend and quickly rebound in the pressure style - to ensure that the game doesn't slow down and the opposition can regain their structure. Pies do OK, but I reckon they're a little undermanned there.

The Pies have focused on the midfield as the key to winning. And I'd say that they have had a better midfield than the Tigers (maybe not 2020,but we'll see how the newer guys go). It's just that little extra. However if you can dominate the midfield then all else is secondary. And I reckon the Pies and WC have the best midfields, on paper, for 2020. So no reason you can't be in there up to your eyeballs, if the forwards and defenders can keep their ends up.
Yeah Cox I think could be that target for us, however he is very much subject to situation. He requires clear space in front of him to run and jump, and the ball to be kicked out into said space for him to run onto. Doesn't require the strength or ability to mark in a contested situation and gets muscled out to easily when a ball come in and on his head.

I don't mind our backline, I think the more games the core of Moore, Roughead, Howe, Crisp and Maynard play consistently together they'll only improve. I agree that genuine pace out of the backline can be a concern, however I hope one of Quaynor or Noble (if not both) can become consistent best 22 players and provide that run and spark of half back we lack at times.
 

Carringbush2010

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The Pies have focused on the midfield as the key to winning
Not so certain that's the intent, in 2019 they went some ways to trying to control transition, a tweak of the 2018 swarm and spread plan if you like.

That obviously didn't work and they weren't as 'on' as the previous year. There was a glimpse in the qf but for the most part it was spluttering season.

On face value it may look like they're trying to midfield their way to success, and there may be an element in that. I think the brains trust at the Holden centre are focused on system and fundamentally yes the game is essentially won in the middle. If your system is right the rest of it takes care of itself.

Buckley and other coaches talk a lot about 'how we want to play' like they haven't achieved it yet and I believe that. There's still improvement and maybe a bit of it.

As for the rest of your post it outlines the obvious list deficiencies, but the list it seems is not so important to the panel - it looks like they're firm believers in their system.

System not just midfield.
 

Carringbush2010

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It's only bait if you bite like you have, little minnow. :$

Has anybody mentioned the elephant in the room. The perennial failure and bad luck omen that is Bucks?

While I personally think very highly of him, A very likable personality that speaks well and is very intelligent. But some people are just destined for 2nd place.

Bucks is unfortunately up near the top of that list. :(
So you're basing your wish on superstition, there's more valid issues than superstition that would get in the way of a Pies flag.
 

THE_GUN

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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.
Pound for pound i dont think any other team gets close to GWS for talent if full list is available and no injuries
 

adammania9

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Good post mate, I think they are well and truly contenders. Like all other sides a lot needs to go right but I think you are right in the mix.
Strengths in order are Midfield, Forward line and then defense.
Now obviously i don't watch you guys as closely as you do but from a far I just see a forward line that depends on to few and a back line that can be overwhelmed at times.
Your midfield covers for it quite often but it's hard to maintain it.
I still think a key forward is the missing part of the puzzle for you guys but make no mistake I think you will be in the 2020 season up to your ears.
All the best.
In reverse order maybe haha. Looking beyond names on paper, our back line was (in my view) the best of all sides in 2019 - they were solely responsible for half of our wins, saving our asses when our midfield had soft-c*ckitis and our forwards were dropping like flies with injury and gambling suspensions, and were genuinely unable to kick winning scores. Collingwood's back line is stupendous - very tall but speedy and mobile, all members with very strong intercept and rebound games and all able to defend a man well. They conceded an average of 54 points across our last six games (with a high of 65). The only games where they let down their colours well and truly all season were in the successive late season losses to GWS and Richmond but in fairness, Moore and Langdon, two important tall defenders were missing against those two tall forward lines. On top of all this, the Pies have very good back line depth too.

Midfield looks a million bucks some weeks but other weeks can get smashed in clearances, turn the ball over frequently and miss simple targets ahead (not ideal with short forwards ahead that require precise kicks to them on the lead to be marked). I'd love to see Collingwood's midfield rotation become greater and see De Goey play closer to 75% midfield, and I'd like Elliott and Maynard rolling through as real points of difference, meanwhile Treloar and Sideass would spend more time forward.

A short forward line with mainly only leading forwards is a real risk because they require first class delivery. Class acts like Elliott, Mihocek and Stephenson are very mobile and can play tall and small and will succeed and kick goals in any environment, but players like Cox, Hoskin-Elliott and Thomas need precision delivery or else they're very ineffective. The success of our forward mix will be determined by how our midfield works as a unit and how efficiently they can move the ball forward. It's probably our weakest unit because they can't provide for themselves as opposed to Richmond, West Coast and the like whose forwards are much better at scoring per opportunity they get.
 

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Carringbush2010

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In reverse order maybe haha. Looking beyond names on paper, our back line was (in my view) the best of all sides in 2019 - they were solely responsible for half of our wins, saving our asses when our midfield had soft-c*ckitis and our forwards were dropping like flies with injury and gambling suspensions, and were genuinely unable to kick winning scores. Collingwood's back line is stupendous - very tall but speedy and mobile, all members with very strong intercept and rebound games and all able to defend a man well. They conceded an average of 54 points across our last six games (with a high of 65). The only games where they let down their colours well and truly all season were in the successive late season losses to GWS and Richmond but in fairness, Moore and Langdon, two important tall defenders were missing against those two tall forward lines. On top of all this, the Pies have very good back line depth too.

Midfield looks a million bucks some weeks but other weeks can get smashed in clearances, turn the ball over frequently and miss simple targets ahead (not ideal with short forwards ahead that require precise kicks to them on the lead to be marked). I'd love to see Collingwood's midfield rotation become greater and see De Goey play closer to 75% midfield, and I'd like Elliott and Maynard rolling through as real points of difference, meanwhile Treloar and Sideass would spend more time forward.

A short forward line with mainly only leading forwards is a real risk because they require first class delivery. Class acts like Elliott, Mihocek and Stephenson are very mobile and can play tall and small and will succeed and kick goals in any environment, but players like Cox, Hoskin-Elliott and Thomas need precision delivery or else they're very ineffective. The success of our forward mix will be determined by how our midfield works as a unit and how efficiently they can move the ball forward. It's probably our weakest unit because they can't provide for themselves as opposed to Richmond, West Coast and the like whose forwards are much better at scoring per opportunity they get.
This increases my optimism somewhat. Great potential outlined in this post. The flexibility of the squad is probably more than other contenders.

However this post also reveals the lack of taking the opportunities. Hopefully the 2019 splutter season is an exception and the panel and fd really take advantage of the opportunities.
 

BBC1967

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Wow Lyndon Dunn on his way back . That will be great news to Pies supporters - a 34yo to replace Wells. Flag beckons.
 
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Carringbush2010

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Wow Lyndon Dunn on his way back . That will be great news to Pies supporters - a 34 to replace Wells. Flag beckons.
I know sarcasm when I see it, as good as Dunn could be he's going to be hard pressed to break into that back 6. Will be competing with Roughy for that spot, a big ask.
 

Tenny

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I know sarcasm when I see it, as good as Dunn could be he's going to be hard pressed to break into that back 6. Will be competing with Roughy for that spot, a big ask.
Hypothetically speaking, if Dunn recaptured his early 2018 form, how would you feel about shifting Moore forward and then dropping Cox? Alternatively, you could cover the loss of Moore similarly to how Richmond did with Rance. I think you could get away with just Roughead as your key defender with Howe and Langdon chopping everything off. Defences are largely system based these days so I don’t think it’s as crazy as it sounds.

Your key forwards are what is holding you back IMO. Mihocek is more of a support/complimentary tall whereas Cox is unreliable and only plays well when Richmond are his opponent.
 

Carringbush2010

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Hypothetically speaking, if Dunn recaptured his early 2018 form, how would you feel about shifting Moore forward and then dropping Cox? Alternatively, you could cover the loss of Moore similarly to how Richmond did with Rance. I think you could get away with just Roughead as your key defender with Howe and Langdon chopping everything off. Defences are largely system based these days so I don’t think it’s as crazy as it sounds.

Your key forwards are what is holding you back IMO. Mihocek is more of a support/complimentary tall whereas Cox is unreliable and only plays well when Richmond are his opponent.
No, I'd prefer Moore and Roughy back there not Dunny.................... no disrespect but I think Rough is on par with Dunns form and is a couple of years younger, more mobile and taller and is probably a better mark - maybe not a raking kick out of defence like Dunny but more upside.

As far as our forward structure goes, IF we play the way we're supposed to then a lack of true KPF is not necessarily 'holding us back'. Cox (our 'kpf's' in general) just needs to create contest above all else, is not (or should not be) relied on like a JK or Darling for instance.

IF Cox does get some consistency and starts pluckin marks like Cloke used to then yeah that's a bonus akin to a Lynch or Riewoldt. But the system isn't (or should not be) reliant on Cox marking like Cloke, its swarm and spread and then hit up targets like De Goey and Stevo on transition ideally. Win the contested ball that Cox ('kpf') created if not.
 

Carringbush2010

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But with LOTS of evidence to back it up.


I figure it's like the theory of gravity....It's still only a theory because we don't understand all the hows and whys exactly, but the what is pretty clear.


:)
Yeah can't argue that, maybe the same for the Dees and Saints, the Cats of the 90's, Hawks til 61, dogs til 16 - not the only one's with 'paranormal forces' working against us.

If the club were to actually take the 'superstition' into consideration they may as well take their bat and ball and go home - will go nowhere with that mentality.

Up to GF 42 now, 5 in 16 years this century alone, keep contending then the dam wall will burst, inevitable. Bookmark that.
 

BBC1967

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In reverse order maybe haha. Looking beyond names on paper, our back line was (in my view) the best of all sides in 2019 - they were solely responsible for half of our wins, saving our asses when our midfield had soft-c*ckitis and our forwards were dropping like flies with injury and gambling suspensions, and were genuinely unable to kick winning scores. Collingwood's back line is stupendous - very tall but speedy and mobile, all members with very strong intercept and rebound games and all able to defend a man well. They conceded an average of 54 points across our last six games (with a high of 65). The only games where they let down their colours well and truly all season were in the successive late season losses to GWS and Richmond but in fairness, Moore and Langdon, two important tall defenders were missing against those two tall forward lines. On top of all this, the Pies have very good back line depth too.

Midfield looks a million bucks some weeks but other weeks can get smashed in clearances, turn the ball over frequently and miss simple targets ahead (not ideal with short forwards ahead that require precise kicks to them on the lead to be marked). I'd love to see Collingwood's midfield rotation become greater and see De Goey play closer to 75% midfield, and I'd like Elliott and Maynard rolling through as real points of difference, meanwhile Treloar and Sideass would spend more time forward.

A short forward line with mainly only leading forwards is a real risk because they require first class delivery. Class acts like Elliott, Mihocek and Stephenson are very mobile and can play tall and small and will succeed and kick goals in any environment, but players like Cox, Hoskin-Elliott and Thomas need precision delivery or else they're very ineffective. The success of our forward mix will be determined by how our midfield works as a unit and how efficiently they can move the ball forward. It's probably our weakest unit because they can't provide for themselves as opposed to Richmond, West Coast and the like whose forwards are much better at scoring per opportunity they get.
Official - Poor Pies have oldest list in AFL.
 

PetterdHoisted

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Yeah can't argue that, maybe the same for the Dees and Saints, the Cats of the 90's, Hawks til 61, dogs til 16 - not the only one's with 'paranormal forces' working against us.

If the club were to actually take the 'superstition' into consideration they may as well take their bat and ball and go home - will go nowhere with that mentality.

Up to GF 42 now, 5 in 16 years this century alone, keep contending then the dam wall will burst, inevitable. Bookmark that.
IMHO they won't win again until the club returns to Collingwood

Desperately need to reconnect with grassroots support they turned their back on. Then they will get to 100k members, and disappointing crowds like the 75-~85k crowds for their GWS finals will be a thing of the past.
 

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