Player Review v Freo

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lenny20

Club Legend
Mar 12, 2007
1,390
4,034
Melbourne
AFL Club
Collingwood
We're a club in crisis mode right now. Absolutely obliterated by a team that was hanging on the edge of the 8; smashed at the contest by a team chock full of youngsters sitting pretty in 17th.

It's not the losses, it's the manner of the losses. You always wanna show your brand. This team is quickly earning a brand that none of them want, but on the last couple of outings, it's well-deserved: fumbly, panicky, soft as butter.

There are some players who are exceptions to the above rule, who keep putting in good shifts while everything around them turns to sh*t. But, sadly, they're few and far between at this stage.

The Best

1. Steele Sidebottom
2. Brayden Maynard
3. Darcy Moore

The Worst (tough field today)

3. Will Hoskin-Elliott
2. Chris Mayne
1. Josh Thomas


Steele Sidebottom - so far and away our best player that he really embarrassed his teammates just by being competent. Didn't panic, didn't sell his teammates out, didn't get scared by Freo's fearsome brigade of skinny 19-year-olds. Showed cleaner hands than anyone on the field and actually had the guts to finish his hard work, nailing two cracking goals when the rest of the forwardline were too busy shirking the responsibility with sideways handpasses. A rare shining light, and showed how easy this game can be.

Brayden Maynard - our best player for the year, and one of the few feel good stories to come out of the club. Continues to dominate. An absolute bull. More of a chance for AA than Moore, in my opinion. The comments about playing scared most definitely don't apply to this man.

Darcy Moore - another strong game in defense, though if we're being honest, was shaded by his counterpart in Luke Ryan at the other end. He did cough up a couple of goals to Taberner, and the obvious howler of a short pass was another blot against his name. I know he's a bit of a sacred cow on this board, and nobody should question his position as CHB thanks to his consistent level of good play, but I think the time has come to plonk him at full forward. There's only so much he can do across the backline, and we're getting pantsed anyway. A good CHF is worth ten times the value a good CHB. And our key forward stocks are a lot thinner than our key backs.

John Noble - a good game, one of his best, and showed his ability on-ball with a team-high 25 touches (edit - second to Treloar, but half of those Treloar touches were dodgy handpasses which sold us into huge trouble). He was guilty of poor decision-making and too handball-happy, especially early, but got better as the game wore on and played with a desperation that was pleasing to see, and absent in too many others.

Jamie Elliott - another who plays with the requisite intensity. Did some wonderful things through the midfield and was one of the few who could actually win a contested ball. Got crucified for a "deliberate" out of bounds which serves to highlight that the only folks more confused than our players are the umpires.

Brodie Grundy - won the ruck contest against probably the worst ruck brigade in the competition, but not by heaps. Fed Mundy about a dozen clearances with beautifully weighted taps that put the Freo star into all sorts of space. The connection between Brodie and our mids is probably the worst of any ruck-mid combo in the league. Not sure whose fault it is, but right now, we're paying a million a year to watch him drill taps to opposition stars time and time again. Still, if this is his "bad" form, it's not that bad. And more than 50% of our issues in this department probably fall on our incompetent mid brigade.

Adam Treloar - speaking of incompetent mids, this guy is battling big time. He runs all day and racks up possessions at will, but he's more panicked than just about any player on the field. He second-guesses himself so badly when he gets it that it's painful to watch. He constantly puts others under pressure with calamity passes. And in at least three crucial moments this year, he's fumbled terribly under pressure and gone with a blatant, obvious throw. Has lost any semblance of coolness which he used to play with, and is the barometer for a team who can't make a correct decision with ball in hand.

Taylor Adams - has stood up so far this year but lowered his colours massively today. Got an absolute pantsing from Caleb Serong, of all players. Fumbled like crazy and wasn't throwing himself around with the same desperation as usual. He'll bounce back, he's better, and he has the runs on the board.

Jack Crisp - played more of a midfield role, and while not being bad, he's taken a pretty huge step backward this year from the gun rebounding defender we've become so used to. Not the worst, but a shadow of his former self and not immune to the incompetent decision-making that's infected the team.

Tom Phillips - on the verge of being dropped. The shorter gametimes have taken away his primary weapon - endurance. Without the game opening up for players like him, all we get is a fumbly, poor ball user who can't win his own ball and struggles to get separation from his opponent. His tackling efforts were woeful today.

Darcy Cameron - not sure this guy is the upgrade on Cox that people keep telling me he is. Once again, he played a decent first quarter before completely disappearing. And once again, I don't think I even saw him impact a marking contest inside 50. He gets all his touches on a wing / high HFF; this isn't what I'm looking for from a 200+cm key forward. If we're being completely honest with ourselves, neither he nor Cox are the answer.

Jaiden Stephenson - has regressed at an alarming rate. Looks disinterested out there, didn't even want to celebrate a goal to get his team back in it on the 3QT siren. More than anyone else, you can tell that something is very wrong behind the scenes looking at this guy play right now.

Josh Daicos - That decision not to go forward at the end of the first quarter, choosing instead to go to Phillips with a hospital handpass, and almost costing a goal from what should have been a goal-scoring opportunity of our own... that passage of play right there demonstrates that it was the coach, not the players, leading the charge to hold up the play and move it forward slowly. We were out, he had one-on-ones ahead, he had acres of space... and he still chose to stop, prop, and go backwards. You could almost see him fighting his natural urges to go forward. That summed up our whole game.

Brody Mihocek - did what we needed Cameron to do and flew for almost every ball that went into our F50. He battled hard, but he's undersized for the role. Needs help desperately, because he can't operate as the spearhead - he's a support player, not the numero uno.

Brayden Sier - nice goal, and a few sharp handpasses from the packs, but precious little else. Looks more stylish than Wills but had about the same impact. Still, he deserves another game to find his feet, as Willsy got more than a month.

Jack Madgen - physically gifted and goes hard, but lacks skill and composure. Reminds me of another Jack who used to run around our backline, only that guy had blonde hair. Like that Jack, he's probably just not up to the level, unfortunately.

Will Hoskin-Elliott - possibly the biggest casualty of our revolutionary "refuse-to-move-the-ball-forward-at-all-costs" gameplan. This guy has battled ever since that free-flowing, surge-it-forward 2018 side has been instructed to slow it down and keep possession. He just cannot get into games any more - except, ironically, when we move it forward fast and direct, almost in spite of ourselves, when he'll invariably kick a goal. But as long as this team insists on inching forward at the pace of Franz Joseph Glacier, he's not going to have an impact.

Isaac Quaynor - his quietest game this season. Didn't have much of an impact. Didn't do much wrong, which is more than a lot of his teammates can say.

Mark Keane - not a great debut. Skills looked sub-standard, not much defensive prowess to get excited about, and the obvious free-kick which probably cost the game. Strange selection.

Travis Varcoe - so far this year we've seen the hesitant Varcoe who can't impact a contest, or the one-touch player whose cleanliness stands out. Today was the former, definitely not the latter. Perhaps due to the fact he was in off an injury lay-off, as per the Essendon game. Fumbly and indecisive. A poor outing. Probably gets another week to find touch due to lack of competition.

Chris Mayne - was he playing? He barely touched it and didn't really get involved in anything at all, save for a toe-poke in the 3rd. Completely MIA.

Josh Thomas - and speaking of MIA, this guy's been missing in action since 2018. Not sure what's happened, but it's just about career over for Josh. Feel for him, but you can see his heart's no longer in it, and he just doesn't have the talent to coast by on less than 100% effort.


The Coach

A special mention to one of the worst fortnights in Nathan Buckley's coaching career. Everything he's touched over the past two weeks has been diabolically bad - from accidental COVID breaches to hilariously terrible gameplans that had me literally laughing out loud as clusterf*ck after clusterf*ck unfolded on screen.

Bucks: you are struggling, big time, as bad as any of our players. Your selection choices have been poor, your structure worse, your gameday tactics laughably bad. Whether intentional or not, you've managed to inflict a team-wide malaise of utter incompetency that's reminiscent of the horrible 2014, '15 and '16 seasons. Players are beyond confused. They don't know where to position themselves. They're hesitant to move the ball for fear of making a mistake. They're unsure whether to attack the contest or mark space.

And what we're getting as a result is bottom-four footy. Handball-happy passages of play where a player in good position hesitates, holds up play, and opts for a handpass to a player in a worse position, who opts for a handpass to a player in a worse position, who opts for a handpass to a player in a worse position... until the poor sod who gets on the end of the final dodgy handpass is under immense pressure and forty metres further back than the idiot who should have just roosted it long in the first place.

Contrast that with Freo, whose simple get-ball-roost-ball strategy worked, despite its lack of complexity. Or here's a crazy thought... because of its lack of complexity?

So Bucks: simplify. You've confused them beyond belief with a gameplan that's unplayable. You've made them hesitant, timid, scared and soft. You've taken a good 2018 gameplan that got you within a kick of the flag and revamped it into pissweak nonsense.

It's time to put away the arrogant, re-invent the wheel, Chris Scott style "look at me" coaching choices for good. F*ck the overused handball right off. If I never see a Collingwood team try to play f*cking "possession footy" again, it will be too soon.

Focus on honest, no-nonsense footy again - because if these trends continue, you'll be back to coaching for your career, and this time, Ed might not be able to save you.
 
Last edited:

Finnishpie

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 16, 2014
5,617
4,411
AFL Club
Collingwood
What I object to is the positional changes Bucks keeps making:

philips is a wingman or nothing else
mayne is a defensive wingman, and we know his days as a forward are over
crisp is a defender. Stop playing him as a midfielder.

when Things are working, why change them? But Buckley has.
 

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lenny20

Club Legend
Mar 12, 2007
1,390
4,034
Melbourne
AFL Club
Collingwood
Easy. Moore and Maynard where Good. Grundy was good around the Ground and Kicked a Goal and took a Few Marks up Forward. Ruck Work was Poor.

Rest where so Crap not even worth talking about
I thought Sidey was just about best on, Dave. No love for those two goals when the rest of his teammates couldn't hit the side of a barn?
 

lenny20

Club Legend
Mar 12, 2007
1,390
4,034
Melbourne
AFL Club
Collingwood
What I object to is the positional changes Bucks keeps making:

philips is a wingman or nothing else
mayne is a defensive wingman, and we know his days as a forward are over
crisp is a defender. Stop playing him as a midfielder.

when Things are working, why change them? But Buckley has.
Same thoughts, but apply it to the strategy which almost took us to a flag in 2018, which he then promptly reinvented for absolutely no reason into the "possession footy" bullsh*t which is beyond painful to watch.
 

Finnishpie

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 16, 2014
5,617
4,411
AFL Club
Collingwood
Same thoughts, but apply it to the strategy which almost took us to a flag in 2018, which he then promptly reinvented for absolutely no reason into the "possession footy" bullsh*t which is beyond painful to watch.
yeah, why change something that was working? I mean, sure a tweak or two, but this?
 

Leviathan Pie

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 7, 2014
8,744
10,645
AFL Club
Collingwood
We're a club in crisis mode right now. Absolutely obliterated by a team that was hanging on the edge of the 8; smashed at the contest by a team chock full of youngsters sitting pretty in 17th.

It's not the losses, it's the manner of the losses. You always wanna show your brand. This team is quickly earning a brand that none of them want, but on the last couple of outings, it's well-deserved: fumbly, panicky, soft as butter.

There are some players who are exceptions to the above rule, who keep putting in good shifts while everything around them turns to sh*t. But, sadly, they're few and far between at this stage.

The Best

1. Steele Sidebottom
2. Brayden Maynard
3. Darcy Moore

The Worst (tough field today)

3. Will Hoskin-Elliott
2. Chris Mayne
1. Josh Thomas


Steele Sidebottom - so far and away our best player that he really embarrassed his teammates just by being competent. Didn't panic, didn't sell his teammates out, didn't get scared by Freo's fearsome brigade of skinny 19-year-olds. Showed cleaner hands than anyone on the field and actually had the guts to finish his hard work, nailing two cracking goals when the rest of the forwardline were too busy shirking the responsibility with sideways handpasses. A rare shining light, and showed how easy this game can be.

Brayden Maynard - our best player for the year, and one of the few feel good stories to come out of the club. Continues to dominate. An absolute bull. More of a chance for AA than Moore, in my opinion. The comments about playing scared most definitely don't apply to this man.

Darcy Moore - another strong game in defense, though if we're being honest, was shaded by his counterpart in Luke Ryan at the other end. He did cough up a couple of goals to Taberner, and the obvious howler of a short pass was another blot against his name. I know he's a bit of a sacred cow on this board, and nobody should question his position as CHB thanks to his consistent level of good play, but I think the time has come to plonk him at full forward. There's only so much he can do across the backline, and we're getting pantsed anyway. A good CHF is worth ten times the value a good CHB. And our key forward stocks are a lot thinner than our key backs.

John Noble - a good game, one of his best, and showed his ability on-ball with a team-high 25 touches (edit - second to Treloar, but half of those Treloar touches were dodgy handpasses which sold us into huge trouble). He was guilty of poor decision-making and too handball-happy, especially early, but got better as the game wore on and played with a desperation that was pleasing to see, and absent in too many others.

Jamie Elliott - another who plays with the requisite intensity. Did some wonderful things through the midfield and was one of the few who could actually win a contested ball. Got crucified for a "deliberate" out of bounds which serves to highlight that the only folks more confused than our players are the umpires.

Brodie Grundy - won the ruck contest against probably the worst ruck brigade in the competition, but not by heaps. Fed Mundy about a dozen clearances with beautifully weighted taps that put the Freo star into all sorts of space. The connection between Brodie and our mids is probably the worst of any ruck-mid combo in the league. Not sure whose fault it is, but right now, we're paying a million a year to watch him drill taps to opposition stars time and time again. Still, if this is his "bad" form, it's not that bad. And more than 50% of our issues in this department probably fall on our incompetent mid brigade.

Adam Treloar - speaking of incompetent mids, this guy is battling big time. He runs all day and racks up possessions at will, but he's more panicked than just about any player on the field. He second-guesses himself so badly when he gets it that it's painful to watch. He constantly puts others under pressure with calamity passes. And in at least three crucial moments this year, he's fumbled terribly under pressure and gone with a blatant, obvious throw. Has lost any semblance of coolness which he used to play with, and is the barometer for a team who can't make a correct decision with ball in hand.

Taylor Adams - has stood up so far this year but lowered his colours massively today. Got an absolute pantsing from Caleb Serong, of all players. Fumbled like crazy and wasn't throwing himself around with the same desperation as usual. He'll bounce back, he's better, and he has the runs on the board.

Jack Crisp - played more of a midfield role, and while not being bad, he's taken a pretty huge step backward this year from the gun rebounding defender we've become so used to. Not the worst, but a shadow of his former self and not immune to the incompetent decision-making that's infected the team.

Tom Phillips - on the verge of being dropped. The shorter gametimes have taken away his primary weapon - endurance. Without the game opening up for players like him, all we get is a fumbly, poor ball user who can't win his own ball and struggles to get separation from his opponent. His tackling efforts were woeful today.

Darcy Cameron - not sure this guy is the upgrade on Cox that people keep telling me he is. Once again, he played a decent first quarter before completely disappearing. And once again, I don't think I even saw him impact a marking contest inside 50. He gets all his touches on a wing / high HFF; this isn't what I'm looking for from a 200+cm key forward. If we're being completely honest with ourselves, neither he nor Cox are the answer.

Jaiden Stephenson - has regressed at an alarming rate. Looks disinterested out there, didn't even want to celebrate a goal to get his team back in it on the 3QT siren. More than anyone else, you can tell that something is very wrong behind the scenes looking at this guy play right now.

Josh Daicos - That decision not to go forward at the end of the first quarter, choosing instead to go to Phillips with a hospital handpass, and almost costing a goal from what should have been a goal-scoring opportunity of our own... that passage of play right there demonstrates that it was the coach, not the players, leading the charge to hold up the play and move it forward slowly. We were out, he had one-on-ones ahead, he had acres of space... and he still chose to stop, prop, and go backwards. You could almost see him fighting his natural urges to go forward. That summed up our whole game.

Brody Mihocek - did what we needed Cameron to do and flew for almost every ball that went into our F50. He battled hard, but he's undersized for the role. Needs help desperately, because he can't operate as the spearhead - he's a support player, not the numero uno.

Brayden Sier - nice goal, and a few sharp handpasses from the packs, but precious little else. Looks more stylish than Wills but had about the same impact. Still, he deserves another game to find his feet, as Willsy got more than a month.

Jack Madgen - physically gifted and goes hard, but lacks skill and composure. Reminds me of another Jack who used to run around our backline, only that guy had blonde hair. Like that Jack, he's probably just not up to the level, unfortunately.

Will Hoskin-Elliott - possibly the biggest casualty of our revolutionary "refuse-to-move-the-ball-forward-at-all-costs" gameplan. This guy has battled ever since that free-flowing, surge-it-forward 2018 side has been instructed to slow it down and keep possession. He just cannot get into games any more - except, ironically, when we move it forward fast and direct, almost in spite of ourselves, when he'll invariably kick a goal. But as long as this team insists on inching forward at the pace of Franz Joseph Glacier, he's not going to have an impact.

Isaac Quaynor - his quietest game this season. Didn't have much of an impact. Didn't do much wrong, which is more than a lot of his teammates can say.

Mark Keane - not a great debut. Skills looked sub-standard, not much defensive prowess to get excited about, and the obvious free-kick which probably cost the game. Strange selection.

Travis Varcoe - so far this year we've seen the hesitant Varcoe who can't impact a contest, or the one-touch player whose cleanliness stands out. Today was the former, definitely not the latter. Perhaps due to the fact he was in off an injury lay-off, as per the Essendon game. Fumbly and indecisive. A poor outing. Probably gets another week to find touch due to lack of competition.

Chris Mayne - was he playing? He barely touched it and didn't really get involved in anything at all, save for a toe-poke in the 3rd. Completely MIA.

Josh Thomas - and speaking of MIA, this guy's been missing in action since 2018. Not sure what's happened, but it's just about career over for Josh. Feel for him, but you can see his heart's no longer in it, and he just doesn't have the talent to coast by on less than 100% effort.


The Coach

A special mention to one of the worst fortnights in Nathan Buckley's coaching career. Everything he's touched over the past two weeks has been diabolically bad - from accidental COVID breaches to hilariously terrible gameplans that had me literally laughing out loud as clusterf*ck after clusterf*ck unfolded on screen.

Bucks: you are struggling, big time, as bad as any of our players. Your selection choices have been poor, your structure worse, your gameday tactics laughably bad. Whether intentional or not, you've managed to inflict a team-wide malaise of utter incompetency that's reminiscent of the horrible 2014, '15 and '16 seasons. Players are beyond confused. They don't know where to position themselves. They're hesitant to move the ball for fear of making a mistake. They're unsure whether to attack the contest or mark space.

And what we're getting as a result is bottom-four footy. Handball-happy passages of play where a player in good position hesitates, holds up play, and opts for a handpass to a player in a worse position, who opts for a handpass to a player in a worse position, who opts for a handpass to a player in a worse position... until the poor sod who gets on the end of the final dodgy handpass is under immense pressure and forty metres further back than the idiot who should have just roosted it long in the first place.

Contrast that with Freo, whose simple get-ball-roost-ball strategy worked, despite its lack of complexity. Or here's a crazy thought... because of its lack of complexity?

So Bucks: simplify. You've confused them beyond belief with a gameplan that's unplayable. You've made them hesitant, timid, scared and soft. You've taken a good 2018 gameplan that got you within a kick of the flag and revamped it into pissweak nonsense.

It's time to put away the arrogant, re-invent the wheel, Chris Scott style "look at me" coaching choices for good. F*ck the overused handball right off. If I never see a Collingwood team try to play f*cking "possession footy" again, it will be too soon.

Focus on honest, no-nonsense footy again - because if these trends continue, you'll be back to coaching for your career, and this time, Ed might not be able to save you.
Probably a pretty accurate summation of the state of our club right now.
 

Tarkyn_24

Hall of Famer
Dec 23, 2006
35,761
38,856
AFL Club
Collingwood
Dunno what was going on with Jaidyn. There was a lot of genuine support and goodwill for him behind the goals in the first and third quarters and for some bizarre reason he had the body language of someone that was pissed off. I love what he has but he and Sier are two that probably need to embrace a bit of positivity because they both play their best when they’re high energy.
 

magpies42

Premiership Player
Jun 10, 2005
3,882
1,403
Melbourne
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
collingwood
We're a club in crisis mode right now. Absolutely obliterated by a team that was hanging on the edge of the 8; smashed at the contest by a team chock full of youngsters sitting pretty in 17th.

It's not the losses, it's the manner of the losses. You always wanna show your brand. This team is quickly earning a brand that none of them want, but on the last couple of outings, it's well-deserved: fumbly, panicky, soft as butter.

There are some players who are exceptions to the above rule, who keep putting in good shifts while everything around them turns to sh*t. But, sadly, they're few and far between at this stage.

The Best

1. Steele Sidebottom
2. Brayden Maynard
3. Darcy Moore

The Worst (tough field today)

3. Will Hoskin-Elliott
2. Chris Mayne
1. Josh Thomas


Steele Sidebottom - so far and away our best player that he really embarrassed his teammates just by being competent. Didn't panic, didn't sell his teammates out, didn't get scared by Freo's fearsome brigade of skinny 19-year-olds. Showed cleaner hands than anyone on the field and actually had the guts to finish his hard work, nailing two cracking goals when the rest of the forwardline were too busy shirking the responsibility with sideways handpasses. A rare shining light, and showed how easy this game can be.

Brayden Maynard - our best player for the year, and one of the few feel good stories to come out of the club. Continues to dominate. An absolute bull. More of a chance for AA than Moore, in my opinion. The comments about playing scared most definitely don't apply to this man.

Darcy Moore - another strong game in defense, though if we're being honest, was shaded by his counterpart in Luke Ryan at the other end. He did cough up a couple of goals to Taberner, and the obvious howler of a short pass was another blot against his name. I know he's a bit of a sacred cow on this board, and nobody should question his position as CHB thanks to his consistent level of good play, but I think the time has come to plonk him at full forward. There's only so much he can do across the backline, and we're getting pantsed anyway. A good CHF is worth ten times the value a good CHB. And our key forward stocks are a lot thinner than our key backs.

John Noble - a good game, one of his best, and showed his ability on-ball with a team-high 25 touches (edit - second to Treloar, but half of those Treloar touches were dodgy handpasses which sold us into huge trouble). He was guilty of poor decision-making and too handball-happy, especially early, but got better as the game wore on and played with a desperation that was pleasing to see, and absent in too many others.

Jamie Elliott - another who plays with the requisite intensity. Did some wonderful things through the midfield and was one of the few who could actually win a contested ball. Got crucified for a "deliberate" out of bounds which serves to highlight that the only folks more confused than our players are the umpires.

Brodie Grundy - won the ruck contest against probably the worst ruck brigade in the competition, but not by heaps. Fed Mundy about a dozen clearances with beautifully weighted taps that put the Freo star into all sorts of space. The connection between Brodie and our mids is probably the worst of any ruck-mid combo in the league. Not sure whose fault it is, but right now, we're paying a million a year to watch him drill taps to opposition stars time and time again. Still, if this is his "bad" form, it's not that bad. And more than 50% of our issues in this department probably fall on our incompetent mid brigade.

Adam Treloar - speaking of incompetent mids, this guy is battling big time. He runs all day and racks up possessions at will, but he's more panicked than just about any player on the field. He second-guesses himself so badly when he gets it that it's painful to watch. He constantly puts others under pressure with calamity passes. And in at least three crucial moments this year, he's fumbled terribly under pressure and gone with a blatant, obvious throw. Has lost any semblance of coolness which he used to play with, and is the barometer for a team who can't make a correct decision with ball in hand.

Taylor Adams - has stood up so far this year but lowered his colours massively today. Got an absolute pantsing from Caleb Serong, of all players. Fumbled like crazy and wasn't throwing himself around with the same desperation as usual. He'll bounce back, he's better, and he has the runs on the board.

Jack Crisp - played more of a midfield role, and while not being bad, he's taken a pretty huge step backward this year from the gun rebounding defender we've become so used to. Not the worst, but a shadow of his former self and not immune to the incompetent decision-making that's infected the team.

Tom Phillips - on the verge of being dropped. The shorter gametimes have taken away his primary weapon - endurance. Without the game opening up for players like him, all we get is a fumbly, poor ball user who can't win his own ball and struggles to get separation from his opponent. His tackling efforts were woeful today.

Darcy Cameron - not sure this guy is the upgrade on Cox that people keep telling me he is. Once again, he played a decent first quarter before completely disappearing. And once again, I don't think I even saw him impact a marking contest inside 50. He gets all his touches on a wing / high HFF; this isn't what I'm looking for from a 200+cm key forward. If we're being completely honest with ourselves, neither he nor Cox are the answer.

Jaiden Stephenson - has regressed at an alarming rate. Looks disinterested out there, didn't even want to celebrate a goal to get his team back in it on the 3QT siren. More than anyone else, you can tell that something is very wrong behind the scenes looking at this guy play right now.

Josh Daicos - That decision not to go forward at the end of the first quarter, choosing instead to go to Phillips with a hospital handpass, and almost costing a goal from what should have been a goal-scoring opportunity of our own... that passage of play right there demonstrates that it was the coach, not the players, leading the charge to hold up the play and move it forward slowly. We were out, he had one-on-ones ahead, he had acres of space... and he still chose to stop, prop, and go backwards. You could almost see him fighting his natural urges to go forward. That summed up our whole game.

Brody Mihocek - did what we needed Cameron to do and flew for almost every ball that went into our F50. He battled hard, but he's undersized for the role. Needs help desperately, because he can't operate as the spearhead - he's a support player, not the numero uno.

Brayden Sier - nice goal, and a few sharp handpasses from the packs, but precious little else. Looks more stylish than Wills but had about the same impact. Still, he deserves another game to find his feet, as Willsy got more than a month.

Jack Madgen - physically gifted and goes hard, but lacks skill and composure. Reminds me of another Jack who used to run around our backline, only that guy had blonde hair. Like that Jack, he's probably just not up to the level, unfortunately.

Will Hoskin-Elliott - possibly the biggest casualty of our revolutionary "refuse-to-move-the-ball-forward-at-all-costs" gameplan. This guy has battled ever since that free-flowing, surge-it-forward 2018 side has been instructed to slow it down and keep possession. He just cannot get into games any more - except, ironically, when we move it forward fast and direct, almost in spite of ourselves, when he'll invariably kick a goal. But as long as this team insists on inching forward at the pace of Franz Joseph Glacier, he's not going to have an impact.

Isaac Quaynor - his quietest game this season. Didn't have much of an impact. Didn't do much wrong, which is more than a lot of his teammates can say.

Mark Keane - not a great debut. Skills looked sub-standard, not much defensive prowess to get excited about, and the obvious free-kick which probably cost the game. Strange selection.

Travis Varcoe - so far this year we've seen the hesitant Varcoe who can't impact a contest, or the one-touch player whose cleanliness stands out. Today was the former, definitely not the latter. Perhaps due to the fact he was in off an injury lay-off, as per the Essendon game. Fumbly and indecisive. A poor outing. Probably gets another week to find touch due to lack of competition.

Chris Mayne - was he playing? He barely touched it and didn't really get involved in anything at all, save for a toe-poke in the 3rd. Completely MIA.

Josh Thomas - and speaking of MIA, this guy's been missing in action since 2018. Not sure what's happened, but it's just about career over for Josh. Feel for him, but you can see his heart's no longer in it, and he just doesn't have the talent to coast by on less than 100% effort.


The Coach

A special mention to one of the worst fortnights in Nathan Buckley's coaching career. Everything he's touched over the past two weeks has been diabolically bad - from accidental COVID breaches to hilariously terrible gameplans that had me literally laughing out loud as clusterf*ck after clusterf*ck unfolded on screen.

Bucks: you are struggling, big time, as bad as any of our players. Your selection choices have been poor, your structure worse, your gameday tactics laughably bad. Whether intentional or not, you've managed to inflict a team-wide malaise of utter incompetency that's reminiscent of the horrible 2014, '15 and '16 seasons. Players are beyond confused. They don't know where to position themselves. They're hesitant to move the ball for fear of making a mistake. They're unsure whether to attack the contest or mark space.

And what we're getting as a result is bottom-four footy. Handball-happy passages of play where a player in good position hesitates, holds up play, and opts for a handpass to a player in a worse position, who opts for a handpass to a player in a worse position, who opts for a handpass to a player in a worse position... until the poor sod who gets on the end of the final dodgy handpass is under immense pressure and forty metres further back than the idiot who should have just roosted it long in the first place.

Contrast that with Freo, whose simple get-ball-roost-ball strategy worked, despite its lack of complexity. Or here's a crazy thought... because of its lack of complexity?

So Bucks: simplify. You've confused them beyond belief with a gameplan that's unplayable. You've made them hesitant, timid, scared and soft. You've taken a good 2018 gameplan that got you within a kick of the flag and revamped it into pissweak nonsense.

It's time to put away the arrogant, re-invent the wheel, Chris Scott style "look at me" coaching choices for good. F*ck the overused handball right off. If I never see a Collingwood team try to play f*cking "possession footy" again, it will be too soon.

Focus on honest, no-nonsense footy again - because if these trends continue, you'll be back to coaching for your career, and this time, Ed might not be able to save you.
Disagree on a number of fronts, firstly it was always going to be tough we were ambushed by a team that has a week off. They brought intensity, and they will recover. We are screwed for our next game.

In terms of player analysis I thought IQ was one of the better ones, broke some lines and tackles and generally used it well.

Crisp I thought was also one that managed his role well today, early on FYfe to force him forward was a win. And he moves well in traffic, plays a different role each week and that is not easy to do. Would be one of the first picked each week!

I think Elliot doesn’t have the tank for the midfield, I’d play him full forward with stints in the middle. Sold his team mates into trouble today, we really lacked Pendles composure on ball.

Stevo hasn’t regressed, the team is playing poorly and teams have worked him out. He’s soft!
 

Finnishpie

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 16, 2014
5,617
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AFL Club
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The most glaring issue is really our forward line.

what has happened? We were supposed to have a plethora of dangerous smalls. Stephenson, WHE, Elliot, etc. None look dangerous. I’m assuming it’s a result of the midfield delivery as much as anything, but also the shuffling of the forward line.

not sold on Cameron, nor on Cox. Mihocek is struggling under the weight.

if Reid can’t get on the park, it’s going to have to be Moore moved forward. Which robs the back line, but we have Dunn on the list for a reason.
 

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Abba Lonie

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 7, 2002
11,025
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I’d like to know if something is up with Stephenson, his regression has probably been the most alarming. Still getting up to speed after illness? Struggling to cope with hub life? Whatever it is, I hope it’s temporary.
 

Geening

Draftee
Jul 3, 2020
2
2
AFL Club
Collingwood
We're a club in crisis mode right now. Absolutely obliterated by a team that was hanging on the edge of the 8; smashed at the contest by a team chock full of youngsters sitting pretty in 17th.


It's not the losses, it's the manner of the losses. You always wanna show your brand. This team is quickly earning a brand that none of them want, but on the last couple of outings, it's well-deserved: fumbly, panicky, soft as butter.

There are some players who are exceptions to the above rule, who keep putting in good shifts while everything around them turns to sh*t. But, sadly, they're few and far between at this stage.

The Best

1. Steele Sidebottom
2. Brayden Maynard
3. Darcy Moore

The Worst (tough field today)

3. Will Hoskin-Elliott
2. Chris Mayne
1. Josh Thomas


Steele Sidebottom - so far and away our best player that he really embarrassed his teammates just by being competent. Didn't panic, didn't sell his teammates out, didn't get scared by Freo's fearsome brigade of skinny 19-year-olds. Showed cleaner hands than anyone on the field and actually had the guts to finish his hard work, nailing two cracking goals when the rest of the forwardline were too busy shirking the responsibility with sideways handpasses. A rare shining light, and showed how easy this game can be.

Brayden Maynard - our best player for the year, and one of the few feel good stories to come out of the club. Continues to dominate. An absolute bull. More of a chance for AA than Moore, in my opinion. The comments about playing scared most definitely don't apply to this man.

Darcy Moore - another strong game in defense, though if we're being honest, was shaded by his counterpart in Luke Ryan at the other end. He did cough up a couple of goals to Taberner, and the obvious howler of a short pass was another blot against his name. I know he's a bit of a sacred cow on this board, and nobody should question his position as CHB thanks to his consistent level of good play, but I think the time has come to plonk him at full forward. There's only so much he can do across the backline, and we're getting pantsed anyway. A good CHF is worth ten times the value a good CHB. And our key forward stocks are a lot thinner than our key backs.

John Noble - a good game, one of his best, and showed his ability on-ball with a team-high 25 touches (edit - second to Treloar, but half of those Treloar touches were dodgy handpasses which sold us into huge trouble). He was guilty of poor decision-making and too handball-happy, especially early, but got better as the game wore on and played with a desperation that was pleasing to see, and absent in too many others.

Jamie Elliott - another who plays with the requisite intensity. Did some wonderful things through the midfield and was one of the few who could actually win a contested ball. Got crucified for a "deliberate" out of bounds which serves to highlight that the only folks more confused than our players are the umpires.

Brodie Grundy - won the ruck contest against probably the worst ruck brigade in the competition, but not by heaps. Fed Mundy about a dozen clearances with beautifully weighted taps that put the Freo star into all sorts of space. The connection between Brodie and our mids is probably the worst of any ruck-mid combo in the league. Not sure whose fault it is, but right now, we're paying a million a year to watch him drill taps to opposition stars time and time again. Still, if this is his "bad" form, it's not that bad. And more than 50% of our issues in this department probably fall on our incompetent mid brigade.

Adam Treloar - speaking of incompetent mids, this guy is battling big time. He runs all day and racks up possessions at will, but he's more panicked than just about any player on the field. He second-guesses himself so badly when he gets it that it's painful to watch. He constantly puts others under pressure with calamity passes. And in at least three crucial moments this year, he's fumbled terribly under pressure and gone with a blatant, obvious throw. Has lost any semblance of coolness which he used to play with, and is the barometer for a team who can't make a correct decision with ball in hand.

Taylor Adams - has stood up so far this year but lowered his colours massively today. Got an absolute pantsing from Caleb Serong, of all players. Fumbled like crazy and wasn't throwing himself around with the same desperation as usual. He'll bounce back, he's better, and he has the runs on the board.

Jack Crisp - played more of a midfield role, and while not being bad, he's taken a pretty huge step backward this year from the gun rebounding defender we've become so used to. Not the worst, but a shadow of his former self and not immune to the incompetent decision-making that's infected the team.

Tom Phillips - on the verge of being dropped. The shorter gametimes have taken away his primary weapon - endurance. Without the game opening up for players like him, all we get is a fumbly, poor ball user who can't win his own ball and struggles to get separation from his opponent. His tackling efforts were woeful today.

Darcy Cameron - not sure this guy is the upgrade on Cox that people keep telling me he is. Once again, he played a decent first quarter before completely disappearing. And once again, I don't think I even saw him impact a marking contest inside 50. He gets all his touches on a wing / high HFF; this isn't what I'm looking for from a 200+cm key forward. If we're being completely honest with ourselves, neither he nor Cox are the answer.

Jaiden Stephenson - has regressed at an alarming rate. Looks disinterested out there, didn't even want to celebrate a goal to get his team back in it on the 3QT siren. More than anyone else, you can tell that something is very wrong behind the scenes looking at this guy play right now.

Josh Daicos - That decision not to go forward at the end of the first quarter, choosing instead to go to Phillips with a hospital handpass, and almost costing a goal from what should have been a goal-scoring opportunity of our own... that passage of play right there demonstrates that it was the coach, not the players, leading the charge to hold up the play and move it forward slowly. We were out, he had one-on-ones ahead, he had acres of space... and he still chose to stop, prop, and go backwards. You could almost see him fighting his natural urges to go forward. That summed up our whole game.

Brody Mihocek - did what we needed Cameron to do and flew for almost every ball that went into our F50. He battled hard, but he's undersized for the role. Needs help desperately, because he can't operate as the spearhead - he's a support player, not the numero uno.

Brayden Sier - nice goal, and a few sharp handpasses from the packs, but precious little else. Looks more stylish than Wills but had about the same impact. Still, he deserves another game to find his feet, as Willsy got more than a month.

Jack Madgen - physically gifted and goes hard, but lacks skill and composure. Reminds me of another Jack who used to run around our backline, only that guy had blonde hair. Like that Jack, he's probably just not up to the level, unfortunately.

Will Hoskin-Elliott - possibly the biggest casualty of our revolutionary "refuse-to-move-the-ball-forward-at-all-costs" gameplan. This guy has battled ever since that free-flowing, surge-it-forward 2018 side has been instructed to slow it down and keep possession. He just cannot get into games any more - except, ironically, when we move it forward fast and direct, almost in spite of ourselves, when he'll invariably kick a goal. But as long as this team insists on inching forward at the pace of Franz Joseph Glacier, he's not going to have an impact.

Isaac Quaynor - his quietest game this season. Didn't have much of an impact. Didn't do much wrong, which is more than a lot of his teammates can say.

Mark Keane - not a great debut. Skills looked sub-standard, not much defensive prowess to get excited about, and the obvious free-kick which probably cost the game. Strange selection.

Travis Varcoe - so far this year we've seen the hesitant Varcoe who can't impact a contest, or the one-touch player whose cleanliness stands out. Today was the former, definitely not the latter. Perhaps due to the fact he was in off an injury lay-off, as per the Essendon game. Fumbly and indecisive. A poor outing. Probably gets another week to find touch due to lack of competition.

Chris Mayne - was he playing? He barely touched it and didn't really get involved in anything at all, save for a toe-poke in the 3rd. Completely MIA.

Josh Thomas - and speaking of MIA, this guy's been missing in action since 2018. Not sure what's happened, but it's just about career over for Josh. Feel for him, but you can see his heart's no longer in it, and he just doesn't have the talent to coast by on less than 100% effort.


The Coach

A special mention to one of the worst fortnights in Nathan Buckley's coaching career. Everything he's touched over the past two weeks has been diabolically bad - from accidental COVID breaches to hilariously terrible gameplans that had me literally laughing out loud as clusterf*ck after clusterf*ck unfolded on screen.

Bucks: you are struggling, big time, as bad as any of our players. Your selection choices have been poor, your structure worse, your gameday tactics laughably bad. Whether intentional or not, you've managed to inflict a team-wide malaise of utter incompetency that's reminiscent of the horrible 2014, '15 and '16 seasons. Players are beyond confused. They don't know where to position themselves. They're hesitant to move the ball for fear of making a mistake. They're unsure whether to attack the contest or mark space.

And what we're getting as a result is bottom-four footy. Handball-happy passages of play where a player in good position hesitates, holds up play, and opts for a handpass to a player in a worse position, who opts for a handpass to a player in a worse position, who opts for a handpass to a player in a worse position... until the poor sod who gets on the end of the final dodgy handpass is under immense pressure and forty metres further back than the idiot who should have just roosted it long in the first place.

Contrast that with Freo, whose simple get-ball-roost-ball strategy worked, despite its lack of complexity. Or here's a crazy thought... because of its lack of complexity?

So Bucks: simplify. You've confused them beyond belief with a gameplan that's unplayable. You've made them hesitant, timid, scared and soft. You've taken a good 2018 gameplan that got you within a kick of the flag and revamped it into pissweak nonsense.

It's time to put away the arrogant, re-invent the wheel, Chris Scott style "look at me" coaching choices for good. F*ck the overused handball right off. If I never see a Collingwood team try to play f*cking "possession footy" again, it will be too soon.

Focus on honest, no-nonsense footy again - because if these trends continue, you'll be back to coaching for your career, and this time, Ed might not be able to save you.
 

jathanas

Moderator
Aug 17, 2011
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Excellent post OP, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughtful analysis.

I think the group has lost faith in the plan and it was more obvious yesterday with Pendles out.

Collingwood in 2018 looked as a whole greater than the sum of its parts and we have since regressed to yesterdays spectacle.
 

Horaceg

Premiership Player
Sep 29, 2014
4,788
4,578
Sydney
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Dead wood

Mayne Thomas Varcoe
Two of those will be off the list next year. Love Varcoe but I see others that need to come into the team and will inevitably go past him. JT is worrying, not sure if he needs and extended run or just chop him and don't look back, most likely the latter. I thought he may have stepped up last night, wrong!

Mayne has been extended through 2021 if I am not mistaken. Big props to him for reinventing himself but another one who should not be in future unless we are a genuine contender this year.

I still think we can turn this year back around, it's been disappointing recently but need to hang in there right now.
 

DaVe86

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 6, 2004
10,034
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Melbourne
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It pains me, because I'm not one for such criticism, but I didn't disagree with anything the OP said.

i refuse to believe that we tactically are wanting to play this way. But I think sub-consciously, we are coached too defensively, and this rubs off. Whether it be the complete flat footedness of our midfielders at contests, or the unwillingness to kick to a contest. I think a lack of key target costs us.

i went to a few training sessions pre-season, and Bucks was consistently telling players to move on quicker. So i don't believe he is instructing our players to play this way. But when there is confusion or lack of confidence in a game-plan, these sort of blatant errors happen.

Game-plan or not, the amount of 15 metre kicks that miss a target, or dropped marks or dropped tackles is bewildering. I mean, JT dropped a sitter in the goal-square, Moore kicked it straight to his opponent, Maynard did a dinky 10 metre kick that missed a target and also missed a tackle, and it goes on and on.This isn't necessarily coaching, that's execution. But when players aren't playing instinctively, then this is how these sort of basic errors happen.

There's definitely a confusion. I agree that players should go back to natural positions. Stephenson at FF, Phillips wing, Crisp half back, JT reserves.
 

The Dawes

Premiership Player
Feb 19, 2008
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Generally things are never as good as you think nor as bad as it seems, but last night was the nadir of recent history for mine - mind you it was probably exacerbated given the opposition has kicked an aggregate 28-4 in the past 2 games.

Players look totally shot of confidence - continually second guessing themselves and looking to handball the responsibility to a teammate time and time again.

As above, I can't believe the over possessing we see is part of the game plan - Buckley alluded to something similar after we saw the comical last 30 seconds of the first half against Essendon games a few weeks back, but clearly something has to change.

The side we fielded last night was the most lacking in class I've seen for quite a while - we really missed Pendlbury's ability to put a player into space in the midfield, Howe's intercept marking in defence and De Goey's constant threat up forward but we also missed their class across the ground.
They each can help paper over some of our list deficiency cracks but when they're missing we can look bog ordinary.

Not really an excuse but it does concern me - we do have too much deadwood on the list now and too few classy players.
 

Sea fog

Club Legend
Jun 24, 2012
2,908
1,437
AFL Club
Collingwood
Great summary there. And you hit the money with Luke Ryan, he got 10 votes from the coaches. I think though it would be pretty easy to play in defence against us because we have no key forwards and the ball goes in to our forward line in such a way that it makes it simple to defend. And you are also on the money with AA. Maynard should get it. Moore will not because Harris Andrews, Weitering and perhaps some others will get it before him. It is hard to defend in a poor team like ours and Andrews though regarded as very much miles better than any other key defender, does get an easier go of it because he has gun mids in his team, but we virtually do not have a midfield.
 

TradeDraft

Premium Platinum
Oct 18, 2009
128,184
56,089
Mornington Peninsula
AFL Club
Collingwood
I’d like to know if something is up with Stephenson, his regression has probably been the most alarming. Still getting up to speed after illness? Struggling to cope with hub life? Whatever it is, I hope it’s temporary.
There is a Claim going around that he will asked to be Traded at years end is not happy at the Club and another that been a Huge Offer from another Club.

Though nothing to show that either is True,.

I say having Glandular Fever and then the Pandamic has really stuffed his Development this season up
 

Chief Ten Beers

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 11, 2008
7,001
8,646
AFL Club
Collingwood
We're a club in crisis mode right now. Absolutely obliterated by a team that was hanging on the edge of the 8; smashed at the contest by a team chock full of youngsters sitting pretty in 17th.

It's not the losses, it's the manner of the losses. You always wanna show your brand. This team is quickly earning a brand that none of them want, but on the last couple of outings, it's well-deserved: fumbly, panicky, soft as butter.

There are some players who are exceptions to the above rule, who keep putting in good shifts while everything around them turns to sh*t. But, sadly, they're few and far between at this stage.

The Best

1. Steele Sidebottom
2. Brayden Maynard
3. Darcy Moore

The Worst (tough field today)

3. Will Hoskin-Elliott
2. Chris Mayne
1. Josh Thomas


Steele Sidebottom - so far and away our best player that he really embarrassed his teammates just by being competent. Didn't panic, didn't sell his teammates out, didn't get scared by Freo's fearsome brigade of skinny 19-year-olds. Showed cleaner hands than anyone on the field and actually had the guts to finish his hard work, nailing two cracking goals when the rest of the forwardline were too busy shirking the responsibility with sideways handpasses. A rare shining light, and showed how easy this game can be.

Brayden Maynard - our best player for the year, and one of the few feel good stories to come out of the club. Continues to dominate. An absolute bull. More of a chance for AA than Moore, in my opinion. The comments about playing scared most definitely don't apply to this man.

Darcy Moore - another strong game in defense, though if we're being honest, was shaded by his counterpart in Luke Ryan at the other end. He did cough up a couple of goals to Taberner, and the obvious howler of a short pass was another blot against his name. I know he's a bit of a sacred cow on this board, and nobody should question his position as CHB thanks to his consistent level of good play, but I think the time has come to plonk him at full forward. There's only so much he can do across the backline, and we're getting pantsed anyway. A good CHF is worth ten times the value a good CHB. And our key forward stocks are a lot thinner than our key backs.

John Noble - a good game, one of his best, and showed his ability on-ball with a team-high 25 touches (edit - second to Treloar, but half of those Treloar touches were dodgy handpasses which sold us into huge trouble). He was guilty of poor decision-making and too handball-happy, especially early, but got better as the game wore on and played with a desperation that was pleasing to see, and absent in too many others.

Jamie Elliott - another who plays with the requisite intensity. Did some wonderful things through the midfield and was one of the few who could actually win a contested ball. Got crucified for a "deliberate" out of bounds which serves to highlight that the only folks more confused than our players are the umpires.

Brodie Grundy - won the ruck contest against probably the worst ruck brigade in the competition, but not by heaps. Fed Mundy about a dozen clearances with beautifully weighted taps that put the Freo star into all sorts of space. The connection between Brodie and our mids is probably the worst of any ruck-mid combo in the league. Not sure whose fault it is, but right now, we're paying a million a year to watch him drill taps to opposition stars time and time again. Still, if this is his "bad" form, it's not that bad. And more than 50% of our issues in this department probably fall on our incompetent mid brigade.

Adam Treloar - speaking of incompetent mids, this guy is battling big time. He runs all day and racks up possessions at will, but he's more panicked than just about any player on the field. He second-guesses himself so badly when he gets it that it's painful to watch. He constantly puts others under pressure with calamity passes. And in at least three crucial moments this year, he's fumbled terribly under pressure and gone with a blatant, obvious throw. Has lost any semblance of coolness which he used to play with, and is the barometer for a team who can't make a correct decision with ball in hand.

Taylor Adams - has stood up so far this year but lowered his colours massively today. Got an absolute pantsing from Caleb Serong, of all players. Fumbled like crazy and wasn't throwing himself around with the same desperation as usual. He'll bounce back, he's better, and he has the runs on the board.

Jack Crisp - played more of a midfield role, and while not being bad, he's taken a pretty huge step backward this year from the gun rebounding defender we've become so used to. Not the worst, but a shadow of his former self and not immune to the incompetent decision-making that's infected the team.

Tom Phillips - on the verge of being dropped. The shorter gametimes have taken away his primary weapon - endurance. Without the game opening up for players like him, all we get is a fumbly, poor ball user who can't win his own ball and struggles to get separation from his opponent. His tackling efforts were woeful today.

Darcy Cameron - not sure this guy is the upgrade on Cox that people keep telling me he is. Once again, he played a decent first quarter before completely disappearing. And once again, I don't think I even saw him impact a marking contest inside 50. He gets all his touches on a wing / high HFF; this isn't what I'm looking for from a 200+cm key forward. If we're being completely honest with ourselves, neither he nor Cox are the answer.

Jaiden Stephenson - has regressed at an alarming rate. Looks disinterested out there, didn't even want to celebrate a goal to get his team back in it on the 3QT siren. More than anyone else, you can tell that something is very wrong behind the scenes looking at this guy play right now.

Josh Daicos - That decision not to go forward at the end of the first quarter, choosing instead to go to Phillips with a hospital handpass, and almost costing a goal from what should have been a goal-scoring opportunity of our own... that passage of play right there demonstrates that it was the coach, not the players, leading the charge to hold up the play and move it forward slowly. We were out, he had one-on-ones ahead, he had acres of space... and he still chose to stop, prop, and go backwards. You could almost see him fighting his natural urges to go forward. That summed up our whole game.

Brody Mihocek - did what we needed Cameron to do and flew for almost every ball that went into our F50. He battled hard, but he's undersized for the role. Needs help desperately, because he can't operate as the spearhead - he's a support player, not the numero uno.

Brayden Sier - nice goal, and a few sharp handpasses from the packs, but precious little else. Looks more stylish than Wills but had about the same impact. Still, he deserves another game to find his feet, as Willsy got more than a month.

Jack Madgen - physically gifted and goes hard, but lacks skill and composure. Reminds me of another Jack who used to run around our backline, only that guy had blonde hair. Like that Jack, he's probably just not up to the level, unfortunately.

Will Hoskin-Elliott - possibly the biggest casualty of our revolutionary "refuse-to-move-the-ball-forward-at-all-costs" gameplan. This guy has battled ever since that free-flowing, surge-it-forward 2018 side has been instructed to slow it down and keep possession. He just cannot get into games any more - except, ironically, when we move it forward fast and direct, almost in spite of ourselves, when he'll invariably kick a goal. But as long as this team insists on inching forward at the pace of Franz Joseph Glacier, he's not going to have an impact.

Isaac Quaynor - his quietest game this season. Didn't have much of an impact. Didn't do much wrong, which is more than a lot of his teammates can say.

Mark Keane - not a great debut. Skills looked sub-standard, not much defensive prowess to get excited about, and the obvious free-kick which probably cost the game. Strange selection.

Travis Varcoe - so far this year we've seen the hesitant Varcoe who can't impact a contest, or the one-touch player whose cleanliness stands out. Today was the former, definitely not the latter. Perhaps due to the fact he was in off an injury lay-off, as per the Essendon game. Fumbly and indecisive. A poor outing. Probably gets another week to find touch due to lack of competition.

Chris Mayne - was he playing? He barely touched it and didn't really get involved in anything at all, save for a toe-poke in the 3rd. Completely MIA.

Josh Thomas - and speaking of MIA, this guy's been missing in action since 2018. Not sure what's happened, but it's just about career over for Josh. Feel for him, but you can see his heart's no longer in it, and he just doesn't have the talent to coast by on less than 100% effort.


The Coach

A special mention to one of the worst fortnights in Nathan Buckley's coaching career. Everything he's touched over the past two weeks has been diabolically bad - from accidental COVID breaches to hilariously terrible gameplans that had me literally laughing out loud as clusterf*ck after clusterf*ck unfolded on screen.

Bucks: you are struggling, big time, as bad as any of our players. Your selection choices have been poor, your structure worse, your gameday tactics laughably bad. Whether intentional or not, you've managed to inflict a team-wide malaise of utter incompetency that's reminiscent of the horrible 2014, '15 and '16 seasons. Players are beyond confused. They don't know where to position themselves. They're hesitant to move the ball for fear of making a mistake. They're unsure whether to attack the contest or mark space.

And what we're getting as a result is bottom-four footy. Handball-happy passages of play where a player in good position hesitates, holds up play, and opts for a handpass to a player in a worse position, who opts for a handpass to a player in a worse position, who opts for a handpass to a player in a worse position... until the poor sod who gets on the end of the final dodgy handpass is under immense pressure and forty metres further back than the idiot who should have just roosted it long in the first place.

Contrast that with Freo, whose simple get-ball-roost-ball strategy worked, despite its lack of complexity. Or here's a crazy thought... because of its lack of complexity?

So Bucks: simplify. You've confused them beyond belief with a gameplan that's unplayable. You've made them hesitant, timid, scared and soft. You've taken a good 2018 gameplan that got you within a kick of the flag and revamped it into pissweak nonsense.

It's time to put away the arrogant, re-invent the wheel, Chris Scott style "look at me" coaching choices for good. F*ck the overused handball right off. If I never see a Collingwood team try to play f*cking "possession footy" again, it will be too soon.

Focus on honest, no-nonsense footy again - because if these trends continue, you'll be back to coaching for your career, and this time, Ed might not be able to save you.
Always great to read. 👌
 

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